Small business owners and entrepreneurs suffer from the “shot-gun approach marketing syndrome“. They often don’t give meaningful consideration to their strategy. This waste both time and money- the two most limited resources in their business.
Not empowered to think critically about how their business goals align with marketing ROI, they often jump from pillar to post. Attending the next webinar, downloading the next ebook and reading the next blog post.
There’s nothing wrong with acquiring marketing knowledge but no strategy will work well if the fundamentals are missing. Plus instead of wasting valued time, you could focus this attention on other areas of your business. Some business owners have become frustrated while others drown in the sea of constant “new” information. There are those even convinced that digital marketing isn’t for their business.Nothing is further from the truth! Digital Marketing when done in context with a strong marketing framework, can provide a tremendous competitive advantage.
But here’s the issue at hand. Many small business owners and entrepreneurs don’t know where to start. And unfortunately, there aren’t many guides that start from the beginning.
The sad reality is this: Business owners tend to begin in the middle, which is like building a house without foundation. Here’s the reality that the gurus won’t tell you. If your social media or SEO tactics lack foundation, your marketing efforts will fail. I’m not here to pronounce doom and gloom but am here, to be honest.
So, where should a small business begin with digital marketing?
I am glad you ask. You should start by defining your buyer persona. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all client. Your customers are diverse and have their unique preferences, personality traits, and needs. The most useful personas come from market research and customer insights (through surveys, interviews, etc.).
What does a digital marketing campaign look like?
You need a campaign but let’s take it a few steps back. You cannot think about your marketing as campaigns. You need first to set your business objectives. Once you know what those objectives are, you then need strategies that will get them done. For example, if you run a furniture store and your aim is to sell ten extra chairs a month. You may have to run one or more of the following campaigns to reach your target audience.
- Get your sales staff to recommend chairs to customers
- Set up a targeted Pay Per Click (PPC) ad group for ‘chairs’ or
- Send out an email newsletter with offers on chairs.
So already you can see that your campaign depends on first your goals and second, your resources.
How Much Budget should I allocate for Digital Marketing?
It’s the same type of scenario with the campaign question above; you have to start with your business goals. For instance, you wouldn’t invest more than the cost of 10 chairs to run the campaign. Once you establish your business goals, you would set a budget that represents a fraction of the profit. Starting with campaigns without any clear objectives are mediocre marketing initiatives. What you need instead is a scalable holistic growth framework.
Why do I need a Growth Framework?
Online marketing is moving at the speed of light. A growth structure will help you connect the many moving parts of marketing to your big-picture goal, which is ROI. Remember, your customers are the lifeblood of your business. So, you need to build your customer-centric strategy. Your growth framework will provide a foundation to exercise critical judgment, act independently and be relentlessly creative. That’s the difference between a business owner who keeps trying and those who know what they are doing.
At any given time, your business has hundreds of options for running marketing campaigns. So this isn’t your problem- rather you need the essential groundwork to get you on the right path to creating a scalable marketing program. You cannot simply copy someone else’s marketing activities and expect to get the same results. It just doesn’t work like that. You have to tailor your strategy to your business’s unique sets of requirements.
I have a tool to help you create a strong Framework for your business. It’s The Practical Digital Marketing Planner. The Practical Digital Marketing Planner® allows anyone to Create, Implement & Improve a Complete Digital Marketing Program to Succeed Online.