What is the value of a lead?

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Every firm needs customers, and every customer begins as a lead. So leads are fundamental to business success. But too many executives don’t understand what leads are, or how to value them well enough to make smart investment decisions.

Leads are blocks of information connecting seller and prospect. Unless your business makes all its sales during a first inbound contact, you are going to have leads. But how you handle them—that’s where the profit lies.

Leads are valuable. Firms invest a lot of money generating or buying them. But what should you pay for a lead? What is the price at which are you equally willing to purchase the lead or let it go to a competitor? Sales and marketing managers must understand a lead’s value to avoid over-paying or under-buying sales leads.

Several approaches to lead value calculation are available, based on your firm’s primary sales objective. Are you going for growth, market share, or profit? Your answer to this question will influence not only how you pursue sales, but also how to evaluate your sales leads.

Companies Going for Growth

Growth firms typically set their growth strategies by planning to generate a fixed number of sales. For example, a 1,000-customer firm targeting 30% growth wants 1,300 customers. Adding a few hundred to account for lost sales or cancellations, this firm may determine that it should try to acquire 500 new customers in the period.
To back your way into the number of leads required, divide the number of new customers by your close rate. If this hypothetical 500 new customer firm has a close rate of 10%, they need 5,000 leads. The marketing department’s mission is to acquire them at the lowest possible cost. The value of a lead to this firm is the next highest price from any alternate lead source until the 5,000 lead target is met, and then zero once the full 5,000 leads are purchased. In short, the value of a lead for a growth firm is a step function: The lead value is very high until the growth target is reached, and zero thereafter.

When Your Objective is Market Share

Market share oriented firms are looking for their slice of the industry; it’s not a fixed number of new customers. They will approach leads similarly to a growth-guided firm, but the target number will shift periodically as the market size shifts. Thus, the market share firm’s goal will differ month to month.

The calculation is similar to the growth firm scenario, but it requires some fancy footwork to apply. Lead value will still be a step function, but the step size moves very quickly. You will still divide the number of new customers desired by the close ratio, but you’ll be working with a very short term lead target. Because this target moves, the marketing department needs considerable flexibility to keep adjusting the lead requirements.

Firms That Strike a Balance

Most firms seek the highest number of profitable customers, irrespective of whether they are going for growth or share. These firms purchase leads to the point at which customer acquisition cost equals customer lifetime value. When these two goals reach equilibrium, the firm stops buying leads.

In such situations, you can compute the value of a lead by knowing your salesperson costs, your close rate, and the value of an account, and applying the following formula.

Lead Value = (Account Value – Salesperson Cost) * Close Rate

This is the lead pricing formula. With this in hand, plus an understanding of your primary sales goal, you will be well on your way to an accurate assessment of how much to pay for a lead.

Source: Jeff Feuer

Complete Media Inc is a Sioux Falls marketing, advertising, website design and web hosting company specializing in web design, maintenance and hosting services.

We help small businesses make more money. Learn more.

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Improve Your Closing Ratios with Marketing

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On average, it takes 75 cold calls to make one sale to a net new customer.

Recently I was speaking at an event and a sales rep selling training services noted that in her industry the number is closer to 1 in 125. Either way, the numbers are high!

On average, clients see a closing ratio of 1:2 for referred leads and 1:5 for call-ins. Knowing that, wouldn’t it be better for everyone to change your sales strategy to focus on increasing referred leads and calls-ins?

How can you get more referrals? As a quick tip: ask for them every day. Most sales people I coach don’t have a habit of asking for referrals regularly, nor do they have a referral strategy that is consistently executed. Therefore, most sales reps don’t have a consistent flow of referred leads into their business.

How can you increase call-ins? Write. Take some time to write a few quick tip articles that are relevant to your client base and can help them grow their business. If you have convention space at a hotel, write about the “Top 10 Things to Consider When Booking Your Next Convention;” if you sell lawn tractor equipment, try “The Best 5 Ways to Ensure a Healthy Lawn This Summer.” The options are endless, and the trade magazines that serve your customer base are hungry for content.

I have found that writing and publishing articles are the best ways to get customers to call you. Why? Because the articles you write define you as an expert in your field and position you as a valuable partner, not just a sales person. The more often your articles appear online or in print, the more relevant you become to your clients and prospects, and the more they will want to do business with you.

Don’t wait for your marketing department to write for you. Do it you yourself. Start with a five-tip article that focuses in your area. Write out the five points first, and then add a paragraph or two of detail below each. You will end up with a 250-500 word article perfect for publishing. Be sure to send to all the relevant trade publications (online and off) with your contact information and website!

