Crunching Numbers, Marketing’s Ugly Stepsister

marketing numbers

When I had finished my degree in Marketing at the University of Miami, I knew that I wanted to pursue an MBA, but in which area? I opted for Finance, because I felt that it was opposite to marketing, and therefore made me a more well-rounded job candidate. Many marketing people have an “ick!” reaction when we start to talk about numbers and analysis, preferring to leave that to the finance geeks, but in reality, doing a thorough analysis is a critical part of the marketing function. It is the only way to know what’s working.

When working with direct response advertising, it is easy to see your results, but with social media, it’s a little more tricky since it’s a softer approach. Nevertheless, there are metrics that you should look at regularly so that you know which strategies are hitting home runs and which are striking out. Here are some numbers to crunch and track:

Who is reading?

If your blog is through WordPress, you have a built-in stats package that will show you how many people are reading your posts, which are most popular and where they are coming from. If you are hosting your own blog or website, you can install Google Analytics to get the same information.

Who is contributing?

Track how many comments you get on your blog. The more comments, the more your audience is interacting and engaging with you, which is a good thing. You may even want to write a controversial post to elicit feedback and spark discussion. You may also want to consider soliciting user generated content in the form of articles, photos or videos to increase reader engagement and build your community.

Who is subscribing?

When someone subscribes to your RSS feed, that person is more likely to be a hard-core fan, and may become a community leader or brand advocate, so it is important to know who they are and how many you have of them.

Who is recommending?

You can get tremendous amounts of traffic when readers recommend your site on Del.icio.us, Reddit, and Stumbleupon. Encourage them to do so by providing clickable social bookmarking icons. Then you can track how many people are using them by running a click map report. Alternatively, you can go to each of the social bookmarking sites, set up a profile and search for yourself.

Who is linking?

WordPress allows you to see which sites are linking to your blog (in the Stats tab from your dashboard). You can also go to Technorati, the top blog search engine and search for your domain, or you can go to Google, Yahoo or MSN and in the search box, type in link:http://www.yourdomain.com.

Who is connecting?

On social media network sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram, you can keep track of how many people are connecting/friending/following, and you can also see your total profile visits and other stats.

Keep your stats in a spreadsheet, and graph it to get a visual picture of what is going on. If there are certain posts that are getting better results, then you can look at the comments to see what it is that is creating the spike in interest, and you can focus more on that topic. You should also map your web/blog promotion efforts against your traffic to see what is giving you the most bang for your time. Are your tweets driving people or should you be focusing your efforts on LinkedIn groups? Your numbers will tell you. As you continue to promote your company and blog, at the very least, looking at your stats will make you feel good to look at how far you’ve come.

Let Pro Creative create content that will make your numbers skyrocket.

Know Thy Customer

When preparing any kind of sales, marketing or customer service communication, you need to understand what the customer or prospect wants, needs and fears. What problem does your product or service solve for her? What alternative products would she consider and why?

Ask for Customer Feedback

Don’t be afraid to talk to customers and ask them. If a prospect ends up not buying from you, ask what factored into his decision. When a customer cancels a regular service with you, conduct an exit interview to find out what went wrong. If it’s not practical to talk to customers directly, then talk to your salespeople. They are a great source for customer questions, feedback and objections. Examine social media posts referencing your brand as well as online reviews. Do the same for your competitors to see what their customers like and don’t like about them.

It’s also important to continue to survey customers continually. Their attitudes and needs may change as a result of new competitors, substitute products, cultural shifts and economic conditions. You may also have a new product or service that could benefit from customer feedbackc.

Incorporate what you learn into web copy, emails, sales scripts, presentations, brochures, and any other non-billing outreach communication. Be consistent and persistent in communicating. It takes multiple exposures to information and ideas before a prospect will take action. The goal is for prospects to reach out to the company via web form, email, phone or in person. This will hopefully lead to a future sale.

Take notes and give them to your professional copywriter, who will use this information to create headlines and sales copy that effectively motivates prospects.

Finding Your Brand’s Personality

brand personality

One of the things that makes your brand memorable is consistency. Your brand, like an individual, should have a personality that is based on your product or service category, industry, target customers and competition (in that it is different from them). Every marketing or sales communication from your brand, whether it is spoken, written or non-verbal (visual, scent, auditory) should convey this unique personality, in what we marketers call a voice.

The voice of your brand will have a tone (reassuring, confident, brash, playful, laid back), and this will dictate the words that you use. A playful or laid back brand voice will use contractions to be less formal and simpler words, even in some cases, slang or emojis. A conservative, trustworthy voice will use more formal language and more sophisticated vocabulary.

What determines your brand personality?

There are a variety of things that factor into the right brand voice. For small businesses in particular, the brand culture and its voice come from its founder(s). What kind of person founded the company and what values did he or she infuse into its DNA? Next, consider the products and services that the company sells. A company that sells surfboards is going to have a very different voice from one that sells private banking.

Along these same lines, consider the customers. Are they buying from you to have fun (ie. entertainment), for basic life (ie. groceries) or for security (life insurance)? What demographic and psychographic profile do they fall into?

Finally, think about where your company falls in relation to competitors and the market in general. Are you the market leader that has been around from the beginning or are you the brash, new upstart?

Let Pro Creative identify your company’s unique personality and voice for highly effective marketing communication.