When I ask this question of owners and CEOs very rarely do they have a good answer. In fact, the number one response probably goes something like this, “I’m not sure what the market is saying … other than that most of them don’t want what we’re offering.”
Isn’t that interesting—on both accounts? On the one hand it’s interesting that most don’t know what their market is saying to them. And on the other, what they intuitively understand is that most of the potential customers in their market don’t want what they’re offering.
Which of course begs the question, “Why?” Why aren’t they listening? And why, if they know their offer isn’t resonating with their market, aren’t they changing it?
But more important than them, how about you? Why don’t you know what your market is saying to you and your company? And two, why aren’t you changing your offers to make them no-brainer, obvious, irresistible, too hard to pass up offers to your potential customers/clients?
If you want to hard wire your business to grow, then you need to have a process in place to collect and analyze market data ALL THE TIME. And if you set a system up, make sure you regularly review the data.
For example, all websites have statistics packages—but very few owners ever look at them. If someone were to ask you, “How many unique visitors did you have last month?” Or “What’s the average page view per visit?” Or “Which pages on your website are getting the most traffic?” Or “What’s the bounce rate for your site?” Most wouldn’t know. Yet those stats are telling us something.
The bounce rate (in case you’re unfamiliar with it), is the percentage of people who come to your site and leave without visiting another page (i.e. they “bounce” off your site). That’s a very interesting number. So if you have a low bounce rate, the market is telling you, “We like your content. It’s adding value to us. So we keep poking around to learn more.” On the other hand, a high bounce rate is telling you the opposite. The market is always speaking!
If you’re currently offering a special for new customers/clients (like a free consult or audit or report or trial) and very few people are taking you up on it, the market is telling you something. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s a great offer, the market doesn’t. So, what are you going to do about that?
Unfortunately, most owners and CEOs don’t do anything differently. They keep making the same offer week after week hoping that sooner of later it’ll catch on—but it doesn’t. Why? Because the market has already spoken.
So, what is your market telling you?
Do you have a systematic way of collecting that data (or are you simply relying on your gut)? Are you running focus groups? Are you collecting survey data? Are you regularly testing your offers? Are you engaged in doing customer research yourself? How about your top team—are they engaged as well? Then once you collect that data, do you have a system in place for analyzing that data?
Remember, the market is always speaking. So what are they saying about you and your offers this week?
To your accelerated success!
P.S. If you missed the post on dashboards, you may want to use your dashboard to collect some of this data.
P.P.S. This is a great staff team exercise. Give them three questions they need to ask three potential customers and have them bring that data back with them to next week’s staff meeting. Then take a look at this year’s metrics and be honest. What is the market saying to you based on your numbers?