Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Creating a digital marketing strategy

Developing a Strategy

When developing a marketing strategy for your business, make sure that it includes an assessment of your desired market, focusing on the market size (volume and value), customer segments, sales projection, regulations, target market, competition, economic conditions, and includes an exit strategy.

A marketing strategy should include feedback from a variety of resources and individuals including the finance department, personnel, supply, tech support, sales, etc. Additionally, feedback is crucial when developing a plan as it helps to provide an understanding of how to adjust or continue course with your marketing strategy.

When creating your marketing strategy, make certain that it demonstrates the attractiveness of the market from a financial standpoint. Considering trends change, employees leave, and because of consumer fluctuations, a marketing strategy should cover at least one year up to a maximum of four years and should be adjusted when necessary.

The Impact of Marketing

Marketing firms should focus their campaigns on what generates sales. The best campaigns are those that influence product purchases. If consumers dislike the campaign, but it sells product better than favored campaigns, then the advertisement would be considered a success. The goal of any campaign is to generate sales. The ideal campaign should build trust, influence sales, and generate brand awareness. Businesses should target and adapt their marketing strategies to focus on what consumers want and will purchase. The consumer is the ultimate power broker within any organization. Organizations should structure their marketing efforts on identifying and meeting their consumers’ individual needs. Those needs must be met within all aspects of the business, including price, customer support, and sales.
 
My opinion is that marketing both reflects and shapes the needs of consumers. For instance, Apple Inc. is introducing a new watch to the market in a few days. I want a watch, but I do not want to spend $400 on an apple watch. Because of the price, I will not get the watch without being convinced that it can offer me something worth the price. In this sense, the idea/marketing of the watch is reflecting what I know based on the information I have. However, if apple markets the watch effectively, I can convince myself that I need the watch even if I do not really want to spend the money. In this sense, the marketing is shaping my needs and wants. The reality is that effective marketing can convince me of something that is outside of my desires. 
 
The implication is that marketing agency’s can capitalize off my internal weakness and pursued me to purchase without me desiring to do so. Though I may not need or want the product or service, the marketing campaign could create the campaign to be attractive by targeting it toward solving my hesitations to purchase. In addition, marketing is generated to serve the needs and wants of consumers. If the purchasing item is something that I already know I want, but have not purchased it for whatever reason, the marketing should influence my decision by resolving my concerns.
 
From a personal perspective, I purchase based on three factors; Whether or not the item will help me become more productive, can it satisfy the things or people I love, or will is satisfy a fetish. I love electronics and tools that make me more productive, so if I give a salesperson my daily schedule, I expect them to convince me as to how their product can fit into that schedule and make it better. From there, I will take care of the third factor to convince my wife about why I “need” it.
 
If the marketing firm can convince me that their product or service can enhance my productivity and quality of life, then I will make the purchase. The issue with this is that marketers can sell ideals that are not necessarily good for individuals. For example; unhealthy eating habits, weight loss goals, and purchasing items that are not financially responsible. The result is that the consumer should make the right decision.
 
Marketing audits are crucial to achieving business success. Having the ability to find and understand your consumer, competitors, and product potential will make the process of marketing your product or service much easier than if done without it. A problem that I often see being in the marketing industry is that organizations don’t get audits, and within the middle of their marketing efforts, they realize they have no real plan or way to monitor the effects of their marketing campaigns. Having a plan of action helps pace and organizes the marketing efforts. Marketing audits help organizations identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks specific to their industry and market. Marketing audits can also satisfy the vision of the organization, the value of products offered, and the effectiveness of current, previous and future marketing efforts and organizational efficiency’s. A good marketing audit should assist with the implementation of a marketing strategy, which should help in generating brand awareness and sales. 

Your online brand is your resume

Internet Marketing

The reason that you as a business owner needs to market is because while you may have a great website or graphic design piece, without placing this work within your potential customers’ reach, you are losing business.

Here is how it works. Think of your website or art work as a resume. With this resume, you spend hours or days writing it up to perfection and years building it through experience and education. After you’ve gotten your resume to perfection, what next? What’s the next step to making sure that you land that dream job? The answer is marketing. You have to market yourself to gain the employer.

A bad resume with good marketing has a better chance of landing the employer, than a good resume with no marketing. Without marketing, you’ve just wasted years on creating a great resume for no reason at all.

Locations and facilities

Your Location Matters

Most online only businesses operate in an online space so a physical location may not be needed. However, your location still affects your business’s marketing efforts even as an online company.

For example, if your company is located within the state of Texas, but seeking to do business in New York or another, you need to make certain that your website addresses the concerns of each target customers’ location

Things to consider:

  • Is your location/website convenient (address / online address)
  • Is it consistent with your brand image?
  • Is it what customers want and expect?

