I recently downloaded a very interesting survey from Infusionsoft & LeadPages on the behaviour of small business owners towards digital marketing. Although the results are related to the US companies, I'm sure the conclusions can also be applied to Europe or Asia. Below what I found the most relevant from the perspective of companies that start their digital marketing journey.
About the methodology
I would first point out that the methodology of this survey is not very clear because we have no information on business sectors, their size, or who were the respondents. That said, more than 1,000 companies responded to the questionnaire and that number is large enough to make me write some comments about it.
CRM is the foundation of every marketing action.
The survey realised Infusionsoft & LeadPages shows that 42.4% of respondents stored the information in Gmail or outlook and 20.6% don’t even store information.
If you can not measure your marketing efforts, don't do marketing actions.
Not only because a CRM will give you information if your money is well invested, but it will keep you motivated to continue investing in marketing actions. When you launch an email marketing campaign (EDM) and customers call your sales team, then you know really that all your efforts are successful.
CRM will be the central tool for storing all the data on your customers, business contacts and marketing actions with them (phone, email, mail, EDM ...). You must build the best possible database and ask all your teams to work exclusively with CRM. Otherwise, you'll end up with small databases stored locally on each device (when stored) and it will be quite impossible to create a single marketing campaign.
Last but not least, a clear database with statistics, reporting, and history is a real asset that could be your production machines. Can you imagine selling your business or approach investors without a clear picture of your potential customer?
A Corporate website is good - A blog is better
When you think of marketing, you often think in terms of communication, I mean like advertising. You want a very nice website and "the sales team will do the rest"! This may be true when you start your business and you rely on your own sales skills. But once you start hiring salespeople you need to help them in their prospection, or even better, give them leads.
A corporate website is, of course, a "nice to have” as it will provide information to your potential visitors. But when you are a small business or even big company with leads generation in mind, you will prefer a blog. A blog is more malleable and more efficient in terms of marketing. Keep in mind that a successful lead generation campaign is based on great content:
- interesting to read
- easy to publish
- easy to share
- that will lead to sale contact via "calls to action" placed on your website
In a blog, you are free to create content, link them with categories (and not menus), work with tags, create temporary landing pages, push videos, infographics… Of course, if you create your content with an eye on best keywords, your content will be well referenced and you will gain organic traffic (SEO).
The survey shows that only 36.4% of companies publish messages or blog posts (which is low because it is the basis of modern and effective marketing campaigns). However, they do not indicate the frequency of publication which is a shame because the frequency is the key to a good Google SEO and to gain followers.
Spending time in marketing is difficult but necessary
If you expect your business to grow you must leverage on marketing. Do you remember the last time you received a call from a supplier and you thought: “Thank you, it’s a perfect time to call me!”. That never happens Today people have access to the Internet and are more autonomous in their purchasing behaviour. Your goal should be to give them as much information as possible to help them choose your product and not your competitors.
To succeed your must produce valuable content on your products, services, publish them widely and have them shared.
As shown in the survey, 46.8% of business owners do their marketing themselves.
Not surprising that more than 1 in 2 think don’t know if their marketing is efficient or think that it is not efficient. It is difficult to have a medium or long term vision when you drive your day to day business with short-term deadlines.
Marketing is one of the characteristics of successful companies and they invest a lot in it. Small business owners often see marketing and digital marketing as a “nice to have”. They are wrong this is a “must have” and if done properly it doesn’t cost tons of money. But working with a good methodology is the most important part of success. First, marketing needs a frame. This is the CRM with marketing automation capabilities. Second, the digital marketing needs time, resources and consistency to produce results. Take the time to create a great blog with great content. Start producing content with your current collateral, write articles on topics of interest to your audience ... and with consistency. Third, measure. You will need to measure your efforts and adjust your efforts and your budget.
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