Every week I receive enquiries from business owners or marketing managers wanting help with their marketing. The first question I ask is, “What is the goal here, what are you trying to achieve?” I’m surprised how often the client doesn’t really know the answer to this.
Most people find it difficult to understand how marketing really works. It’s not about spending money on marketing in order to reach the perfect dollar amount recommended. It’s about creating an inbound marketing process and strategy that helps your business grow.
Sales and marketing have complementary, but different, purposes. A strategic marketing plan with the end goal is the key component to bring in qualified leads to the sales team.
In my experience, great marketing results come from having clear goals and targets, then directing marketing efforts accordingly. To do that, I prefer to start at the end. Fortunately with online marketing you can do just that and measure it every step of the way.
I focus on identifying the acceptable Cost Per Acquisition for a client or sale, and the longer term Return On Investment from marketing. If those numbers are known, a strategy to achieve them can be created. Start with a series of web pages for each of your main offerings:
- Break down your products and services into clear categories;
- Understand how they benefit your customers. Think benefits not products;
- Make sure those benefits are spelled out clearly on that particular product or service page of your website;
- Determine how you want customers to buy from you. Purchase online? Complete an enquiry form? Call you? Whatever it is, make sure the next step is very clear to the customer.
Then work backwards to determine how to lead potential customers there.
Understanding the benefits of each of your products or services can determine “who” benefits from them and the best ways to reach them.
Then you can learn where your prospects “hang out”. Are they on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn? If so, you can target your marketing on these networks. Are they searching online for solutions you offer? If so, you can optimise your web pages so they find you, or do paid search with Adwords or Bing and direct them to the relevant page.
Analyse the marketing data and adjust your course as you go along.
This article was first published in the Newcastle Herald on July 4, 2017.