Consumer Segmentation

CompanyEC (CEC) specializes in innovative website design, print, search engine optimization, logo design, animations, marketing and many other business creative services. CEC’ biggest revenue comes from its web design services, which has a target audience of medium and large sized business owners. CEC views its medium sized businesses as companies that are trying to build a larger name for their brand. These owners are looking for a website that is affordable and will help them present themselves appealing to their online consumers. The larger business owners are looking to create a website that functions high and they are looking for a company that has great customer service.

CEC offers many benefits to our medium sized business owners. It attracts this consumer by use of its web design portfolio to provide the customer with the eye-catching design services that it offers. CEC also includes small promotional phrases and testimonials within its websites pages to emphasize the affordability of its services. In addition, our own web design is aesthetically appealing and this should further comfort these business owners to realize that CEC has an eye-for-design. While CEC could promote its “affordable pricing” motto further throughout its website, it chose not to due this in order to gain customer interaction through the completion of a free quote form, contact form, email or phone call to one of CEC’ sales representative who could further promote the brand to the consumer. This method has been proven best and it helps to build consumer confidence (Chaffey et al. 2009, p. 64).

CEC believes its large business consumers to be business owners looking to expand their website image and functionality. Throughout this process, these consumers are also looking to find a company that has the experience to provide for their needs and they are looking for a company with great customer service. CEC promotes its experience through its “About Us” page and knowledge base sections. In addition, its extensive portfolio helps to further promote its experience. Through the use of testimonials and other care statements throughout the website, CEC provides its large business consumers with knowledge of its customer services beliefs, values and work ethics.

CompanyEC prides itself in its previous works, customer service, quality and in price. CEC promotes its company to show that they are the best and that they provide high customer satisfaction with all of its work. In knowing who they are, they look for their customers to have the same integrity and beliefs as they do. They want from their customers, the same as the customers want from them. They don’t just sell a high quality service; they expect high quality service in return. CEC’s marketing strategy is to market toward companies that fit its high-standard criteria. Its marketing strategy includes high promotion of its portfolio, testimonials and work ethics. With this strategy, CEC’ goal is to attract consumers who value higher quality over lower prices. Their current marketing plan is aimed at marketing in areas with high psychographic locations of the types of consumers they are trying to reach.  The researching of their demographics is done through services such as Quantcast, Alexa and other analytics tools (Matt, 2009).

Credits

Chaffey et al. (2009). Internet marketing. (pp. 57 – 87). Upper Saddle River, NJ. Prentice Hall

Matt. (2008). Building a customer psychographic profile . Retrieved May 14, 2010, from

http://blog.hillsearch.org/index.cfm/2008/8/8/Building-a-Customer-Psychographic-Profile

Internet Consumer Behavior and Analysis – Case Study

Unaware of Need:

Through the use of social networking, PPC, referrals, and directory listings, CompanyEC can generate awareness to its brand. Currently, it uses each of these marketing techniques besides that of PPC. Organic results for the keyword “Dallas Web Design” shows CompanyEC between the first and second pages of Google, first page of Yahoo and second page of Bing. There is far greater potential for implementing a PPC campaign so to address additional keywords to target. Previous statistics have shown that a majority of customers find awareness about CompanyEC through previous customer referrals. Getting involved within online networks, referral programs and campaigns will successfully and inevitably generate awareness of the brand name and image.

Aware of Need:

Potential customers will find awareness of CompanyEC and its services through the use of search engine marketing, affiliate marketing and online directories. The main focus to generate the correct awareness is by the use of relevant keywords and placing the company’s name within niche directories and affiliate websites. This campaign will need to explain to the user why CompanyEC is the best and why they should choose this company over the competitors within the market. In addition, this campaign will need to address the needs of the potential customers. To do this, keywords or key phrases could be used to draw-in the potential customers to the company.

Supplier Search:

Lead generations will come through directories, referrals, and other intermediaries. While directory leads help to generate leads, they will not be the main focus as they only generate a very small percentage of leads. Because most leads come through referrals of previous customers, including a referral program within the website may be a great way to reward previous customers for their referred lead. This reward system may also inspire more leads. Referral programs may also work best due to previous customers satisfaction of the service that they will sell to the potential customers. If CompanyEC focuses more on making sure that current customers are being satisfied, then this referral program will bring endless success.

Evaluate and Select:

CompanyEC will use its most popular and relevant content to persuade users in their purchasing decision. Statistics show that the most popular content visited by users consist of the web design portfolio page, the testimonial section, and the company’s “About Us” page. By making these pages with easy access and usability, this will allow for users to find what they are looking for with ease. In addition to making these pages relevant for usability, they will also include quick links to the “Free Estimate” form and the telephone number to contact the company for further details and to receive an estimate for services. The main pages of the website are designed to get the user to where they want to go within one or two clicks.

