Wishing your phone would ring?
As a business owner myself, I am often (almost daily) informed about some new way to advertise my business or some new online tool that is going to revolutionize my business. These tools could be super useful, and the advertising method may attract attention and maybe even clients.
However, the reality is often that the new advertising method or tool doesn’t result in new clients, and business owners like us are left feeling like we threw our money away.
Here are a few questions every business owner should be asking themselves when it comes to their advertising and marketing opportunities:
- If I’m attracting attention, what do I have in place to make sure it’s the right kind of attention?
- Do I have tools working for me that ensure I achieve the maximum benefit of the attention I get?
- The buying cycle is about the client’s decision-making process, so how am I helping the clients inform their process and move them closer towards trusting my business?
- If I’m getting attention, and maybe even phone calls and opportunities to create clients from the attention, am I properly positioned to do so? Can I handle the work?
This is where the advertisers and marketers calling you with a new way to market run into trouble. They tell you about all the reach you are going to get because you bought into the advertising opportunity. What they don’t do is help you make sure you are set up to create and receive clients from your advertising and marketing efforts.
Back to Basics
Before developing a marketing strategy complete with tactics, a business must consider some basic business and marketing plan essentials. Think about these elements of your business:
- Who or what is my business?
- What do we do? Why or how are we better than the competition?
- Who are my clients?
- What problem do we solve for clients?
- Where do my clients come from? How do I find them?
- Who is my favourite client? Where did I find them?
- Who are my competitors? Who do my favourite clients think are my competitors? Who does google say my competitors are?
- If I receive more phone calls or sell more products, can I handle that? Do I have a growth strategy?
- What’s the true lifetime value of a client? How do I know if my marketing dollars made a return?
- Does my pricing structure support the cost of growth?
It’s only after we back up a little and ensure that these essentials have been considered that we can write a marketing plan that includes a social media and digital marketing strategy for your business.
The Magic Potion of Digital Marketing
Anyone can post an ad on Google or Facebook; the tools are relatively easy to use. You can push out the message easily, just like running a radio ad. Yes, people will hear about you for sure. They may even mention the ad if they become a client. But what they don’t share is the journey they took to decide to become your client and that it wasn’t the ad itself that led them to their decision. Just like the radio.
An ad without a strategy does not create a client. It may help people know your business name. But that’s about all it does.
Your digital strategy itself must include a plan for nurturing your perfect client along through the buying cycle of your business, whether the buying cycle is a 15 minute, an 8 week, or even a 1-year cycle. This part of the strategy is the magic potion of a digital marketing and simply running an ad or putting up a website will not help you with this.
At Stone City Digital Inc., this magic potion is our differentiator. Our unique 4 stage marketing process, takes our clients back to the essentials, creates clarity around your brand and your product and builds a wholistic strategy to connect you with your perfect clients at every stage of the buying decision. This magic potion recipe is different for every business, and we are committed to discovering yours with you.
The Client Journey
When you’ve got the ingredients right, a great nurture sequence, and you are reaching people who are exactly like your perfect clients, the client journey goes a little like this:
Stage 1: Initial contact
The potential client heard the radio ad, received a piece of direct mail, saw an ad online while reading their morning news, or even saw a billboard ad they pass by every day. Soon after, they looked up your business on Google, by name. Maybe they even went to your website to check out your brand and your pricing. Perhaps they noticed your Google reviews. Two were 5–star reviews but there was a 2-star review there too. Finally, they also checked out your competitors, by searching for your keywords on google and decided to hold off a bit, they couldn’t decide on following through.
Stage 2: Reminder but no need and no follow through
A few weeks later an ad popped up on Facebook and caught their attention. They took no action, it wasn’t the right time. A few days later, while on YouTube, a quick 6 second commercial popped up while they were watching a funny video AND their favourite vlog. They hit “skip ad” and kept watching their video. Still no action.
Stage 3: The need arises
The need for your product or service truly arises, and the potential client realizes they shouldn’t delay the purchase anymore, so they return to your website either searching your business name or typing in your keyword. You’re #3 on a list of 10 or 11, but they know your brand so they click yours first.
When they land on your website they notice an article titled “10 Questions you don’t know you should ask us before you buy from us.” They have to add their email address to read the whole thing but you’ve peaked their interest, they give you their email address and go ahead and read. They visit your competitors sites too, but they don’t have an article and your prospective client is out of time today… they’ll finish this later.
In the meanwhile they get an email thanking them for being well informed customers and provides a few details that weren’t in the article or listed on the website. The email also asks them a few questions about what they might be most interested in or if they have any more questions… From here they are treated to a scheduled group of emails based on their answers to the questions in their first e-mail Every contact with them being meaningful and helpful, never pushy. From time to time a coupon for extreme savings is included but mostly it’s great information.
Stage 4: It’s time to buy
Finally, the time has come. The prospective client awakes in the morning and knows they must finally buy your product or service and they remember that they have a coupon in their e-mail in box, they didn’t delete it. They decide they’ll reach out to you to complete the purchase with you today. Your phone rings and your sales team does everything right. When your team asks “how did you find out about us?” they answer, “from Google”.
Stage 5: After the sale
The sale is finalized and in true professional form, your new client gets a welcome message and enters into an email sequence written to ensure that your client feels welcome and confident in the quality of their purchase. What’s more, your post sale e-mails confirm that once they buy they are still important to you. So, when they need to buy again, they’ll buy with you.
Connecting with your perfect client
Great marketing is more than running an ad or posting on social media. It’s a process of meeting your perfect client before they need you and then being available to them at every stage of the journey. The results are indisputable. You know your marketing works, when your perfect clients are coming to you first because they already trust you before they’re ready to buy.
There’s no silver bullet to any marketing. Yes, we use tactics and some commonly used tools that anyone else can use. However, Stone City Digital Inc. critically addresses the essential questions listed above by ensuring that you have a marketing and digital marketing strategy that includes a plan for nurturing your perfect client through the entire buying cycle of your business.
The next time you consider an advertising opportunity, ask yourself, “Is this tactic going to bring me my perfect client and get them into my buying cycle so I can nurture my relationship with them? “
If your answer is “no” or even “I don’t know,” call us. We can help.