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Dominant Online Local Marketing

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Dominant Online Local Marketing

  2. 2. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, small firms account for 99.3% of all UK privat e sector business. But whilst 346,000 businesses started in 2013, 238,000 ceased trading. By region, London has the highest concentration of businesses per residential adult, with 1391 businesses per 10,000 residents. 1 INTRODUCTION HACKETT HOWARD | 2
  3. 3. If we assume that all businesses have some element of marketing activity in place, we can quickly recognise the challenge for any SME business in the Capital. Not only is the business landscape more competitive than ever before, so is the window of opportunity to grab the attention of potential customers. Digital communication and social media demand an unprecedented proportion of any potential customers attention. Therefore, selecting the correct marketing approach is crucial. At any given time, you, as a small business owner have decisions to make about your marketing efforts. Decisions that used to be much simpler. Not so long ago, a simple advert in the Yellow Pages was a well-worn, cost effective path to getting in front of potential customers. Today’s 24/7 connected world of desktops, laptops, tablets and Smartphones ultimately make marketing decisions about placement and messaging much more complex. Achieving success requires careful consideration.
  4. 4. Before we move on, take a good look at the image on the left. What you can see are results from Google’s own eye- tracking studies into what people actually look at when they elicit results to a search query. The pink ‘blobs’ are heat maps, based on data collected by Google from 34 study participants who scanned a typical Google results page. The darker the ‘blob’ - the more time spent looking at this area of the screen. Google quickly discovered that people tend to scan the search results in order. They start from the first result and continue down the list until they find a result they consider helpful and click it — or until they decide to refine their query. HACKETT HOWARD | 4
  6. 6. Once upon a time, a Local business could build their operations through small-scale, cost-effective marketing efforts and (hopefully) some positive word of mouth. Simply having a shop or office on the high street would have been a sufficient presence for many. Whilst this is an overly simplistic view, we can all agree that the world has undergone huge change during the last 20 years. Whilst we all still live ‘locally’ in a geographical sense, Technology has dramatically altered the landscape. Communities have migrated online, where discussions, opinions and awareness take place on (predominately) mobile screens. 2 WHAT AND WHERE IS ‘LOCAL’? HACKETT HOWARD | 6
  7. 7. We live in a world of recommendations and customer reviews. We want instantaneous answers and next day deliveries. In 2014, Mobile usage finally overtook desktop activity for the 1st time. This trend shows no sign of slowing down, as mobile technology grows evermore sophisticated. Your customers now have the internet at their fingertips 24/7 and for an overwhelming majority of people, the internet is the first place they look when searching an answer to any question. If potential, local customers want to find a product, service or solution – you can safely assume that this will be the first port of call. So whilst the term ‘Local’ is still used in a geo- specific context, we need to think beyond this. We need to recognize that ‘Local’ for many people now resides on a mobile screen. Unless somebody is looking specifically for you, or stumbles across your premises by chance, they will be searching online for potential answers or solutions to their problem(s). 7 | HACKETT HOWARD
  9. 9. HACKETT HOWARD | 9 The graphic above is an illustration of typical choices to consider when deciding on your marketing strategy.
  10. 10. The sheer number of potential combinations shown in the graph in the previous page is mind- blowing: • What to focus on? • What to omit? • When to focus? • When to leave alone? • Which strategy to use in which situation? • Which strategy to employ for specific target audiences? As a Local business, harnessing the correct tools and developing the right strategies can pay handsome dividends. Less effective strategies can be costly. A well-managed, effective campaign helps local businesses dominate their local market and ultimately, compete with much larger, well-established firms.
