So you’ve re-branded, have a fabulous website and blog, write a monthly newsletter and are active on social media. But your business seems to have plateaued and customer numbers simply refuse to show any signs of growth. Should you keep the faith and carry on, or does your marketing plan need a bit of an overhaul?
It can be hard to determine just how long it might take for your marketing campaigns to bear fruit, so keep an eye out for the signs that your plan isn’t doing its job:
You are generating leads, but none are converting to customers
First, you should congratulate yourself. You are doing something right if the leads are coming in. Chances are though, that they are the wrong leads. It sounds like you may not be in front of the right audience – if you are selling a corporate level product there’s little point networking with micro business owners for example.
Take a cold, hard look at your ‘ideal’ customer profile and make sure your marketing is aimed squarely at them. Alternatively, if you have discovered a talent for attracting an altogether different group of potential clients, can you modify your products or services to cater for that market?
You are getting new clients, but losing existing ones at the same rate
The good news is that your sales process seems to be working; if new business is flowing, that’s a good sign. But existing customer are important too, so you need to examine why you are losing them. Do you have a retention strategy in place or are you putting all your marketing effort into new business generation?
Look carefully into the reasons you are not keeping customers – are there any customer service issues or is your product simply not meeting customer expectations – and try to fix whatever is going wrong.
You simply aren’t attracting enough new business
There could be any number of reasons why your marketing plan doesn’t seem to be doing anything much for you. Lack of budget, unclear or inconsistent marketing messages, mismatched media, incompatible pricing structure or a combination of these problems. There’s no doubt that you have to give your campaigns time to work, but if you’ve been flogging the same strategy for sometime to no avail, isn’t it time to take a serious look inside your business?
It all comes down to knowing your customers, so go back to basics and clearly define who they are. Then match up your customer profile with the products or services you are offering; do they really solve your customers’ problems? Assuming they do, now’s the time to work out where your prospective customers hang out and how you can get in front of them.
Once you have taken the time to work out which part of your marketing process is going wrong and tried to fix it, you are ready to develop a focused marketing plan that will really serve your business you well.