Earlier this year, our digital strategist revealed that certain highly touted marketing strategies weren’t worth the investment. Now, we all know that not all marketing strategies are equal. Some, though more expensive, are worth the price, while others lack the return on investment you expect to see.
So how can you achieve the highest ROI with your marketing?
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By placing a microscope on your marketing, you’ll be able to avoid marketing efforts that result in little-to-no customer response and a severely diminished marketing budget.
Check out these three simple ways to avoid money-sucking marketing mistakes.
1. You Don’t Have Copy That Sells
At some point in time, you’ve probably heard the expression, “words matter”. It’s true. So much of our history is built on words. The power of speech and of the written word is apparent by it. It’s how we learn and develop as humans. Consider a few of the most powerful phrases in history:
“I have a dream.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” – Ronald Reagan
“The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” – Rosa Parks
These historic influencers used powerful words to evoke a powerful response. They were commanding, they told a story, and they raised curiosity. Your copy can have similar effects if utilized correctly.
That might sound like a bit of an exaggeration, but the truth is, there are powerful words that can be utilized to make your marketing more effective and your copy more persuasive. Your copy can be commanding, it can tell a story, and it can raise curiosity.
You might know the importance of well-placed incentives and the power of dropping a first name, but do you know that there are scientific studies on the power of words? I can tell you right now which words are more likely to evoke a response and where to use them!1
In 1978, Harvard psychology professor, Ellen Langer, tested the power of a single word.2 She completed an entire research study on the word “because”, proving that it evoked a response from people around her and she was able to accomplish more, faster, simply because she used that word.
So what words could you be using to evoke responses from your current and prospective customers? Studies show that words that promote exclusivity, urgency, and scarcity get higher responses. Speaking to the potential customers with words like you, yours, and their first name is more likely to catch their attention and encourage them to continue reading.
Consider the following:
“Because you have been carefully selected to receive our exclusive offers, you and only you can receive these sensational discounts for a limited time. But hurry. You don’t want to miss this amazing opportunity – it’s only available for 17 hours!”
“Because”, “selected”, “exclusive offers”, “you”, “sensational”, “limited time”, “opportunity”, “only available for”, etc. are all words that have been proven to convert.3
Don’t underestimate the power of a word or sentence. If you feel your marketing isn’t achieving the results you need, you must start by evaluating the copy.
2. You’re Targeting the Wrong People
Ninety-seven percent of organizations use data for their businesses and 94% of those organizations report data challenges or inaccuracies.4 In fact, 69% of these organizations reported that those inaccuracies negatively impacted customer trust and perception. Their data is targeting the wrong people and they’re losing customers because of it. Their data is “dirty” and it’s muddying up their marketing strategies – and losing money. The same goes for dealerships like yours.
In 2016, poor quality data cost the U.S. an estimated $3.1 TRILLION.5 If any of the customer data in your DMS is inaccurate, you ARE losing money. In the data analytics world, the term “garbage in, garbage out” is a common expression. It’s a simple way of saying that inaccurate data will produce inaccurate results. If you have dirty data in your DMS, your marketing will be garbage, turning away current customers, negatively effecting conquest customers, and ruining your ROI.
To make sure your data is “clean”, it’s important to ensure that it’s being entered correctly. If it’s not entered correctly, you’re already screwed. You probably already know that!
Once the data has been entered, it’s important to maintain it. Make sure that your DMS is updated regularly and that the information it holds is accurate by conducting a quarterly audit. If you neglect this process, your data analytics will be inaccurate and – you guessed it – your marketing will be garbage!
Finally, make sure you have solid data analytics. Data analytics should be able to filter out some of the garbage so that you can get the best results from your marketing and target the exact audience you need to for the best ROI. If you don’t have a good process or source for data analytics you’ll end up with inaccurate results and your marketing will go out to wrong customers, the same customers, and even non-existent customers.
3. You Haven’t Found a Balance
Part of creating a solid target audience is making sure you find a healthy balance between current and prospective customers.
As you probably know, targeting previous customers will typically result in higher response rates. It’s also cheaper! Because customer retention can be significantly less expensive than acquiring new customers, it’s tempting to focus on your current customer base rather than venture out into the world of conquest marketing. When customer retention becomes the primary focus for a dealer, overall sales will steadily decline. This is because, no matter how hard you try, there will always be some previous customers that cannot be retained. To fill in these gaps and to build on your current customer base, you need a strategy that will gain new customers.
Acquiring new customers can be one of the most difficult aspects of any marketing campaign, but acquiring new customers on a regular basis is essential to your dealership’s growth.6
It is crucial that a dealership find the balance between marketing to previous customers and targeting prospective customers. Retaining and acquiring customers is a cycle: once new customers are attained, the focus shifts to maintaining a long-term relationship with them and retaining their business. Then, the dealership can build on that customer foundation and continue acquiring new customers.
Neither a conquest nor a retention strategy works by itself; there needs to be a healthy balance between the two to keep increasing the company’s growth and profitability. The key to finding this balance is to learn just how many customers you lose each year and fill that void by using a conquest marketing strategy that works. By finding that balance and using the tools necessary to market efficiently, you will save both time and money and enjoy the results.
You Can Stop Losing Money
Ask yourself what’s working and what isn’t. If your copy is weak, your data is dirty, or your list is unbalanced, your marketing doesn’t have a chance. Stop letting your marketing dollars go to waste. Try using more powerful words or doing a maintenance check on your database. See if you’re erring too much on one side of the previous and conquest marketing tightrope. By remedying these marketing hazards, you’ll be able to save your marketing from the trash and increase your ROI for each marketing effort.