Weekly Marketing Tips
We’re here to help demystify marketing.
It can be very lonely at the top for small business owners. You know you must do marketing, but you might be unsure on what exactly to do to get started. Perhaps you are embarrassed that you don’t understand marketing even though you’re the boss. Maybe you’re uncomfortable simply hearing the words “digital marketing strategy” uttered. How do you determine what to invest in people, time, and money? Can you expect a return on marketing spend?
Every week, we’ll share tips to help demystify marketing, grow your marketing prowess, and get results for your business.
Latest Weekly Tip
Create your own simple sales funnel.
This marketing tip is ideal for solopreneurs and a major framework for Unified Funnel Metrics. Don’t bother with a software-based CRM system. You can create your own with just post-it notes, a sharpie, and pencil. First, find a patch of wall space that you can dedicate your CRM to – hopefully you have some real estate leftover from the pandemic WFH. Next, choose four different colored post-it notes (it’s ok to use small ones if you don’t have a ton of room).
- Pick one color for customers you have and desire to attain
- Color two is for submitted proposals
- Color three is your referral network, and
- Color four is your total conversations aka leads.
Remember the marketing math we’ve been talking about? Now’s the time to make your sticky-note sales system come alive. Let’s use the 1:10:10:100 calculation. For every 1 customer you need, you would submit 10 proposals, and to get there you need 10 referrals, and 10 leads for every proposal.
1 new customer = 10 proposals = 100 leads (10 from your referral network)
Why this simple system works:
- You can construct your own CRM in minutes and is a breeze to maintain
- Your sales funnel is always visible
- You constantly know when your funnel is anemic or overflowing
Here’s an example of a filled-out sticky-note CRM.
Start posting away to keep track of your potential customers.
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Recent Weekly Marketing Pro Tips
Be an ally for sales.
Sales and marketing squabbling is common in companies. Indeed, sales rarely holds back their feelings about marketing:
“What does marketing do? I have no clue.”
“Marketing never listens to sales.”
“They give me $#*% stuff.”
In reality, the lights are on because of the sales team. Marketing must support sales and do what they need to grow the business. (Disclaimer – it doesn’t give sales license to be jerks and run roughshod over marketing!)
We have been fortunate to work with brilliantly talented sales teams. Reaching across the table, working hand in hand, nothing is more rewarding than securing wins as a team TOGETHER. It is not always a walk in the park, nor does sales unequivocally accept our work. Sales reps are demanding, impatient, and yes, difficult at times. Why? They don’t care about following brand guidelines, or award-winning digital ads, or Google Ad conversion rates. All they want is to get and keep customers.
So double down on your efforts to be a champion for sales. If you just really, truly listen to what sales is asking for, you help your company and do right by your customers. Plus, the end result is a much better partnership between sales and marketing.
You’ll be glad you did – and your sales team will thank you for it!
Analyze won and lost deals.
Complete an analysis of every deal you won or lost. Small companies rarely do this, so don’t lament it. This is difficult to make time for because, well, there’s a million other details to attend to. Plus, it’s nerve wracking and exposes vulnerability to ask prospects why they didn’t choose your business. Was it due to people? Products? Reputation? Nonetheless, this exercise can be an eye-opening opportunity to become a better vendor and a chance to compare your company’s performance pre- and post-pandemic.
Ask for Google reviews.
Be sure you are diligent in asking customers for reviews. Reviews matter in Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), both in quantity and quality of reviews – even for B2B industries. It is also critical to build your reputation in multiple platforms such as Yelp, Facebook, Alignable, and Nextdoor. This was painfully evident when Google suspended their review functionality for months early in the pandemic. You can make it easy and convenient for customers to complete a Google review with a custom QR code.
This step-by-step blog article is super helpful in learning how to create a QR code for your business. https://businesswebsiteleader.com/blog/creating-a-qr-code-for-google-business-reviews/
Strive for 10X ROI on marketing.
Ask yourself this question each time you consider investing in a marketing initiative: If I spend X, can I get 10X back in revenue?
