A combination of these methods should form a marketing strategy that will build awareness and credibility for your business. The more people hear about you, the more memorable your message and service becomes.
So, you’ve budgeted for advertising across a variety of media and created a message that will draw people to your service. How do you know how your customers found out about you?
The best thing you can do during your first contact with a customer is to ask how they found you. However, don’t always expect to get an accurate answer. In fact, the information they give you will probably be inaccurate. Why?
Firstly, people just don’t remember because they have other things occupying their mind and where they saw your advert may not be a priority. A common fallback to the question:
Where did you find me?
Oh, I think it was the phonebook.
If the customer found you via an online directory they may give a vague description of what the website looked like but not the actual name of the site.
Recent research has identified that over half of people who were asked by a business “where did you find us?” answered that they saw the business promoted on a medium that the company never actually used. For example, a customer may reply they heard about you on the radio when in fact you’ve never advertised on the radio.
Are people liars? No, they just want to be helpful and it may be they spend most of their time listening to the radio.
Another reason for inaccurate feedback is that customers may hear about your business in a variety of ways. If your marketing strategy is good, you should be using more than one medium but a person is not going to list all those different places to you. They may name one place they saw your advert but if they do, more than likely it will be the most recent.
Online contact with a client
If you advertise your business using an online directory service it should offer you real-time statistics on how many people have visited your listing/profile page. These statistics should also show how many people clicked through to your website (assuming you have one) from your directory listing.
This is an important statistic as it shows your directory listing is doing what it should i.e. clients are seeing your service and looking to find out more by visiting your website. You should back these statistics up using your own analysis via a service such as Google Analytics. This is a free service provided by Google which provides features to allow you to monitor web traffic to your site.
Use a contact a form
If a potential client visits your website and wants to get in touch, you should provide a contact form with options that will indicate how they reached your business.
Using a contact form is an ideal way to gather the information you need e.g.
The form should also have a selection of options for how the client found your business. The options should include those places you advertise your business plus some general options.
NB: If the client says they found you on Google you need to know what they found? Was the search result from your website or a 3rd party who is helping to market your business e.g. Internet Marketing Team. Drilling this right down is crucial to understanding how effectively your marketing budget is working for you.
Direct contact with a client (telephone, face-to-face)
If speaking to people directly, make sure to ask how they found you. If the client is vague, prompt them using the various advertising methods you use. For example:
It’s important to establish exactly where a client saw your advert because then you’ll begin to see a pattern for which marketing tool is working best. You’re spending money to advertise so you should want to see a return on that investment. If you’re not monitoring it, how will you know?
Keep a record of the responses and review them regularly to see which ones are effective and how you might improve things in the future.
Discounts and promotional offers
Another useful way to get accurate information about how clients are finding your business is to offer special promotions when they mention how they found you.
For instance, if you have a directory listing, you may want to place a note on your profile page to tell potential clients that mentioning they found you on that directory will give them a 10% discount on their first session.
People will jump at the chance to give you that sort of information as they have something to gain.