‘How much does it cost?’ is the wrong marketing question

Lee kenny, CEO of Snowflake Media
Lee kenny, CEO of Snowflake Media

When considering any new marketing channel or project it is quite normal and understandable to ask “How much will it cost?”

Facebook ads?

A new website?

Fancy software?

It’s true they all come with a price tag, but the business owners who are growing usually ask a different question.

Now it’s not “How many sales will it generate?”, that’s almost as unhelpful as the cost question in relation to whether or not it is a suitable investment of your time and money.

No, the real question is how much will it cost to acquire a customer via this channel?

To put it another way. If I could show you a legal, honest, ethical way to turn £10 notes into £20 notes for the rest of your life and didn’t negatively affect anyone else.

Would you be as worried about the cost, or would you quickly be calculating how many times you could make the exchange?

You see the person that can spend the most money to acquire a customer will generally beat off the competition and be the most successful. As long as they have a plan and a system in place to convert any leads, calls or website traffic into customers.

And as long as you can make a profit and offer great value to the people who buy from you everyone is a winner.

Do you buy in lists of potential customers for your business?

Are they truly followed up in a systematic way or is it at the mercy of how busy you are as a business?

I know plenty of people in the building and construction industry who switch their promotions on just long enough to get 10 potential customers call them, figuring one or two will provide enough work for the next two to three months.

Well what happens to the other eight?

Often they get discarded and the company starts all over again in two or three months time.

What about all those people you have quoted work to in your business, but they didn’t say yes?

Of course it’s true that some went with other businesses, but what about those that were just undecided?

A soft, professional follow up would make a refreshing change for most.

Don’t forget there are also those that chose someone else, who then did not deliver what was promised.

Whilst I always look to make advertising pay for itself as soon as possible, I am not too worried if I don’t get to break even straight away, as long as there are sufficient leads and responses coming in.

Beware of the advertising that converts at 100 per cent but only just pays for itself.

Unless you have systems in place to intelligently offer more relevant things down the line you are simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.

So the next time you consider a new marketing channel remember to look at how many people it will introduce to your business and the cost to really serve them well (and profitably) for years in to the future rather than the cost alone.