If you feel like marketing is a vague, broad term— you're not alone. It may feel as if your marketing strategy is throwing things against a wall, and seeing what sticks. This article will help you define marketing strategy and why marketing is a crucial component of a business.
The constant flood of recommendations on how to market a business can be overwhelming. When making marketing decisions, it is vital to identify what you know about your business, your customers, and your long-term goals.
Everything you share with the public about your business is considered to be marketing. From a logo to a website, anything that communicates a message can be a form of marketing. The question is: what marketing strategies are the best fit for your unique business? Any marketing decision made should incorporate research, data, and planning.
Research has shown that between December 2013 and December 2015, smartphone internet consumption grew by 78% and that 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the layout or content is not attractive. In 2019, you can bet those statistics are more relevant than ever.
In the current tech world, digital marketing is hugely impactful for nearly every type of business. The internet is used daily for making purchase decisions. If the majority of your target customers use the internet, it is highly recommended to have an online presence. A digital presence should provide consumers with credibility, interest, and information—while also being correctly search engine optimized.
A marketing strategy can be paramount to a business's success. Defining the following steps can help to put your best foot forward when coming up with a tactic that reaches potential clients, drives revenue, and propels growth.
Businesses should have a vision for their desired long-term achievements. Goals should align with your branding, purpose, budget, and vision. Identify what parts of your business bring in the most income and what parts create a potential for growth. For example, you may want to expand your customer base by 15% every year. To meet that goal, you'll have to keep attracting new customers. Think about how you are going to reach potential customers and show them the value in choosing your business.
Identifying your target customer means defining what type of person wants to use your service. Some businesses may believe that their target customer is "everyone." Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. Narrow down the customers that bring the most value to your business.
Determining these clients will allow you to focus on what components of your business attract them the most. Find aspects that customers value about you, such as an aesthetically-pleasing interior, efficiency, affordability, or quality. Take notes from those customers, and find what they like. Documenting this will help define your marketing plan.
Find common characteristics in your customers, such as age, location, interests, education level, income level, and any other details on your ideal client.
What makes you stand out from your competitors? Being able to understand your competition, and what sets you apart— is crucial to your marketing strategy. Determining your competition doesn't mean defining what makes you better; it is more about defining your business's uniqueness and appeal. Find out what other companies provide as an alternative to your customers.
Having competition is beneficial because it results in innovation. It helps businesses set themselves apart from others and continuously improve. Having healthy competition brings in awareness, market penetration, increased consumption, differentiation, improved efficiency, and customer loyalty.
Study your competitors - document what you like about them, what you dislike, and how you'd do it differently.
Today, there are more options than ever to market a business. From advertising in magazines to search engine marketing, the number of options can seem to be endless. Whatever strategy you choose, it is essential to find the channel that will attract your ideal audience, and eventually turn them into customers. A properly optimized website is a fantastic tool to attract potential customers because it enables searchability, brand recognition, information, and connection to other marketing channels.
Make a list of marketing channels that potential clients are using the most and how they discover new businesses.
Having a budget will narrow down your marketing strategy even more. Marketing is an ongoing process. Making a marketing budget will help to create a sustainable plan, that you can use month by month to provide consistency to your customers while also driving results.
After defining your business goals, target market, competition, potential channels, and budget, it's time to take action. Make a list of where you want to promote your business and what steps each marketing strategy involves. Determine what or who you'll need for your marketing plan.
Write down all the ideas you have, and start communicating with agencies, contractors, family members, employees, and anyone who will help to execute your strategy.
Once you've started, make sure to document each step and collect as much data as possible. Data collection will help you figure out what works and what doesn't. Using a marketing professional or agency can give you expert analytical insight on the status of your marketing strategy, and provide future marketing action steps.
We hope that this article helps you start your best marketing strategy yet! If you are interested in more information or have any questions on digital marketing, contact the experts at Giant Donut Marketing! Do you have an existing website that isn't performing? Consider receiving a complimentary website audit!
The client initially approached Giant Donut Marketing with the desire to launch Google Ads. Their current company hadn’t been able to effectively help them position their company as the local leader, albeit a newer office. With excellent staff and a 3rd Generation Doctor, their revenue expectations were not being met by their existing team.
During this same time period, the client had the opportunity to buy out another dentist office, supplying a steady stream of new clients for a period of several months. They wanted to ensure those customers found their website effectively and were interested in doubling their growth rate from referrals and digital marketing.
