The Hidden Costs of Marketing
“You get what you pay for”, is a phrase many of us have used at some point to explain our pricing to a customer. Also, that phrase is common when trying to help a friend realize they made a dumb decision based on price and your happily pointing the fact out. That’s not an example of the hidden cost of marketing. The hidden costs of marketing are much more subtle and they slowly erode your would be profits in a way that is difficult to quantify.
Hidden costs of marketing are the inhibitors to creating a successful conversion. The conversion being a repair order and hopefully a repeat customer. Each time your marketing causes a potential customer to take action whether it is to pick up the phone and call you, or head to your website to review your company, any failure to help the customer convert in the process adds to your costs of marketing. Basically, every lead lost makes getting more leads more expensive.
The telephone is without a doubt the largest contributor to expensive marketing costs. Even the best marketing plan can’t return a favorable ROI when the service advisor is working hard to keep the schedule light. Your staffs ability to convert phone leads into paying customers is the single most important tool in your marketing system. If you are not recording phone calls, screening them, and using them for a training tool to improve your telephone conversions, you may be enabling the highest ROI robber in your marketing plan.
Another hidden cost is in your website. Your website is the anchor to all of your marketing and has a large role in reinforcing (or not) your other marketing directives. Direct mail is a great example because as soon as the potential customer receives the mail piece, their next step is to got check your company out on the web. If your website is poorly designed, has no mobile experience or fails to impress them, your direct mail did it’s job, bout your website added to your hidden cost of marketing.
Unfortunately, for many business owners, their brand also contains a hidden cost of marketing. Your brand is always on display in your community, whether it’s your shuttle van driving around, or your employees in uniform at the local burger joint. Your brand is always under evaluation. Participating in parades, chamber of commerce events, little leagues and other non-advertising events to give back to the community are some of the best tools for making sure your brand doesn’t get in the way of your marketing efforts.
Marketing is only as good as the tools you have to support it!