In the past, we’ve noted that failing to market your professional services firm online can be a huge mistake. There are so many cost-effective ways to grow your brand, establish relationships, and generate leads that you simply can’t afford to ignore. However, it’s also true that some professionals and executives fall into the trap of trying to do much more than they should.
When we meet with someone who is attempting to utilize every search, social, and advertising channel online, they’re usually doing it because they have a fear of missing out. They think that if they aren’t doing everything, then they really aren’t doing anything at all. With this mindset, it isn’t long before marketing begins to feel like a black hole that consumes time and money endlessly.
While we do want you to make the most of the marketing channels that make sense for your firm, our advice is to do it in a way that is as efficient as possible. That means controlling costs and measuring ROI very carefully, squeezing the maximum return from the smallest amount of time or money that you can. It involves looking at the available outcome data and matching against exerted effort or expense to see what’s working and what isn’t.
This efficiency-driven approach to marketing might sound like the only rational way to handle things, but it’s not the normal protocol for most professional services firms. Instead, the decision-makers at these companies move forward on hunches and erratic marketing schedules, never really understanding the relationship between what they put into their sales funnel and what they get out of it.
We want you to do better, and we can show you how.
Two Examples of Marketing Efficiency in Action
To get a nuts-and-bolts picture of how efficient marketing works in the real world, take two different examples that might seem familiar.
- Example #1 – a marketer spends six hours going from concept to completion on a social media ad. As a result, they generate a 15% increase in weekly traffic to the website. 5% of those visits convert into qualified leads.
- Example #2 – the same marketer spends 7 hours writing and editing an email newsletter. It doesn’t translate into any direct sales opportunities, but (possibly) contributes to the awareness portion of the firm’s sales funnel.
How can these two activities be made more efficient without losing effectiveness?
For Example #1, there are two points of interest that stand out immediately. The first observation is that six hours is a long time to develop a social media ad. The marketer should definitely look for areas where she can reduce the amount of time developing the campaign.
Once that process has been streamlined, she should look for opportunities to increase the conversion rate that results. For instance, she might change the wording on a landing page, or offer a new call to action.
Example #2 offers ways to increase efficiency as well. As with the social ad, the newsletter is taking a lot of time for a singular marketing activity. To spend seven working hours putting it together means sacrificing other campaigns and ideas.
The marketer in question should also take a look at the output generated. How sure can she be that awareness is being increased substantially through the newsletter? How might she be better able to track results, perhaps through web analytics, UTM codes, or some other medium?
In either case, there are definitely time savings that can be achieved. And, it’s worth pointing out that neither of these activities is likely to become more efficient until the proper steps are taken to measure the expense of time and trace the flow of new opportunities to the sales pipeline.