On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your business’s market performance right now? Are you optimizing market performance? Anything less than a 10 and there is room for improvement. If you think that your business is performing at a 10 right now, then there is nothing more for us to teach you and this article isn’t going to help. But, it’s very rare for a business to operate at a 10, so we suggest that you think about this carefully, and read this article anyway because you’ll learn things that help optimize market performance to improve your revenue.
Before we can talk about how to improve your market performance, you must first perform an audit to determine where you are, which tactics deliver high performance, what makes these tactics perform better than others, and set goals for future performance. Creating a dashboard, like the one above to assess the performance of your website, brings all the metrics together to help as you assess your current performance.
In conjunction with this audit (and you should perform that same type of audit across your other marketing channels and platforms, including your physical store, if you have one), you need to establish KPIs (key performance indicators) relevant to improving the performance of each tactic. Most platforms, especially Google Analytics, provide a plethora of data; so much that you can easily find yourself struggling to derive insights from the numbers. KPIs offer a means to focus attention on those metrics with the greatest impact on your performance. You want to develop KPIs that encompass the entire customer journey, from beginning to end, not just those that translate into direct conversion.
Check out the funnel below and you see the impact of top-of-funnel metrics like increased awareness on the bottom of the funnel, conversion. According to this image, an increase of 1% at the top of the funnel generates a 50% increase in revenue.
Once you audit your existing marketing efforts, you must plan to optimize market performance by focusing more resources on those tactics with above-average returns and reducing resources to tactics with below-average returns by setting realistic goals (hopefully stretch goals), then building plans based on past performance that offer a good chance you’ll achieve your goals.
Strategies to optimize market performance
1. Employ the right channels
Track performance across channels to determine which channels work best for your specific target market. By going where your market is, you enhance reach and show the kind of consistency that yields action. Not only do you need to evaluate which channels perform best, but what time and days perform better than others. Next, determine which content does best on each platform, although you still need to provide some consistency across platforms to optimize market performance. Unifying channel messages with a color scheme, font, and similar images is a good idea, as is using the same hashtags across platforms.
2. Use customer feedback
The first thing that we recommend you do is use your client feedback effectively. Customers provide a variety of forms of feedback from posting UGC (user-generated content) related to your brand, to engagement with the content you post such as shares and comments, clicks from your marketing efforts, to the way they move through your website. Each customer action provides needed information that, when interpreted, helps you understand their decision-making process, what factors impact their purchase intentions, and what efforts to reach them are most effective.
Customer feedback also provides information to help improve your performance. Client feedback is there to give you a good idea of what didn’t match their needs, so that you can make the necessary changes and improve where you were failing before. We know that there are some reviews and feedback that are not kind, they are not worded nicely and some of them are just rude, but the principle is the same. Use it to help you, rather than letting it hinder you. For instance, when Microsoft introduced its new Surface computer, a colleague listened carefully to comments on social media and, within a week, had the first set of modifications ready for engineering to incorporate into the next version of the device.
Now, we’re not saying that you should change your business based on one review. You should see if this is a consistent theme that seems to emerge across independent reviews, and then make a decision once you have some more information. At the end of the day it’s your business, but the people that you need to be focused on impressing are the clients so you need to listen to them.
3. A/B testing
Another thing that you should do if you want to optimize market performance is constantly running tests that give you the information that you need to improve. For example, end-to-end testing is one of those tests that you should complete every time you launch an application or change your website to quantify improvements and use this information to iteratively improve performance. It makes your life easier as you won’t get as many complaints, and it will enhance your customer experience which is essential.
There are a range of other tests, such as A/B testing, you can also run to acquire knowledge that allows you to optimize market peformance. We recommend looking into as many of these as possible, and then working out what to do from there. For instance, test different version of the subject line and offer made as part of an email marketing campaign or test different images in your social media posts. Not only does this testing improve performance, it provides insights to guide creation of future marketing campaigns.
4. Optimize your customer service
Of course, customer service is essential to any business as part of your efforts to optimize market performance. We guarantee someone will quickly notice if your customer service is not up to snuff. Superior customer service generates positive feedback, customer loyalty, trust, repeat purchases, and other outcomes that favor your business growth and success. Failure to provide adequate customers service generates a customer backlash that might sink your business, possibly resulting in lawsuits. BTW, poor customer outcomes travel 5 times further and faster than positive ones. So, a few negative experience can outweight a bunch of positive outcomes.
Some of the easy ways you can improve your customer services is adding a live chat option, investing in customer training for front-line employees, monitoring the performance of your customer servcie reps to ensure they address issues quickly and thoroughly, and offering multiple options for customers who need service, such as on social media, email, and phone.
5. Don’t fear change
You have to remember that progress requires change, even when it’s uncomfortable in the short run. Companies that don’t adapt, wither and die. Sometimes you don’t want to change because you like things the way they are, but external environments change; brining about new opportunities and threats that require your business to adapt.
Change management is hard but you can improve your ability to sense and respond to the environment through:
- An effort to constantly see information about changes in the environment — we call these sensing organizations
- Involving employees in determining which changes are necessary to adapt to the changing environment
- Build a thorough plan including a time table to implement the changes
- Monitor progress along the way to quickly identify hiccups in the process
- Conduct an after-action report to improve your performance the next time you must implement a change
We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you can do to make your business better. When your business is the best it possibly can be, this is going to mean that it will be able to achieve better things than it currently is. As the business owner, you should want to see your business reach the highest level of success possible, but that means that you have to be willing to put in the effort. We wish you the very best of luck with this.