Purchase:

In order to facilitate a purchase, customers will first complete a free estimate form. This form is needed in order to create an accurate estimate. Those customers who have additional questions, may call in using the telephone number on the website. Nonetheless, the estimate form will be completed either by the user on the website or by the telephone representative that the potential customer gives the service details to. Once this form is completed, the customer will be sent out an official estimate email that will include a link to make a down deposit payment to get started on the project. This payment system is done either on the website or via PayPal.

Post-Purchase Evaluation & Feedback:

Once the user has completed purchasing their services, they will be offered a discount on their next purchase. This discount will be in a percentage depending on a date and service type. In addition, completing a feedback survey will also allow for the customer to express any concerns or testimonials that they have about their service. This will be beneficial for use with future customers and business practices. Another option to add as a reward for previous customers is the option to receive a cash or money-back reward for a service referral in which they will receive once that referral purchases and completes a service.

Conclusion:

CompanyEC’s current online marketing strategy is to first aim at being amongst the first page of Google’s organic results under the keyword of “Dallas Web Design.” Once this is accomplished and proven to generate more site visitors, the next step is to put focus on previous customers and referral programs. This marketing strategy will work best in this order as it allows CompanyEC to focus on one marketing avenue at a time without being overloaded as it currently builds its in-house team of designers. While focusing on progressing organically within the search engines, CompanyEC is also partnering with local companies to offer more services to its customers. Once these agreements and expansions are created, CompanyEC will then focus on heavy marketing through PPC, email marketing campaigns, referral programs, offline paper marketing and offline networking. Previous studies have shown that while this marketing strategy is successful, it isnt beneficial to gain too many customers until the company first expands on the inside. Once CompanyEC is ready to expand on the outside with its marketing strategy, using this consumer behavior and analysis chart will create an excellent guide to creating a successful marketing campaign for understanding its customers.

 

Credits

Richarme, M. (2005). Consumer decision-making models, strategies and theories, oh my!. Retrieved May 7, 2010, from http://www.decisionanalyst.com/Downloads/ConsumerDecisionMaking.pdf.

Future Now. (2002). The buying process leads to a decision to buy. Retrieved May 7, 2010, from http://www.grokdotcom.com/index10-15-2002.htm

Cheung, C. Zhu, L. Kwong, T. Chan, G. Limayem, M. (n.d). Online consumer behaviora review and agenda for future research. Retrieved May 7, 2010, from http://ecom.fov.uni-mb.si/proceedings.nsf/0/c9beda3ca328c8b7c1256ea1002c72b8/$FILE/16Cheun g.pdf.

Constantinides, E. (2004). Influencing the online consumer’s behavior: the web experience. Retrieved May 7, 2010, from http://www.utwente.nl/nikos/research/publications/ecpapers/constantinidespaper influencing.pdf.

Harris Interactive. (2008). Digital influence index study. Retrieved May 7, 2010, from http://technomarketer.typepad.com/FH/DII_2008.pdf

Chaffey et al. (2009). Internet marketing. (pp. 57 – 87). Upper Saddle River, NJ. Prentice Hall

What is your business marketing message?

The marketing message is the heart of a marketing plan. It details the company’s plan for the market materials, how the company plans to achieve its marketing goals, and the tactics that will be used to meet them. The marketing message determines how the company wants to communicate its message to the customer.

When creating your marketing message make certain that you focus on how you want your company to be perceived by customers. Do you want customers to view your business as having good prices, customer support, quality service, etc.

Once you determine your marketing message, you will know the next step to take for your business.

The Customer Trigger Point

While working on my bachelor degree, I was employed as a student recruiter for a local college in Dallas, Texas. During sales training, I learned lessons that remain current in all my customer relationships: Never ruin a hot lead and know the customer’s trigger point. Finding the trigger point is as simple as asking “Why are you calling or meeting with me today?” Every customer has a reason for the decision to do business with you, at your particular location, with your price, and on that singular day. In education, reasons adult students chose to go back to school included that they wanted to do it for their family or kids, they wanted to change the world, or they wanted to go to school to prove to someone who said or believed they couldn’t achieve a higher education.

In relationships, you wouldn’t marry someone you just met. You date for a short while and get to know their likes, dislikes, and interests. It’s the same with customers. When you have found the customer’s decision-making trigger, you can easily put together a strategy that helps you get to the next stage of satisfying them. The goal of sales is to find and finesse your customers’ trigger point. If a customer wants to purchase your product or service because it would make them more productive, it is your responsibility to continually integrate that productivity trigger in conversations by noting how your product or service could help with their productivity. Once the trigger point is outlined, the sale becomes much easier. Your customer has a reason for doing business with you, and it is your responsibility to figure out what that reason is and make that trigger point your key to developing a successful selling strategy.

