Your marketing strategy may need a refresh more than you realize. It’s easy to fall into the habit of using the same techniques that worked in the past. However, technology changes rapidly. What worked yesterday may not work as well today.
SEO is still the king of online promotions. Recent reports indicate 93% of online experiences start with a search engine. If your marketing strategy doesn’t consider SEO, you’re already behind the game. Hopefully, you already embraced methods in the past that bring you easily into the current game.
Although old strategies such as excellent SEO still work, others don’t. Embrace trends as they come along and see what pans out for your brand. For example, old strategies might bring in more sales or leads, but if you keep doing the same thing the same way, you’ll never benefit from the new possibilities.
Here are some of the components of your marketing strategy you should audit. See what isn’t working for you and find ways of tweaking those areas for more successful results.
#1. Embrace New Market Research Capabilities
Humans are creatures of habit. Your marketing department may have always used a particular third-party website or software to track the market. However, new tools arrive regularly and each has its pros and cons.
When you come across a new market research tool, try it out. Nearly every software provider offers a free trial period. Go ahead and see what results you get from the new provider. You might find a combination of tools or a different option works best to bring you new, highly qualified leads.
#2. Revamp Your Sales Process
You can send traffic to your website in droves, but if your sales process isn’t on point, you’re going to miss out on most of those new opportunities. Spend time looking at your online and offline sales processes and identify any weaknesses.
Missing out on sales can cost your company millions over the years. For example, if your average client spends $200 per month and your sales staff loses one sale per week just 46 weeks out of the year, you’ll lose $2.7 million over a five-year period.
Fortunately, some simple tweaks ensure you lose far fewer leads and gain more sales. Train your staff regularly to identify the pain points of potential clients and solve them. The better trained your sales staff, the more benefits you’ll see from your marketing efforts.
#3. Improve Buyer Personas
If you find a lot of people bounce away from your site after landing on your page, you may have an issue with targeting the right people. Improving your buyer personas can help you reach only those clients most closely aligned with what you offer.
Start by gathering demographics on your current customers. What is the gender, age, occupation and other factors? Next, think through the psychographics of your customers. What drives them to seek your product or services as a solution? What are the emotions behind their search?
You should also pull in surveys from outside firms, look at your competitors and who their customers are. Do some business mapping to see where your clients live. Once you have all the details, create new buyer personas so you can target your audience more effectively.
Think about where your customers hang out online and offline and seek new marketing methods reaching them where they spend the most time. You’ll need to tap into some psychology to figure out where to reach your audience.
#4. Reposition Your Brand
How do others see your brand? You might have an idea of what you’d like customers to think about you, but the reality may not match. Pay attention to online reviews on third-party sites. What do people say about you on Google or Facebook?
Make notes on anything you don’t like and address those points in your marketing efforts. How can you create a tagline to show you have excellent customer service, for example? Is your UVP different from a competitor’s?
You should also dig a bit deeper into the workings of your company. If you market a great customer experience (CX), then you better offer the best service around or people will feel disappointment with the end result.
#5. Target Mobile Users
Approximately 4.72 billion people use the internet, and 92.8% of them use their mobile devices to connect sometimes. With 5G becoming more commonplace and the new capabilities of smartphones, expect the number of users solely connecting via mobile to increase.
Your marketing strategy should include mobile-only users. Embrace the search for the perfect app, push notifications and SMS marketing. Most people keep their phones on them 24/7, so sending a quick text might garner more activity than sending an email or posting on social media.
Make sure your website and messages adapt well to a smaller screen. How can you make it easy for potential leads to sign up for a newsletter or contact you via their phones? A single tap is the best method for mobile users.
#6. Study Market Metrics
If you don’t keep a handle on market metrics, your marketing strategy will fall behind the curve. For example, you should invest in customer relationship management (CRM) software. CRM capabilities can track how well each type of campaign works with your client base, and how individual customers respond.
You can also pull reports about past purchases to see what new items might interest specific customers. If someone hasn’t ordered in a while, send them a follow-up note or a special offer to get them interested again.
#7. Make the Old New
Marketing isn’t only about selling your products and services online or going on social media. Offline marketing still has a time and a place, especially if you offer local services or want to reach your community.
Some of the old tactics you might have tried include door hangers, booths at local craft fairs and ads in the newspaper. Look for ways to make those old efforts fresh and modern.
For example, can you add QR code to your newspaper ad? The code could take the user to a website with a downloadable coupon for a special offer. Or, pass out promotional items at the local craft fair to keep the name of your business in the front of users’ minds. Even door hangers take on a new impact when you make them three-dimensional and include links to your social media pages.
#8. Segment Your Audience
According to Statista, 306 billion emails went back and forth last year. The number is expected to grow to 376 billion daily emails by 2025. You probably already have a mailing list and send out the occasional announcement or newsletter, but how much more effective could you make your marketing attempts by personalizing those messages?
Take the time to segment your audience into groups. You may have to try different methods until you find the ones working best for your business. Once segmented, you can send them special offers, announcements about new products or tips on how to use items already purchased.
Personalize the emails with a first name and a thank you for a specific item they’ve ordered. You can tap into your CRM software to figure out which groups to place each customer into. You can have an unlimited number of segments to your audience.
#9. Influence the Internet
Have you tried using influencers to spread the word about your business? You may have used some big names in your industry, but you can also expand your reach with micro influencers who might have smaller, but more specific followings.
You don’t have to throw the baby out with the water to be successful with influencer marketing. Look at what worked in the past and use similar campaigns. Just conduct them with various people so you aren’t reaching the same users each time.
Ideally, you’ll work with a number of different social media gurus and pull in different types of customers from each attempt. Pay attention to which influencers have highly engaged audiences. Are their followers commenting, sharing and buying the things they recommend?
#10. Automate Your Efforts
Spend time auditing your marketing efforts. Look for areas where you repeat efforts, such as social media posts. How can you automate the work you do to save time and effort? When you automate one thing, you free up time for more creative endeavors.
Schedule posts ahead of time through sites such as Hootsuite, Buffer and Tailwind. You may want to hire out for grunt work. You can also tap into user generated content and encourage your customers to share info about your brand. This saves you time and money. Reward your customers with freebies or a discount.
Get your entire team on a project management platform so efforts aren’t needlessly repeated. The more streamlined your marketing efforts, the more impact they’ll have.
What Isn’t Working in Your Marketing?
Take a brutal look at what is and isn’t working for you. Just because you like a specific advertising or marketing platform doesn’t mean the return on investment is worth the effort. Make a list showing actual hard numbers.
If something doesn’t have a good rate of return, put it on the backburner. You can always pick it back up again if needed. However, letting go of what isn’t working, frees you up to try new techniques that might help your business grow.
About the Author!
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.