Time to Check The Infrastructure Of Your Marketing Bridge

The Marketing Bridge is a metaphor for the system that bridges the gap between customers and businesses. This metaphoric bridge is supported by pillars represented by many factors needed to hold it up. Some common factors are: advertising, merchandising, the business, price/value proposition, and personnel.

While most businesses know advertising is only a part of their marketing, too often the focus is given just to the advertising while other factors are ignored. This is because advertising is one of the biggest single factors that can affect your marketing.

Recently I observed a local business drive a lot of customers in his door with heavy mass advertising. The advertiser made a good offer and used an effective medium. But after a while business began to slow down even though he continued the same advertising program. The reason was weaknesses in his marketing bridge, causing a loss of repeat business. In this case the weakness was poor service, inconvenient hours, and poor quality and display of product.

It is important to test your advertising. But sometimes the advertising may test your marketing bridge. In general, you could say if the numbers of customers are high and the average sale is low, the advertising is working while other marketing factors are not. At the same time when the numbers of customers are low and the average sale is high, many of the marketing factors may be working but the advertising probably isn’t.

I?ve seen some interesting formulas for determining the strength of your marketing bridge. But I like to do it by determining the following three factors, analyzing them with respect to which of the three factors need improvement and determining what actions to take to make that improvement.

The three factors are:

  • Traffic (depending on your type of business this could be foot traffic, phone calls, emails, direct sales calls)
  • Average sale per customer
  • Closing ratio

By determining these three major factors you can determine the strengths and weaknesses of your bridge. High traffic with low closing ratio could mean your personnel are not performing well or you are drawing the wrong customer. Drawing the wrong customer could be caused by the wrong advertising message or medium, even if the traffic is high. A low average sale could be caused by weak merchandising or salesmanship. A high closing ratio could mean prices are too low or the advertising is targeting well.

If you want to increase sales, figure out how to increase any of these three factors. This will give you an idea of where you may need to work on your marketing bridge.