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I’ve been doing some blogging work for a market research firm, and this has gotten me thinking about how businesses make decisions about their marketing programs. Do they carefully track the results of their marketing efforts? Do they regularly solicit input from their frontline staff? Do they know what’s going on in their marketplace? Or are all of their decisions just a bunch of guess work?

While hunches and guesses do have their place, decision making is usually improved when it’s also based on facts and data.



CLUED IN OR CLUELESS?


How does your business make decisions about your marketing programs? Are you flying by the seat of your pants, cluelessly making all decisions based exclusively on your “gut instinct?” Or are you actively gathering facts and data so that you can be clued in to both the market in general as well as the needs and preferences of your own customers and prospects?

If you would like your marketing efforts to be informed by facts and data, here are some things you can do to obtain it:

  • Listen to your customers and prospects. Pay close attention to what people are telling you. Are your customers and market starting to move in a new direction? Are they asking for products or services that you don’t currently offer?
  • Pay attention to your online reputation. What are people saying about your company on review sites, in blogs and on social media pages? Is someone at your firm actively monitoring this?
  • Track the metrics. As I discussed in my article on how to Improve Your Marketing Decision Making, you should be capturing and analyzing data about your marketing programs. Where are your customers coming from? What’s the ROI of one program vs. another?
  • Listen to your employees. Put a system in place to actively encourage your front line people to share feedback and insights gleaned from their conversations with customers and prospects.
  • Make use of surveys. Surveys can be extremely helpful in gathering informative facts and data. For example, Customer Satisfaction Surveys can help you find out what you’re doing well and where you need improvement. Pricing Surveys can help you determine if your offerings are priced correctly. And Industry Surveys, such as what you can get from your industry trade group, can be a great source for valuable category data.


CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT: RETIRE WITH RENEWALS

Health insurance sales people spend their entire careers building and nurturing their “book” of clients. What happens to that book of business when they’re ready to retire? In the past, their only real option was to sell it to another insurance agent, currently for about 1-1/2 times the annual commissions that it brings. Retire with Renewals was formed to give these professionals another choice. Instead of selling their book, they can maintain complete control, receive 50% of the commissions, and let the Retire with Renewals team actively manage and service the accounts. It’s the best of all worlds. To learn more, take a look at the website which I wrote for them.



What Others Are Saying

"Each time I work with Linda, I am reminded just how well she understands marketing. Linda understands the principles of marketing on a psychological level. She sees the bigger picture. She is pragmatic, insightful and incredibly fast."

Kristine Putt,
Owner and Brand Identity Designer, Paragon Moon