With 2011 among us, it’s always a good time to reflect on the past and think about the future; especially from a marketing perspective. What are your company’s short-term and long-term goals? How are you contributing? What can you do better? It’s important to realize that you take into account your resources, your working environment, your relationship with your co-workers and management, but most importantly, look within yourself and understand your own pluses and minuses, and look to make yourself the most valuable employee as possible. So here we go some thoughts for 2011:
Re-look at your website strategy; think of yourself as a potential buyer. Is the copy compelling enough to make a quick decision to connect? Is there enough quality, relevant content that would persuade me to submit my email address to you? Your buyers only have a few seconds to decide if your solution is right for their organization. If your website is not designed for optimal lead generation, time to rethink the website’s goals. You didn’t spend thousands of dollars for a digitized brochure, did you? Engage your audiences with your site and make sure the key action (purchase, quote, downloadable content, subscriptions) is clear and easy to get to.
Don’t accept data dumps. Rather, make sure whatever data you have on your website from an analytics standpoint, there are action steps to take based on the outcomes of the data. If you have Google Analytics installed, you should be able to understand all of the opportunities available to slice and dice data (keywords, campaigns, content, visitors, navigation). If you don’t understand how to make the wealth of data work for your firm, you may be losing valuable potential leads by not “listening” to the numbers.
Give Pay-Per-Click a chance. There’s too many companies, even search marketing companies, who just don’t get it. A few thoughts on Google Adwords and pay-per-click in general: Text ads are what they are named- Ads! That means compelling headlines and copy that makes you stand apart. I you have offers, white papers, or promotions, let’s advertise them! Also, click results and Google Analytics are all based on “last-click” metrics. Campaign attribution is a big issue now and in 2011. Don’t make rash decisions on pay-per-click until you fully understand your media mix and search behavior. Remember, many people are in research mode on search engines. They click; they cache or bookmark your website, and when they’re ready, they will access your site directly. What source gets credit for a sale according to Analytics- A direct click. What source was a driver for that decision? Pay-per-click. Think about it.
Give Social Media a chance. Remember the old days of PR? Did anyone track the ROI of PR? Not really; PR was essential for credibility and trust building and its contribution to brand. Hello social media. If you focus on ROI and lead generation with social media, that thinking is unwise. Sure, all marketing efforts need to lead to revenue growth, but think social media as a platform to communicate and engage in audiences with your own knowledge. You’re building a reputation with content. Please, do not invest time and resources in social media unless you have a content plan. What are your prospect’s pain points? How do you solve them? What makes you different? Once answered, THEN you can start social media tactics, but only if you give it time and effort. You need to work the channels by engaging in dialog.
Continue to learn. Keep educating yourself. Read the blogs and feeds. Visit webinars. Strategic marketing tactics are changing all the time. Buyers are not contacting sales much anymore; they are utilizing the Internet to research you and read your content. They are making decisions by what your site looks like, what content they read, and what others have to say about you. Your strategy, your message, how you deliver that message , and how often you deliver that message are contribute equally to the buyer’s decision to engage with you by calling or submitting an email form. So please understand your audience; invest in research if necessary. Like all advertising- the channels do not work if the message does not resonate with your prospects.
Whatever happens in 2011; to you or to me, continue to strive to be the best you can be. Continue to gain knowledge. Continue to be a team-player. Continue to try new things, but as long as you have a measurement plan. Most importantly, be yourself- you have much to offer. Take all of your expertise and experience, combined with your enthusiasm to keep learning, and look forward to your contribution to your firm’s 2011 success. OK?