I recently had an interesting conversation with someone I’d like to work with. We were talking about whether it was worth spending time and money (uh oh, not those guys again) on marketing their business. This is a very common question for business owners!
How did you find out about us?
Naturally I was interested to hear why they thought it wasn’t. In short it boiled down to their past experience of marketing not living up to their expectations.
They invested in marketing to launch their business, but weren’t able to stay with confidence whether it had generated interest or whether it “had just been word of mouth”. As I pointed out, unless you know how your customers found out about your business, you won’t know if your marketing activities are working.
And, in reality, the people who were spreading the word had to find out about it somehow too.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers
Evaluating your marketing effectiveness can be tricky. But give your marketing a fighting chance! The quickest and most immediate way is to ask your customers, or potential customers, how they found out about your business.
A word for the wise though; “your website” doesn’t count.
What you really need to know is whether they saw it advertised (if so, where?) or what keywords they typed into a search engine. I usually find people either tell me upfront where they saw my details (top marks to you!), or they will tell me if I ask (you still get a gold star).
I recently received an email enquiring about my services. They had found me via Google and could tell me the search words they used. Bingo. Instant feedback on the effectiveness of my website’s search optimisation. I’m really pleased to say they’ve now become a client.
What made you choose my business
As well as asking “how did you find out about us?”, it’s very important to ask what made someone to then choose your business.
Another client of mine recently won a £10,000 tender.
He’d asked what it was that influenced this and was told it was because of the content on his website. I’d been working with him to update his site for a while. He knew he needed a website, but didn’t spend any time updating it.
I explained the value of a website is in the content. More specifically, the ongoing creation of new content.
To begin with he wasn’t totally convinced. He just saw the time it would take him to write it and me to upload it. Unsurprisingly he now writes content regularly and actively requests for his website to be updated. We also make sure his content works hard by sharing it through regular emails and social media posts.
So, don’t focus on assumptions.
Ask seven small words and focus on facts. They may be small words, but they’re very valuable.