Whether you’re building a house or a commercial structure, you won’t get far (or achieve lasting results) without a good foundation. It’s easy for homeowners to get caught up in the details—furniture, finishes, appliances, window coverings, etc.—but unless the building has a firm foundation, that stuff won’t really matter.
The same is true when you’re trying to establish a marketing agency. It’s easy to get caught up in the latest tools and technologies. And there is a constant parade of shiny new “toys” out there, clamoring for your attention. Tools, however, regardless of how cool they are (and some are really cool!) won’t build your business. They can help, but your business needs a solid foundation.
Sometimes businesses get fooled into thinking that marketing is all about getting noticed. But that’s only part of the story. Getting noticed doesn’t pay your bills. The same thing is true of activity. Some businesses get all excited when there is a lot of activity on their website. Once again, activity (website traffic) alone never made anyone rich. Don’t get me wrong. Getting noticed is good, and website traffic activity is good (you’re dead without it). But it’s not the end goal.
We like to talk about three “pillars” upon which your marketing strategy and efforts should rest: retention, results and wisdom. These are the things you want to get out of your marketing. And they are essential if your marketing efforts (and your company) are to succeed. Let’s explore these three things a bit.
Retention. It’s not enough to have people visit your website. You want to retain them and turn them into leads—and ultimately customers. Your marketing efforts need to get them there and then give them a reason to stay—and keep coming back. That means providing them with content that’s important to them. A sales pitch won’t work. But if you can answer a question or help them solve a problem you can keep them coming back. And you can engage them in conversation.
Results. Your marketing efforts should produce measureable results. What kind of results? You want visitors to turn into leads—individuals who are genuinely interested in your products or services. How can you do that? By presenting an offer—something they actually want, in exchange for their contact information. Again, helpful, useful information (something that actually transforms their lives) can be a powerful incentive for someone to give you his or her contact information.
Wisdom. It’s also important that you learn from your marketing efforts. Who responded, and to what offers? How many responses did you get? How many of those who responded ended up becoming customers? If something didn’t work—why didn’t it? Failed marketing efforts can be extremely valuable—if you learn from them. Of course that requires that you have a system set up to gather and analyze this kind of information.
Getting visitors to stay; getting them to interact with you (and become leads or even customers); and learning from your marketing efforts help form the foundation for your future marketing endeavors—and your company’s success.
What are you doing to build a firm foundation for your company?