Get yourself a committed relationship
How committed are your customers and prospects?
Prior to social media and the internet, the only way of gauging the effectiveness of your marketing was either to ask your client how they found you, ask for a promotion code or merely keeping an eye on the sales figures.
It was vague, at best, as you couldn’t differentiate from the effects of marketing, an enthused sales team, great pricing, and strong service levels.
Imagine, however, if you were able to put up a few local area billboards, an advert in the local paper or the Yellow Pages and get analysis on an hourly basis of how many people looked at it, on how long they spent looking at it, which parts they liked or dismissed, and even if that advert led them to get in contact with you?
With that form of analysis, you could direct your marketing spend and know, with some confidence, if it was worth it, or not.
Social Media Analysis
The advent of social media and websites enables you to do this, and tools exist as standard (or as affordable add-ons) to gain this valuable insight – but someone with a modicum of techno savvy (and the time) must keep an eye on it, format it, and report back to your management team.
At a base level, just reporting on your social media activity shares and likes can give you an insight into what your clients like to read about.
Take this further and you can see which posts generated visits to your website.
Website Visitor Analysis
Equally, free tools like GA4 (the new Google Analytics) provide a high level of visit analysis – arguably too detailed - and you can run the risk of suffering from “analysis paralysis” unless you have someone who can give you the headline numbers and explain how they compare to your key performance indicators.
However, once the visitor is on the website, it’s possible to draw on a whole feast of behavioural analysis and tune and adapt your “electronic shop window” accordingly. For example, you can produce heatmaps which show you where clients click, move and scroll the most, which parts they like and, more importantly, which parts “turn them off”.
Behaviour Analysis can (and should) be carried out across all device types (PC, smartphones or tablets). This has never been more important, as we use mobile devices for over 51% of our web searches, and 61% of website visitors won’t return to a website that isn’t mobile friendly. So many websites are poorly rendered for mobile - when was the last time you checked yours?
You can even take live recordings of your users’ visits and literally watch the mouse pointer move through your website, where they paused for thought, where they carried out immediate U-turns, and where they became enraged by broken links.
If you want to know who is visiting, then tools exist which match the visitors IP address to their domain – removing their anonymity. Not only does this help the sales team identify prospects and customers taking time (commitment) to check your site out but you can also keep an eye out for your competition to see what they find most interesting about you.
Quotations & Proposals
Monitoring client commitment has more relevance for merchants tendering for larger contracts or issuing high value quotes. You may well be still producing these quotations and tenders as a word document, or even as a quote from your back-office system. They could take your salesperson a considerable amount of time to produce, and will feature within your pipeline analysis, but how do you know how serious your client is?
You might get a read receipt from the email sent, but did they open the document, did they read the tender or skip directly to bottom line and spend seconds comparing your price against the competition?
You could consider one of the online proposal solutions (this is not for everyday low value quotes) which enables you to produce great looking templated, feature rich web enabled proposals with product images, videos, more about your business and how you can support your client with a quotation embedded (which the client can edit according to your rules – product quantities for example) but most importantly you can see how long they spent reading it, which pages they viewed the longest, how many times they opened it and shared it – all of which provides valuable insight into just how engaged the client is.
Digital Marketing is often seen as a necessary evil by independents, but it’s not just a case of cobbling something together because your competition has. This form of marketing has matured, has become the norm and one of the mainstays for your industry and your customers and prospects – so pay it the respect it deserves – and a major step in achieving this is to monitor and act upon your client’s commitment.