Now that could be internally, so you’ve got a team of people over every month, every fortnight, measuring progress in each of the areas as you try something – test and measure, test and measure, as we alluded to earlier. Or you work with an organisation who will do that with you and examine where you are, how you’re progressing, what returns you’re getting, what profit you’re making, how your competitors are doing. So that, together, in partnership very quickly you’re able to get the data into on place and make decisions based on real financial information, and not ‘oh I prefer the blue’ or ‘I prefer the pink’ – which, believe me, I’ve seen happen. So, whether it’s through an internal management team or whether it’s with your agency, it’s very important to work together around the data that you can glean to make sure that you are meeting your objectives – which should be return of gross margin, and as a result more net profit.
Once you’ve started to do this, it’s very important to then set yourself KPIs or goals or objectives which you can test against. You can get a gut feel for the number of enquiries you are going to get and as a result from a particular activity you can understand whether you are getting more or less, the value of them, the margin you’ve made, how easy they are to convert. But at every point, it’s really important to have a process whereby you’re gathering the data in one place, you’re making sure that everyone is informed so that whoever’s involved can therefore make a very clear decision as to the next phase and the next step which should always be driven towards the ultimate aim of more net profit.
We’ve worked very well with an electric plater with this approach over the last 12-18 months. Where together we’ve been able to identify the number of enquiries, number of sales, the areas in the business – e.g. they have particular lines, it may be tin or silver or zinc, so as a result we are now in a position whereby we can turn on enquiries and turn off enquiries based on the capacity of the factory and measure the extent to which that comes through to deliver sales, and margin and profit and therefore the success of the campaign. This approach has been working really well.
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