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To start at the very beginning is a very good place to start (or so we have heard), so where better to start our A to Z of Marketing than at A.
A is for Analysis. When I started in marketing well over a decade ago, the era of the long lunch, the fluffy campaign and the big budget with no accountability were on the way out (poor me) and ROI (return on investment), measurement and metrics were the new rage. It suited me fine as I am a numbers girl at heart, but over the years I have had staff come and go with the terrible realisation that todays marketing roles are almost accounting roles in disguise (with better shoes and more interesting events).
5 Easy Areas for Analysis
1. Analyse your Web Traffic Stats – if you have a website, you have access to very valuable information just waiting to be analysed! It is believed that a new visitor to your website spends around 6 seconds deciding whether your business meets their needs, is credible and trustworthy. So how do you know if you are succeeding?
By analysing your website traffic you can begin to understand:
– where traffic enters and exits your site
-how long they stay
-what pages are browsed; and
-sometimes even demographic information.
Half a day a month spent analysing your website traffic can give you some powerful insights into how to adapt your page to ensure you are maximising your traffic.
2. Analyse your Current Customers – if you sell a product, you have already succeeded in connecting with your target consumer. They found you, they trusted you; and they have initiated a relationship with you and your business. Asking each customer a few questions as part of your checkout process gives you the opportunity to collate data that you can analyse. Consider asking “Where did you hear about us?” “What’s your favourite Website?”. A quick question can give you a deeper understanding of who your consumer is and will help you target your message to them.
3. Analyse your Past Performance – when we do our Mini Marketing Plan for our clients, the first step we take is to have them fill out our Business Analysis Tool, which is really a survey of the business’ past. We use this tool to analyse what the business has done and also to consider what has and hasn’t worked before to find clues as to what the target consumer might be like. You can analyse past performance by looking at the results you received and then interpreting what they mean. For example, you have distributed over 500 flyers with an offer (always use a coupon code so you know where the responses have come from) but you only received 5 redemptions. You sent an email out to 100 subscribers with the same offer and got 25 redemptions. On analysing this I would think that perhaps your target consumer responds better to offers they can instantly action or your consumer doesn’t pay attention to flyers. I would analyse over a period of time and if this trend held true, I may decide not to use flyers anymore.
4. Analyse your Competitors – when sales are down and enquiries have gone quiet don’t go straight to market with a deal or fear the end is coming. Analyse your competitors. This is as easy as searching for your product or service, and seeing what comes up. Think like your consumers; how did they find you? Are you a bakery? Do most people find you by walking past? Go for a walk around the local area. Has something else popped up that you didn’t know? Look at the supermarket, have they changed their pricing strategy. Or do you sell Dog Outfits online? Start searching in different ways “cute dog clothes“, “designer puppy outfit“, “dress for my dog“, look at the websites that come up, think your consumer could shop at any of these, analyse the strengths and weaknesses and form strategies of how you can improve your offer.
5. Analyse your Profitability – profitability put simply is income minus your expenses, but do you keep track of all your expenses? So many small businesses muddle the line between the owners and the business and expenses are often covered by an owner without them being factored in against the income of the business to really understand profitability. Analyse the profitability of your business as a whole every 3 months or so. Think of it like a household budget – add up all the payments in, then take away every single expense incurred to determine whether you made a profit or a loss. Analyse the expenses to see if savings can be made. Also analyse the profitability of individual campaigns. For example, if you advertise in a publication for $1,000, and your product delivers you $10 profit per sale, you will need to sell 100 products for the campaign to be profitable. Unless you go back and analyse campaign profitability, you can’t be sure it is a cost-effective way to target your consumer.
What analysis do you do in your business? Are you often surprised by the results?
Until next week, here is some more of what A is for http://www.enchantedlearning.com/Aisfor.shtml