Consumer and Business Markets

Consumer and Business Markets
Business markets are task focused, while consumer market buyers may have an emotional factor when making purchase decisions. Moreover, in both business and consumer markets, the purchaser often does not have the final authority to make purchase decisions. In the consumer market, marketing methods may include advertising and promotions, while business markets can include necessary meetings before the final transaction. In addition, once a business purchases, there is the possibility of generating a brand loyalty for future purchases. In a consumer market, the consumer may base their future purchase on price, availability, and those continued emotional and personal factors. Furthermore, businesses often purchase in larger volumes. Consequently, the business market will likely generate more sales per customer.

Marketing Efforts
In creating a marketing strategy, product managers should be directly involved. To build a successful marketing strategy, the marketer should understand the consumers’ daily life and target their emotional needs. Consumers often purchase based on influences such as culture, social, and personal factors.  Marketing efforts should focus on building an emotional connection with the consumer to satisfy the consumers’ needs. In addition, marketers need to be aware of the consumers’ perception of the brand. Marketers can use integrated marketing communications to help with observing the marketing process. The company could focus on marketing to consumers from home by focusing more on their online marketing efforts. Consumers enjoy a comfortable setting when shopping, including having the ability to shop from home. Businesses prefer face-to-face sales meetings. To gain more customers within the tradesmen market, the marketer can advertise in electronic media and focus on e-commerce.

Marketing Approach
Consumer market purchases are likely made by individuals. An example of a consumer market is a husband wanting to purchase a new home. In order to do so, he would need to get his wife’s approval before making the decision. His wife will likely introduce personal factors, which may hinder his decision such as kids, bills, and other priority items. Consequently, he will not be able to make the purchase immediately because of these personal reasons. The marketer should create a campaign that addresses these personal concerns. The strategy could focus on the personal and family benefits that a new home would produce. It should mention the affordability, safety, and other family oriented concerns and then provide positive solutions for those concerns. In regards to a business market, this same strategy could be used to focus on the business benefits of purchasing a new business. The business marketer could showcase a better location, statistics surrounding the local traffic, and the return on investment. Within the business market, the purchase decision is made by many individuals and groups. A marketer needs to be aware of who has the buying power within the group. Once this is determined, the marketer should address each of the individuals’ concerns.

When determining the market, the business needs to know not only who are buying and why they are buying the product or service. The market purchasing decision for a business may be easier as there is a larger need. For consumers, there are other factors in to consider such as financials, family, personal, and priority items for example. For large purchases, there often needs to be a collective decision made by the family. Business markets often focus more on sales and purchases that are sold directly to other businesses, which may use those products to re-sale directly to the consumer. Consumer markets are markets where the consumer purchases an item to use for their own use. The strategies necessary for these markets are determined based on their needs and wants of the market. In a business market, purchases may also involve a collective decision, but there may also be a larger plan ahead for the company and the purchase may be one small item on a larger scale.

Within both business and consumer markets, the market must always be aware of the service strengths and needs of the purchasing organization. The products must provide value to the target market. To target consumers, the organization could use mass marketing and advertising methods to reach a wider audience base. Businesses are likely to also purchase larger volumes of items compared to consumers. Business markets may also have purchasing agents who are responsible for buying company items. These agents may already know the price they are looking to spend. In targeting the consumer markets, marketing agents should look to move online into e-commerce as it gives consumers the opportunity to make purchases directly from home or while on the go. Businesses often use more traditional purchasing methods such as face-to-face meetings. If market agents do desire to grow their online market, they have many options, which include services from Facebook, Godaddy, Google, and thousands of tools that can assist with targeting their desired consumers.

Trends and Innovation

For innovation to be advantageous within your business, you must have a strategy for informing customers on the specific benefits of the trend or innovation in relation to your product or service. Trends affected by customer choices, the internet, social media, and technology have a greater influence on customer behavior than conventional advertising. As a leader, you should develop strategies incorporating a knowledge of trends and areas identifying with technology, internet, innovation, and social media.

Technology Trends. Technology influences customers regarding business sustainability and corporate responsibility. Emerging innovative technology can propel your business to growth by providing a medium for evaluating choice patterns of your customers. The advancement of technology can additionally influence the value of your products and services. Moreover, by using technology, you could develop strategies that decidedly enhance your perceived product value. You can additionally utilize innovative technology to improve marketing research knowledge. For technology to remain beneficial within your markets, your business must have a system for effectively using technology to train and educate customers on the benefits of your product or service.

Technology in Marketing. Marketing is not shaped by what technology can do but instead centers on what the customer will accept, understand, and want. There are three changes that you must consider when creating successful marketing strategies using technology. The first is to move away from market research and instead look toward being able to interpret information extracted from your customers through databases of information. The second change is to move away from traditional advertising and placing more attention on social media for communication. The final stage is to stop looking at marketing as a means of mass markets and move toward building a personal relationship with customers through media outlets.

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