  11. 11. 4 DISRUPTIVE VS TARGETED When deciding on your marketing/ advertising channels, considering the difference between disruptive and targeted efforts is a valuable exercise. Whilst many of your available marketing options can deliver a great ROI – some are less predictable than others. HACKETT HOWARD | 11
  12. 12. As a local SME business, time and money are probably the biggest considerations when making any decision. Therefore, understanding the potential impact of your marketing mix is crucial. Press, TV, radio, billboards, promotional events etc. are all forms of ‘disruptive’ marketing. They are designed to interrupt a consumer’s brain with information or content that resonates in some way with that person, as they come into contact with the message. HACKETT HOWARD | 12
  13. 13. Big brands spend many millions on disruptive marketing, in an effort to appeal to a large, broad audience. With this type of marketing, a single, powerful marketing message will often be employed – be it a slogan or a longer narrative. Whilst this can be very effective (especially if an ad campaign is very successful and goes viral) it can also be incredibly costly. For a Local business, a single advert placed in a local newspaper or magazine could cost hundreds, even thousands of pounds. So you must have a bulletproof strategy in place to guarantee a return. Targeted marketing gives businesses the opportunity to target specific audiences or specific people. Messages can be tailored to maximise the desired impact, depending on the recipient. The reach is far fewer, but the message can be far more potent. Targeted marketing also allows businesses to offer a far more human touch. For instance, a handwritten letter to a prospect is far more likely to resonate than a generic email, especially if the message is interesting and relevant. HACKETT HOWARD | 13
  14. 14. Targeted marketing also provides opportunities to test different combinations of marketing messages on a small scale. This keeps initial costs low and allows a business to understand and refine the strategy before making a more significant investment. 14 | HACKETT HOWARD
  15. 15. 5 AUTOMATING FOR TIME In today’s modern world, attention spans are shorter than ever and speed is often key to successfully selling a product or service. HACKETT HOWARD | 15
  16. 16. With 24/7 connectivity comes greater expectations for a businesses to be available and running 24/7. Fortunately, businesses have many tools and services available in order to better serve their customers. It is now possible for a business to operate 24/7 by employing a cost-effective call answering service that will ensure an interested customer call is never missed. Not only can this can free up a lot of time, it minimizes the chance of losing out to a competitor, as a customer is highly likely to dial another number if they cannot get through. If a customer knows they can telephone a business 24 hours a day, it can give customers a real sense of comfort and convenience. But whilst this type of facility is fantastic for new business and creating a positive image, it still doesn’t solve the dilemma of nurturing a prospect throughout the sales funnel. HACKETT HOWARD | 16
  17. 17. A professionally answered call will give that prospect re-assurance and confidence about the business, but may not provide the immediate solution to their problem. Marketing Automation software allows a business to set up a specific marketing communications to customers who have provided an email address, be it through a sign-up form, or from an existing, imported database. Businesses can then create rules and triggers based upon customer actions. For example, a potential customer may submit a brief enquiry form on your website. If this email comes through at 8pm Sunday evening, it may be late Monday morning before you, or your team, get a chance to contact that prospect. By which time, that prospect may have already contacted another business and found the answer or solution they were looking for. But a business that correctly harnesses Marketing Automation, will setup a sequence of email communications that respond and engage with the customer enquiry within minutes. The email will not only thank the customer for their enquiry, but also provide some additional, useful information for that customer and perhaps, invite the customer to download additional material. You might ask the customer to complete a simple questionnaire to elicit further information about their problem, ensuring that by the time you speak to that customer on Monday morning, you have already built a relationship and have a deep understanding of their needs. The possibilities are endless and you can create incredibly sophisticated frameworks that once setup, work on autopilot. As a Local business, these powerful tools allow you to nurture your prospects and customers 24/7 - freeing up valuable time and energy. HACKETT HOWARD | 17
  18. 18. 6 WHY ‘GREAT ’ COPY MATTERS MORE THAN EVER No matter what marketing channel(s) you employ as a business, you have a narrow window of opportunity to make a positive impact. HACKETT HOWARD | 18
  19. 19. No matter if you are blogging, posting on Facebook, tweeting, emailing, placing an advert in the newspaper, creating an Adword campaign or designing your company website – poor copy will turn off potential customers rapidly. The attention spans of modern day consumers are short and brutal. Marketing messages that don’t resonate are quickly dismissed and unlikely re-visited. Customers associate the words and language you use with the type of business or person they imagine you are. If your marketing message seems insincere or unprofessional, without feeling or personality, people know that there are always other options, other businesses, other providers and will seek companies who’s marketing provides the most comfort or confidence. But - If you can win their hearts and minds of people who have searched and found you, you will have elevated yourself far above the competition. HACKETT HOWARD | 19
  20. 20. A Local business has a very definite opportunity to create a very strong sense of personality within their marketing messages. To achieve this, communications need to be consistent and congruent throughout. Above all else, your copy needs to be interesting, insightful and engaging. It is commonly said that people buy from people, not businesses. Great copy will help you build deeper relationships with customers and provide the basis for promoting core values that make you and your business unique. If you want to build a relationship with a person, you must employ powerful copy at every single touch-point; from the first point of contact throughout the entire sales funnel and long after the sale has completed. Because when your copy matters, you matter.