Source: Colleen Francis

Complete Media Inc is a Sioux Falls marketing, advertising, website design and web hosting company specializing in web design, maintenance and hosting services.

We help small businesses make more money. Learn more.

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The Big Impact of Small Business Marketing in Sioux Falls

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Collaborative Effort with Clients Reaps Economic Dividends

Recently, our marketing and advertising agency in Sioux Falls put a pencil as to how the clients we represent impact the local Sioux Falls economy. What we discovered is a multi-million dollar ramification that cannot be ignored.

In 2016, the combined trackable revenue growth among our just over one hundred clients was $6,306,893.91.

Additionally, if one assumes the typical business designates 1% of their profit towards charitable giving, that translates into $643,068.00 in donations among Complete Media clients. The typical client staff averages fewer than a dozen.

For over fifteen years, our Sioux Falls advertising agency has been working to assist our clients with all aspects of marketing, advertising, and business development by offering services including graphic design, copywriting, web development, video production, media services, public relations, campaign management, and event planning.

Several years ago, our owner and president, Matt Luke, recognized a certain segment of the local business community was being underserved when it came to marketing and advertising. Small businesses often do not have the luxury of hiring traditional agencies, so they either do little to no marketing, have only sporadic, piecemeal campaigns, or try to manage marketing efforts themselves, along with all of the other day-to-day business operations. Matt decided rather than continue to cater to any and all businesses, our company would focus on those businesses which needed marketing support and a feasible option by which to afford professional agency services.

Over the past several years, we have courted, attracted, and partnered with small- to medium-sized businesses, many family-operated, and all but a few locally based. Our agency focuses on trackable strategies providing the best return based on the client’s budget. This approach tends to emphasize online positioning and branding versus promotional product development and intermittent media campaigns — not to their exclusion, but rather implemented on an investment return basis and affordability to execute with necessary frequency. It’s a win-win for the business and the community.

Complete Media Inc is a Sioux Falls marketing, advertising, website design and web hosting company specializing in web design, maintenance and hosting services.

We help small businesses make more money. Learn more.

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Marketing Strategy: Making A Smart Investment

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A marketer can easily fill up their day with a plethora of so-called “marketing tasks.” Post to Facebook, retweet a twitter mention, send out emails to prospects and clients – these tasks can be very valuable for a company, but too often they are used merely as hopeful shots in the dark instead of part of a distinct marketing strategy. Just like a financial investment, marketers need to start paying more attention to the specific financial goals of their business and investing in their strategy accordingly.

A Change Of Mindset

First and foremost, marketing is an investment. You only get out of it, what you put into it. Therefore CMOs need to begin looking at marketing as the financial investment that it is towards meeting the goals of the business. When you make a financial investment you investigate the risk potential, growth expectations, and your portfolio as a whole. When looking at your marketing spend and strategy, you can start with the same discussions.

To think of it in another way, look around your business at the way investment fundamentals are applied all around you. Why is this not the case in marketing as well? Forget the way that marketing is typically done. Forget what your company has focused marketing dollars on in the past. Then open yourself up to the possibilities that a creative marketing investment can have.

Goal Alignment

Now you’re ready to start getting your goals and your marketing investment in line. But first, make sure that you have the right goals. Of course, this depends on your business. A new business will need to focus more of their investment on brand awareness. You’ll need to make a splash in the market and get your name out there. your marketing spend in that area will be high because your primary goals is brand awareness.

But for most established businesses, awareness is only a portion of the marketing spend. Too often, businesses are focused on the wrong marketing metrics. You see that you’ve gained a bunch of Facebook likes, or you’re getting a lot of return visits to your website. These are positive things, but do they align to your goals? Marketers tend to focus their investment of marketing dollars on the channel itself – whether boosting search rankings or building an email list. But was your goal to create a higher search ranking? Or was your goal to use search rankings as a way to build leads and conversions?

Your marketing strategy needs to be relative meeting the financial goals of your company. If your company is looking for slow and steady growth, you can invest your marketing budget accordingly. But if you really want to get your business off the ground quickly, you’ll have to ramp up your spending for your maximum return.

Execution And Adjustment

Now that you have your focus for your investment from the goals of your business, you’re ready to get started ramping up your marketing strategy. Don’t limit yourself. Your mix of marketing strategy is dependent upon your business, of course, but consider every channel and it’s effectiveness for you.

Make sure you have the right tools in place to measure the return on the investment you’ve made. When you make a financial investment, you will always have these tools in place, so why wouldn’t you have these in place for marketing investment? Again, be focused on the right metrics and making sure you have a system in place to see the results of your hard work. Then you can make the adjustments needed in your strategy. You can identify where the issues are in your marketing funnel and change your marketing investment based on that information.

