What’s Happening Today? Where are marketers spending budgets? Marketers are investing more in online tactics (14% increase) than traditional methods (3% increase) Less expensive Easier to measure ROI
Online Spending Focus Spending more on online tactics including: Social networking Emailing PPC
Some Recovery More budget cuts seen earlier in 2009 with some starting to see budget increases now Marketing budget reductions are getting smaller Fewer respondents were planning cuts greater than 20% More marketers said they anticipated lesser cuts, especially reductions of 1% to 5% Source: eMarketer Inc., www.emarketer.com
When Will Things Improve? Most marketers – in small and large businesses – look at first half of 2010 as the year the recession begins fading away and we see significant growth Based on history, average length of a recession is 8 - 16 months
Recommended Focus Mix of online marketing and traditional tactics: Online/Inbound marketing Website SEO Blogging Social networking Nurture marketing Referral marketing (referral sources and existing customers)
Online/Inbound Marketing Inbound marketing defined – attracting people to your business Focus on your website SEO Blog Social networking Content is key
Inbound Marketing “Inbound” marketing (using the web to help drive qualified prospects) can be much more cost effective Attracting prospects who are interested in your products/services, offers/content, and company Higher number of leads are going to be qualified because they are seeking you out Average cost-per-lead is significantly less than what it would cost for leads generated through traditional outbound marketing techniques
Website Content: Content on website consumed differently than on paper: 79% of users scan the page instead of reading word-for-word Reading from computer screens is 25% slower than from paper Web content should have 50% of the word count of its paper equivalent Clear, concise, easy to view—and repeated in several ways, on several pages—and easily searched Put yourself in shoes of the visitor - Include content that your visitors are interested in Offers and Calls to action: Have compelling offers (white papers, events, podcasts, case studies, articles, demos, etc.) Use Action Words - “Learn more.” “Find out why.” “Buy.” “Contact Us.” Visitors appreciate it when you clearly tell them what to do. And why. For example, “Click here to get your free six-step guide to hiring your next IT consultant.”
Website Landing pages: Build dedicated landing pages Don’t send prospects to your home page – make it easy for visitors to obtain information Dedicated web landing pages can nearly double the conversion rates of potential prospects responding to your marketing programs and offers Benchmark: Website Grader (www.websitegrader.com) that measures and scores the marketing effectiveness of a website Looks at website traffic, SEO, social popularity and other technical factors and provides some basic advice on how you can improve your website from a marketing perspective
Search Engine Optimization Optimizing your site so search engines can find you SEO is one of the least expensive forms of marketing with strong ROI According to a Gartner and Forbes study, 86% of C-level executives use search engines to find information on products and services According to HubSpot: 25% of SEO is on the actual pages of site (content, titles, headers, keywords) 75% of SEO is off page – outside of your site (how people are finding you)
Search Engine Optimization On page – Building a foundation Page text, Page titles, URL, Tags - Check out the Microsoft Partner Network - Marketing Pointers https://partner.microsoft.com/US/salesmarketingsection/smcampaigns/rtgpointers Keywords - finding the best keywords through research tools www.goodkeywords.com www.wordtracker.com Google keyword tool -https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal Off page – Links that point to site and search engines pick up The more incoming links, the higher your page will rank You can easily pull up a list of sites that link to yours. In Google's search box, simply type Link:yoursitename Get the links by creating great content through blogging, podcasts, videos, press releases, etc.
Why Blog? In Google, Fresher Content = Better WebsiteSites that get crawled more often have more frequent updates and more authority. Blogging consistently ensures there will be fresh content on your site. Every Blog Article is an SEO Opportunity - You can’t realistically optimize your site for every search term, but you can certainly write blog posts targeting niche keyword phrases that are likely to draw highly qualified prospects. Blogs Are Link Bait – Blogging can be powerful from a linking standpoint. People welcome linking in blogs so more links back to your site, means better search engine rankings. Gain Visibility as a Thought Leader - demonstration of your thought leadership, and professional insights. Source: HubSpot - http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/1676/6-Reasons-Every-Small-Business-Should-Be-Blogging Are-You-Missing-the-Boat.aspx
Getting Started with Blogs Search out and begin commenting on other people’s blogs: Search for relevant Blogs Blogsearch.Google.com Technorati.com Icerocket.com Commenting Share an example Add a point Add a useful link Disagree Ask a question
Company Blogging Writing – Topic Ideas List of 5 ideas, trends or thoughts Publish a list of links Take a recent experience and share it Answer questions you received recently Turn a press release into a blog article Just starting out? Here is a list of free links in blog directories that you can get for your blog with no-reciprocal link requirement: www.blogarama.com www.globeofblogs.com www.bloggapedia.com www.blogflux.com www.superblogdirectory.com www.bloggernity.com www.bloggio.com Monitor and measure your own blog – www.blogpulse.com Helps analyze and report on the daily activity of your blog Who’s responding and linking to blog Trends in blog activity What blogs are similar to yours
Social Networking Social networking involves 2-way communication and the conversation Social media is a platform that gives businesses a chance to establish a more personal relationship with existing and potential customers Forrester Research study showed 92% of B2B technology buyers consider themselves engaging in some form of social media
How Marketer’s View Social Media Do you agree or disagree that Social Media will… Compliment other tactics Standard tactic Budget for it
Social Networking Getting started: Check out www.searchwiki.com – seek out social networking sites Get an account set-up and build profiles LinkedIn Face Book Twitter Look for Q&A and Discussions to participate in
Nurture Marketing Defined Terminology: Drip marketing Relationship marketing Defined: Initiating a conversation with prospects and customers over period of time Growing relationships by sending unique and valued messages to prospects and customers on a regular basis Leave a positive imprint in theirmind until they're ready to buy!
