Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Electronic Word-of-Mouth

Customers often use social media channels when purchasing products or services. Social media channels including Facebook, Amazon, and Yelp are greater influences than electronic word-of-mouth communication on business websites and testimonials. Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) has a significant influence on the success of your business, and has become a major factor in customer decision-making processes.

The main contrast between traditional word-of-mouth and eWOM is that eWOM has a greater reach and accelerated interaction. Considering the simplicity of accessing eWOM reviews, your business should progressively seek to analyze related factors and outcomes influencing eWOM. Electronic word-of-mouth goes far beyond traditional word-of-mouth to include online communication and networking through social forums, review sites, and news sites. Therefore, your sales are highly dependent on eWOM influences. Moreover, eWOM affects the trust and perception of your business, and the products you offer. When there is a large number of positive eWOM referrals, sales and business profits are likely to increase.

Cost Per Click

Google’s Ad Rank program is designed to help you display the most relevant ad content to your customers and to provide an equal system that benefits both the customer and your business. The Ad Rank system is controlled by your ad quality, which is determined by the websites click through rate (CTR) and ad relevance to landing page content and keywords used. Ad Rank works by helping customers gain satisfaction through seeing more relevant ads to their keyword, and you get to show more relevant ads for your product or service so that you attract the right customer group. The result is that your business gains satisfied and relevant customers. Additionally, Ad Rank is used to determine where (and if) your ads appear and how much you pay each time a user clicks on your ad. The ranking system is created using a mathematical formula that decides which ads appear within the top positions of Google’s AdWords.

A cost-per-click (CPC) is the amount you choose or agree to pay each time a potential customer clicks on your Google ad in AdWords. A Quality Score is a numerical estimate based on the overall combined quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. The formula used to create your Ad Rank is: Ad Rank = Max CPC x Quality Score.

Example Case Study. Mike’s Biscuits (MB) has a current quality score of 3 for the keyword “Dog Biscuits.” To find the Ad Rank position, MB can calculate the Max CPC ($4) by the Quality Score (3), and the result equals 12. If MB raises its quality score to at least a 7, the company could easily lower its CPC to $2 and end with an overall rank of 14. With a higher quality score, MB can pay half the cost and rank higher than with its lower quality score of 3 and budget of $4. To raise its Ad Rank position, MB should focus on raising its quality score by increasing its click-through-rate (CTR), keyword relevancy to users’ search query’s, and by creating an optimized landing page that holds original relevant content. The higher the quality score, the lower the CPC. Ultimately, the Google quality score system allows for the prevention of advertisers to pay their way to the top of the search results within Google’s search engine. With this system, the higher quality score will save the advertiser money, create better placement, and increase the business’s revenue.

Website Marketing

While social media sites are great for blogging and news updates, you should also include the blog text and updates on your business website so that it creates more content and attracts attention from search engines. By utilizing blogs and newsgroups to attract website visitors, you can create an effective strategy which will help gain and increase website click-through rates and the length of time users spend on your website. This could ultimately help with increasing search engine credibility and domain authority. In addition, including keywords and descriptions in image ALT tags on your website will create an extremely effective strategy that is not only beneficial for improving content search results but will also boost your rank in image search directories.

You should additionally include an easy bookmark feature on your website. By including a bookmark widget, you can gain customer loyalty and rank better with search engines that index bookmark websites such as Del.icio.us and Google bookmarks.

To create a strategy that will encourage customer interactivity, you can also setup email marketing and newsletter campaigns along with creating polls and surveys to gain customer feedback and help enhance the experience of your customers. Newsletters could include information on upcoming specials, events, and changes in the business that could benefit the customer.

Links for allowing customers to opt out of receiving emails and referring a friend for discounts should also be included in each newsletter. Your business can benefit by tracking the results of email campaigns using newsletter and website tracking tools such as Google Analytics. By viewing monthly reports, you will be able to see which keywords, content, and paid campaigns are most effective. In addition, it will allow for you to see where visitors come from, how long they visit a certain web page, the last page they viewed before leaving your website, and how your stats compare to the industry benchmarks.

Customer Persona

In advertising, there are four user personas identified as competitive, spontaneous, humanistic, and methodical. The goal of a marketing campaign is to develop strategies for each persona, or to retain your preferred user persona and market toward only that group. Individuals within groups react differently to campaigns. Consequently, you should develop your campaigns to attract your desired customers using various strategies which include specific elements:

  • Competitive – logical, quick (fast)
  • Spontaneous – emotional, quick
  • Methodical – deliberate, logical
  • Humanistic – emotional, deliberate (slow)

Competitive. The competitive customer is business minded, power oriented, and does not like to waste time. This customer looks for businesses that have high qualifications, a positive track record, and a stellar reputation. This customer reacts strongly to marketing campaigns that outline what you can do for them and how you will support their ideas and conclusions. The best marketing strategy for this customer is to provide them with options, probabilities, and better results than they’ve previously enjoyed from other businesses.