Conclusion

Thinking of your marketing as an investment, makes you shift your thinking for your marketing strategy and budget. You are only going to get out of it what you put into it – so invest wisely.

A marketer can easily fill up their day with a plethora of so-called “marketing tasks.” Post to Facebook, retweet a twitter mention, send out emails to prospects and clients – these tasks can be very valuable for a company, but too often they are used merely as hopeful shots in the dark instead of part of a distinct marketing strategy. Just like a financial investment, marketers need to start paying more attention to the specific financial goals of their business and investing in their strategy accordingly.

Source: Mike McDermott

Complete Media Inc is a Sioux Falls marketing, advertising, website design and web hosting company specializing in web design, maintenance and hosting services.

We help small businesses make more money. Learn more.

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Without Tracking, Your Marketing Dollars Are Pointless

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I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Dan Farris, our Outreach Director, tell a business owner that if they don’t know what their marketing dollars are doing for them, just stop all together and see what happens. That’s exactly what J.C. Penny did with their catalog in 2010 when they discontinued its production. According to an article by Sam Sanders, J.C. Penny is now bringing it back for a select group of customers. They noticed that their online sales decreased in the last five years and after some research, determined the decline was caused by the discontinued catalog.

J.C. Penney spokeswoman Kate Coultas tells Sam Sanders with NPR, “Our research has shown that our customers, particularly when it comes to looking at home merchandise, still prefer to browse a traditional print piece but then go online to order the item or go into our store.” You need to know and understand your target market and how they tick. Five years ago the world was going digital so the decision J.C. Penny made to discontinue the catalog was solid. It’s a good thing they put tracking elements in place to see what was working and what wasn’t. It’s all about a return on investment.

Our team at Complete Media does this day in and day out. It’s all about analyzing the market and using our client’s marketing dollars in the most efficient way possible. When you think about it, what’s the point in investing in your marketing when you don’t know what it’s returning to you?

Super Bowl Sunday: Just As Big A Day For Advertisers As Players

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Gone are the days where a Super Bowl commercial was enough to make an impact and grow your business. If you want to make a splash in the marketing world this weekend, you need to have a full blown online campaign as well as real time marketing. Talk about being on your toes! The most iconic moment of real time advertising and what really started the trend was the Oreo tweet during the Super Bowl black out.

I have Twitter but am frequenting the site less and less, except on big advertising days such as this. I can guarantee you I will be following my feed closely to see what the major companies come up with. Some companies, such as Papa Johns don’t even plan on purchasing a commercial. They are putting all their time and money into an online campaign. Click here to read an article about Mountain Dew and their Super Bowl plans. It’s fascinating to see the advertising world evolve. I am more excited to pay attention to the advertising and commercials than the actual game this Sunday! But if I have to, go Seahawks!

Are You Choosing the Right Color For Your Brand?

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A vital part of any great brand are the colors that are thoughtfully chosen to represent a business. Target has their iconic red, Ford with the blue, and then there are the Golden Arches of McDonalds. These colors were chosen for a specific purpose and when it comes to choosing a color to represent your brand, there are many things to consider.

Color is the first sensory touch point with a customer or client. A customer will make a quick judgement of your business on just the color of your marketing materials. They may not realize that the color plays a part, but it does.

Choosing a color to represent your brand and business goes beyond the realm of artistic choice. You can find colors that fit your demographic and have a better chance of standing out among competition. I challenge you to take some time from your busy schedules and note what kind of colors your competitors are using and what you think they are trying to represent with those colors.

Here is a resource that you can use to find what colors are associated with what psychological properties. http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psychological-properties-of-colours

Does the color of your logo and branding materials represent the kind of business you are or the type of product you are selling? If you need help or are ready for a change in your corporate identity Complete Media is here to help you build a better brand and make you more money!

Why You Have to Track Your Marketing Results Starting Now!

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It is easy to get excited with all the amazing marketing tools the internet can offer a business and forget to keep track of what is going on. While it is now possible to reach billions of people with a website that never closes or goes on vacation, it is also very easy to lose a lot of money without getting any tangible benefits. The following are some of the reasons that should move you to start tracking your marketing right now:

1. It helps you know whether you are getting a return on investment or not

While all the PowerPoint presentations by your marketing team might make you feel warm and nice inside, nothing can take the place of cold, hard facts. You will need to see statistics that will tell you whether the strategy being employed by your marketing team is actually paying off and providing a solid return on investment or not. Your business might have the best website and some of the coolest social media accounts. However, if all these activities are not giving you the traffic that you were hoping for, then more hard work is required.

