Stop Getting Distracted with your Marketing

Last week I was invited to speak at the 2017 Inman Connect Conference in San Francisco.   My talk, Putting Data to Work for your Marketing, devolved into a frank discussion about staying focused on any marketing effort.  

If you read blogs like these or attend conferences like Inman's looking for ways to improve outcomes, things can get complicated in a hurry.  Let's take the simple sales funnel.  This is a graphic often used to illustrate the path of a typical consumer.  It's important to understand, but full of jargon and typical marketing speak that can be distracting.  So to start out the conversation last week, I made a new one:

You start out any marketing initiative by screaming.  You get to the highest platform or box or mountain you can find - even if it's digital - and you try to get the attention of as many people as possible.  After you exhaust your efforts, you hold back and you listen.  You listen for responses - for people who heard what you had to say and resonated with your message.  At that point, you start a conversation with that group in the hopes that you earn their trust - or their business.  If things go well, hopefully they fall in love with you and you not only get a client, you get a referral.

Each phase of the sales funnel can take many forms. Here are some examples: 

If you are a large company, you can scream from :30 TV spots or billboards or any number of media tactics.  If you're a smaller business, you still have access to scream through social media or a blog or your own website.  Listening involves things like lead capture forms, likes, comments, reposts, and more.  In the digital age there are more ways than ever to effectively listen to your target audience.  Discussions often happen through a CRM with ongoing nurture campaigns or periodic updates.  Each phase of the funnel can vary and each phase of the funnel can be measured.  

Here is an example of what you might measure at each phase of the sales funnel:

Between measuring time on site, conversion rates, leads, email delivery rates, click throughs, open rates, average costs per lead, acquisition and close and more, it can quickly become a full time job just to analyze the data coming in.  Regardless of if you are a large company or an independent contractor, marketing data can quickly lead to paralysis.  It's overwhelming.  

Let's stop getting distracted with data.

There are only two (2) things you need to pay attention to: 

What are you investing - that includes money, time, energy, and effort and what is the return that investment?  If you are going to spend your time measuring anything, measure this.  Think through your efforts by campaign or time period and really analyze where you spend your budget and time when it comes to marketing.  Then think through where your actual business is coming from.  That's dollars and cents.  

This is a great place to start, but if you are typical of many in the real estate industry, we tend to get distracted with leads.  We love leads and we want more, better, different, and higher rates of leads.  When you think about the sales funnel - that makes a lot of sense.   In effect, it's like taking out "scream" and "listen" and cutting right to the conversation.  

But that can be dangerous.  I'll explore the dangers of getting distracted by leads in my post next week.  Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.