“How do I find more customers?”
Whenever I hear that, I want to jump up and down and shout:
“That’s the wrong question!”
There are two much, much better questions.
1. How do I RETAIN and sell more to my existing customers?
2. How do I know when customers find me?
The reasons these are better questions are:
It costs up to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one.
Over 80% of consumer conversations are invisible to businesses*.
We are no longer in control of how our businesses are discovered, perceived or evaluated.
Most businesses have no idea how people find them.
They don’t know how many people find them but don’t go on to buy from them.
Crucially, if someone doesn’t buy, they don’t know WHY.
If they do buy, the business doesn’t know why, or how to keep them coming back for more.
What’s the answer?
We need to make it easy for relevant** people to find us.
When they find us we need to know what they see that influences them to buy or not to buy.
If they buy, we need to know how they influence future potential buyers.
This is GOOD news – really it is!
For most small businesses, marketing has always been a hit and miss affair.
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half. John Wanamaker, (attributed)
Department store owner (1838 – 1922)
Today, the tools available to target advertising with real accuracy are cheap and easy to use.
More importantly, the tools to analyse the results are built in.
It’s relatively easy to understand the whole process that your customers go through (known as the customer journey) and to see what works and what doesn’t.
Most businesses already have these tools available – we just need to get smarter about using them!
What you need to get started
Google Analytics on your website – its free
A CRM (Contract Relationship Management) System – there are lots and many are free
An email marketing system – e.g. Mailchimp – its free
Customer surveys – many are free
Social data – real data from social media channels (not bullshit data which is all too prevalent)
With a bit of insight you’ll soon start to see why “How do I find more customers?” is a crazy question and you’ll get comfortable with understanding how they find you, and what happens when they do!
*Source: The New Marketing Reality (Watson IBM)
**Relevant people are those who are looking for what you have to sell