Before you jump into investing in new technology or internet marketing for your business, build a Buyer Approach Map: BAM.
What's a BAM? It's a Buyer Approach Map. . . a stage-by-stage visual map, such as a flowchart, that looks at your business outside-in. It is built from the perspective of the a person becoming interested in what you offer, knowing who you are, then becoming a happy repeat customer.
The rule is "BAM before tech"
If you feel your business has a "tech deficit", whether that be in the form of something like
- a website that gets poor traffic
- a website that makes a bad impression,
- a lack of email follow up with prospects resulting in poor conversion
- being outflanked in social media by competition, or
- a lack of online educational content relative to your competition
... it is tempting to jump in with tech to fix the perceived problem. However, there is more results to be gained when the tech is driven by a BAM that is created and analyzed first.
Here's a simple BAM I did on the Paper app on my iPad:
Starting with a BAM like this makes it easier to see where to apply what technology to get the maximum return on investment. You can ask questions like:
- Where is the greatest "choke point" of restriction in converting a prospect to a customer?
- Where is our greatest lack in technology or internet marketing compared to our strongest competition?
- What kinds of questions do our prospects ask themselves before making a buying decision and how can web content answer those questions?
- Where is the greatest potential return on investment on adding a tech enhancement to the process?
For example, let's say numbers and conversion ratios for a month's sales were added to the BAM above and it was found that a higher percentage of first consults showed when they came from the web form as opposed to a phone call. A simple email sent to phone inquiries that included, perhaps, links to testimonials online would potentially give a higher conversion rate with very little investment.
Here's a few rules to creating a good BAM:
- Start from the customer buying experience and work backwards through as many stages as you can.
- When (not if) it gets too complicated to wrap your mind around (my example is way over-simplified for any real business situation) create "sub-BAMs" of additional processes referenced by one box in the "main-BAM"
- As much as you can, try to get into your prospects minds about how they first think about the need or desire for your service or product . . . .long before they engage your company. This could guide the creation of online educational content that define you as the expert in your field to people who will buy down the road.
- Put hard numbers on each stage of your BAM that you can measure. Not measuring such things as prospect to client conversion ratio? Start.
- When your BAM is as complete as you can make it, using all the feedback you can gain from your key players, then look, with a tech and internet marketing consultant if you don't have that capacity in your team, at where teach can most effectively be applied to the system to increase sales and improve customer experience.
What you are looking for with a BAM is leverage- how can you create more customers per unit dollar invested by addressing the weakest points in the chain of prospect and customer experience? Making a BAM to guide your marketing, tech, and internet presence decisions will help you make the most profitable choices to grow your company and dominate your niche online.