Marketing can be confusing—especially if you are not a marketer. The challenge today is in having not a lack of, but rather too much, information. When you have too many options, this may lead to confusion and a lack of action. If you are asked, “How is your marketing going?” you don’t want to provide an answer like, “I don’t know. Ask my marketing guy. I only deal with ______ [fill in the blank].”
This is a bad answer. Marketing is part of sales, and sales are the core part of your business. Simply put, if you have no sales, you have no business. Yes, you have to focus on what you do best, but you also need to understand your company’s marketing strategy and success rate at least at a broad level. The best way to determine how your business is doing on the marketing end is to take the information you have, break it apart and then simplify it.
The following chart demonstrates how you acquire clients via the Web:
You just need to know 3 simple pieces:
- Web Traffic Generation
- Web Traffic Conversion
- Lead Conversion
I call this method the 3x3x3 Method. Each element has 3 questions that you need to be able to answer as the business owner. The rest can be taken care of your staff or your marketing company. There is one requirement: you must measure everything in order for it to make sense.
Web Traffic Generation
You need to know the answers to three questions in regard to web-traffic generation:
- Is my web traffic diversified? Traffic can come from various sources. The most popular are direct, organic search, paid search, referral, and social. It is not wise to rely on just one or two possible sources. Instead you should diversify your efforts.
- Is my web traffic increasing over time? You can use the number of visits to measure this. The higher the number, the better.
- Is my web-traffic qualified? The traffic to your site has to be qualified. Just because your site gets a lot of traffic does not necessarily mean that it gets any good traffic. If your business is located in Illinois and only does business locally, you will not have any benefit from getting a lot of site visitors who are located in Florida. Also if you sell blue widgets only, you don’t want a lot of traffic from people who are searching for red widgets.
Web Traffic Conversion
You need to know three things about web traffic conversion:
- Are my leads diversified? There are two types of leads: web leads and phone leads. Web leads are interested people who complete a web form. Phone leads are people who call your office to inquire about your offer.
- Are my leads increasing over time? You will use number of the number of leads and lead conversion rate to measure this. The higher the number and the percentage, the better.
- Are my leads qualified? Your leads have to be qualified. You don’t want to be wasting time with a lot of tire kickers. This can be solved through proper messaging in your ads and landing pages. You don’t want to attract leads who are not related to, or cannot benefit from, your business. This goes back to the qualified traffic issue.
Your marketing activities have generated leads for you. The act of converting these leads into paying customers is called lead conversion. You need to know three things about this:
- Are my appointments increasing over time? Your appointments have to be qualified. By this I mean that you want to make sure that you are setting up appointments with leads that are interested and are capable of working with you.
- Is my appointment show-up rate increasing over time? This probably goes without saying, but your appointments have to show up. If you leads are well-qualified, your show-up rate should increase. You calculate the percentage by dividing the number of leads who showed up for appointments by the total number of appointments that were scheduled.
- Are my sales and clients-numbers increasing over time? At this point you are looking at the final result – your sales. You can measure this by looking at the number of clients and total revenue generated by your business now and comparing these numbers to figures from the past. The higher your numbers, the better.
You don’t need to be actively involved in the marketing of your business to have a handle on how your marketing team is doing. Simply use the 3x3x3 Method to ask the questions, and let the others answer them and worry about the details. This will enable you to stay in control of one of the most important aspects of your business plan.