All too often, business owners want to start their marketing programs quickly, skipping over the planning phase. They send messages out into the world before they’ve developed the goals for their programs.
But just as pre-planning a remodeling project insures its successful completion, developing your business and marketing goals is critical for creating the right lead generation program.
Advanced planning and setting objectives makes the difference between aiming at something in the sight of a highly accurate rifle or just hoping to hit the target with the broad spray of a shotgun—if you get lucky.
Careful aim has two important benefits in marketing:
- You’ll invest much less money in your marketing program because you’re not wasting dollars on disorganized efforts.
- The leads you generate with a targeted program are of higher quality because they fit your definition of your targeted prospect. Therefore, these leads are easier to sell.
So what are your goals? What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to increase volume? Sell at higher prices? Or increase your job size? These are just three of the areas of business that marketing can affect.
The next step is to analyze where the company is today. To do this, think about the strengths and weaknesses of your company. Where do opportunities lie for your business? What weak spots must be strengthened?
Establish the number of leads you need in the coming year. Start by determining the number of jobs you must complete, then use your closing ratio to calculate the leads that must come in to allow you to reach this goal. Marketing is a numbers game so it’s critical that you have a healthy flow of the right kind of leads.
Look at where your business has come from in the past. Has it been referral based? If so, you may have to invest in the development of marketing materials. If it’s been from the yellow pages, you might decide to spend more to generate those valuable referral leads.
Then, profile the last 20 jobs you’ve completed and look at the gross profit each of them generated. Can you identify certain types of jobs that deliver consistently higher profits to the company? Determine why this is so. Once you determine the most profitable jobs, think about the jobs you most enjoy doing. Do they match? If not, spend some time thinking about what you want from your company.
Only after you’ve spent the time to review past performance and think about what you want in the future will you be ready to create the marketing strategies to get you there. Just like in production, the success is in the planning!