They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. While that may be true in the world of literature, it’s definitely not true in the world of business. In today’s fast paced world, potential customers develop QUICK impressions. And unfortunately, you usually never get a second chance at winning them back.
Think about restaurants. A new trendy restaurant opens and you visit. The next day you talk to 12 people about your experience. You were just one person, who ate one dish and dealt with one waiter, but YOUR personal experience and your opinion will be shared with at least 10 people. Who then share it with 20 others…over the course of just 2 weeks.
People Talk. They talk when it’s good….word of mouth can be the best form of advertising. However, they talk MORE when their experience is bad! As a marketing professional, you need to make sure their initial experience with your company is solid. That is job #1.
I know someone who owns a rental place at the shore. She told me that every rental season she has a list of spring cleaning jobs. At the top of the list is painting her front door. When I asked why, she stated the obvious. “My front door is the first experience renters have with my house. Their impressions begin the second they arrive at the front door.”
I’ve worked with hundreds of advertisers and many of them miss opportunities because they don’t step back and experience their company like a customer. So let’s look at some of your “front doors” to ensure an effective marketing strategy.
- Your Website
- Have you noticed that most radio and TV advertising doesn’t include a phone number? Marketers have learned the obvious - even if a potential customer remembers your phone number, it’s highly likely that they will Google or do an internet search for your company and get acquainted with your website before calling or coming in.
- Your website is the foundation of all inbound marketing and needs to be created as an extension of your marketing strategy, not your company’s technology strategy.
- It needs to be easy to navigate, provide relevant/good/helpful information and must be updated constantly. There’s nothing worse than the most “recent” press release dated 2011.
- Besides those elements, the website needs to match your external marketing. Your positioning statement, your marketing slogan, your logo/colors/branding elements need to be consistent everywhere!
- Mobile Site
- Don’t underestimate the importance of your mobile website. Where do you think much of those Google searches happen? On smartphones.
- When they click on your site, they need to be directed to your fully enabled mobile site. Not only will it enhance their experience with your company, but when you don’t have a mobile site, their impression of your company will suffer. Most of your competitors have a mobile site, which means you need to as well.
- If you don’t appear on the first page and near the top, you’re wasting opportunities.
- Don’t confuse this with paid search (which is a separate marketing tactic from SEO).
- SEO is organic and your website needs to be set up and maintained in order to capitalize on this low cost opportunity.
- Much of SEO you can do on your own (internally)…or you can hire consultants/companies to help.
- Your Sales Team
- Every company has a different look to their “sales team,” but at the end of the day, someone in your company is selling someone something.
- Usually, the sales team is the front door to your product.
- Have you worked with the sales team on integration of your marketing strategy to their sales presentation?
- Consistency doesn’t end at the front door. Carry it all the way through the sales process.
- Tracking systems
- Most advertisers SAY they track their advertising, but all too often their systems aren’t sophisticated enough to produce meaningful feedback.
- For example, MOST people come to your business via the internet after doing a search. Google, or whichever search engine a consumer may choose to use, is just the taxi that gets them to your company. It is likely that they learned about your company through your marketing efforts…and then searched the internet to learn more.
- If you don’t ask the right questions, you won’t get the right answers. Put effort into tracking systems and the questions your team is asking prospective customers. You need to know what advertising is working. Don’t rely on guessing...or worse yet, give all the credit to Google!
Don’t waste your advertising dollars if your company isn’t ready. You could end up doing more harm than good. Do your spring cleaning, paint your front door and make sure your house is in order for your guests to have a memorable experience worth sharing! You just may end up having a customer for life!
Creating the best marketing strategy for your Washington DC area business isn’t easy and the last thing any marketer wants to do is make a common marketing mistake. That’s why we’ve created the eBook, Top 10 Marketing Mistakes Every Washington DC Business Should Avoid. This guide walks you through the most common marketing and advertising mistakes and explains how to avoid them. Download the Top 10 Marketing Mistakes Every Washington DC Business Should Avoid and make your marketing more effective today.