A Must Read If You Have Started or Are Thinking of Marketing Online
Online marketing can be overwhelming. The purpose of outsourcing is to unload the headache and stress of growing your business…or at least some of it. We often hear a few common misconceptions that small businesses can have when it comes to online marketing, and will very likely prevent that same business from having the success they could have online. Even when we come on board to help unload the marketing responsibilities, and after we have done our best to educate our clients on what our responsibilities are and what they need to do, some businesses start forgetting key concepts to continue the success. This is due in large part to being so busy with daily business and in some part we hear the affirmations on what we want to hear rather than information on what we need to hear. Whether you are using online marketing software such as reputation marketing or paying for lead generation, don’t get caught allowing these misconceptions to hurt your online marketing.
Do Not Allow Yourself To Be Trapped In These Limiting Thoughts or Behaviors
Once I start it I never have to touch it again…
It’s true that marketing automation will greatly simplify your sales, customer service, reputation management and even follow up process, but every car that drives needs to starts with some human that manually starts the car with their key, putting it in drive and stepping on the gas pedal. When it comes to marketing automation we take our customers through the on boarding process which includes uploading the main list of customers or contacts they have in their automated systems and hitting the start button to show how it’s done. From there the process of the initial upload through the program can take one to three months, depending on the list size to run its first course. In that time frame a small business tends to get busy with everyday operations and will forget to follow up after the initial round of responses.
Don’t forget that you or one of your team members needs to log back into the program and do some simple follow up steps to look over the results, restart the follow up automation for some clients, or even putting new clients into the system and hitting the start button again. This should be a regular occurrence and can be done in a few minutes per day, week, and I hate to say it, but even monthly for some businesses…but it has to be done regularly in order to be successful. The more you put into your marketing program, the more you’ll get out of it.
…or my marketing company handles everything…
Unless you are paying for a full time employee to manage or are paying at least $10k per month or more there will be regular hands on marketing performed by you or one of your employees. Similar to the previous example, the car needs fuel to run, regular oil changes and new tires as needed. There is a way to make a company completely self automated, but customers prefer some personal touch and most business models require some hands on personalization. Some of that personalization is involved with online marketing and marketing automation, but there needs to be some human interaction through out the buying process. This is especially true with local businesses who perform services and sales within a specific geographical region.
So learn to understand what the marketing company’s responsibilities are and what your responsibilities are as a business. Once you know what your business needs to do, come up with a written or typed up plan that you and your team will be doing on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to fulfill your responsibilities and have a way to follow up to evaluate your progress.
…learning time is over…
You’ve learned enough to move forward with the marketing decision, that much is true. Going back to our car example, driving takes practice to learn over different types of roads, weather and traffic conditions, and finally for what purposes. Are you drag racing or going on a leisurely vacation? This drastic concept determines how and where you will drive your vehicle. If you don’t continue to learn how to use the vehicle you’ve purchased then you are missing out on the potential results you can achieve.
It’s very frustrating as a marketing professional to teach a business about an amazing marketing campaign tool and spend a lot of time with them to teach them about it because they are a great business with a lot of potential and 3-6 months later they have stopped using it because they never took time after the on boarding to learn and practice using the tool in daily or weekly business life.
Take time to learn your marketing as well as your business. The most successful businesses make this a regular habit and have made great strides in online marketing. It’s not limited to a lucky few, but to those who learn how to use it the most.
or even…I’m not tech savvy…
Well unfortunately this is a crutch more often then an actual concern. If you want to be online and make money using online means, you will have to learn to become somewhat tech savvy. There are a lot of tutorials online through YouTube and just by typing your question into Google’s search bar you can find a lot of information quickly to get you up to par. Regular study and practice of even 15 minutes a week can increase your learning curve quickly.
We want you to be successful and get the most out of your online marketing, but to do so you must take what is learned and practice implementing it regularly with a plan of action. Whether that means learning a new skill set with technology, or learning how the marketing campaign will interact with your business, always take the time to learn. Marketing is an experiment – something that needs to be refined over time – take time to practice and evaluate your efforts and follow up with your marketing rep on other things that can be done to optimize your marketing efforts. Happy marketing and we wish you success.