One of the hardest decisions business owners make is how to allocate marketing dollars. We know that marketing is essential to the success of our business because customers are not going to find us unless they see and hear our names over and over. However, marketing can be expensive, which is tough on a small business. In addition, it is hard to track which marketing methods work and which do not, which means it is even more difficult to know where to put those dollars.
Track It All
The most important rule in marketing is to track what you are doing. Every new person that walks through your door should be asked how they heard about you, and that data needs to be collected and organized. However, the information gathered should be taken with a grain of salt. For example, a new client may have heard your name from a friend, then listened to your ad on the radio before going to Google in order to read your reviews. When asked, she is likely to mention only one of those three contacts. However, if you gather this data from every client and track it over months and years, you will develop a clear idea of which marketing channels generate the most leads. Once you have that data, choose the top 2-3 in which to invest the bulk of your marketing dollars. This will ensure that you are getting the most return for your money.
Spread It Around
Studies show that people need to hear or see your name an average of eight times before they will pick up the phone and call for an appointment. That does mean that you need your ads to be spread around your community. The good news is that there are a number of ways in which you can market yourself and get your name into your surrounding area without spending lots of money.