Much of digital marketing feels as though it’s obfuscated behind fancy terms or tools. But, the essentials of marketing remain. Build relationships, deliver great value, solve a problem your clients have and be able to articulate the same in your messaging and then your marketing will help your revenue grow.
How do you find your way through the forest of influence marketing, digital marketing, inbound marketing, relationship marketing, attraction marketing, affiliate marketing, guerrilla marketing and so on to arrive at the marketing that works best for you?
Likewise, how do you select tools to help you increase your reach and automate repetitive tasks so you can scale? There are very few all in one tools and those that are out there start in the five figures annually price range with long-term contracts required. How then, can a small business owner cobble together a coherent set of tools that don’t break the bank and deliver results?
I suggest that the answer lies in going back to the core of the issue and beginning with the end in mind. Sales are the ultimate yardstick of success in any marketing effort or tool usage. Does it go up or down and how much does it cost to affect that movement?
We use a system called the Digital Marketing Ecosystem to coordinate both our digital marketing efforts and that of our clients. It has three purposes — to drive visitors to our platforms, transform those visitors into leads, and then convert those leads into clients.
Any tools we use must further the success of the system at a price that doesn’t detract from creating a positive ROI. We aren’t constrained by the “type” of marketing, we focus on creating content that will help our prospects and make it easy for them to find and access. We try to understand their buying journey and when appropriate, be a part of their consideration.
We don’t process “numbers” through our system; we focus on individuals as we’re a professional service provider. Here then, is where it can become easy to run out of hours in the day. We use social media, blogs, organic search results, paid ads and so on to create visitors, but when they are moved to become leads, we get personally involved.
We need tools at this point that help us develop relationships with leads and influencers and the instruments we will have used thus far won’t carry us further.
Enter Nimble, the one tool to rule them all. Our other tools help us create leads, but Nimble helps us sell to our leads and track people through the entire cycle. We’re able to quickly add people to Nimble and just as rapidly develop a robust picture of who is or might become a lead and those that will influence other people to become leads.
It enables us to create a contact calendar to follow up with people and share that calendar across our team, which coordinates our efforts and eliminates duplication and wasted effort. Every interaction results in a more fully developed picture of the lead and we can be much more personalized in the way we communicate with them. We become more effective and actually save time.
We add lists of people from Twitter, import individuals from contacts in other social networks, add contacts by name, mine our autoresponder account for names and emails to enter the system based upon their measured interest and so on. Once we’ve entered somebody, Nimble seeks out their online presence and quickly allows us to craft a detail-rich picture which we use to determine interests, where they might be in a purchase decision and so on. This makes us exponentially better at closing sales!
Avoiding “shiny object syndrome” and maintaining focus on the end results are two essentials for marketing, especially for a small business with time and resource constraints. Ignore all the fancy terms and emphasize the basics. Create and deliver value that solves problems and use tools, which either help you do a better job or scale rapidly, or ideally both.
Michael Nelson “The Cogent Coach” helps small business owners grow their revenue while reducing the challenges of small business ownership through coaching and digital marketing consulting. He is also a Managing Partner in Centripetal Network Consulting, which delivers increased revenue and business valuation to customers globally via strategic digital marketing. You can reach Michael anytime via email.
Photo credit: My Precious by Sandis Kondrats