Be an Ethical Entrepreneur, Marketer, and Business Builder

Small Business Marketing – Lead Generators and Implementation

So far I’ve addressed the structure for your Marketing System, your company’s Vision, Mission, and Culture, and how to develop a Strategy and Clarity in your marketing plan. Finally, we get to look at actually generating leads. When you think marketing, this is what pops into your head. Yellow page ads, trade shows, direct mail campaigns, e-mail marketing, Google Adwords, websites, magazine ads, Television, and newspaper ads are a few that come to mind.

At this point, we’re not going to discuss how to create great copy, structure strong offers, or even track the response. At this point in your Marketing System you need to simply outline your Lead Generators according to each revenue stream along with all of the steps for implementation. So how do we do this? There are basically 3 steps.

  1. Write down all of your current marketing programs.
  2. Track which revenue streams each program markets.
  3. Outline all of the steps to effectively implement each marketing piece.

At this point you should already have 3-5 primary revenue streams for your business. Keep in mind, when I say Revenue Streams, that does not mean 3-5 products or services. Each stream can have dozens of products or services, think of a stream more like an area of expertise. Most strong businesses can’t effectively become experts in more than 3-5 areas.

Obviously some of your marketing will overlap revenue streams such as a Yellow Pages ad (though these are dying or already dead for a lot of businesses), Trade Show, or Google Adwords. Your website and direct online marketing, such as Google Adwords, that leads people to your website should have a specific page to address each revenue stream (area of expertise).

So to get an idea of what the Lead Sources and Implementation stage looks like, here’s a quick example. For this example I’ll assume I’m a flooring company who resells and installs flooring.

  1. Revenue Stream #1 – Residential Flooring
    1. Direct Mail Postcards
      1. Goal – Get consumer to come to our showroom.
      2. Budget – $1500
      3. Timeline – Will be mailed first week of May with a follow-up post card 2 weeks later.
      4. Pricing/Offer – Free upgrade to premium option with post card for the next 30 days.
      5. Sales Training – Sales Leader will introduce at next week’s team meeting to all sales, office, and service personnel
      6. 4.5 Points of Copy –
        1. Problem – Worn out, unattractive, hard-to-maintain flooring.
        2. Solution – Newer options that are easier to keep clean and look much better.
        3. Why us – Best Reputation <Testimonials>, Best Prices <guaranteed>, Professional installers
        4. Why now – It’s our slow time of the year so we can afford to upgrade your flooring choice for free.
        5. Risk Free – Stop in or have one of our flooring experts visit your home for a risk-free assessment and quote.
      7. Tracking – Offer is only available on this card
    2. Radio Ad
      1. Goal – Get consumer to visit our showroom
      2. Budget – $300/week
      3. Timeline – 30 :30 second spots per week thru April, May, and June.
      4. Pricing/Offer – Half price carpet padding
      5. Sales Training – Marketing leader will introduce to team at 3/31 Team Meeting.
      6. 4.5 Points of Copy –
        1. Problem – Worn out, unattractive, hard-to-maintain flooring.
        2. Solution – Newer options that are easier to keep clean and look much better.
        3. Why us – Best Reputation <Testimonials>, Best Prices <guaranteed>, Professional installers
        4. Why now – N/A (not enough time to address in 30 seconds)
        5. Risk Free – Stop in or have one of our flooring experts visit your home for a risk-free assessment and quote.
      7. Tracking – Offer only available through radio. Have flooring experts ask people if they listen to 103.7.

And you would continue to do the same thing for each Revenue Stream and Lead Source while keeping your Target Customer, USP, and Positioning Strategy in mind for each step of implementation. In your manual, you’ll want to keep a copy of the Direct Mail Postcard and script of the radio commercial. Preferably your manual will also be digital so you can store an MP3 of your actual radio ad along with a print-ready PDF of your postcard so you can tweak and reuse. Your manual will also include the results of your ad. Those results will include the # of leads, # of sales, and total $ amount of those sales. You’ll compare those numbers to your total cost of the lead source to determine what you paid to buy each customer along with the $ in sales/$ in marketing. The most important number to determine the effectiveness of that lead source and whether you’ll invest in this marketing again is the dollars of revenue generated per dollar in marketing spent. I generally keep all of this information in a single spreadsheet aggregated for the year called my Marketing Analysis spreadsheet that looks something like this:

Lead Source       Date Ran     Cost     # of Leads     # of Sales     $ in Sales     Cost per Lead     Cost per Sale     $ in Sales per $ in Marketing

Direct Mail PC    5/5/11        $750          7                       3                 $9,237             $107                      $250                               $12.32

To learn more about theses numbers and the math involved reference my previous blog on Scientific Advertising. Since you’ve never done this before, getting your marketing manual up-to-speed will take some time and effort. However it’s worth its weight in gold and it’s a commitment to work ON your business that will make your life easier and more profitable down the road. Once your manual is together, maintaining it with habitual rigor will be a lot easier. Make it habit to reference your manual before doing any marketing and then updating it afterward.

Another major benefit is that you can train someone else to take over your marketing with ease. Whether that person is a team member, ad agency, or even a new owner because you decided to sell your business, providing a Marketing System Manual will be the most valuable item you can pass along to them and they know it. As a business broker I can testify that small businesses who have created manuals, systems, and processes like these throughout their business will ALWAYS fetch a higher price than a similar business without these in place.

To your marketing success, Bryan