It’s not always easy to quantify how effective your marketing efforts are. Are all those tweets you're sending out actually converting into paying clients? Is it worth going to endless networking breakfasts or should you start hanging out in LinkedIn groups more? What about paid-for advertising, in print and online?

The truth is that it usually takes several marketing touch points to get a cold lead to the point where you can make a sale, especially within the B2B services market and more so as the price point increases. After all, you’re likely to put a lot more thought into investing in monthly IT support services or hiring someone to build a flash new website than you are in what paperback to buy for your summer holiday.

Step by step by step

What do I mean by touch points? Simply put, touch points are any ways that your brand interacts with your client. These might be deliberate and part of a sales plan, such as a series of emails, direct mail marketing materials and phone calls.

But in my experience, it’s more likely to go like this…

  • Your prospective client sees a tweet from you.
  • They visit your website to find out more.
  • They read one of your blog posts.
  • They hear someone mention your brand.
  • They see your ad on Facebook.
  • They bump into you at a networking event.
  • They connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • They sign up for your newsletter.
  • They read a couple more blog posts.

And then finally, when the time is right and the need is there, they decide to use your services. Chances are, several weeks or even months have passed.

A well stocked toolcase

So you see, it’s not a case of jumping on Twitter and watching your sales figures double overnight, or choosing the one networking lunch that will automatically bring in a dozen new clients before dessert is served. Marketing is a subtle and complex network of elements that work together to generate viable sales leads.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t target your efforts. It’s important to understand which channels your target audience will be interacting with. Don’t bother with LinkedIn if they’re all over on Instagram, for example. Don’t network with start ups if you’re looking for multinationals.

But do take the long view; be sure to analyse your marketing data over at least three to six months and keep fine tuning your strategy to see what works best. Progress won’t usually happen overnight, but it will happen.

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