Most businesses want more profit, and many equate more profit with acquiring new customers.
New customers are important to every business, as there will inevitably be customer churn caused by factors outside your control. Customer acquisition strategies are likely to include a mixture of brand recognition, referral systems, paid advertising, marketing, and one to one selling.
Many business owners think marketing and sales are the same thing – they are not. The purpose of marketing is lead generation. The function of sales is lead conversion.
Strategic marketing starts with the answers to four questions:
- Who do we want to attract (ideal customer/target market)?
- Why would they choose us (competitive advantage)?
- Where will we find them (hunting ground)?
- What is the offer (bait)?
Traditional marketing media includes print, TV, and radio – all relatively expensive and used mainly by larger businesses. The internet opens up marketing for SMEs via websites, social media, SEO, and ad words.
Many business owners dabble with digital marketing, but let’s face it – most of us are experts at the technical work of our core business service – and we suck at digital marketing. Digital marking is like going to the gym – you can’t just do it once to get results!
Digital marketing is time consuming, ongoing, and requires expertise, so it is not cheap. Since digital marketing costs money measuring Return On Investment (ROI) is important. If ROI is positive it’s an investment if ROI is negative it’s a cost.
John Wanamaker (1838-1922) famously said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”. This was a traditional advertising problem, and conversely, one of the opportunities digital marketing offers, as its effectiveness can be accurately tracked and measured.
As part of Q2’s organisational review process, we challenge businesses to decide which business functions they should outsource. The areas that many SMEs outsource (at least in part) include IT, HR, Financial/Legal, and Marketing.
Although marketing can be outsourced, as business owners we must still address the strategic questions of who we want to attract and be able to articulate our competitive advantage. The digital marketer can then assist with tactics to find and attract our target market.
Q2 and Harper Digital are hosting a free breakfast Digital Marketing seminar, along with strategic thinking and financial intelligence, can be used to dramatically improve business profitability.
Click here to register as places at this digital marketing seminar are limited.