2019 has landed and as always, I'm certainly looking to continue developing both myself, our team and the company in general. As I look back at last year, I'm proud of what we achieved and we certainly developed our business substantially. I'm excited about this year and with that in mind, here are some tips that I feel every business should embrace to really win in 2019:
- Plan to succeed
It may sound obvious but companies who are successful in their marketing endeavours have a strong marketing plan to guide them. They will have certainly identified their target market(s) and go after them strongly with a budget which is carefully managed and justified. That's not to say everything in the plan will work but that brings me to my next point...
- Test and measure
This is vital especially given the rate things change around us on a daily basis. What worked last year / month / week, may not work the same this time ( for better or worse). So track the impact of campaigns and your marketing in general to ensure the returns are there. Also ensure you're in possession of all the facts. If you track lead sources via Google Analytics for example, you'll have a good handle on what's working but do you cross reference with Assisted Conversions? This metric helps identify the role certain sources played in the build-up to generating a lead/sale. For example I may visit your website via Google Ad today and come back tomorrow after Googling your brand name and clicking your organic listing or just typing the address in direct. In that instance, organic or direct would get the glory but if it hadn't been for Google Ad it may never have come in at all.
- Identify what you should be selling
When I say 'should be' I want you to think about that for a minute as I appreciate it sounds blindingly obvious, but it's amazing how many companies overlook the simplicity and power of doing just that. Whatever you sell, you've likely got different variables within the product range to sell small ones, medium ones and big ones, as well as cheaper ones and expensive ones. You get the idea - ultimately there will be those which make good money and those you should probably avoid selling given the hassle they bring with them.
My question is really simple - which of your products earns the most profit? It's interesting how many people truly know the answer to that and what we often find is that there's not much difference in terms of work to sell something at the bottom of the range to the top of the range. In some examples, there's actually less work involved to make a lot more money. I therefore believe you need a good handle on what you're selling and what you're making. Before you embark on a marketing quest to boost sales, make sure you're likely to make good profit from the efforts as it builds momentum. I believe a reason a lot of companies fail is that they've got their pricing wrong and a key part of that is they've overlooked what they need to invest in marketing and factored that into the price point. We all need to be 'sold' a product/service/idea but if you've got no money to get noticed or tell a good story then how can you really compete? If you can't present yourself in a really smart way and be seen/found in the places your dream clients are going to be then what can you expect to come your way? Selling on price to people you probably don't want to sell to and then guess what happens...
So keep it simple and from your marketing point of view, focus hard on a very limited number of items which will genuinely make good money and hammer that every day. If you're constantly changing the message and focus of what you sell you'll make it impossible for people to help you; whether that's your own staff, your existing customers, introducers in the market, channel partners etc.
- Listen to the experts
I've always believed in the team ethic within any organisation which stems from playing sport earlier in my life and I now view my business as a true team. With the team in mind we have people we employee directly and others we bring in to add additional skills / input / experience and that typically saves us time and money, improving our end result. So get the right people around you and listen to what they are telling you and saying in your sector. Then look at what you can do within your marketing plan to take advantage of different situations/moments.
- Focus on your customer service (and monitor your reputation online)
A bad experience goes a long way and with more and more review websites popping up (both about products/services but also about what it's like to work for you and deal with you in general as well now!) you need to ensure your reputation is good. You're going to need a lot more marketing credits if your reputation is bad vs good to channel the appropriate resource to keep a positive view out there.
- Advertise on social media
The power available at your fingertips is incredible and as more and more companies switch on to the advertising opportunities, the costs are typically going in one direction. Get involved asap, find the network that works, take point 2 above into account and go for it.
- Use a great lead management system
If you're in the service sector then leads are key to growth and as important is your ability to nurture and turn them in to clients. Last year we moved from Zoho CRM to pipedrive and it's been a hugely positive move indeed. The leads from our own website and other sources are logged automatically within here now and you can automate a certain amount of tasks/responses to make life easier. The biggest and best feature for me is the fact it goes out of its way to alert you if you haven't set a next action for an open opportunity (for example; call to follow-up, send a proposal, book a meeting etc.). It's a relatively small element which has an absolutely massive impact. Time kills deals so the quicker you can progress the sale, the stronger your chances are likely to be for a successful outcome.
- Stay humble
I say this in the sense of your brand as some companies get carried away in periods of success and that can lead to a downward trend as strong as the boom time you've just experienced. In sales they carry the ABC adage (Always Be Closing) and in marketing I believe in ABC as well (Always Be Communicating). As people we are all open to so many different forms of communication each and every day that you need to make a lot of noise to get noticed so keep your marketing efforts competitive at all times. Complacency kills and whether you're running a local toy store or Toys R Us, the rules stay the same aren't they.
So I wish you all a very successful 2019 and naturally if you'd like help to put a strong online marketing plan in place, let us know. We'll happily invest some time to find out more about your business and look at what we would recommend to get you moving up a level.
Contact me to find out how Digity can help boost your business
t: 01189 100 012 / e: firstname.lastname@example.org