5 Great Questions to Ask About Your Marketing

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On November 27, 2012

If you want to have a great company you need to have great marketing. Great marketing, however, isn’t about flashy campaigns or clever slogans. What makes your marketing great is not how many marketing awards you win, but whether or not you’re reaching the right audience with the right message and generating the right kind of leads—that end up as repeat customers.

Here are five great questions to help you determine if your marketing is headed in the right direction—or if it’s just costing you money.

1. Do you classify your various clients? Not all clients are created equal. And while you should treat all clients equally well, you shouldn’t necessarily treat them the same. What criteria do you use to differentiate your “A” clients from your “B” clients and your “C” Clients? Is it by the money they spend? Is it by profitability (someone can spend a lot of money with you but also suck up an inordinate amount of your time and energy). Do you classify clients by lifetime value (not just a single purchase, but by the amount they’ll spend as long as they are clients)?

2. How well do you really know your clients? For years businesses have collected a lot of demographic information about their clients. They looked at age, interests, buying patterns, location, etc. But that’s often not enough today. Businesses need to look at psychographic information as well. What are clients thinking about? AARP is a classic example of an organization that goes beyond simple demographics. Yes, their market is “retired persons” (it says so in their name). But they realized that there is a huge difference between a 55-year-old retiree and an 85-year-old retiree. They think differently and they act differently. As a result, AARP doesn’t treat all clients the same. They tailor their messaging to the appropriate sub-group.

3. Which clients are your most profitable clients? We touched on this in question one, but let’s look a little closer at what makes some clients more profitable. One thing to consider is the cost to acquire them. Another factor to consider is what it costs to keep them. Do you have “high maintenance” clients that you’d actually be better off without? Do you have other clients that spend enough that it compensates for the time you spend with them? What makes a client profitable?

4. Are there specific types of clients you’d like to have more of? What do those clients look like? If you could increase that kind of client five-fold, how would that impact your business? You’d probably increase sales dramatically, but would it make you more efficient? Would you be more profitable?

5. Does your marketing match your audience? If all clients aren’t created equal, shouldn’t your marketing reflect that? Where are you spending your marketing dollars? Are you fishing where the fish are? Or are you simply casting your line into the ocean and hoping for the best? Aside from the ROI on your marketing efforts, are you learning things about your potential clients—and how to reach them more effectively? Are you making changes in your marketing efforts based on what you learn?

Of course there’s more to great marketing than what we’ve covered here, but these five questions will get you off to a good start. What’s your most perplexing marketing question?