Imagine being dropped into an unknown wilderness in the middle of the night. No visible water or food. There are dangerous, feral animals lurking in the darkness. You, a stranger in a strange land, are powerless and confused. Could you survive?
Most likely not. You’d probably die of thirst and starvation, or maybe you’d get pummeled by an 800 pound silverback gorilla.
Not that I want to sound dramatic or anything, but the modern marketing terrain is a wilderness. It’s a terrifying terrain where, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you will get eaten alive. Not being able to market your business capably and efficiently can kill the potential success. And sure, it’s great having an awesome product, a loyal and knowledgeable staff, a healthy amount of capital, and great customer service, but without consistent sales growth, your revenue will wither like a dry plant in the sun.
You need to know how to navigate the marketing terrain—how to get new customers, and how to integrate them into your sales cycle. Otherwise you’re wasting time.
Most marketers are confused
If you’re a business owner, you probably know that consistent sales are essential to growing your business. Many people who are reading this are probably unsure of how to go about getting those sales. Thing is, there are loads of ways to get sales. And you’ve probably heard of them all by now:
- Social Media
- Content Marketing
- Media Buys
And really, this list can go on and on. The sheer amount of possibilities and the deep range of choices present a peculiar dilemma: business owners are confused. They hear the endless of proclamations of how all of these methods and techniques will generate new business, and they become mystified. They dip their fingers into all these different baskets (SEO, Social Media, etc.), but come up empty-handed. Now, I’m not saying that digital marketing doesn’t work—on the contrary, it works terrifically—but not having a command of your marketing will cause your budget to be devoured, your time to be sapped, and sales growth to stagnate. There are 5 very important things you need to know before starting your digital marketing campaign.
- Know your customer. Before you spend a dime on marketing, you need to ask yourself, “Who is my average customer? What are his/her interests? Why does this person need my product? Do I even want this person as a customer?” Though simple as it may seem, these questions are criminally overlooked by most business owners. They may have a vague idea of who their average customer is, but any knowledge they have is merely subliminal—they are not conscious of their buyers’ profile. Not knowing the average customer profile is like playing darts in the dark, because you can’t hit your target if you don’t know where (or what) it is. You have to start noticing who goes through your doors/to your website, what kind of products they buy, etc. Interact with them. Take down any of their information that is relevant to your research. Ask them why they need your service. Without doing this, it is extremely hard to tailor an effective marketing scheme for your business.
- Know what you are going to sell. This goes hand-in-hand with the first point. Having a complete, accurate vision of what your customer wants allows you to build (or simply select, if it has already been created) an optimized product. This optimized product is tailor-made to the desires or needs of your customer.
- Know your budget and resources. Get acquainted with the limits of your budget and other resources (manpower, time, etc.). Arrive at an exact number and stick with it. If you want to do, say, pay-per-click, but you run out of money at the midway point of the campaign, then you need to mold your marketing strategy around your budget.
- Know how you’re going to find customers. This is the most fun, but yet most dangerous, part. There is absolutely no need to make this complicated. If you know your customer, the product, and the budget you are halfway there. Your budget will tell you what you can and can’t do. Figure out what’s best for your budget. In your case, it could be SEO and viral social media marketing. In another case, it could be media buys and pay-per-click. Maybe your budget can allow you to do all of these methods. All of the methods have their merits (though some are better than others). This article isn’t designed to sway you to use SEO over pay-per-click or vice-versa (there are thousands of articles on the internet for that); rather, we want to ignite your thinking. Focus on effectively hitting the right demographics and pull them your doorstep or your landing page.
- Know how you’re going to sell them. And here, it comes back full-circle. Once you get the potential client past that threshold, hook them in so that they stay a while. Your marketing message and sales copy has to hit them in the sweet spot. They have to “feel” a need to purchase your product or service. This brings us back to point 1: Know your customer. Tailor your copy (whether in the form of a sales letter, video, audio or whatever), to what you know they want. If you’re selling guitars to young twenty-somethings who are attached to the lofty dream of being bona fide rockstars, you need to connect with them on a personal, and almost emotional, level. Don’t just list the features and slap a price on it, tell them how your guitars will enable them to start realizing their dream.
We hope this blog post gave you an introduction into the power of a planned, targeted digital marketing strategy. Before embarking on an ambitious marketing campaign, you need to know what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do. Otherwise, you’ll just be a guy trapped in a scary wilderness with no food to eat or water to drink. Don’t be that guy.