Here are some real-world examples:
- Will sponsoring a golf hole for $250 net $2,500 in sales?
- Should we participate in a hybrid tradeshow for $3,500? Is $35,000 in pipeline opportunities realistic?
- Google Ads is offering a $1,000 credit if we spend $2,000 in advertising over six months. Could we procure enough leads to generate $20,000 in revenue?
Of course, you should put a lot of elbow grease in planning, budgeting, and attribution analysis. But this exercise spurs rapid conversation and decision-making about a particular marketing activity. If there’s little hope of success, don’t waste your time and resources on it!
Stay tuned for a future tip on developing a marketing budget your CFO will love.
Target 10x leads for every new customer.
We must admit, generating interest is one of the hardest marketing responsibilities to successfully master. This is commonly where massive friction occurs in organizations. Does this sound familiar? “We need more leads!”
This typically is what happens:
“We must beef up our sales funnel!”
“We need definitions to explain all the lead phases – hot, warm, cold, qualified, unqualified, no budget, and decision maker.”
“Now we must score it to determine a lead’s worth.”
Then marketing hands the leads over to sales.
But marketing complains that sales does nothing with the leads.
- No conversions.
- No increased pipeline.
- Stagnate revenue.
- Sales is mad that marketing gives them crap leads and crap content too.
This conflict certainly doesn’t bring everybody together as a team.
What to do? Keep it simple!
If a lead is worth pursuing, give it to sales, otherwise marketing keeps nurturing the lead or mark as unqualified. Next, put your marketing math to work because leads don’t just automatically turn to sales. You must strive for 10x leads for every new customer. If your revenue target is 50 new customers this year, then you’ll need to generate 500 leads.
Build brand awareness with impressions.
How many people know about your business? You can’t sell something to someone who just met you. To buy from you, people need to trust you. To trust you, they need to know you first. It’s the first step. A good rule of thumb is to target achieving 7x impressions of your total addressable market* during a sales cycle. AKA “imps”, this is the number of “eyeballs” seeing your brand, both organically and paid. It may take at least 7 times for your brand to stick with your target audience. An easy method to monitor your imps is through Google Search Console. Sure, you might have internal tools and staff to compile all your impressions (from social media, advertising, GMB, etc.), but this is the fastest way to check how you’re tracking on your 7x target.
*See last week’s tip below on the importance of determining your total addressable market (TAM). That is your denominator for calculating your 7x impressions.
Calculate your market demand.
How many potential prospects are in your target market(s)? Do you really know how many customers are out there – and that you can realistically capture? If you don’t, you have no way of knowing if your sales and marketing efforts are successful. Determining this number is the critical first step of identifying what you should invest in customer acquisition and retention. Want to learn how to research and calculate your market demand? Connect with us! Hint: it’s NOT the total market size.
Don’t get hacked. Be security savvy.
You may be thinking – hey, this isn’t a marketing tip! But it is. Small and mid-size businesses are hacked too. You don’t hear about it because they aren’t considered newsworthy, unlike recent hacks to meat producer JBS and Colonial Pipeline. But the largest global attack on record over the July 4th holiday has proven that no business is immune. Manufacturing, physician-owned clinics, grocery stores, gyms, and even churches are targets. Just imagine if your website, social media accounts, or internal systems were shut down and data was stolen. What is the potential negative impact to your client relationships, or irreparable brand damage and PR nightmare if this happened? How many people have access to your accounts and networks, whether they are staff, volunteers, contractors, or vendors?
Start this today:
- Update passwords, the longer the better (we use 31 characters!)
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Generate a tech inventory worksheet documenting digital accounts, devices, and authorized users
Here are some of our go-to resources:
- LastPass for managing all personal and professional passwords
- Sovran, a women-owned IT solutions provider including disaster recovery services
- LegalShield, offering cost-effective cybersecurity plans
Be safe out there!
Double down on customer satisfaction.
