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Today, you need to have an engaged online ecosystem to get customers.
Think about it. What do you do when you want to buy something or find a service provider?
The yellow pages?…No. You research online.
You are not alone. 85% of people go online to find the product or service they want to buy.
- Ask their friends and family on social media for recommendations.
- Read Online Reviews.
Will that customer find out about your business during their research? if not, you are losing out on business every, single, day.
But, let’s say a consumer hears about your business somehow. This can happen if you’ve been in business for many years. Being in business for many years does not protect you from losing business to a more online savvy business owner.
So, a new potential customer hears about your business from a friend (online or in person), but before they contact you, before they do business with you, they are going to search for your business online.
What will they find?
They will investigate your businesses’ social media pages and website.
- How professional do you look?
- How do you look to your potential customer?
- What impression are your online assets (website, social media pages, etc) giving off?
- What are the reviews on your business? Do you even have reviews?
- What kind of information do you provide your potential customers to help solve their problem?
Your potential customers are judging your business online at every contact point.
Does your online ecosystem match the quality of your business?
That’s where online/digital marketing comes in. But what is online marketing?
How can online Marketing help your business get more customers?
Create an enviable online ecosystem that includes
- A goal oriented website ( not just an informational website, but a new customer machine working for you 24 hours per day… No overtime pay needed).
- Social media pages that show trust, and worthy of your customers business.
- Email marketing to stay in touch so you’re always at the top of your customers mind (… Repeat business)
- Automation to make everything work together
How it works
Custom Plan Creation
Frequently Asked Questions
This means people find out about your business through online sources (google, bing, website, social media), then contact you to purchase your products or services.
When you work with Elavend, we create multiple ways a lead/customer can contact you. They can call you, your phone number will be prominently displayed and easy to find. We set up “contact” forms on your website. So someone will fill out a form on your website, and you will receive an email with their message. We can configure live chat, so you can chat with your customer in real time over chat. Another way customers can contact you is through your social media channels (facebook, instagram, twitter, linkedin, etc) messaging.
- Phone number
- Live Chat
- Contact Forms
- Social Media Messaging
That is up to you. Once you have your customer’s contact information or their service/product request, you determine how you want to close the deal. We help provide interested people who are interested in doing business with you, once you have them, you go through your sales/closing process.
We have tools such as CRM (Customer relationship Management) software that we can configure for you so you can keep track of your customers and leads, and better be able to close them.
Let’s face it, to the average business person, marketing equals promotion.
Marketing is what you say and how you say it when you want to explain how awesome your product is and why people should buy it.
Marketing is an ad. Marketing is a brochure. Marketing is a press release. And more recently, Marketing is a Facebook page or a Twitter account.
Marketing, to many business people, is simply selling at a larger scale.
The reality, is that marketing sits at the intersection of the business and the customer – the great arbiter of the self interests of the business and the needs of the buyer.
- At a fundamental level, marketing is the process of understanding your customers, and building and maintaining relationships with them.
- Marketing is the key to an organization’s success, regardless of its size.
- There are several types and sub-types of marketing, digital and offline. You should determine and pursue the ones that work best for you.
- Marketing and Sales teams need to have a unified approach. Automation helps them work towards the same goals.
Marketing is one of the most important things a business can do. Not only does marketing build brand awareness (McDonalds, Apple, etc) but it can also increase sales, grow businesses and engage customers.
Let’s take a look at 6 key reasons why marketing is so important for any modern business.
- It informs:
On a base level, marketing is useful for customer education. Sure, you know the ins-and-outs of your product but do your consumers? In order to buy into a product, your audience needs to have a solid understanding of what it does and how it works. According to Creativs, marketing is the most effective way to communicate your value proposition to your customers in a fun and interesting way. If consumer education is on your priority list then marketing should be too.
- It equalizes:
Modern marketing is a less expensive game than ever before. Social media platforms and email campaigns have made reaching out to consumers a much more finance-friendly possibility. For SMBs, smart marketing can help even the playing field when it comes to competing against big name competitors, explained Business 2 Community contributor La Mancha Sims. In fact, marketing may even give SMBs a leg up. Due to the smaller nature of their businesses, SMB leaders often have much more time to pay attention to every client individually via the various marketing platforms. Modern consumers value experience over pricing, so this kind of one-on-one interaction could push customers in your direction over bigger brands.
- It sustains:
According to Forty, marketing is more like food than it is medicine. Essentially, marketing is meant to sustain a company’s presence – not remedy a lack of engagement. In this sense, marketing is something that businesses need to create and manage every day to maintain a healthy relationship with their consumers. Marketing is important because it allows businesses to maintain long-lasting and ever-present relationships with their audience. It is not a one-time fix, it is an ongoing strategy that helps businesses flourish.
