One of the challenges of any startup or small business is deciding where to put your resources. When you look at sales and marketing there are thousands of ways f spending your money to increase revenue. Choosing the right channels and approach is critical. Here is the story of how I approached it with one customer.
One of my customers came to me with questions about how she was going to grow her business. She had been selling intimate items for ladies online using a subscription model. All her initial growth had come from google ads. However increased competition, increased cost and limited searches for her keywords meant that she couldn’t grow much larger. Where else should she look for sales?
To solve this problem we used the traction bullseye model. This is a target board with three concentric circles in. In the outermost circle there are all the different marketing approaches that you can take. There are about 18 – 21 of these depending on who you speak to.
Out of these twenty channels we chose the 6 that offered the most possibility of success. This was based on effort to get it to work, cost to make it happen and potential sales.
Then for each of those 6 we dived in deeper and looked at exactly what we needed to do to deliver and outstanding increase in sales. At this stage these weren’t plans but idealised conceptions of how things should work.
As a result we could then narrow down our focus into three specific channels. At this point the client set her budget for testing them. It was about $500 for each channel. The first step was turn the concepts into detailed execution plans. These were given to specialist contractors who ran the experimental campaigns.
It was a beauty contest. Which one was going to perform best? As it turned out using meetups was the killer. The absolute numbers of clients was lower but the conversion rate was exceptionally high. More importantly the loyalty was too – which is critical for a subscription product.
By using systematic assessment of different marketing and sales possibilities followed by small scale testing we were quickly able to establish which the best channels were for my clients business. When I checked in with her at the end of 12 months she’d more than tripled her sales during the year. Even better as a New Yorker she was making enough money from the business that she wasn’t in a hurry to head back to work after her maternity leave.