Growing Your Business: How Digital Marketing Works in the Real WorldKenneth Nel
Imagine for a moment that you form part of Navy SEAL Team Six. You’re in the Gold Squadron and, alongside other troops, you are preparing for an extremely hazardous strike, crouching quietly in the dark and awaiting orders. If we said to you at this point that there has been no reconnaissance, there was very little intelligence gathered, the troops next to you were guys that someone found at the gym, and your mobility teams were all at the local doughnut shop – would you still go ahead with the strike?
What does this have to do with growing your business, and in particular, making use of digital marketing?
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Simply this: The growth of your business cannot be left up to a single element where it becomes the sole factor supporting the success or failure of your venture.
Too many people dabble in digital marketing and when it doesn’t reply immediately with a 300% ROI they knock it on the head.
Upscaling your business requires a strong foundation built on a number of pillars. For example, having the right intel, the right people in your team, a solid “control centre” and the right tools are all essential to your success.
Digital Marketing is SEAL Team Six
For those that don’t already know, SEAL Team Six is an elite group of operatives made up of the SEAL’s best men. Not much is known about their operations (for obvious reasons) but they are called upon for anti-terrorism missions and matters of a sensitive nature.
Basically, they get the job done.
Your digital marketing strategy should spearhead your business growth, but it needs support in the form of intelligence, project management, the right tools and the right people.
Let’s explore this a little further.
The Right Intel
Signing your marketing over to a “professional” company and waiting for the results is a mistake. No marketing company can possibly know who your ideal customers are, what they are interested in, what their buying cycles are or what your Unique Selling Point (USP) is.
On the other hand, because you are not in the business of marketing, you may need some help uncovering this critical information.
You don’t know what you don’t know – right?
Which makes it a joint operation.
Collecting the necessary intelligence also means knowing your enemy. Competitor research is vital if you’re going to go up against them.
The Right Tools
Growing your business is hard work. And the less you have to do – yourself – the better. This doesn’t necessarily mean taking on the cost and responsibility of more staff.
Every business should have a sales funnel – a digital means of guiding potential customers towards a buying decision. This can and should be automated, and tools like HubSpot or Infusionsoft are brilliant options for any sized business.
Some of these tools also double as an excellent customer management system (CMS) which is another arrow to include in your quiver. It’s costly and time-consuming to constantly go out and find new customers – some sources say it costs up to three times more money to get a new customer than it would to keep the old.
Customer loyalty programs, mind-blowing customer service, a great product and honest, ethical business practices are key factors.
A Control Centre
You may not have the budget for a fully fledged marketing team, but you still need someone to head up and take control and responsibility.
Make sure that your growth strategy is clear to everyone in the business, no matter their role, so that they are all clear on your direction and mission. This will be based on sound intel, marketing best practice and a dedicated focus on a particular outcome.
At the same time, ensure that others don’t dabble in things they may know nothing about. Nothing undermines a digital marketing strategy faster than the boss’s daughter complaining about the colour palette!
Make a plan and stick to the plan.
The Right People
If you plan on scaling up, then you will know that you can’t do it alone. Take the time to invest in people, offering a good work/life balance, a fair wage, and the right tools and autonomy to do their job well.
But don’t be afraid to employ specialists to help you where you may have holes in your system. For example, bringing in a digital marketing coach (just like us!) is the perfect way to get all your systems in place without having to pay out a big fat salary every month.
Outsource finance and accounting services to contractors, your artwork to a designer, and your cleaning to – well – a cleaner. Take a look at Upwork and hire a freelancer for the jobs that you don’t have the skills or time for.
Form partnerships with like-minded people in complementary businesses, offer to mentor bright young minds or give free services as a goodwill gesture.
Growing Your Business One Step at a Time
Yes, we’d all love to wake up and have a dozen new customers banging on our door and throwing money at us.
But, in the real world, we need careful planning, strategic thinking and maybe…SEAL Team Six.