By Luc Wade, Management Consultant at Hive Business
This is obvious, but reviewing your marketing is really important. When you base your future marketing around the results of your historic efforts, it only gets more effective. If you do this forensically, mapping out how your efforts across specific channels have performed, you will soon make better decisions, become less likely to waste money, and more likely to make money.
Here are some questions that we ask when we do a performance and trend analysis. Number one: do I know how much my marketing is costing me, and is it a good or a bad cost? A client told me that Facebook was generating 10 leads a month for him, but he didn’t know that each converted lead was actually costing £900. That was too high, so we looked at tweaking things. There were different ways to approach it, one was increasing the conversion rate. If we converted 10% more leads he was OK with the price, and that was the simplest, cheapest and fastest option.
Other questions: which channel do I need better tracking on? (I notice that dental practice owners rarely have tracking on activities other than digital marketing. They don’t track telephone enquiries or contact form submissions or the speed with which an enquiry is turned into a consultation or treatment); which of my marketing activities generate the fastest response? (this might be important if you have a deadline, and might make it possible to justify borrowing money, or diverting funds from other marketing activities); which channels produce short term losses but long term gains? (newspaper ads and outdoor posters build brand awareness, and might drive online traffic and walk-ins, but in a slow burn way that means you have to set different objectives for them).
Which of my channels are the least resource intensive, and — the perennial factor — how does their return on investment look? Sometimes it’s counter intuitive because a Facebook lead might seem like light work, but if it takes multiple phone calls and emails to qualify and convert, maybe it isn’t. Often that time isn’t measured — but a performance and trend analysis would pick it up.
Is there a channel that’s limited by the resources I have available? Again, I’m stating the obvious, but marketing is mainly common sense: if you’re driving new enquiries but can’t service the demand quickly because your clinicians have full diaries, all you’re doing is pouring money away and undermining your reputation.
Finally, which marketing activities can I see growth potential in, were I to invest more money in them? Some will be limited.
These are some of the questions we ask, and they enable us to set targets for our client’s team and their suppliers. People always welcome the data because they like to know how they’re doing. A lot of people, certainly digital marketers, rely on Google analytics, without a bigger picture of the business’s marketing performance. I’m afraid that’s useless in isolation — more traffic might not necessarily mean more business.
To understand where you really are, you do need a performance and trend analysis. If you do one every quarter, by asking the questions above, and deploy your annual marketing budget in quarterly investments, your marketing will get more effective and efficient. After a while the effect could be exponential. If you need help to establish this process, get in touch.