Get it wrong and you will not grow, simple as that.
But effective lead generation is hard. Which is the biggest reason only 1 in 1,000 businesses ever pass £1 million turnover.
This article will help you understand the difference between marketing tactically and having a proper marketing process that predictably generates enquiries and new leads.
Here you will learn the five essential Growth Blueprints to your marketing plan…
- Lead capture marketing, so you don’t waste any potential buyers
- Strong differentiation so you’re not competing on price alone
- Clever copywriting to powerfully present your sales message
- Multiple marketing channels to funnel leads from different sources
- A back-end strategy to make repeat sales to existing customers
Because this marketing plan is built on a proper strategy, all your marketing simply slots into place and you can see where you need to work, giving you a real advantage over your competitors. They won’t know what’s hit them!
[hr]Most people do not buy the first time they walk past a shop window, meet you at a networking event, or visit a website.
They continue to research and ponder their options for a little while first. Or perhaps they just forget all about the idea and never buy at all.
But capture their details at this first moment and you can keep in touch with them via email or direct mail (letters) for the next year or two. When they’re ready to buy, they will probably buy from you because you’re familiar and have kept in touch.
“Only half of my advertising budget produces sales. But I don’t know which half” – Attributed to Henry Ford
But simply capturing leads is only half of the story. You also need to make sure that your investment in every marketing channel is producing results.
It’s possible to measure the return on investment for just about every marketing channel you use. This way you don’t waste any money on useless marketing.
To measure results you need to record how many leads and sales come from each marketing source. Download a free template and guide to lead capture and measurement when you start your free membership of the Double Your Business Growth Club.
[hr]If your customers don’t know what makes your business the best place to buy from, they will choose using the only way they know how – price.
But coming up with some kind of differentiation starts with a decision about your core customers. Who are they and what are their frustrations or needs from your kind of business?
Trying to sell to any customer means that your business has to please everybody, and you can’t please all the people all the time.
In the Double Your Business Marketing Plan, there are 4 ways to differentiate your business from your competition:
Some facts or features that directly benefit your customer (often described as the USP)
A guarantee that reverses the risk of buying from you
Positioning yourself as an authority with your customers
A brand strategy that sets you apart
Any one of these can make a substantial difference to the power of your marketing, but put them all together and you create an overwhelmingly persuasive argument for your customers to choose you.
You’ll find a guide to create your own powerful USP when you start your free membership of the Double Your Business Growth Club.
[hr]The typical advert for an average business is totally predictable. It has the firm’s name or logo in huge type at the top, and then some bullet points about what makes them great. This advert does not produce sales and is justified by people who don’t understanding marketing by a statement like “it’s important that we get our name out there”.
Unfortunately nobody buys from small businesses for their name (at least, not unless they’ve developed a proper small business brand identity). So these adverts fall flat on their faces.
Writing to sell is a craft that combines statistically proven tactics with the creativity to come up with ideas that inspire your audience to beat a path to your door.
Mini Case Study
When a specialist engineering firm spent £3,000 on a direct mail campaign and got no orders, they decided that direct mail didn’t work. But they were wrong. Writing a new letter to just 25 carefully targeted customers produced 6 enquiries and 3 sales, worth a solid £15,000 per month in repeat sales. This case study, from my book Double Your Business, demonstrates what happens when you understand copywriting.
The actual letter he produced these results is surprising. It’s two pages of fairly heavy text, but it was written to appeal to a very specific audience. You can download it inside my free Double Your Business Growth Club and watch a video of me reviewing it, explaining why it worked so well (even though we forgot to include a call to action!).
[hr]A table with just one leg is unstable. In the same way, if you have only one source of leads for your business, you are in the same situation.
A multi-million pound travel agent was built on leads produced via Teletext Holidays advertising. This ended with the switchover to Digital TV and they simply stopped getting new leads.
We turned things around for them by introducing multiple sources of leads to replace them so they were not balancing so uncomfortably on a single “marketing leg” anymore.
You need a range range of marketing channels, working together to give you stability and sufficient new customers to maintain healthy, profitable growth. Make sure you’ve got a good mix.
Here are 10 of the best marketing channels I’ve used with clients to produce consistent results:
- Website and pay-per-click advertising (Google Adwords, Facebook adverts, etc)
- Direct mail
- Networking and social networking
- Referral system
- Joint-venture marketing
- Targeted telemarketing
- Publicity (including free!)
- Trade shows and exhibitions
- Advertising in niche magazines, papers and websites.
You’ll find a handy reference chart of 133 Marketing Channels is available inside The Double Your Business Marketing Club – membership’s free.
[hr]An important concept in marketing is the customer acquisition cost. This is the price you pay to win a new customer and make the first sale. For many businesses, this initial price is so high, the first sale makes no profit.
It’s only when you make repeat sales that you start to make any real money from that customer. It stands to reason, then, that your marketing plan needs to include strategies that help you to sell again and again to every customer.
That means you may have to find new products or services to sell them, or communicate your full range to them more effectively.
Lots of businesses make a single sale and then fail to offer the customer anything else to buy afterwards. The smartest businesses keep in touch regularly and offer a variety of products and services to every customer, maximising their sales potential.
What else could you sell to your customers, and how could you communicate more frequently and effectively with your past customers?