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State of Digital Confusion: The World of Online Marketing in 2017
Online marketing, especially in 2017, is confusing.
There’s so many opportunities out there. At the same time, there are SO many opportunities that it can be hard to figure out exactly where to get started.
As you might expect, the answer to this problem is focus. Getting clear on what you want to achieve and finding the tools you need to achieve those goals is the key to surviving marketing information overload.
That’s not all, though.
Your business also needs to remain open to new opportunities. As technology continues to evolve, businesses cannot afford to stay focused on their business while also keeping an eye on their ever-changing environment.
To sum up, your business needs the following to survive in 2017:
- Goals: Get clear on what they want achieve
- Resources: Find the tools that will reach your goals
- Flexibility: The ability to leverage new opportunities
It looks easy, but looks can be deceptively deceiving.
Bizapalooza Chat Expert of the Week: Louis Gudema
That’s why DIY Marketers turned to Louis Gudema (@LouisGudema), a full-stack marketer, consultant CEO, and speaker who focuses on helping businesses create profit backed by data. Gudema has worked with businesses, large and small, get more leads and revenue using the power of data.
We’d figured he might be a good fit for a discussion on creating focused and profitable marketing goals.
(If you prefer to watch the live recording, check it out here.)
Here’s five tips from that powerful chat:
- Start with business goals
- Work backwards from your business goals.
- Know how to prioritize your goals
- Pick the right tool for your goal and stage of business
- Know what to delegate and who to delegate
Let’s take a closer look at these goals:
1. Start with business goals
Louis Gudema makes a BIG point of distinguishing between business goals and marketing goals. Business goals bring in revenue (aka money). Marketing goals lead you to money (usually).
It’s important not to get the two mixed up because many businesses often go.
Business goals, like getting 500 new customers this year, are tied to data and money. You can easily break the goal down into smaller goals and achieve them.These goals directly affect your bottom line and your business’ survival.
Marketing goals, on the other hand, are little more flexible. While you can break them down, the end result of these goals isn’t always evident. Your business could make a marketing goal of getting 1,000 followers in a year. That’s an impressive goal that can build a lot of visibility for your business, but it may not bring in a lot of revenue.
Business goals, Louis Gudema confirms, should be the priority. Your marketing goals should come from your business goals, not the other around (as many businesses do).Your business goals should be based on what you want from your business, not an arbitrary number(like 10% every year, no matter what) or comparison to other businesses.
2. Work backwards from your business goals
Once you have your business goals, Louis Gudema then suggests that you focus on breaking down those goals into even smaller goals that you can meet on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. You can then determine what you need to do on a daily basis to meet your goals.
In the chat, Gudema gives the example of a company that has a business goal of bringing in X number of customers. With that business goal, you can then start asking questions like:
- How many customers do I need on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis to meet my business goal?
- How many leads do I need to get these customers?
- How many qualified leads do I need?
- How many leads do I need to convert?
This focused thinking keeps your business targeted on the right metrics to stay in business. Many businesses get caught up in other metrics, such as how many Facebook followers or email subscribers. Metrics like Facebook followers and email subscribers do matter, but they aren’t as important as pursuing your business goals. Your business goals are what keeps the lights on!
3 Know how to prioritize your goals
Both the host of DIY Marketers, Ivana Taylor, and Louis Gudema pointed out the incredibly huge amount of choices that businesses have to make in this era of online marketing. There are so many channels from Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest, SnapChat, and more along with thousands of others.
Which ones do you focus on your business?
Louis Gudema actually has a handy little framework to help with that. He calls it the Bullseye Marketing Framework. The Bullseye Marketing Framework is a series of three circles that help business owners determine which categories of tools and strategies they should be focusing on to achieve their business goals.
The Framework can be summarized like this:
- Circle 1 (Inner circle)-Listening to customers, website conversions, email marketing
- Circle 2 (Middle circle)-Search marketing (Adwords, etc.
- Circle 3 (Outer circle)-Social media marketing, content marketing, etc.
Circle 1 is designed to help you reach your immediate sales goals (within a few weeks or months) quickly so that you can generate revenue. Work in this circle would focus on current customers and potential customers who are actively looking for the products and services you offer.
Circle 2 is designed to help you expand on your customer base (within months) so that you can generate even more revenue. Here you would focus on reaching new customers that are interested in your products or services. but have not made a commitment. Your goal is to reach top-of-mind status with these customers.
Circle 3 is where most businesses typically start. They often launch social media channels, blogs, videos, etc. to get their customer’s attention. While Louis doesn’t discredit these options for marketing, he emphasizes that businesses should first focus on getting revenue and then growing their customer base (and revenue) with things like social media and content marketing.
4. Pick the right tool for your goal and stage of business
Ivana, in her chat with Louis, also discussed the newest problem that every business has when trying to market online, the “shiny tool” problem. There is no shortage of marketing tools and channels out there (as Louis Gudema pointed out, many of them are free or low-cost), for businesses to choose from.
This makes it hard for businesses to focus.
Louis Gudema, in response to this concern, suggested the following categories of tools for a standard marketing toolkit:
- CRM (Database of customer information)
- Email marketing software
If you combine this with the marketing framework, business owners have a base of basic tools and goals to work with. The only thing to do next is to choose a provider (something that will be covered below).
Ideally, you want to choose a group of tools that match your stage of business, your budget, and your business goals. If you’re a small retail business that just started getting customers, your choice of marketing tools will look different from an established restaurant business that is looking to expand into a new region.
5. Know what to delegate and who to delegate
You can’t do marketing all by yourself.
Repeat: You can’t do marketing all by yourself.
This new age of marketing has unleashed a lot of tools that allow businesses to take control of their own marketing, from advertising to public relations. It can be very tempting to try to do it all, but Louis Gudema warns against it. Marketing, especially with a specific channel or area, takes expertise.
If you have the marketing expertise in a certain area, go for it.
If not, seek help.
Many business owners, either because of money or other resources, often try to do all of their marketing by themselves. This isn’t a good return of your time or your budget. Instead, as Louis points out, focus on your strengths. Focus on where you add value to your own business. If you are a skilled copywriter who needs graphics, hire a graphic person to help you. If you’re a retail person who needs help getting your products on Amazon, seek help.
When looking for that help, Louis gave some key pointers to look for in avoid scammers:
- Run from consultants, providers, and agencies that offer too much hype and not enough substancee
- Check references
- Make sure the person or business you choose can match your goals and budget.
The Bottom Line: Online Marketing is Complicated, Not Impossible
Online marketing can be challenging. It can be intimidating, but it is not impossible. Instead of getting distracted by every new marketing technology that comes out or hiding from online marketing altogether, be bold. Identify what your business needs to achieve to meet the goals you set. Prioritize those goals and pursue them with awesome. Delegate what you can’t do and focus on what you can.
With the above recipe of strategies, you’ll be taking charge of your online marketing instead of online marketing taking charge of you.