  21. 21. 7 WHY GOOGLE FAVOURS YOU How did Google become the giant it is today in just 15 years with revenues of $66 billion in 2014? It is because they managed to do one thing better than any other search engine - Relevancy. HACKETT HOWARD | 21
  22. 22. Google searches are designed to give the customer results that are most relevant to their searches. In doing so, they dominated the marketplace and all but eradicated the competition. Google’s colossal revenues are largely due to their Google Adword Platform. The Adword platform allows any business to create highly targeted combinations of adverts that are tailored to specific customer search queries. Google displaying an advert that provides relevant solutions, closely matching customer search queries, are most likely to be clicked. Each time an advert is clicked, Google earns money for doing so. If Google were to show information and adverts that were not relevant, click through rates and revenues would drop. This means it is no longer about who has the deepest pockets. Big corporations may have huge budgets, but they may not be the most relevant. HACKETT HOWARD | 22
  23. 23. Local businesses that provide relevancy will not only be given greater prominence and visibility, they will also be rewarded with lower cost per clicks. So it is in everybody’s best interests to level the playing field and serve the customer. For Google, the customer truly does always come first. Most people, when searching for a product or service (unless it is a widely available commodity) will often prefer to deal with a local business - primarily due to convenience, but also because many people prefer to support their local community. If you want to visit a dentist, or find the nearest Mexican restaurant – chances are, you will go online to find a list of options. Google likes Local business listings and makes it very easy for a Local business to create a Google Business listing, which will always show up on page 1 of Google, if relevant to the person searching.
  24. 24. To do this, Google will assess where the person is searching from, by capturing their IP address and/or the information contained in the search query. Google makes it incredibly easy for a local business to setup a professional, prominent presence on their search networks. Incredibly, there is still no charge for doing so. As a Local business, you have opportunities to market yourself online, through Google and be listed on Page 1 of the search results in minutes. If you were to choose only one type of marketing channel, the Google search network provides incredible value. But this Local listing doesn’t give you the option to create specific, enga ging marketing messages that resonate with potential customers. To do this, the Google Adword platform provides an opportunity to create highly effective, targeted advertising campaigns that provide solutions to very specific search queries. When you perform a Google search, you will generally see a number of adverts: 3 adverts at the top of the page and then a column of adverts on the right hand side. Take a moment to consider the Google eye- tracking studies mentioned earlier and the most valuable space on the screen. HACKETT HOWARD | 24
  25. 25. By creating both a local Google Adword campaign and a local business listing, you can occupy a huge amount of Google’s search result listings. The most important aspect of this - you occupy the most valuable proportion of the screen, e.g. what people view first. 25 | HACKETT HOWARD
  26. 26. 8 S U M M A R Y For a smaller, locally focused enterprise, the Internet and associated technologies provide many challenges and opportunities. HACKETT HOWARD | 26
  27. 27. The bewildering array of options available, means that it is crucial to select a marketing mix that best suits the needs of the business and provides (as much as possible) a measurable return on investment. For businesses with smaller marketing budgets, a more targeted approach will likely generate a more significant return, but will probably require a bit more time, thought and effort to produce results. Marketing Automation software solves many of the problems for traditionally time-poor business owners who do not have a dedicated in -house sales/ marketing function. For those that do, Marketing Automation still delivers very clear and tangible benefits. To get real cut-through with your marketing, great copy that grabs a customer’s attention and provides valuable, salient content will give any small business a crucial, competitive edge. Finally – the Google platform continues to dominate the online landscape and as such, local businesses must be acutely aware of the opportunities available. Using all of the Google options effectively can leverage an incredibly dominant position on the most immediate, responsive and popular consumer platform for your business. Once you have dominated this battleground successfully, you will be in great shape to experiment further with other marketing channels and be far more confident in your approach, which will be shaped by valuable data and insights derived from your online efforts.
  28. 28. For further information about harnessing the power of Google and Marketing Automation to boost the marketing productivity of your business, contact: C H Managing Director E: chris@hacketthowardmarketing.co.uk T: 0208 743 4587 | M: 07958 953 729 Skype: chrishackett1979 T L M E