According to eMarketer, small business owners are seeking vendors who target their needs directly. What exactly are those needs? Well, for one, it’s getting back time, and secondly, it’s making their marketing run more efficiently.
Getting Back More Time
The data suggests, and certainly I see it everyday with my clients, SMB owners want more time to do what they do best, or have more time to think strategically, or simply have more time to reach out to new customers. Ultimately, more time to do what they want and grow the business!
As more and more technology becomes available, the key is for it to “get out of the way” and “just work” so it’s not “one more thing the owner has to deal with.”
Show Me The Money!
The data also points to SMB owners needing more efficiency and ability to stretch their marketing dollars and the need to see a clear return on their investment.
According to eMarketer, “it’s evident that marketing is important to small-business owners. A May 2012 survey conducted by Constant Contact, which helps small businesses with email marketing and social media, asked what keeps SMB owners up at night. The top response—from 76% of respondents—was ‘how to attract new customers.’
Though traditional media such as direct mail still claim a majority of small companies’ marketing dollars, digital spending is substantial. A Q3 2012 survey of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) by BIA/Kelsey found that they devoted an average of 29% of their marketing budgets to digital media.”
In an effort to achieve a true and positive ROI, more focus will be put in online marketing for a few main reasons:
1.) Online marketing is more transparent
2.) Online (whether it be on a smartphone, tablet or PC) is where customers are spending more and more time
3.) Online marketing allows for more pay per engagement scenarios, whether it be a pay per click, per acquisition or per lead basis.
It’s also generally a lot cheaper to advertise or market online and several times more effective than traditional advertising sources. The returns are typically in the 3 and 4 figures.
Say for example you operate a pest control company, and your average transaction value per customer is $350 per year. The typical cost in my market for a paid search ad is nothing and a click on that ad is about $3. Compare that to the newspaper or local television, and that cost is a lot more expensive (and harder to measure…I know because I used to be in local television).
Better Measurement is Needed
Online marketing has also become more sophisticated, and in the paid search example above, typically, the measurement (and more importantly, the lead nurturing) stops after the visit to the web site. My company, for instance, takes it a step further and actually tracks and measures what happens after that click and records and measures cost per call, per email or web form submission (and then we actually serve up more of the ads that are making the phone ring vs the ads that just lead to a one-time site visit and ultimately site abandonment). This significantly helps drive ROI even higher.
Additionally, targeting and staying in front of potential customers/patients/students/or clients has evolved as well. A good click-thru rate on a paid search campaign is 1-2%. Okay, especially since you only pay for the traffic and not the ads, but what about the other 98-99%? Retargeting is a very efficient way to do so, and not just site retargeting which has been around for a while, but also search retargeting (those actively searching for terms relevant to your business or even searching your competitor's name), which is becoming the hot button in marketing right now. Here's how my company leverages both in one affordable service- ReachRetargeting
Simple Technology That Works
It's not enough to have leads coming through if you don't know about them or have an easy way to manage them.
To fix this problem, we are rolling out a SaaS (software as a service) product that lives in the cloud and brings all the marketing and lead management together. We equip the SMB owner or office / marketing manager with the ability to acquire, manage and retain the leads coming in with a very easy-to-use system.
Okay, great, someone clicks, visits the site and then calls…What happens if the phone isn’t answered when they call, or the call isn’t handled properly? Or what happens if they click on the ad, visit and then decide to come back later because they were just doing some initial research?
We now make it easier for that business to ensure they have the opportunity to move every inbound lead all the way through the buying funnel - from initial research to acquisition, then show how much gross profit they made on each lead and we do it for both online and offline marketing.
This allows the business owner to see what’s giving them the most bang for the buck. This is the future...now!
Read more buzz across the web about my company’s new product suites and services that are going to change the way you do business soon.
>See how our Lead Tracking & Management system works: http://www.reachlocal.com/lead-management