Questions the Competitive customer considers when purchasing:

  • What are your competitive advantages?
  • Why are you a superior choice?
  • Are you a credible company?
  • How can you help me be more productive?
  • How can you help me look good?
  • What are your credentials?
  • How can you help me achieve my goals?

Spontaneous. The spontaneous persona enjoys marketing campaigns that are personalized and activity oriented. This customer requires you to present evidence that you are trustworthy and customer service oriented. In marketing to this demographic, you will need to present evidence showcasing why your business is the best solution for them. You can achieve results by focusing on their feelings, interest, and excitement. Additionally, you can help them select your business by offering guarantees and recommendations, but not options.

Questions the Spontaneous customer considers when purchasing:

  • How can you quickly get me what I need?
  • Do you offer superior service?
  • Can I customize your product or service?
  • Can you help me narrow down my choices?
  • How quickly can I take action and achieve my goals?
  • How will your product/service help me enjoy life more?

Humanistic. The humanistic customer reacts to personal and relationship-driven campaigns. This type of customer is somewhat slower in making decisions and desires to develop a personal relationship with you and your business. Their decisions are primarily based on who you are, what you know, and how well you know them, their business, and their market. You can attract this customer using testimonials and a highly attractive portfolio.

Questions the Humanistic customer considers when purchasing:

  • How will your product or service make me feel?
  • Who uses your products/services?
  • Who are you? Tell me who your company is and let me see bios.
  • What will it feel like to work with you?
  • What experience have others had with you?
  • Can I trust you?
  • What are your business values?

Methodical. The methodical customer is detail oriented and disciplined with their time. This customer will require evidence of your experience, processes, and knowledge. The desire of this customer is for you to prove that you can provide solutions. You can attract this customer by offering a solution that is rational and supports their principles.

Questions the Methodical customer considers when purchasing:

  • What are the details of your offering, including the fine print?
  • What processes will you use?
  • Can you take me through the process step-by-step?
  • What are the product specs?
  • What proof do you have that you can help me?
  • Can you guarantee your product or work?

Example campaigns for a marketing agency.

Competitive: Professional Marketing Services. Beat out your competition. Build a successful online brand. The competitive persona looks for a company that has a positive and successful reputation. This ad would satisfy the competitive persona looking for marketing services as it showcases a professional agency that knows how to help them get to the top of their industry.

Humanistic: Affordable Marketing. Stay connected with your customers. We have a plan to help you succeed. This ad will be great for the humanistic persona as it explains to them that they will be able to stay connected with their customers, which they would desire to do so. It also shows that they can contact the agency who will develop a personalized plan for success.

Methodical: Professional Marketing. Proven success stories. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed. This headline will draw in the methodical personality because it shows that it’s not a freelance or amateur company, which methodical customers generally do not prefer. Providing money back will also provide further proof that the agency is trustworthy and customer friendly.

Spontaneous: Affordable Marketing Offer! Low-cost marketing services. Get started on your marketing TODAY! This headline can be used to draw in the spontaneous persona, as they are normally looking for easy, fast, and affordable.

Loyalty and Relationships

As humans, we are greatly influenced by our relationships. We enjoy being members of loyalty programs and networking groups that align with our goals. We patronize certain supermarkets, gas stations, and banks, and make most of our purchases from select companies. This showing of consumer loyalty is due to an unspoken relationship that exists between us and the businesses and brands we support. They make us happy, we trust them, and their consistency is calming in a chaotic world with an overwhelming amount of choices.

Relationships are natural, and our preference for who we develop relationships with are often based on past experiences and expectations. Similar to dating, customer relationships involve courting and evolution into permanency or a breakup. At some point in every relationship, there is the question of whether the relationship has a future. At that moment of questioning, the relationship either continues down a happy road, or it ends.

The Courting. In relationships, everything starts perfectly. You show the prospect your best self as the ideal candidate for a long and fruitful relationship. The seduction begins. Promises are made, benefits explained, enticements for loyalty are offered, and declarations are made as to how you and they can create magic together. They find you to be a worthy partner and the two of you begin on a wonderful journey.

