Early in my career, I worked in an office for a 100-year-old company that had made its name using print marketing and telemarketing as its staple marketing strategies. In our conversations about marketing, my boss readily acknowledged that the CAN-SPAM Act had killed their telemarketing efforts. He also agreed that the company’s print marketing efforts weren’t worth the paper they were printed on. Yet, he didn’t know how to switch up his marketing strategies to keep the long-standing company growing.
In checking out the company’s website, it was easy to see that it consisted of a boring, static page with a generic contact form. While the problems with the company’s marketing strategy were crystal clear to me, as a young, new employee, I struggled to identify the best way to approach my boss on how digital marketing strategies could give his treasured family business a boost in lead generation.
One day, he told me he was in the market to hire someone to paint his house. Aha! I took this as an opportunity to demonstrate how a digital marketing strategy would lead him to a quality painter. I asked him where he started his search. He told me he did an internet search for “house painter” along with the name of his town.
I asked him, “If you searched for your company the same way, would you find your company online?” We went to the computer together and searched for the type of business and town. Our search indicated that at least four similar companies ranked higher in the search than his century-old business. Without making him feel small or inadequate, I was able to demonstrate that similar companies were successfully using digital strategies to gain an edge on the competition.
Approaching Digital Marketing Isn’t Always Easy For Business Owners
According to a report by Infusionsoft, nearly one in five businesses didn’t plan to use any digital marketing tactics in 2017. While 31% of small businesses said that increasing sales was their top priority, many agreed that their biggest challenge was finding time and resources to dedicate to marketing.
Most business owners have heard about digital marketing. The challenge is that many don’t understand how it works or how to apply it to their businesses. The reality is that businesses that are afraid to move in a new direction are missing opportunities for brand awareness. Competitors that are getting their feet wet with technology will quickly move ahead.
As it turned out, a simple conversation about house painting opened the door to a bigger conversation about how consumer buying behavior has changed in predictable ways. Using the knowledge I had about my new boss and his business, I steered the conversation around terms I’d heard him use at the office. I knew that digital marketing was somewhat of a foreign concept for him, so I kept the conversation relatable by incorporating terms like “the gold standard” and “unmatched personal service.”
Identifying The Right Strategies
My boss knew his target market: owners of million-dollar homes and people with high net worth. From there, it was a matter of demonstrating how different digital marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) and email marketing could increase site traffic, site time and brand recognition.
Now that I’d set the stage for him to see that he could boost sales by trying some digital marketing strategies, I decided to give a few suggestions for a couple of projects to try and offered to measure the results. I educated him on how we could measure things like conversion rate, cost per lead, revenue per lead and total revenue from digital marketing.
We worked together to set some goals based on existing sales data and devised an inbound digital strategy that aligned with our return on investment (ROI) projections. We also decided to try a weekly blog article to help drive customers to the website. As these initial digital marketing strategies proved successful, we built on those successes and added a couple more strategies. And over time, the company’s website ranking surpassed its competitors.
A Few Tips On Getting Approval For Your Digital Marketing Strategy
It is important for every business to implement a digital marketing strategy as soon as possible. Identifying your buyer persona(s) and mapping out your buyer journey can help you to create a custom strategy that focuses on the client. Make sure you create an outstanding presentation with relevant data before you propose your digital marketing ideas. When researching, be sure to:
• Compare competitors’ websites.
• Compare competitors’ Google reviews and visibility (Google My Business).
• Compare competitors’ social media presence and engagement.
• Subscribe to a couple of competitors’ emails, and show your CEO or stakeholders what others and doing.
When I want to propose new ideas, I always do my homework. I conduct in-depth research, and I back up all I say with data. In this case, data from competitors includes organic traffic, social media followers, etc. And I prepare a branded presentation with FAQs at the end in order to cover any doubt.
I encourage you to do it in this way to get the approval so you can start creating and implementing results — driving strategy.
Communicating The Importance Of Digital Marketing For Long-Term Success
Where is your company’s marketing plan in relation to the goals of your company? If your company already has a digital marketing plan, it may be time to convince your boss that by investing more in digital marketing, you can take your efforts to the next level and increase profitability. If you work at a company that doesn’t have a formal marketing strategy at all, convincing your boss to take some small steps in digital marketing can yield big payoffs.