Don’t give customers a reason to choose a competitor. Of course, duh, we all know we need to stay close to customers. But we’re in a weird “three little bears time.” Are we reaching out too much? Too little? How do we figure out what is “just right?”
If you had Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) measures prior to the pandemic, but stopped, take steps to get back on track.
We recommend implementing a loyalty survey called Net Promoter Score (NPS), asking three simple questions:
1. How likely are you to recommend us?
2. What can we do better?
3. What do we do well?
Do this immediately with new customers, when you are most at risk of losing them due to “buyer’s remorse”, and at least once a year. Then before you know it, you’ll have quantitative data on how you’re performing over time versus “gee, I think we’re doing ok.” (FYI, NPS, is a proven research method that predicts customer loyalty and future buying behavior)
Create a free Google My Business profile.
Do you want to boost your organic Google search results? Drop everything right now and claim your Google My Business listing! AKA as GMB, it is a powerful (and free) tool for prospects to find you on Google Search and Maps. You must have a legitimate physical address, even if it’s a home-based business. Once Google verifies your biz, populate all possible attributes which will be dependent on your industry. You can add photos, videos, events, promotions, pricing, plus detailed product and services information. When choosing your business categories, the primary service should be first. Best of all, you can “post” updates to promote your business. If you’re already doing regular social media posts, do the same on GMB. The posts remain live on Google Search for seven days, but prospects can view all past posts too by scrolling your updates.
So get busy and make Google work for you!
Digital Audit Part 2.
Update your meta descriptions and title tags.
Last week’s tip was about technical website audits. After you fix broken links and 404 page errors, what should you do next? Invest in a ‘magic pen’ copywriter to update your website meta descriptions, page titles and H1, H2 header tags. Moz, a SEO juggernaut has stated that improved page titles can generate a 15% lift in traffic. Who wouldn’t want that?
It’s important to craft enticing and distinctive copy. After all, the ultimate goal is to get users to click your page! Be sure to maximize the character counts, but not so long that Google truncates the descriptions (and potentially annoy prospects by pushing them to other sites).
P.S. Use the Screaming Frog SEO audit tool to check out your competition. Are they lazy in their SEO (i.e. copying and pasting the same title tags on each page) or are they pretty darn good? Use this as an opportunity to hone your online differentiation.
Complete a technical audit of your website.
You don’t need to be a web tech expert or pay for SEO software to do this step. It is a “health” check-up of your website to uncover common SEO issues. It is critical your website is optimized to ensure Search Engines (aka Google) can find you. Are your website meta descriptions, page titles and header tags (H1, H2) missing, duplicates or up-to-date? Any broken links or 404 page errors? Are your image sizes slowing your site speed? Download the Screaming Frog app, an SEO audit tool, and scan the first 500 pages of your website for free. It’s kinda techy looking, and the interface is not sleek, but it’s an amazing tool. You gotta love the name, right?! Export multiple CVS files and start digging in!
Also check your site Content Management System, such as WordPress and Hubspot for additional SEO fixes and improvements.
It’s time for “marketing” cleaning!
As you near the end of Q2, take the time to critically assess your marketing. Just like spring-cleaning! Where have you spent your time and money YTD? Did you get the results you expected? Have you forgotten or neglected any online or offline marketing activities? Here’s a couple suggestions to get you started:
- Refresh your digital technical audit (no 404 errors!)
- Optimize your Google Ads (they get paid, even with lousy ads)
- Keep a pulse on customer satisfaction (do they know you care?)
Build your marketing muscles.
Aspiring to get healthier requires intentional diet and exercise over time. The same applies to marketing – you need to commit to building your marketing muscles. You won’t lose your pandemic pudge or become a marketing expert overnight, but just like a habit, it becomes commonplace, and you’ll begin to see results over time.
Start today. Put it in your calendar and plan for devoting resources to it.
You’ve just taken the first step towards building your marketing moxie. Well done! Stay tuned for more tips next week…
For further tips, check out our blog on Essential marketing practices for small businesses.
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