The Breakup. As the months go by, they start to feel unhappy that you aren’t paying much attention to them. You forgot their birthday and the last time you were together you were caught flirting with another prospect. They stop answering your calls and the last time they visited something just felt different. Eventually, they start complaining about small things and indirectly question what you are doing with their money. You see it in their behavior that the relationship is coming to an end.

The reality is that the relationship was over a long time before it ended because of those small things that you did or didn’t do which got you to this point. It could have been something as simple as not responding fast enough to their email or text, not paying attention to their needs and wants, or that you’ve failed to notice and respond to how they’ve changed as a person. Either way, they are no longer attracted to you, and they no longer believe in your optimism about the future.

To sustain a relationship with a customer, you’ve got to think like a customer. With every visit, call, or each time you send an invoice to your customer, consciously or unconsciously, your customers are asking themselves questions such as; why did I hire these guys or purchase this product? Do I still need them? Is this worth what I’m paying? Am I making progress? Am I seeing the results they promised? Is this the best company to purchase from? Remember, it’s usually many little things that add up to their decision to terminate the relationship. If you are aware and address those issues from the start, and keep focused on satisfying the customer throughout the relationship, you’re in a much better position to sustain the relationship.

Marketing Audit

Based on questionnaires obtained by the opinions of marketing experts, it has been determined that marketing audits are a paramount factor in business success.[1] A marketing audit can be an important tool in discovering potential risks within your business’s activities. Within the marketing industry, understanding how or why to market to a certain demographic is a key component to creating a successful marketing plan. To conduct an effective marketing audit, the method should have four major characteristics which include it being comprehensive regarding function, environment, and productivity; independent from decision-making managers; completed using a structured, systematic approach; and that it should be carried out on a periodic basis. A marketing audit can improve your marketing management and business problems by helping to assess and evaluate your business’s marketing ability, strategies, performance and effectiveness, problematic areas, and opportunities.

Having the ability to find and understand your customer, competitor, and product potential will make the process of marketing your product or service much easier. A problem often found in businesses is that they don’t develop marketing strategies or perform preemptive audits. These businesses come to realize, in the middle of their marketing efforts, that they have no real plan or a way to monitor the effects of their marketing campaigns. Having a plan of action serves to pace and organize your marketing efforts. Regular audits can help you identify business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks specific to your industry and market. Furthermore, marketing audits can be used to direct the vision of your business, the value of products offered, and the effectiveness of current, previous, and future marketing efforts and organizational efficiencies. A good marketing audit should also assist with the implementation of a marketing strategy, and help in generating brand awareness and sales.

 

[1] Lipnická D., Ďaďo J. (2013). Marketing Audit and Factors Influencing Its Use in Practice of Companies (From an Expert Point of View). Journal of Competitiveness, 5 (4), 26-42. doi: 10.7441/joc.2013.04.02

Setting Your Price

Setting and presenting your price may be the single most important thing to get right in your business. When determining the value of your product or service, keep in mind that pricing low will lower your revenue, introduce a new lower quality customer, and could damage the growth of your business. Low pricing also creates low motivation from you or your team and will often prevent you from going the extra mile for the customer. However, pricing high may give your competition the upper-hand with customers looking to spend less.

How to Price. You should set your price based on the true value of the product or service, which, in addition to the cost of producing any tangible product, includes the cost to cover the tools, software, electricity, employees, etc. In addition, the cost should easily allow you to reach your break-even point. The goal of your price should be to generate sales in excess of 50% above the break-even mark. Never make it a habit of charging your customers based on your lack of knowledge or technology. Your customer should never pay because you don’t know how to do your job properly or efficiently. However, if the customer has a unique problem that involves research and no easy solution, which may include a system hack, training, or simply writing a document or tutorial, you should charge based on the time it takes you to research and resolve the issue. Your customers should not be concerned with the time it takes for you to complete their request. They care about the value you bring. If they believe that you are the best, then your price may not be relevant. If you have tough competition and the customer doesn’t care about the quality you bring, then the price is very important and you will need to also consider the competition and brand reputation when setting prices.

Real vs. Perceived Value. Value pricing attracts value conscious customers. The actual cost of product production determines the real value. In addition, the real value is dependent on the usefulness of the product to the customer as well as the value of the product components. Ultimately, the perceived value is based on how much money the customer believes the product is worth.