We were able to successfully help them launch on paid advertising with a set cost per acquisition that made it possible for the practice to profitably scale their enterprise. The intake of new clients allowed them to hire several assistants, and revise their first-year company outlook very positively.
With a longer-term focus on their website’s organic positions, and dominance of their paid search rankings, they will be able to look forward to explosive growth into the near future.
Our first action for this client was to set up their Google Advertising Account. Focusing on high-value searches, and localized advertising near to their location, the proximity bidding allowed us to scale up the advertising very efficiently. Once we had obtained an affordable localized Cost per acquisition, we increased the range and amount of keyword purchasing drastically. This created a directly inverse relationship between the leads generated and the region we were targeting. A larger targeted region, while more expensive, allows the practice to control their amount of customer intake on a large scale, and gives ample time for Onboarding of new employees.
Once effectively utilizing their paid search space, the practice was able to focus on redeveloping their website. Initially, set up by a large marketing firm designed for dentists, the site architecture was dated and have severely limited site speeds. We were able to redevelop the website onto WordPress, create engaging content, and achieve over 100% more clicks in the first month, with a sustained 15-30% growth month over month for several quarters. This increase to their organic rankings allowed the practice to identify the necessary cap on their advertising spend, clearly illustrating the conversion values of the additional channel.
Moving forward, they continue to develop additional SEO value pertaining to their cyclical conversions from both organic and paid channels.
An active social media feed allows the practice to connect with people onto the social media space, helping define more multi-channel funnels, and increasing their overall conversions as well. Utilizing three channels of advertising helps the brand better connect with their target audiences, decreasing their cost per acquisition, standard attrition rates, and generating more revenue.
The practice is growing in line with their best case expectations. After their buyout of the other office book of business, we have been able to sustain their customer growth expectations with the other forms of advertising. This growth is in tandem with their excellent customer service and attention to detail, resulting in tons of positive reviews, and referral traffic for their local office. They will have no problem with profitably in the near future, and are currently setting even higher revenue targets for themselves as part of their success!
This client in the professional services industry originally approached Giant Donut Marketing due to lack of performance from their other marketing companies. Utilizing paid google search, television, and print advertising, they were unimpressed with the results from each different channel.
We approached them with a wide-reaching digital strategy that would provide immediate value in their vertical. In addition, we painted a large reaching geographical marketing plan that would facilitate the opening of several offices regionally to take competitive market share over the entire county.
The client was willing to allow us to experiment with some cutting edge growth techniques and authorized a significant paid budget. Over the next several months, we helped increase their customer acquisitions by such a large margin that they were limited only by their ability to onboard additional staff to handle the workflow. This acquisition continued and accelerated as we expanded the footprint of our digital advertising from one region to the entire county. Over the first year, this acquisition funded the rapid expansion of the Business from a one employee operation, to a 10+ employee firm within the space of a year. They continue to implement this growth strategy and have successfully opened three other locations within the county, effectively capturing a huge amount of the local market.
Initially, the customer had invested in several different marketing mediums with little success. We reallocated the funds into Google paid search, immediately putting the dollars to work in customer acquisition. By focusing on his personal area of expertise, we were able to monopolize an entire region of search results. Expanding this initial footprint into more varied service offerings allowed more employee on-boarding as the work proportionally increased with our online spending. Several months later, we were buying over 70% of the available online search impression share, increasing the leads into the firm by hundreds of percents.
Prior to the opening of physical locations, we built several new websites to capture specific regions of the county. This geographical targeting allowed us to increase conversions from hyper-localized advertising. This dropped our overall cost per acquisition and increased our ability to convert customers of other areas, by giving them a more local option for our services.
In the following months, the client was able to open several retail branches, expanding on the digital successes of the past. These physical locations generated additional foot traffic and word-of-mouth conversions, allowing them to be immediately profitable. This further dropped our cost per acquisition and increased the overall company revenue. This also allowed to spread our risk profile across a much more varied region, allowing for very aggressive tactics of marketing penetration.
Now one of the largest firms in the region, they have been able to dynamically grow their revenue as well as service offerings. This has enabled the firm to focus on capturing much higher value customers and offering very diverse services. They continue to dominate their market region and offer excellent services to all their clients.
We were approached by a retail store in the Jewelry vertical about digital advertising. They didn’t have a specific strategy in mind and we're looking for the best source of immediate ROI. We immediately launched them on the GDM Grow Plan and Google PPC with a focus on Google Maps advertising. The results are a rapidly growing retail presence with goals for immediate expansion.
