The idiom “batting a thousand” or “batting 1.000” is related to baseball, which is the batting average a player would have if they achieved a hit every time they stepped up to the plate. This is essentially perfection as far as hitting goes in baseball. The best career batting average in Major League Baseball (MLB) history is .366 by Ty Cobb. In other words, Ty Cobb reached the bases 36.6% of the time he stepped up to the plate over the course of his career. Only a very elite group has ever batted .400 or better in a single season, which hasn’t been achieved since Ted Williams last accomplished it in 1941 with a single season batting average of .406.
What does all this have to do with marketing?
Fortunately for Major League Baseball players, they aren’t expected to get a hit every time they step up to the plate. As a last bit of MLB trivia, the lowest batting average an MVP player ever had was .301 via Carl Yastrzemski in 1968. (Anyone who knew that has our eternal respect.) However, in marketing the expectations are often tied to the imagination rather than an established consensus within the business community. In baseball, anything .300 or above is considered above average – alluding to an established consensus in the baseball community.
What is the consensus in marketing? What’s the marketing equivalent of a “hit” – or, more specifically, what is considered success when marketers step up to the plate? We’ll explore these questions and more as we drill-down marketing’s role in the sales process. It’s our opinion the answers to these questions – once understood between a marketing team and the respective business – will inevitably maximize results in the long run.
What Does Marketing Success Look Like?
Sometimes it’s the simple questions that elude us. There have been times I’ve paced the room wondering why a device isn’t working after exhausting a laundry list of possibilities only to find out I didn’t ask the most basic question: Is it plugged in? I didn’t ask this question because it was “too simple.” I was nearly out the door to buy another device because I was so sure I considered everything. In business, we need to continually check to see if our sales process is plugged into our marketing and vice versa.
What does success look like? In baseball, the batter’s metric for success is a hit. In business, let’s agree a sale could be the universal equivalent of a hit, which is the business’s unit measure of success at the most basic level. For a medical practice, success comes in the form of a new patient. For a business in the education sector, success comes in the form of a new student or an enrollment. For a software company, success comes in the form of another company purchasing and installing their software. Of course, the relative unit of success changes based on the industry and the specific business.
What’s marketing’s role in this process? Is marketing supposed to assist the sale, or is marketing supposed to convert the sale? Believe it or not, many have more or less implied marketing is supposed to convert the sale. We once had a business tell us they expected 10 appointments per week in order for us to make sense. To be sure, an appointment is a converted sale in this particular industry. Also, let’s just say this particular business made less than $1,000 but more than $500 on every appointment. So, when doing conservative math, that’s $5,000 a week in order for it to make sense. Or, being conservative, $20,000 a month! We agree, that makes all kinds of sense!
This is essentially a scenario where we were expected to bat a thousand – if not a home-run every time.
What’s Your Marketing Conversion Worth?
The question says it all. What’s a conversion worth to you? Suppose a business is in the education sector with a typical enrollment worth $6,000. If this same business budgets $1,000 toward their marketing every month, they break even on their marketing from a single conversion once every six months. Of course, this conversion rate is on the lower end; it doesn’t get much lower than one. This example illustrates how fast marketing begins paying for itself once conversions attached to the marketing efforts break even.
Let’s go back to the question, “What does success look like?” More importantly, what does success look like for a marketing company? Without question, a converted sale is a success for everyone, but it’s harsh to consider anything less a failure. So, what’s success outside the obvious (a converted sale)?
To be sure, no one knows your business better than you.
With that being said, no one will sell your service better than you. Our job is to put you in front of the right people so you can focus on your business and your sales. Every once in a while, we hit the home-run – alluding to a burning hot lead waiting to give you a credit card number as soon as you answer the phone and say, “Hello.” More often than not, leads will be generated, but the actual sale depends on the business owner, sales team, partner, etc. We can lead a horse to water, but we can’t make it drink; however, sometimes they will drink without any additional work from you.
In marketing, our unit measure of success is a lead, a phone call, a form fill, or a warm body through your front door. We get the people in touch with your business. No one is more passionate than you about your business. The most powerful voice in the room should always be you; it’s why you started a business. We’ll get people in touch with you as you cross the finish line. The true passion and genuine zeal for your business will always translate best from the expert: you. We’ll make your phone ring. All you have to do is answer it.
Good Marketing Help is Hard to Find
To be fair to the above scenario regarding 10 appointments per week, many people have been burned by marketing companies. The knee-jerk reaction after a bad experience is to overcompensate and expect the next experience to not only be positive, but expect the next experience to make-up for the negative one. We don’t blame these companies for being apprehensive.
We gladly take on the pleasure of being invited into a company’s operations despite their past experience and high expectations. Frankly, we’re humbled and honored we’re working with companies in spite of the complications that arise via their negative experiences. To be sure, this is a testament of how critical marketing is. Companies know they need someone to facilitate their sales because they can’t juggle it all; it’s why we’re here.
The important thing is a cohesive and working relationship, which is predicated on trust, transparency, and open communication. We stand behind our ability to generate leads and get people’s phones to ring. We make it clear that the leads are our metric for success; the conversion lies primarily on the business. Of course, we aim for the fences. We want to make the sale happen as seamlessly as possible, but the lead is our measure of success.
We work with companies we believe are primed for growth yet need an outside team to allow them to do what they do best. Leave the marketing to a team that eats, sleeps, and breathes marketing so you have more time to eat, sleep, and breathe!