One of my biggest bugbears is when I start chatting about Inbound Marketing or Social Media to someone at a networking event and they tell me 'Oh, my Marketing Manager does all that...'
Many sales people rely on their website to generate the leads for them to call.
A potential customer arrives on the site via a Google search and either calls or emails them using the information on the website. Alternatively, the visitor may complete a contact form on the website.
All of these contacts result in the sales person speaking to the enquiror on the telephone to arrange a sales visit.
These enquiries are all warm leads who are contacting you because they are already interested in your product or service. They are in the 3% of your target market who are actively looking to buy.
Prospecting for customers who are not yet ready to buy
But what about the remaining 67%? Those people who need your products or services but don't know that you supply them or those who would buy your products or services if they actually knew that they needed them. That's where prospecting comes in.
In today's economic climate, there are THREE crucial reasons why you need to turn your website into a marketing machine, rather than leave it as a static brochure which doesn't earn its keep.
1. Business Growth - attracting the right type of visitors to your website, those ideal customers who are most likely to want your product or service
2. Building Your List - converting those visitors into leads by exchanging their email address for useful content.
3. Differentiation - showing those leads why you are better than your competition so it's obvious why they should become customers.
Unfortunately Manufacturers just aren't with the times.
I was recently wading through dozens of manufacturers' websites, as part of an active drive to nudge manufacturing businesses into the 21st century. I came across some horrendous websites.
Not just in design, even the best websites can have their flaws, but importantly the purpose was missing. So let's take a step back and think about who your website is for? Say the answer to yourself now.
How much should your business spend on marketing? It's a question that many business owners ask themselves on a regular basis... especially when they are bombarded with offers that promise the earth for very little outlay.
The first thing you need to remember is that marketing and advertising are not the same!
Marketing or Advertising? What's the score?
Marketing is the process of bringing buyers and sellers together and educating the buyers about why they should choose the seller's product or service rather than their competitor's.
You've booked a stunning venue, arranged some awesome speakers, added a booking form to your website and now you just need bums on seats.
So you turn to social media and start publicising your event. You get a graphic designer to create a stand-out image with a call to action that tells people to book now by clicking a link. You post the event as status updates on your LinkedIn Company page and Facebook Business Page.
And nothing happens.
At this point, you need to analyse your tactics and see where the spanner was thrown into the works.
Are you making it too difficult for anyone to sign up for your event?
Here's a classic example of just how easy it is to get the promotion of events on LinkedIn totally wrong. Essex County Council made it excruciatingly difficult to sign up for their Essex Means Business event.