3 Marketing Hacks to Boost Your Sales
by Doug Watson
When I meet with entrepreneurs, I often find myself being asked what advertising channel or web tool is best for “marketing” – and my reply is always the same.
It comes down to three key questions:
Who is your customer?
What is the best way to communicate with them?
Are you spending your time on reaching out to customers in the way they want to be reached?
As an entrepreneur, your most precious resource is not money – it’s time. Your ability to leverage it effectively is critical to your success. This is particularly evident when it comes to your marketing and sales strategy.
There’s a worn truism in business that goes like this: your sales are like air – and if you don’t have enough, you’ll die. In other words, if your business is finding it difficult to breathe, then you need to take a hard look in the mirror and evaluate how you’re investing your energy. Is there a better way to generate more sales?
Below, you’ll find 3 powerful hacks to maximize your time, while improving sales.
1. Know thy customer
This first one should go without saying, but I’ll do it anyway: you must put in the time to identify – and understand – your customers.
According to the Harvard Business Review, personalizing your marketing to your specific customers, through your messages, offers, and products, can up to EIGHT times the ROI on marketing spend.
How to do it? First, develop a profile of your ideal customer, often referred to as a customer avatar. This avatar is a representation of who they are, what they do, and most importantly, their pain points that your service is poised to address.
Your marketing plan will be far more potent when it addresses the people who are most likely to buy from you.
2. Prioritise the plan
Choosing how to allocate time is frequently the most difficult skill for an entrepreneur to master. After all, you’ll need the capability to scale your marketing plan with your company. And to get there, it’s going to take some tough decision-making about what to do first.
There are so many options. Should you make flyers? Should you be hands-on with designing the website? What about in-person networking at events? While the correct answer may be different from one person to the next, everyone will share the same common denominator: prioritising is key. Ask yourself: Which activities hold the highest immediate impact for my business? Which activities will get me closer to a sale today?
For some, advertising may be far less useful than making cold calls to land a meeting and close a sale. In other cases, a targeted Facebook ad might instead be the best strategy. It all depends, of course, on who your customer is and how they like to receive information relevant to your product or service.
If you are an independent financial planner without much brand recognition, for example, investing in online ads may be a waste. If this sounds like you, then focusing on a referral strategy that leverages your existing clients may have a much higher impact.
3. Measure and repeat
In order to nail your marketing plan, having crystal-clear objectives – and a way to measure your progress – will be key.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “what gets measured, gets done.” It speaks to the importance of setting a goal with a defined outcome and regularly tracking until you’ve reached it. In marketing, having this type of granular focus is critical. And as you move forward, evaluating the data you collect will allow you to make better, higher-yield decisions.
The idea here is to test before investing heavily in any one strategy. By testing, you’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t. This way you can measure, extract the insights, and then laser-focus your resources on your highest-impact activities.
There are so many ways to announce your business to the world. But making the effort to focus on the most effective activities now will mean the difference between seeing sales and hoping for a lucky break.
Doug is a marketer and product launch specialist with TELUS. He’s spent years telling brand stories and taking new products to market for Fortune 100 companies. His latest side project is a new brand of notebooks for entrepreneurs and professionals who value their ideas and strive every day to do amazing things. You can check out the project and sign up for updates and an exclusive per-launch offer here: thenotebookproject.com