Why is Nurturing Important? Longer sales cycles, increased competition, ever-changing business climate – need to be there when they are ready to buy Forget about the one-off effort! According to the Direct Marketing Association, a prospect will need to see/hear your message 3 times to recognize you and a minimum of 9 times to make a sale Nurture marketing process leads to: Better qualified leads Higher close ratios Stronger sales pipeline Shorter-than-average sales cycles
Planning Creating consistency Messaging based on who targeting Value-based offers Setting the rhythm: Plan should include: Target List Messaging and Content Frequency and Execution Measurement
Target List Understand and profile who you want to nurture: What makes up a good customer for your company? What are the characteristics? Industry focus, company size, geography, revenue, etc. What problems does my prospect need to overcome each day? What is the prospect’s top priority right now? Build a list of Prospects, Leads, Customers Prospect = no formal communication or has not responded to your company in the past Lead = Prospective customer who has responded to your communication in past and/or is someone in pipeline Customer = existing or former customers who have done business with your company
Segmenting the List Segment your list into A, B and C prospects and customers Deliver communication and offers applicable to each
Message Creation Know your audience and ask yourself How can we build credibility? How can we show that our products/services will help them achieve goals? How can we differentiate ourselves? How can we become a trusted advisor/expert to prospects and customers? Integrate “pains” messaging: Getting More Organized to Save Time and Money: Do more with reduced time, people, and finances; improve teamwork and collaboration; and stay connected to the business while away from the office. Managing Cash Flow: Make your finance, operations, and other business processes more efficient. Gain better insight into what drives revenues and expenses, so you can improve your financial position and make more informed decisions about where to best invest resources. Finding and Retaining Customers: Find customers more cost-effectively, close deals faster, and improve customer satisfaction. Reducing IT Costs and Risks: Stay focused on running the business—not wasting time and money dealing with network disruptions or fighting fires.
Delivering the Message We all consume media differently Email, telemarketing, direct mail Need to stand-out Use a common theme to break through the clutter and get your message across Choose a theme that’s: Fun Topical Engaging Memorable!
Executing the Plan Execution includes: Following a plan Resources and funding to keep momentum Multiple tactics (direct mail, email, phone) Multiple offers to move your audience along in the sales cycle
Prospect Nurturing Schedule Setting the rhythm…move prospects along
Monitor and Analyze Monitor and analyze Track each phase of plan and response – can’t improve what you don’t measure! # of responses and qualified leads # of closes Number of downloads by offer Number of appointments made Track your web traffic Measure ROI Be flexible and make changes as necessary Ensure continued support and funding to continue nurturing
Scenario Does this sound familiar? "Two business owners meet at a networking event. Their businesses compliment each other so they touch base after the event and they talk about how they could refer business to one another. But, after they put the phone down, they never talk again."
Feedback What are you doing from a referral perspective? Do you get referrals? Do you provide referrals? Informal? Formal program?
Importance of Referrals The act of being referred is a validation of your value and credibility Potential customer has already been pre-sold Have a high return-on-investment – small efforts that don’t cost a lot of $$ Generate high quality customers and business for the company Referrals allow you work with people you like and perform services that you enjoy
Referral Sources Concept is pretty simple – “People will do business with, and refer business to, those they know, like and trust” So, why don’t we do it more? Good referral sources are also elusive and can be hard to define/identify No plan or strategy to get referrals
Why Don’t We Get More Referrals? What hurts our ability to get referrals? Referral source is not educated on our products/services Thinks you may be too busy Questions your ability to deliver Does not feel comfortable putting his/her reputation on the line Referral source is unsure of what he/she will get out of it Don’t actively seek and communicate with referral sources – no consistency
Possible Referral Sources Customers and their contacts Vendors Partners Industry association leaders/members Centers of Influence CPA’s Bankers Consultants
Getting Started Develop list of key referral sources – start small Develop plan and calendar to make regular contact Set yourself apart – what makes you different, focus on messaging, offers and theme
Ongoing Communication “Out of sight means out of mind”
Topical articles Reprints Letters Thank you notes
Personal, one-on-one meetings Seminars Receptions, dinners, events Association activities
Online marketing – make greater investment and try new tactics
Tune-up your website and SEO Subscribe to top blogs and follow Produce and publish content Get Social Traditional marketing – focus on nurture and referral marketing
Track and measure – make sure your marketing $$ are working for you
Looking Glass Marketing Marketing consulting group focused on helping small to mid-market companies grow their business through effective marketing strategies. Services include: Marketing planning and budgeting Campaign development and execution Outsourced marketing management Direct marketing Collateral creation Telemarketing Newsletters Success stories Website development and strategy Event planning Press releases Contact Jennifer Culbertson firstname.lastname@example.org 614-453-5927 www.lookingglassmarketing.com 44