For example, in the context of higher education, the perceived value of a college or university among individuals looking to invest in higher education tremendously affects the institution’s price. Students and their families perceive the value of the institution to be within the quality of the education. Consequently, the higher the perceived value of quality, the higher the cost of tuition. Research, however, has not proven correlation between institutional cost and actual quality. Additionally, it was found that perceived value of an institution did correlate with a student’s likelihood of enrollment. Perceived value of an education has three main factors which include, quality, cost, and emotional attachment. Failing to satisfy either of these could jeopardize the student’s enrollment potential as it will affect the student’s perceived value. In marketing, generating excitement can also generate a sale and loyal customers. If a customer is excited about a product, they may ignore the cost and quality factor. If an individual truly believes in the quality and value of a product or service, then the perceived value becomes more valuable than the real value.

 

Internet marketing is key

Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is key when making sure that customers find your website. Without marketing, your website may randomly be found once everyone couple of months, but it will not generate high revenue for your business. You need to create as much exposure as possible to gain more clients. Just like a great job resume, it’s no good if you don’t send it out to employers. The same goes with creating a great website and not marketing it. If you can’t be found, you will not gain the customer. That is how simple it works.

Internet marketing is relatively inexpensive. Your business can reach a wide audience at a fraction of traditional advertising budgets. The nature of the media allows for consumers to research and buy your products and services at their convenience. Internet marketing gives your business the advantage of appealing to consumers in a medium that can deliver results quickly.

Relationship Benefits

Building relationships with your customers is a must when looking to start and grow your business. Some of the substantial benefits of building a quality relationship with customers are explained below.

Customer Satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is an important measurement of how a product or service meets or surpasses the customer’s needs. It is a reliable indication of the potential for repeat business and brand loyalty. Customer satisfaction can be attained only if your customer has an overall good relationship with your business and you consistently meet or exceed their expectations. In today’s competitive marketplace, customer satisfaction is an important performance factor and a basic differentiator of business strategies. Hence, the more satisfied the customer, the stronger the bond they have with your business.

Customer Retention: Customer retention is a strategic process to keep or retain your existing customers and deter them from using other suppliers or organizations. This is only possible when there is a quality relationship between your business and the customer. Usually, a customer will remain loyal to a particular brand or product as their needs grow and only if those needs are properly fulfilled.

Referrals: The most cost effective approach to grow your customer base is through referrals. When customers feel satisfied, they are encouraged to become brand advocates for your business. These referrals are beneficial for your business considering there is little to no cost associated with this process. Referrals are an optimal form of marketing and profit generation.

Revenue Growth: When your business maintains a healthy relationship with customers, revenue will always increase considering current happy customers tend to purchase more. There is also the potential for a satisfied customer to purchase additional products or services when offered the option to bundle those products and services. For instance, if a satisfied loyal customer has home insurance from an insurance company that they trust, there is a high probability that the customer will also purchase property and auto insurance from that same company.

Retention Cost: The cost to service existing satisfied customers is substantially less expensive than that of acquiring new customers considering there is no acquisition cost, your business should already know the needs and wants of existing customers, and active customers will have fewer queries and complaints as they are already aware of your business’s processes, products, and checkout flow.

The Follow-Up

Providing the customer with a price isn’t the final step – obviously. You still need the potential customer to make the purchase. Because many businesses don’t like to think outside of an immediate sale, they often fail to implement follow-up procedures that pay off after an estimate. They give up after a few emails or calls. Remember: Persistence is key. If you understand your customers’ journey, you know that this is all a part of the decision-making process. Now, you just need to give potential customers the information they need to make the final leap.

To help with your follow-up, create a process for your typical sales cycle armed with information on average close rates and the time it takes to complete a deal. With a customer relationship management program (CRM), you can define these stages and easily keep track of progress. Map out what information you will send at each part in the process. Consider creating an email series that checks in on the customer every few weeks and reiterates how your business can help. Send the proposal with an invitation for an in-person meeting, visit, or phone call the following week to continue the momentum of the conversations. Tweak the messaging of your emails to determine what resonates with prospects. You’ve gotten this far. Don’t fail at the follow-up.

Building Trust. Trust takes time. When you are sending marketing material to a potential customer, there just isn’t always time to create a trusting relationship. But there are things you can do to prove you are credible, which is a step in the right direction. Credibility starts with a good reputation and a good design which inspires confidence in the viewer. When designing, follow modern design standards and practices to create a clean, easy-to-read campaign. In addition, marketing content full of misspellings and poor grammar can be a red flag for customers. It says little for your business’s ability to pay attention to detail and reduces your credibility as a professional organization. Finally, you need compelling testimonials or case studies that showcase the results you can deliver, the type of working relationships you have, and how you solved problems for previous customers.

 

1 2 3 4 5 7
READY TO IMPROVE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY?
Copyright 2022 Dr. Elijah Clark Marketing Consulting - Sitemap - Policy