This post is the first of 5 posts discussing 4 digital sales essentials for small business.
4. Automatic Lead Capture CRM & Follow UP, 4. Expertise-Execution
Finding experts who execute is the biggest challenge.
Today, in small and medium size businesses, digital marketing IS sales. Sales is marketing. They are one in the same. Your digital assets must sell as well a you do. Customers expect this.The traditional marketing textbooks and beliefs are generally tailored to larger businesses and are often out of date. In other words, they are wrong for small business. There are 4 basic digital marketing topic buckets that are, well… essential to business success. I’ll write about each in more detail over the next few posts.
- Mobile Web SEO
- Compelling Offers/Clear Messages
- Automatic Lead Capture CRM & Follow Up
- Expertise - Execution
Mobile Web SEO
The web is the front door of your business. Without at least a modest (but great!) website, you do not exist as a business.
And it has to be “great” in that is has to be mobile friendly. It must work on a phone. Yes, a phone.
It must be SEO and content optimized to be "found" by Google searchers, either locally or nationally, when searchers are looking for your product or service. Your website is the front door and the center piece for a variety of other efforts (CRM, email, re-targeting) that are now expected business practice.
More on how business websites are the centerpiece of a larger portal/marketing automation approach in future posts.
Compelling Offers/Clear Messages
What value do you provide? This is the most basic and “old school” of my points. Value propositions and clarity matter. This hasn't changed. Still, business often gets this wrong. We’ve all seen business spend big on "creative" messaging that really lacks a clear message.
Small business simply must get it right immediately. Simple, clear, attractive always wins. It’s not good marketing creative if it doesn’t answer the customer need immediately. Immediately!
Instant results and instant gratification are essential.
The internet generation is NOT looking for your service to be entertaining. Friendly? Yes. Valuable? Yes. Informative? Yes. Entertaining? Not so much.
When potential customers “find you,” you must tell them clearly and immediately what they can buy and why it’s a great value for them. Truly understanding the customer need and fulfilling it immediately is key to Search Engine Optimization and message creation.
Automatic Lead Capture CRM & Follow Up
This is the NEW part. This is the part small business folks don’t know. But it’s essential.
With a great website, and good offers, you must get your potential customer to engage with your business. Calling you to buy something or visiting your store is great.
But for long-term success, you want a potential customer to identify themselves by entering their email address...
...which automatically sends that email to a CRM, that automatically sends them an email acknowledgment, and automatically records every visit to your website, and every transaction, and automatically sends them marketing emails, and automatically places re-targeting web ads in places where they will be reminded about your great offers, and automatically tells you, or your sales team they are a great lead. This should all happen… did I mention… “automatically”?
This is new, and where it gets a bit wonky for a typical small business, but… the technology for this exists, is affordable, and is very effective.
Someone has to make this stuff happen for you.
You don’t need a writer, web designer, videographer, SEO dude, brand expert, CRM IT vendor, and customer service rep.
You need a “graybeard” who understands all these digital crafts AND your business, AND project management execution.
Why? The crafts are all widely available. Coordinating them efficiently and specifically for your business is the most difficult challenge. "Building the machine" requires business, and marketing, and technical, and creative and project management skill... probably in just a few people. Getting the “scale” or cost of one craft or the other “wrong” for your business, spells defeat. Finding capable pros is the most crucial, and ultimately profitable part. It should not be an expense. There should be return on investment.
There is no “one size fits all” recipe for small business selling success. So very, very efficient, and very, very wise judgments (and compromises!) must be made throughout all the crafts and all the creative and all the messaging. Finding experts who execute can be your biggest challenge.
And your biggest opportunity.