Get ahead – make the most of your enquiries

Get Ahead - Make the most of your enquiries  with joined-up marketing from BSAOne of the most challenging aspects of growing new business can be finding interested, relevant people to sell to. When someone makes an enquiry about your company and its products/services, the enquiry represents an interested person – on a plate! But often people will miss the chance to make the most of the opportunity. For many businesses, responding to an enquiry can mean little more than sending out some literature. In fact, a joined-up approach to marketing which is fully integrated into your business is a key to success.

Let’s get some data…

We undertook a research project. We made enquiries to 185 businesses offering a wide range of products and services across the UK all of which were relevant to our business. We then sat back and waited for their response. The results were interesting:

  • 44% of companies failed to respond at all within 4 weeks.
  • Only 12% responded within 7 days and of these only half responded with a high quality, professional package with a personalised letter/email and specific information relating directly to our enquiry.
  • Less than 1 in 5 of companies who responded at all followed up our enquiry with a phone call.

An enquiry certainly represents a business opportunity but you have to put some effort in to make the most of it. Another study revealed that an average enquiry can take 5 follow-up contacts before you make any progress while most people give up after 2.

A measure of marketing cost-effectiveness

So far, I have looked at individual enquiries but enquiries also offer another opportunity – analysis of the cost-effectiveness of your spend on marketing. Not making the most of enquiries not only represents missed business opportunity, it also reduces the benefit gained from marketing. Is it worth spending money to generate enquiries if they are not going to be used? Marketing has 2 main objectives:

  1. Building Company Awareness & Profile.
  2. Generating Enquiries.

Which of these objectives is the priority will depend upon individual circumstances and goals. In this post, I am primarily concerned with enquiries. Growth in company profile is certainly measurable through Market Awareness Research and analysis of email marketing logs but here we are focussed on direct Business Development. Monitoring where enquiries come from, and following them through to a positive (or negative) conclusion allows easy analysis of the direct benefits that come from the marketing. If the marketing is not giving you what you want (assuming you have given it enough time to develop) then perhaps it would be appropriate to review your approach and make some changes?

What to do…

Making the most of enquiries requires 3 key elements:

  1. An efective Marketing Database to record and track progress with enquiries. (The database can be anything from a simple spreadsheet to a dedicated marketing management system – as long as it suits you and it works!)
  2. A consistent approach to enquiries; a Website and/or Literature that effectively set out your offering, personalised letters and email, direct mail, email marketing and direct contact (by telephone and/or face to face) combine to ensure effective qualification of the enquiry and then to develop it through to a conclusion.
  3. Regular review and analysis of results to check:
  • The consistent approach to individual enquiries is being effectively applied to make the most of each enquiry.
  • Which marketing activity is giving you what you want, and which isn’t.

With this information, the effectiveness of future budgets can be improved. Making the most of enquiries is a process, not an event. If you want to see how BSA marketing can help you make sure your marketing is joined-up, give us a call

How many passengers, answer to the BSA Brain Teaser

To see the Brain Teaser, click here The answer may surprise you:

23

If there are at least 23 people on a bus, there is a better than 50:50 chance that 2 of them will share the same birthday.

Here is the maths if you are interested:

Pick a passenger at random (or the driver for that matter, or even the conductor!) Their birthday is BD1. Now pick another person. The chance that their birthday is also BD1 is 1 in 365 (remember, no leap years). This means that the chance that their birthday (chanceBD2) is NOT BD1 is 364 /365. Now pick a third person and repeat. The chance that they have yet another, different birthday (chanceBD3) is 363 /365, and so on to chance BD4, chanceBD5 .. etc. If you can think back to probability lessons at school, to calculate the chance of getting Result 1 AND Result 2 (assuming they are mutually exclusive) you multiply them together. So we multiply chanceBD2 x chanceBD3 x chanceBD4 etc. OR 364/365 x 363/365 x 362 /365…. etc. If we carry on up to and including chanceBD23 the sum calculates to 0.4927 or 49.27% In other words, there is a 49.27% chance that all 23 people have different birthdays OR, to put it another way, a 50.73% (better than 50:50) chance that they don’t all have different birthdays (i.e. at least 2 of them have the same birthday. So yet again, Barak has won the day.

In today's world, what is Search Engine Optimisation?

Ask people what they think of when they hear the phrase Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and it is likely that their list will include:

  • Keyword research
  • Ensuring keywords are well represented on the page
  • Meta tag optimisation
  • Link building
  • Doing stuff to get my site to the top of Google listings

With this in mind, when I saw that a leading SEO company was doing a briefing entitled “What’s Really Included in An SEO’s Job” I thought it would be worth a look. And it was….! To paraphrase what the briefing says they are saying

"SEO involves anything that helps to achieve your marketing goals"

Or in other words:

S.E.O. = MARKETING

SEO is no longer the domain of technicians who can identify killer keywords, tweak your website to include these phrases and then hire someone to build a few or a lot of (low quality) links.

Although keyphrases are still an important part of the process, it is now MUCH broader than that. It’s about ensuring that your brand and on-line reputation are such that you are seen as an expert in your field and that web users searching your information relevant to your market will want to find your website.

In other words it is about developing and pursuing a joined-up approach to marketing. One that ensures you have a clear message that is interesting and appealing to your market, and that this message is communicated effectively to your target market.

Joined-up marketing is our thing! Call us if you want to have a chat.