Unlike most, I love returning back after that long summer break. Not that I’ve had enough of the kids being off, even though they NEED to go back to school! No, it’s more that I embrace the planning and look forward to what we are we going to do as a family for the next year.
One of the key lessons I’ve learned is to start my planning for the next year in the last three months of the previous year. So, September/October is when we start this process.
For our business, this actually means the year following the next year as we tend to work over a year in advance, more of that in another article. Right now, I’m talking purely about the family stuff; you know the holidays, days out, concerts, theatre shows, seasonal activities etc.
My main job is to list everything we love to do, rebook them, and then seek out new and fun things to do as a family, a couple or individually. These are things like Ascot, Chelsea Flower Show, Car Fest South, Pantomime, Christmas Eve Lights at some historical venue, New Year Centre Parc break, Easter in Dubai etc. Of course, some of them you can only book at certain times like The Championships Wimbledon Tennis.
If you’ve not been, Wimbledon is one of those quintessentially British things to do. It’s usually shorts and straw-hat weather, with an abundance of strawberries and champagne, and of course exciting tennis.
And it’s Wimbledon where I discovered the key to the process of measuring the success of your marketing…
A few years ago, Jacki and I were invited by our good friend and business colleague Ash Taylor. Ash was a top tennis coach, who took the process of teaching tennis into coaching how to run a successful business. As with many sports, there are so many parallels and Ash was living proof of transitioning from deft sports coach to successful businessman.
Anyway, we were walking through the village and there in front of us was the iconic Wimbledon Scoreboard – a high (even requires a ladder) and very wide Wall outlining the path to the Wimbledon Finals. On the left of this wall are all the players who have entered into the competition, and as we move across towards the centre of the wall, their journey is mapped out against every player they have played along with their scores.
To move across the wall means that you’re winning your games until you get to the middle of the Wall. The middle marks the Final where you meet the finalist from the right-hand side of the Wall. The battle of the greats, resulting in the ultimate Championship Winner. This particular year it was Andy Murray.
We were fortunate enough to be there on Finals Day so decided to spend a bit of time discovering how Andy’s journey had progressed from the very first round.
The easiest way to do this was to track him from the Final (middle of the Wall) all the way back to the first round. I was surprised by some of the scores from his previous rounds and was keen to discover how many five-set matches he’s had to get there. All the information about the Championship was right there in front of my eyes; from two hundred and fifty-six players down to two finalists.
Now, whilst it was interesting and incredibly revealing about tennis, it suddenly struck me that it was massively instructional about how we could gain substantial insight into how our marketing works.
Confused? Let me explain.
Imagine that every customer of yours is like a winner in Wimbledon in the middle of that Wall. Think Murray in 2016; just by looking at the Wall at the end of the Championship, you can trace the exact path he took to get to the Finals: what he went through, the struggles he experienced, moments he managed to turn a match around.
BUT unlike Wimbledon your customers don’t get knocked out, there aren’t any rounds…are there?
Of course, there are!
Try this as an exercise: take your last 20 customers and work backwards basing your discovery on what happened before they became a customer, then what happened before that, and before that, until you get right back to when they were just a lead.
An example may be: before they became a customer of yours, they’d received a quote/proposal from you, before that they’d had a conversation with you, before that they were an enquiry, and right before that they were a lead.
So, like the Wimbledon Wall, some leads don’t become enquiries, some enquiries don’t become quotes, and some quotes don’t become customers.
However, when we work backwards from right to left on our Wimbledon Wall, we are only measuring the ‘winners’ – the customers. What we are looking for are the precise stages they each go through and what both they and we did to progress them from lead through to a customer.
This level of intelligence in your business is priceless and it will provide you with the clearest picture of what works in your business. You may discover that your last five customers came from a small Facebook campaign that only gave you five leads, and all the while you’ve been focusing on Google Ads that gave you a hundred leads. For some reason, we have this addiction to drive more and more leads into our business BUT not the discipline to work out which ones really work.
I would struggle to find Andy Murray on the far left of the Wall as there are so many names out there. Wimbledon does a clever thing and adds a seed to those players that progress through the rounds more frequently than others, with the winners, finalists and semi-finalists getting the lowest seeding.
It’s the same for your winners, you should seed them because it’s customers that drive your business forwards, NOT leads. Most leads don’t make it to customers, same as most players don’t make it to the Finals.
There is also another benefit in the Wimbledon Wall that helps us massively in business. If we now look from right to the centre, we can track all leads we get into the business and see where they stop progressing.
I would be prepared to bet you hard cash right now that there are some leads in your business that have never been tracked from the first round, they have stalled at some point in your business and because there’s no visibility, they’re just sitting there waiting in limbo.
Of course, if they REALLY want your product or service, they will progress themselves, but the majority will either not buy at all, or buy from somewhere/someone else.
Having your own Wimbledon Wall will show you who is currently stuck where, and what the next round is in order to get them moving across that Wall into a ‘win’.
There is no chance that a player in the fourth round of Wimbledon can go missing without anybody knowing, and the same should be true for your business. But sadly, it most likely is.
There is a LOT of money in that Wimbledon Wall that is being missed (and wasted), but by implementing your own Wall, it will be game, set and match for your marketing and ultimately your business.
The Scalability Coach | Britain’s Top 10 Adviser 2018 | Author of #1 bestseller I don’t work Fridays | Ex-CEO of a PLC