Without making a political statement on why Alberta (and the entire world for that matter) is in a down economy, Wingman wants to focus on the “what your business can do about it” – particularly B2B businesses. Every business needs to maximize their marketing in a down economy.
Although reducing marketing spend might seem like a sound business decision in the short-term, the very last thing you should do in a recession or down economy is to pull back your marketing. If your customers aren’t spending as much with you today than they were yesterday – and then you turn off the marketing tap – the spiraling trend could actually grow much worse tomorrow. Instead, you need to learn to do more with less (which is a good practice even in an up economy).
Wingman has collected five tips on how your business can do more with less:
1. Your Website Should Be an Always-On Lead Generation Portal
Your website is the most public face of your company. More people will visit your website than visit your offices, view your literature, or talk to your salespeople. Make the most of this marketing channel by transforming your website so lead generation is clear and is your website’s most important role. You can do this by becoming the go-to subject matter expert and conveyor of relevant timely content. This content should speak to the needs of your customers and in turn provide the solution they are seeking. Content is a great way to be budget friendly in maximizing your marketing in a down economy.
Your Contact Us page and footer details are a good start, but for those wanting to convert browsing to buying, you have so much more real estate to use. You can really turn your website into a lead generation machine by showcasing a variety of relevant offers – each tailored to the needs of your target audience. You can do this with focused offer language on several of your website pages, such as links, buttons, and pop-overs to:
- “Subscribe” and the benefits therein
- “Register” for a webinar, local event or in-person seminar
- “Request” a quote or purchase online
- “Online Chat” or better yet, a person-to-person phone call. Ensure your business phone number is present on every page.
- “Order” free samples or free white paper
- “Upgrade” to premium content
2. Use Search Engines to Your Advantage – Both Optimization and Paid Marketing
You have a fabulous product or service. Your website has been turned into a lead generation machine. So what? If no one knows it exists, you might as well not be in business, because no one is aware of your existence. If you are not focusing on search engine optimizing (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), your company is invisible online. It needs to be found via all online search bots.
Proper optimization can help your website rise dramatically in organic rankings and findability in mere months. Search engine marketing is extremely important because more than 80% of consumers begin at a search engine like Google when researching products and services online. SEM is a paid method to ensure your ranking is in the first pages of a search. Prospects who find your website through search engines are actively looking for information on your products and will be motivated to take action when they land on your website. With SEM, you only pay when a qualified prospect clicks on your ad and visits your website.
3. Reminder: Marketing Is an Investment, Not Discretionary Spending
If your business thinks of marketing as an expense, you will likely never be satisfied – let alone excited – with the results you’ve had to date. If you see it as an expense, it is possible that you’re doing the marketing incorrectly. This will make it especially tough to put the expense and effort into maximizing your marketing in a down economy.
Marketing should always result in measurable returns, in the form of qualified leads and trackable sales. Every tactic should have attribution methods and should be evaluated for its return on investment and cost of acquisition. Prior to launching any campaign, the attribution model and ROI calculations must be established. Think of it as working backwards from the desired results, to how you are going to meet those results. It’s like using GPS to get directions; you need a clear start and end point to navigate safely.
If you’re not measuring marketing ROI, it’s time to start – and it’s not as hard as you think. By simply adding an analytics tool onto your website, you can track who visited your site, for how long, what pages they viewed, and where they went next. Use this info to find the most valuable visitors to your business and then seek out more.
Use phone numbers that are ONLY in your marketing and use unique landing pages, splash pages or microsites for your outbound marketing call to action (CTA) URLs. These unique CTAs allow you to track the inbound leads from your outbound tactics.
And the simplest way of determining where your leads are coming from is to ASK THEM! “How did you hear about us?” is not only a great insight into which marketing tactics are working, but discerns what problem your product or service is solving.
4. Cut Marketing Tactics That Aren’t Working
If you have implemented attribution tracking properly in all your tactics, you should be able to tell which ones are working and which are not. Now that you know what is working, STOP doing the things that are not.
Cut all marginal investments that are not producing a return, or have a cost of acquisition higher than your profit-point. You can re-invest this saved investment and use it elsewhere in your organization, or double down on the marketing tactics that are working. There has been a strong swing away from traditional tactics such as direct mail. If everyone else is pulling away from this tactic, that means this space has less “noise” and your message can be heard more easily.
5. Throw Some Love (Lots of Love) at Your Existing Clients
Your existing clients started partnering with you for a reason. Re-emphasize that reason. Add value to it. Strengthen your relationships with these folks. Make sure they see that they are a valued partner and that you understand their needs. Does your business have other products or services these existing clients can benefit from? Do they simply need guidance though personal coaching, or e-newsletters with actual news they can use (not product catalogs)? If approached correctly, your e-newsletter could be a valuable relationship builder for your company and clients.
All of the above ideas are really smart to maximize your marketing in a down economy as well as good times. WMDM offers our marketing services (remotely) to you during these difficult times – you can contact a Wingman here. Market safe, everyone.