So we’re to the second question I posed for my friend’s company with my Internet Marketing 101: How Do I Start Marketing on the Web?
2. What is your current marketing strategy and how is it doing? What are your tactics to complete that strategy. You should have a record of what you are spending and how you are spending it and what it is bringing in. ROI is very important for each individual piece but don’t kill something just because it’s not performing as an individual (you should know how it is integrated with all of your marketing efforts).
My friend’s company, Vein Skincare Institute, is like most other small businesses. As a friend on Twitter said they do “Random Acts of Marketing”.
Here’s my friend’s answer to what they do.
Secondary to finances, staffing, and business issues; we are currently not doing a lot of marketing.
In the past we have done much more, at various times including: print (major newspaper, magazine), direct mail, network TV, cable informercials, radio, seminars, direct physician office visit/in-service referral solicitation and data/guerilla-based.
At the moment, we have our web-site, pay-per-click internet campaign, (ever heard of Google’s Stupid Tax with Adwords) occasional e-mail offers, spotty thank you notes to patient referral sources, and in office signage.
We feel that we really need to pick up the marketing pace in a big way.
We need to have accurate tracking by staff.
We need to have aggressive data based marketing with software to facilitate this on a regular, efficient and consistent basis.
We need to overhaul or website from information, content, creative, color, speed, user friendliness, optimization techniques, increasing data base of e-addresses, regular e-newsletters, regular mailing and offers, and tracking of success/failure of programs.
Again another long winded answer: bottom line is we are not doing very well with marketing currently.
Our budget is minimal for advertising right now, so I think mass media is out, and frankly I am not sold that it is pertinent anymore.
I think we need to maximize the internet, maximize data based, and direct office visits to referral solicitation, with tracking and consistency pushed in all areas.
I responded to her by saying, “I would agree with you on some of this. Mass media sucks for pricing but can be crazy good if targeted at your audience and with a call to action that can be tracked. It takes a lot of work to do this.”
Do you know your current marketing efforts? If they are succeeding or failing?
Are they prepared for the work? Technology makes tracking easy but it does require a lot of planning and effort. Most small business really don’t need any extra work so it’s my job to figure out something that can track but not add a lot of extra work to the staff.
Next up, Question 3. Who is your competition both online and offline? Knowing your competition well will help you position yourself differently and craft your message. You should know their market share as well. If you can’t find out on your own, buy the research. It is marketing dollars well spent and can save you from making a bad decision.