4 Questions Every Business Needs to Ask When It Comes to Marketing
Businesses are worried about securing new customers, and they’re unsure of what they should do to alleviate this concern.
The fact is that there is a multitude of different ways to bring customers through your doors. You should never have any problems finding a marketing method that will work for your business. There is no shortage of methods at your disposal.
No, if you’re having a problem with your marketing, it is because you’re going about it the wrong way. You’re probably not thinking about your marketing intelligently. More specifically, it’s safe to say that you are not asking the right questions.
There are certain things you need to account for when it comes to digital marketing. If you don’t, you’ll waste money, have underperforming campaigns, and the customers that you secure will be few and far between.
Your marketing needs to make sense. There are four questions that you need to answer.
What’s my budget?
This is the most important question. You won’t be able to decide on what marketing route to take until you answer it adequately—meaning that you need to know your budget approximately, down to the last penny that you can spend.
Generally speaking, the smaller the budget, the more cautious you need to be when you begin a marketing campaign. The larger the budget, the more room you have to explore new options. With a larger budget there is more flexibility.
According to Yodle’s Small Business Sentiment Survey (conducted in 2013), 38% of business spend between $1-$249 on marketing per month. 23% spend nothing, zero. Only 3% spend over $2000.
Unless you want to be in the clutches of the status quo, you need to rise above this mediocre budget range. Find out what you’re wasting money on, and redirect that money to your marketing budget. Real change means making big moves, and you can’t do that on a little league budget. We’re not saying that you should pool together a six-figure budget right out the gate, but the more the merrier. When you begin marketing seriously (as in having a detailed strategy), you will need more room to make mistakes.
Is my website performing optimally?
Website performance will be key to your strategy. There are a slew of questions that need to be answered:
- Is my design aesthetically pleasing?
- Is my site easy to navigate?
- Do I have clear call-to-actions?
- Do I have decent content on the site?
- Is my contact information clear and accessible?
- Does my site take too long to load?
- Is it optimized for mobile devices?
If you find yourself answering “no” to most of those questions, it is time to consider a total revamp of your web presence. You will need to invest some of that marketing budget into improving your website. If your website isn’t meeting basic contemporary standards, then you are guaranteeing the underperformance of your digital marketing campaign.
How am I going to secure traffic?
The real fun part is figuring out how you’re going to get visitors to come to your site. The solution will be unique to each business. There is no one-size-fits-all solution that we can prescribe. We can give you the options and the methods, but how you use them is up to you.
SEO, PPC, Social Media, Digital advertising (like banner and sidebar ads). They all work. How you use them, however, totally depends on your budget and what your goals are. This means that you shouldn’t be doing PPC if you only have the budget for SEO.
If you are unsure of what strategy to pursue, just choose one. Focus on the method you choose. Don’t try to juggle different marketing methods if you’ve never done them before, as you are bound to drop the ball.
How am I going to test my results?
According Yodle’s survey, 56% of small business owners don’t measure the results of their marketing. This is dangerous. If any money is being spent on marketing, everything has to be tracked.
Let’s make it simple for you. There are three things you need to know.
- The Source. Knowing where your leads come from.
- The Quantity. Knowing how many leads you received from a specific campaign.
- The Destination. Where your leads end up in your sales cycle or process. Did they buy your product? Sign up for your email newsletter? Did they simply bounce from your site?
You need to have some type of web analytics code on your website to track how many visitors come to your site. If you want to test, say, SEO, have a certain landing page where only your SEO visitors will visit. Do the same for any other marketing method that you use.
Have phone numbers that can be tracked. Only use specific phone numbers for certain campaigns. Don’t use the same phone number for every marketing channel you’re into; make sure your web visitors land on specific web pages or urls that correspond to different marketing campaigns.
Once you know what works, it is easy to multiply it. Once you start spending your budget on campaigns that work, marketing becomes much easier.
That is the endgame that you want to achieve. You want to test different methods and strategies until you find the winning home run that can consistently bring in new customers. The answers you have for these four questions will determine your success. Stop the dithering and the guesswork that is all-too-common with business owners, and start putting an effort into your marketing.