Marketing is all about getting your name, brand, or product in front of someone.
Many use marketing and branding to add “sexiness” to a typically unsexy product or service. Unfortunately, small businesses don’t often understand the importance of getting prospects to take action in some way. You see, they often hear someone say… “you gotta try (insert current popular marketing tactic like… Facebook Ads)”. Then after hearing this 3 or 4 times, this owner starts looking into doing Facebook Ads or whatever is “hot” right now.
Making your brand sexy is not a bad thing per se, but sex appeal alone does not make the cash register ring or fill your bank account.
Well, maybe it works in the porn industry, but an everyday business owner is not going to rake in cash by just adding a sexy woman on the cover of their brochure or website. It will, however, grab your prospect’s attention and that is a start. Keep in mind when I say sex appeal I am not necessarily talking about scantily clad women or men. What I am talking about is a clean professionally designed logo, website, brochure and any other collateral you use for your marketing and branding purposes.
In my mind, small businesses do not have a budget for doing marketing for brand awareness alone. Keep in mind that the SBA (small business administration) defines “small” businesses based on a few things within your industry, but a “small” business could be as big a 500 employees and doing up to $35MM (yes thirty-five million dollars a year) in annual revenue. Although those larger companies seem pretty large to most people, the majority (26 million) of US registered businesses are doing less than $10MM and only 100K do between $10MM and $30MM. Those that I call the “FUTURE BUILDERS” (the ones doing $10MM to $30MM) may have a budget for brand awareness, but I have worked with many companies in the $1MM to $10MM range and although it is recommended to invest 10% of revenues in marketing, few do.
Here is the problem… business owners and CEOs jump from designer to web firm, to agency, to social media firm, and back again. The reason they continually jump around is that they are looking to implement the latest trend in marketing and seeking the silver bullet. So they never build any consistency because each marketing person/company wants to put their stamp on things. Worse, they are sold what they ask for… Facebook Ads for example. The owner or CEOs gets what they asked for and it looks pretty cool while it is live or the campaign is running. At this point, the CEO is happy and excited.
Sadly though at some point, the CEO wonders… “why are we not getting any new business and sales from all our marketing efforts?” So what do they do? They get pissed off, fire their current firm and go shopping for the next fad and/or agency. The mistake these owners make is not realizing marketing alone can not bring in new business if they do not approach their marketing from a sales perspective. Sadly few marketers know anything about sales and closing deals and they have been sold that marketing is the world’s savior and so that is what they sell their clients on.
At the end of the day what the business owner and CEO really want are results… SALES RESULTS.
Marketing can support your sales results, but it can not deliver them alone unless you run an e-commerce site with non-complex items. That being said, strategic marketing with a focus on sales results can be a game changer. Let me give you an example of what I am talking about.
In my business, I use websites to help CEOs get leads for their sales teams.
It is important to make sure the sales team can sell the lead once they get them, but I’ll save that for another article. So in the first step, we evaluate a client’s current marketing and the results they are getting. Typically they are getting NO RESULTS because they didn’t know they could ask for them or even demand them. As an example, I did some work for a manufacturing company and they did next to no marketing in their 15-20 years in business. Everything they tried failed and so they were very skeptical of marketing and marketers in general.
When I started working with them they were getting roughly 30 website visits a month and maybe 2 leads a quarter (this is actually being pretty generous). I redesigned their website taking them from what looked like a late ’90s website to a more modern and fresh design (this was the sex appeal I spoke of earlier). Keep in mind the site was built for results so although it was sexy, the foundation was built based on turning visitors into leads for the sales team.
Getting Results – Step 1: Build Traffic
I launched their site in May and the previous year they got 360 visits to the website all year (30 visits a month x 12 months).
- In 12 months I was able to take the client from 360 visits a year to 3,530 site visits.
- Then we continued working together and they went up to 8,627 visits in year 2.
- In 36 months (year 3) they hit 14,828 visitor sessions to the site.
This is pretty good growth in website traffic, going from 360 a year to over 14K a year.
That is over a 4000% increase in as little as 3 years.
Wow! Right? Now keep in mind this is just one step towards sales results. You first have to get traffic to your website and then the next stage is turning that traffic into leads for the sales team. So let’s talk about that for a minute.
Getting Results – Step 2: Converting Site Visitors Into Sales Qualified Leads
In the previous 15-20 years, this company was only getting about 8 incoming leads a year from random places (I doubt many were from the previous website).
- In the first year, we worked together, this client went from their previous 8 leads a year to 53.
- In year 2 they got 124 leads.
- In year 3 they got 178 new leads from the website.
That is an increase of 2125% in annual leads, going from 8 a year to 178 a year.
Again, pretty impressive considering the platform I built for them is now running on its own with no continued work by myself or by the client for the last 12 months. It will not continue to grow like this forever, but they are reaping some pretty great rewards from their investment of time and money (well, and by hiring the right marketing expert that is focused on results).
Now let’s talk about sales results.
Keep in mind not all 178 leads last year were hot qualified leads ready to buy, some were junk leads and tire-kickers. Typically I estimate a sales close rate of 20%. When I talk to the client to get specific data on their results, they are getting a 525% ROI (return on their marketing investment in the first 3 years). They are going to be crossing the $500K mark of new business generated, from their website alone. This revenue will continue to increase for as long as the site continues to perform, which at this rate looks like a few more years of growth before things start to decline (even if they don’t do any more marketing or site work).
Not everyone will see these exact results, but I will tell you the system is the same – build a web platform for all your marketing and do so with the thoughts of getting sales results and lead conversions and not just a sexy new site. Again, a sexy new site alone will NOT get you new business.
Here is a graphic showing year 1 results. Note that “Sessions” means the number of Visitors to the site and “New Contacts” are the number of Leads.
Notice how both the web traffic (sessions) and the web leads (new contacts) started with next to nothing and had a steep growth curve in the first 12 months.
Here is a graphic showing year 2 results compared to year 1 results. Note that “Sessions” means the number of Visitors to the site and “New Contacts” are the number of Leads.
You can see in this chart the comparison of last year’s results and the previous year’s results, as well as the percentage increase 144% increase in visitors and 133% increase in leads year-over-year. You can also see the site is on a consistent trajectory upward from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. The site is getting pretty decent conversion rate as well, at 1.44% from 8627 visitors to 124 leads.
Here is a graphic showing year 3 results compared to year 2 results. Note again that “Sessions” means the number of Visitors to the site and “New Contacts” are the number of Leads.
The exciting thing here is the site just keeps performing even though no one did any work on the site for the past 12 months. The right foundation and commitment early on will keep on delivering long after you stop (results depend on your industry).
You can see in this chart the comparison of this year’s results and last years as well as the percentage increase 71% increase in visitors and 43% increase in leads year-over-year, again without any continued marketing efforts. You can also see the site is still on a consistent trajectory upward from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. This has a decent conversion rate as well, at 1.2% from 14,828 visitors to 178 leads.
If you found this article interesting or if you have any questions, share your thoughts below in the comments. If you found the article helpful, please share it with someone or on your social media channels. Thank you and keep rocking those conversions, my friends!
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