Posts tagged with ‘marketing’

Asking Tough Questions About Your Marketing Strategy

 

Warning: This post may make you extremely uncomfortable. Read at your own risk.

Today, there is virtually no reason not to have your pulse on the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Data abounds, and to even the most casual business owner, this data can open up keen insights into where your marketing time and money is working for you, and where it is not.

To illustrate, I want to describe a strategy we are deploying on a web site right now, and this approach is saving us hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars normally wasted in the startup phase of any business model. The philosophy and steps behind this strategy is the same as you would read in practically any college marketing textbook: Devise, Implement, Test, Interpret Data, Revise and Repeat.

The real difference with what we are doing (across multiple marketing and advertising channels, such as Social, AdWords, SEO, Content) involves close micro-step evaluations of key drivers. Quite simply, rather than wait for an abundance of data, we are making swift course corrections based on tightly prioritized goals, using tiny-yet-measurable data samples.

This strategy requires that we ask difficult questions about our assumptions, letting none of them remain as sacred cows. Instead, we rather assume that we know nothing about what may work, and rigorously test every aspect of a business model, from messaging to offer to price point. And we are doing this rapidly.

Here’s the kicker: We are able to do this based on almost real-time data, in increments of fewer than 100 visitors to our web site.

It’s pretty exciting, and I believe it will lead us to circumvent the normally expensive and time-intensive process new businesses must endure when launching something new.

So the question I have for you is: What do you think you know about your business marketing metrics? Do you know what is working and what isn’t? How do you know it? And how long and how much is it taking you to find out?

 

 

Five Signs That You’re Not Working Your Website

Your website may not be working because you’re not working it. The following 5 things should be done on every website regardless of what type it is; service, product, etc.

  1. You haven’t gotten around to putting an analytic program like the FREE Google Analytics on your website yet. You must have a way to look and see how many visitors, bounce rate, keywords and keyword phrases, etc that are both working and not working for your site. Without it, you are simply working blind.
  2. Your address and phone number are listed on all of your print and advertising but you don’t think email and website address is important enough to reprint all your business collateral. Wrong! Today over 59% start doing research online for any service or product. It is very important to list that website on everything you do or say.
  3. You left your contact information off the website because you’re afraid you are going to be bothered all the time and you don’t really want to be bothered. Are you kidding? If you are in business legitimately then you must list your name, address and local phone number as well as a way for your customers and clients to contact you through email. This is a sign of trust, which is the first step to doing business with you.
  4. You don’t think you have enough to say to keep a blog going so you just decide it’s not worth your time. Is your business worth your time? I hope you said yes because blog posts are one of the best indicators of an active business and can separate you from the pack. Giving good solid information establishes you as the expert in your field and makes people want to come back and read what you have to say over and over again. It’s a must do if you want to work your website.
  5. You hate Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and the entire social networking thing. My son hated to take baths growing up but it was not an option and neither is social networking. There are some shortcuts to getting posts out in the social sphere but there are no shortcuts on good content. Knowing that, concentrate on good content and learn the shortcuts to posting.

Just putting up a website will not help you unless you work that website for all its worth. Investing in a website that cost thousands and then doing nothing to promote or get the word out that you have something important to say, do or sell is a crazy way to do business and no one would advise you to do it. So if you are going to spend; or have already spent that kind of money, be prepared to do what has to be done to promote and work your website. Only when this is done will your website start working for you.

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Why Marketing Strategy Matters

Have you ever known someone that has had a great idea, product or story, and thought, “The world should know about this! ,”? If you haven’t, one day you will. You will also be faced with the prospect of either helping that person get that message or product out to the world, or find yourself encouraging them to do so. Most likely that person will say, “nah” because they don’t understand or are scared of marketing. But without marketing a product, service or story; nothing happens.

What may surprise you, coming from someone who works in the digital marketing space, is I don’t think marketing on the internet is always the best answer or the only answer for every company. Okay, get back off the floor and read on. It amazes me that people really think there is a “silver bullet” and spend thousands of dollars trying to find it. They also believe that everything online can somehow be put on autopilot and that that alone will catapult them to the top of the massive search engine heap. One day that might be true, but not today. That’s why every aspect of marketing should be considered; online and off to build a comprehensive, strategic marketing campaign.

So now that we have established that marketing online and off isn’t that easy, what do you do to best market your product, service or story? Well, this is where good marketing strategies take center stage. However, I want to warn you; it takes work. You have to know what you are getting yourself into. Discovery, story, information and dialog take place. Taking advantage of all strengths and assets and finding resources to help fill in the gaps. Understand, this a battle! No one would walk onto a battle field today with nothing but a pocketknife and a stick. That’s why getting all the ammunition and weaponry available is a must!

The great news is all the above is more accessible than ever before to all levels of business, including solopreneurs and small businesses. Know going in that if you want to win at selling a product, service or story, then understand that marketing strategies matter. Without really thinking through your marketing you end up squandering your strengths and loosing assets thus becoming frustrated. When I hear someone say “that thing (the internet/TV ad, etc.) doesn’t work”, I know there walks someone who didn’t have a marketing strategy, and that my friend is why marketing strategy matters.

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Video Does Make A Difference

Broadband has given businesses new ways to get their brand message out into the world. From personal video to streaming live broadcasts of large scale events, the internet has made it necessary for companies to rethink how they reach consumers. The most effective marketing campaigns are the ones that incorporate Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and so on.

Old Spice is a good example of this principle. Their “Old Spice Man” campaign has been a huge hit. After the initial commercial became a viral hit, they engaged consumers further by recording and posting video responses to those who commented about the commercial in various social forums. You don’t necessarily need to go as far as Old Spice did, but it is a good example of what video can do for your brand. It has a much greater impact than just text on a page.

When working on a marketing campaign, consider adding video. It will add identity to your brand, and help consumers better connect with your company.