Example of an Effective Online Strategy
Up until now we’ve seen a variety of case studies. A simple consumer product that works with Moleskine, a shoe company with a slipping brand strategy, and we looked at an acronym checklist to make sure we set a smart strategy.
Consumer products are fairly straightforward marketing challenges.
Let’s explore setting a strategy for a service based company in the business to business (B2B) space.
Overview: Our company sells web design and custom app services. This company has particular expertise in the visual language and content creation for the legal industry. They need a strategy for the coming year to grow their business through digital marketing.
Here we go…
Specific: After reviewing the sales data we see the company has enjoyed 20% growth for the past three years. Given internal resources, they feel they can handle growth of about 30%. Interestingly, their custom app business is by far the most profitable and basic web design services the least profitable. Hint: Where should we focus our marketing muscle?
Achievable: We need our marketing efforts to drive an increase of roughly 10% more (20% seems to pretty consistent and thus guaranteed) in overall sales and we’d like to do this with the custom web app services. Growth in this profitable area has the potentially to dramatically alter the company’s bottom line. This seems fairly reasonable and we know upfront how much growth the company can support.
Measurable: Let’s say our research shows a lead to conversion rate from website traffic at around the industry standard of 2%. This is the main customer acquisition channel for the company through organic search, AdWords, and a bit of social media. In this case, let’s say site traffic growth and corresponding sales have been fairly close.
Results-focused: The trick here is we have to get quality traffic that is interested in custom web app development. So, we would want to be looking at ways to test (sales inquiries) and keyword data from the site analytics to see if we’re hitting the mark on a weekly basis (We’ll cover how to do this in the Measurement section). Our content creation strategy on the blog and social media would focus on this area with tips, best practices, and examples that show how custom web apps perform. We’ll use our POST framework to evaluate initiatives here based on a solid user persona and understanding of our target market’s pain points. (more on this in the next section of Key Performance Indicators).
Timebound: Here is where we break this goal down to specific intervals. We’d be looking at our total results over the course of the whole year but watching carefully in smaller chunks to course correct – say on a weekly basis at a minimum.
Key takeaway: Implicit in all these frameworks is asking the right question. Resist the common temptation to focus on the technology and instead spend time understanding the business problem. What needs to change to move the business forward? From great questions comes great answers. In this example, we discovered custom app development is the most profitable and gives us a much tighter bull’s eye to focus our online marketing efforts around.