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This morning I asked my son if I could make him a sandwich to take for lunch at school today. His answer, “Yes, but it has to be the correct ratio of peanut butter to jelly.”
Perplexed, I probed my mathematical son to further explain what he meant. “Too little jelly and the sandwich seems dry. Too much jelly and it oozes out the bread becomes soggy by lunch time” was his response.
As I made the sandwich, my mind wandered to marketing plans that I have under development. Just like the peanut butter and jelly sandwich you have to have the right marketing mix. Marketing is a delicate balance, pulling in all the ingredients to get the best results. If you have too little peanut butter in your program, then desired result may not come to fruition, a dry, unsatisfying campaign. Too much in another, like the jelly, your effort becomes soggy and doesn’t blend in a way that covers the overall package.
Approximately 29% of the world’s population is now online; that is over 1.9 billion users, who have signed on to The Internet. Accessibility, globalization, and the development of user friendly web technologies have made it possible for online businesses to boom, there are over 130 million active domains to date. Read the rest of this entry »
With hundreds of millions of websites competing for a portion of viewers’ mindshare, quality counts for everything. But just what makes a quality website? Think about sites that you visit often. What do they have in common? Sites that I consider quality share the following attributes:
1. Visual Appeal
2. Well Written Content
3. Easy to Navigate
4. Give Perspective
While at Dreamforce earlier this year, I spent time with Eloqua, Pardot, Marketo, and SilverPop evaluating their marketing automation systems. While these players are primarily focusing on the smaller corporate clients, marketing automation is becoming more available to small businesses through saas providers like Genius.com and LoopFuse. I am currently evaluating marketing automation systems that work for my small business as well as for other businesses.
Once you stop focusing your online branding and marketing efforts the traffic will dwindle. That is why it is so important to keep a consistent marketing program going. As I was looking through my analytics dashboard, I was struck by the report for a client who decided to cut her marketing budget and do it herself as a way to save money. As a small business owner in a small market, she is wearing many hats. The result, this business owner is spread thin. Her marketing effort no longer is getting the attention that it needs. The result? Visits to the site are 1/10th of what it was when the business was being marketed by blogging, tweeting, and sending out email campaigns.
This business serves a finite local community with their services. At the peak, the business was receiving approximately 450 visits per month with marketing. After cutting out marketing activites, the site only received 45 to 50 visits per month. Don’t let this happen to you. Continue marketing your business.
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That famous line, “If you build it, he will come”, from “Field of Dreams” doesn’t really hold true when it comes to websites. With millions of websites competing for mindshare, just having a website does not mean automatic success. You need a strategy.
Prior to creating your strategy you need to take time assessing:
• customer profile
• your unique value
• competitive landscape
• product pricing & positioning
• online tools available for promotion
From here you can build your strategy, so that the messaging on your site speaks to the intended audience. From here there are many tools that you can use to promote your products and services, driving traffic to your site. Pick and choose which tools are most appropriate to your audience. For example, if you are primarily offering B2B services, then LinkedIn is a good vehicle for reaching business professionals. If you have B2C customers Facebook or Google Plus might be more appropriate. Twitter can help you reach both types of customers effectively.
As you choose the promotional avenues, make sure that your messaging is consistent, clear, and on target.