2. Tracking your results helps you know which method is the most successful

You might think that you pay per click advertising campaign is the one bringing in all the extra traffic that you have been registering on your website, only to find out that it is the organic search engine optimization campaign that is actually bringing in the extra pairs of digital eye balls. The good thing with tracking is that it removes any inherent bias that the owners of the business or the people conducting different marketing campaigns might have and only brings in raw data that cannot be disputed.

How to track your marketing results

The good news is that it is not that hard to track the effect of your marketing campaigns. There are many free tools (and paid ones of course) that will help you record the number of visitors that come to your site. Many of these tracking tools can also group the visitors according to the method that brought them to your site, giving you more information on which method is working and which one is not. One of the best free tools that you can use is Google analytics. This means that there is no excuse for not tracking your marketing results immediately!

Commercial Critiques

Nate Anderson Public Relations and Media Strategy Complete Media Inc.,
I have always been fascinated by commercials, and instead of mindlessly flipping through the channels whenever they come on, I find myself critiquing them to find out what the goal of each commercial is. As you can imagine, this can be annoying to anyone else in the room when I make sure to point out what the commercial was trying to accomplish or have to explain to my wife that even if it’s a cute commercial, was it effective?

Let’s start off with the series of oddball spots by the people of Old Spice. If it’s one thing they are good at, it’s weird commercials. The benefit is that Old Spice has dedicated itself to producing these weird commercials and has made it effective by keeping with the same message. Most recently, they have turned to an animatronic humanoid, who even though is not technically a man, he smells like one and is hard to resist.

Old Spice Commercial

Old Spice takes the same message that their competitors take, “buy our products, smell good, be attractive,” but go so over the top that you can’t help but laugh at the absurdity. Old Spice continues to be one of the bestselling brands in the market. They use a stereotype and take a different approach to appeal to their target market.

One of my biggest pet peeves is how often dads in commercials are stereotyped as bumbling oafs who don’t know the first thing about changing a diaper or boiling spaghetti noodles. Being a father of three kids with a wife who works full time as a professor AND is pursuing her doctorate, the luxuries of the mythical commercial dad who gets by on charm alone don’t exactly hit home. That’s why I was so enamored when I came across this ad for Peanut Butter Cheerios and made sure to share it on all my social media channels.

Cheerios Commercial

Don’t get me wrong, do I feel the message is negated a bit by the fact that the dad’s idea of a great breakfast is cereal? Sure, but at least it doesn’t have the dad screwing breakfast up and needing the mom to come in for the rescue. It depicts a busy family with two working parents, who rely on each other to accomplish the everyday tasks of parenthood. Here’s to Cheerios, who have been leading the way with breaking the stereotypical depictions of commercial families.

Advertising commercials not only have to be memorable, they have to evoke so much connection that it prompts you to try their brand or switch to their brand. For the record, I bought Peanut Butter Cheerios because I didn’t know they existed until I saw that commercial online.

If you have a favorite commercial or a commercial that boggles the mind, leave a comment, and before you go for the remote take some time to study the art of advertising.

 

Everyone Is In Sales

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“Wait Jessica… I’m not in sales.” Oh, no?  You’re not in sales? “But Jessica, I’m an accountant.” “But Jessica, I’m a stay at home mom.” “But Jessica, I’m running a business and have staff that goes out to bring in new business.” Think about it, the accountant is selling their knowledge on providing tax breaks to their clients. The stay at home mom is selling broccoli and bed making to her children along with selling the idea to her husband that the new pair of shoes she purchased was necessary. The business owner is selling a long term position in the company so they can keep their turnover rate low. Or how about when you’re looking for a promotion? What are you selling then? That’s right, you’re selling yourself.

Every small business owner must take on the role of salesman at some point, whether that is handling suppliers, bankers or customers. As a small business owner, you have the largest impact on your business, larger than any of your employees. Are you screening calls coming in from other businesses? Not returning the phone calls because it could be a waste of your time? The person on the other line might not be able to benefit from your business personally, but everyone has a sphere of influence of 250 people and I bet that they know someone who might be able to benefit from your services. Do you think they’ll want to refer business to you if you never return their phone call? If you’re not giving them the time of day to have a 3 minute conversation on the phone, they are going to assume that’s how you would treat their referral. You just sold this person that you are not a business they would want their network to work with. Every decision you make can affect your business, make sure your actions reflect good customer relations. Or contact Complete Media and we can layout an effective business plan for you!