Improve Marketing with One Question

You can improve marketing by asking one key question. The answer should drive your marketing focus.

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half” – John Wanamaker

In today’s information age and easy analytics, this statement doesn’t have to be true anymore. We can find a way to ensure that you understand how well every marketing dollar you spend is doing. The key is measurement.

The Question: How Did You Hear About Us?

Ask every single customer that question.  It’s that simple.

How did you hear about us?

This is probably going to be one of the most enlightening things you’ve done to understand your business.

You should do this for every single new customer, and if you have existing customers that you don’t know this answer for you can ask this question after the fact.  If you don’t think you can ask every single customer because you have thousands of them, then focus on asking the highest value customers.

You can also tag on some other useful questions, like what kinds of purchases are being made or customer satisfaction and feedback recommendations.  It’s amazing how much customers like being asked to tell you how you’re doing.

How To Do This In Your Business?

Brick and mortar: have your cashiers ask, have a questionnaire on the credit card machine, put a survey on the receipt, have it as a question on the customer sign-up form.

Online: Use Google analytics, pixels, or a survey/poll system like SurveyMonkey or use a WordPress Forms Plugin.

B2B: For any RFQ or quote activity have this be a question, send customers an email survey.

Food truck or mobile business: Have an app that notifies customers of your location and put the question in the app, send customer emails, use social media.

Do you have a social media page?  Ask the question there.

Do you sell software?  Easy, make it part of the setup phase.

You can always call them and ask.  Include some sort of customer satisfaction survey or follow-up campaign as part of the effort.

OK, I asked, Now What? – Improve Marketing

GREAT! Go find more people in the same place.  If you collected any comparable information, such as how much money they’ve spent with you, then you can prioritize and improve marketing efforts to get more high spenders.

This basic concept of understanding where every single customer is coming from will be one of the keys to any successful marketing department.  The more of this type of work you do now, the better of your entire organization is going to be in the long run.  It’s amazing what marketing programs you will probably cut out of your marketing budget after doing this.

Watch for Changes in Trends

If you regularly get 20% of your new customers through google search results, and suddenly you see a drop-off in the number of new customers you’re getting, then it’s time to figure out why.  You can easily track the trends of any metric using a Control Chart.

Where will your business be in six months?

Wouldn't it be nice if you could predict what your P&L and Cash balance will be six months from now? How about if you could try a few decision scenarios you have in mind and see how they impact that prediction? We do that. We do forecasting and scenario planning.

Companies with accurate forecasts are more efficient, more effective,
more profitable, and make better decisions.

Send a note to: and we'll schedule time to discuss what you can get from an accurate forecast and how we can help you make some better business decisions.

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