Investing in marketing serves one purpose: to find paying customers. Excellent marketing delivers a strong return on investment. Good marketing easily pays for itself and more while poor marketing doesn’t even cover its costs. Developing an effective marketing plan is a puzzle every business-person has to solve.
It’s rapidly getting more complex with the shift to internet marketing. The everyone is connected almost everywhere they go. The customers we all want are getting their information in a new way. To succeed we need to adjust and adapt.
In the 1990s I started a gas fireplace store from scratch and built it into a small chain of three stores doing well over two million in sales. I always thought marketing was like buying stocks. There were three “stocks” I played regularly. They were local newspaper ads, Yellow Page ads and home shows. In my mind I’d buy them as investments and expect to cash them in as sales later.
It worked well. I had strong growth year after year. In 1999 I sold my stores and went into business coaching. Now I work on up to 50 marketing plans a year including my own marketing strategy. Nothing in business has changed faster than marketing. The old stocks just don’t produce like they used to, even the Homeshows. Customers can see a product they like in your booth and then find your competitors (who aren’t even displaying at the show) before they leave your booth.
It’s a different world now largely because of the internet, but the challenge remains the same: how to find paying customers. Part of the new reality is steep learning curve that goes along with marketing on the internet.
It’s difficult to invest in stocks you don’t know well
Get a reputable broker with a solid track record would be good advice if you ever want to see your money again. With internet marketing the same type of advice applies.
There are companies like Marwick Marketing who tackle the problem in a professional manner. Christian Thomson emphasizes top level industry training and a systemization in his company. Here’s a quick overview of Marwick’s initial approach.
First Know where the competitors are. In the old days it was easy to spot their advertising buys and where their stores are. Nowadays it takes special skills to spot their strategy and find their ads.
Second, research how and where the customers you want to do business with are shopping. There is an art and a science to this. Behaviour on the internet can be puzzling. Fishing in pools well stocked with paying customers that nobody else has discovered yet, delivers a great return on investment. But, that’s not always available. In that case an effective strategy to compete and win is essential. Have a professional on your side will pay dividends.
Third, determine the best channels to use. There are over 30+ channels: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google Adwords, and Facebook just to name a few. The key at this stage is to determine which channel or combination of channels will deliver the best return on investment.
Four, test everything learned in the first three steps. The only way to do this is to go live with the marketing strategy. This is when the advertising starts and it can be tested and measured. Next it moves to the adapt and adjust stage to maximize the results.
Five, after approximately three months you are in a very good position to know if it’s worthwhile continuing. The depth of the data and analysis will surprise you. The days of an ad salesperson telling you to put a coupon in your ad to track your results are completely finished.
Soon you will understand the internet marketing that works for your company. How to find paying customers on the internet will be less of a mystery. That’s what the professionals at Marwick Marketing will do for you. They can put you confidently in control of your internet marketing and your business won’t be half full anymore.
How to Find Paying Customers was written by John Cameron of Rock Solid Business Coaching
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