This growth primarily achieved through PPC has allowed their other channels (social media, organic, referral) to grow much more rapidly than using no paid mediums. They are already looking to open additional locations, based on the success of their first retail store.
Immediately upon setup of the customer's account, we went to work developing the Google compliance of their website. Although built on a framework less effective for SEO, we were able to carefully place their site on the search engine with a narrow amount of competition. The keyword rankings we initially pushed for included people looking for the service components of their business, rather than the product sales. This SEO focus allowed us to define the sector (and our conversions) very effectively for the search engine, immediately returning ROI on the site development. This development (and launching PPC within the same timeframe) helped increase traffic from all sources by more than 200%.
Within the same week, as the initial site "Grow" completion, we set up and launched their paid advertising channels. With no competition for Google Maps ads, we were able to very rapidly acquire customers via the channel. This lead source, combined with our Search advertising, immediately helped their retail store achieve profitability. We expect to see well over 100% year-over-year statistics as well, with a static website development budget.
While still in the first year of business, Giant Donut Marketing's "Grow" plan and careful PPC spend management has allowed their retail store to double their first year revenue goal at a set cost basis. This allows their location to identify other advertising avenues to invest in their long term growth in tandem with their digital marketing strategy.
"Customer" initially approached Giant Donut Marketing to launch their Google-based advertising. They were currently selling on Amazon and eBay and had just launched their own sales channel. With limited success from several PPC and SEO companies, they hadn’t been able to create any market penetration from their existing strategies.
Once engaged, GDM formulated a comprehensive action plan for acquiring customers at scale profitably. This plan included uniquely creating new Organic Keyword Space with targeted product brand traffic, Full attribution cycle marketing development, Full Google ads launch (Search, Display, Shopping), and campaign oversight.
This customer has developed from pre-revenue site launch to one of the largest stores in their sales vertical.
Our first action strategy (branded organic traffic) included creating unique listings for out of production products. We build the keyword positions to support product sales for companies that were no longer in business, fulfilling a need for Google to effectively convert those customers. By selling a replacement product on our store, we were effectively able to claim the brand traffic for those out of Business companies. This attributed a 30% uplift to our first YOY statistics. We expanded this keyword footprint to additional product types while expanding brand coverage leading to an additional 30% uplift in the following year. This year, we have launched websites to fully capture pre-purchase keywords for those products, ensuring a larger overall pool of Google's search impression share.
We have stabilized our ranking organic keywords across the entire spectrum of the branded product we carry, and we continue to acquire more sales revenue from this in-depth channel management. Organic Revenue makes up about 30% of our overall revenue and has continued to grow each year regardless of Google’s monetization strategy for the search engine.
Within the last three years, Google has opened its analytics tools to include attribution cycling of conversions. From inception, we have utilized these tools to define which conversion events are the most effective and at which point of the attribution chain. By defining the events along the cycle, we found the best converting search keywords and used our remarketing audiences to push aggressive shopping advertising. This increased our overall conversion rate by 15% and helped drastically cut spending.
This also increased our overall conversion rate dynamically, by helping us create more effective conversion cycles throughout all our Google channels of marketing.
We continue to very carefully ascertain our best start and end cycle advertising mediums, ensuring our conversion rate stays extremely high. This gives us more revenue, and share of our vertical’s impression share, saving time and money in the sector.
With over 50 campaigns and six figures in spend per year, we have instituted millions of campaign changes to this PPC account. Using our profitably established ROA’s we have tested over 50 different bid architectures, 15 different negative keyword list techniques, and fully add rotation testing, keeping our account profitable since inception.
Our dedication to paid management has allowed “company” to grow over 50% per year profitably in the last 3 years. On top of our other channel development (social, organic, email, etc.) this has lent to a top-level company growth rate over 100% each year. Having carefully established as one of the most dominant advertisers in the vertical, we are able to use our full domination of Google search results to launch new products, product types, and keyword rankings by identifying the most valuable digital real estate available. We continue to push the envelope of what is currently possible with full Google Product Suite usage.
With sustained years-long growth, effective paid advertising management, and systematically defined ROAS governing our strategies, we have grown from a small business launching a website to the second largest store in the vertical. This revenue growth has allowed our advertising to take a much larger role in our growth as an entity and provides strict controls on our longer-term ROI strategies. By using very detailed CPA (cost per action) management, we are able to control our profit margin variably and maintain and grow our online digital presence.