- It engages:
Customer engagement is the heart of any successful business – this is especially true for SMBs. Marketing solves the question of how to keep a conversation going once your customer has walked out the door. In the past, face-to-face interactions made up much of B2C engagement. You walk in the pizza shop, talk to the hostess, laugh with the waiter, wave hello to the owner etc. While that in-person engagement is still alive and well, it’s no longer enough. Consumers want to be engaged outside the store. This is where marketing comes in, and whatever the medium, you can send your customers content to keep them engaged beyond store hours. Your audience wants to form a relationship with your brand, and marketing can be used to do just that.
- It sells:
Marketing is important because it helps you sell your products or services. The bottom line of any business is to make money and marketing is an essential channel to reach that end goal. Creativs explained that without marketing many businesses wouldn’t exist because marketing is ultimately what drives sales. Sure, you need to have a good product but if people don’t know about your offerings to begin with then how can you generate sales? Put simply: You can’t. SMBs need to create fresh and inviting content to draw customers in and lead them to a purchase. Marketing helps sales and sales help your business – what more could you ask for?
- It grows:
Marketing is an important strategy to ensure the growth of your business. While your current customers should always be your main priority, marketing efforts can help you expand this base. Little efforts like social media posts and email campaigns can not only engage existing consumers but spread the word to new potential customers. In essence, marketing secures your business’s future through new and old customer engagement.
Yes marketing works. But like any mission critical business process, marketing must be well planned and well managed.
Yes. When we market your business, we first develop a ‘perfect customer’ profile. We find out as much as we can about this ‘perfect customer’ from their income, where they live, their hobbies, etc then we target that ‘perfect customer’.
We take your ‘perfect customer’ profile we create, then we target your ‘perfect customer’ through different channels and methods.
If you are just starting out or focusing on growth then you should take the time and effort to build the necessary foundation of an ideal target client and core message of difference. Then you can put in motion an increasing series of lead generation tactics to spread that core message.
Done properly, it is likely going to take six months to a year for you to see the kind of long term momentum that you want. The kind of momentum that has people talking about you and commenting that they see you everywhere. Marketing is a living and evolving system.
We will work with you to determine your involvement. However, we will need to work together to make sure we are targeting your ‘perfect customer’ and you are closing the leads as you get them.
Marketing budgets vary by industry. However, here is a general rule.
The 5% Rule
To understand the recommendation, first, let’s define ‘marketing budget.’ Your marketing budget refers to all costs for marketing, advertising, public relations, promotions and anything else you might blanket under that very wide-cast net called ‘marketing’ on a day-to-day basis: for example, Google AdWords, social media, print ads, sponsorships, collateral and even tastings.
As you’ll see below, the ideal budget depends on your current marketing foundations. BUT, as a general rule based on the latest research, expert opinions and years of marketing experience, we say:
You should spend 2–5% of your sales revenue on marketing.
The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising if you’re doing less than $5 million a year in sales and your net profit margin—after all expenses—is in the 10 percent to 12 percent range.
Building Your Foundation
Years that require more spending will arise whenever you need to invest in the foundation for all of your day-to-day marketing activities.
For example, an up-to-date, performance-based website is key—perhaps the key—to a solid marketing foundation. Why? Your website is available for both showcasing and selling your marketing services 24/7.
You will likely have to exceed your 5% marketing budget to update your website once every three to five years. Thus, the marketing foundation costs are not typically included in your 5%.
In general, your marketing foundation includes:
- Marketing strategy
- Website design and development
- Other things of this nature
Without a solid marketing foundation, your day-to-day marketing activities will range anywhere from “not very effective” to “a waste of money.”
How to Spend Your Marketing Budget
If you are marketing from a fairly static annual budget, you’re viewing marketing as an expense. Good marketers realize that it is an investment. – Seth Godin
Now that you understand the 5% rule and the importance of your marketing foundation, it’s time to talk about where to spend your budget.
1) Set Marketing Goals
The first step toward marketing budget allocation is determining your marketing goals for the year. We recommend at least three S.M.A.R.T. goals with predefined success measures tied to each.
Here are some common ones:
- Increase website traffic—measured by unique visitors per month
- Increase targeted leads to the website—measured by web visits from our geographic service area
- Grow new business or develop new division—measured by total leads and sales revenue
2) Check Your Marketing Foundation
Next, examine your marketing foundation. Do you have the foundation in place to reach your goals?
Check your brand, website, communication pieces and reporting systems. Questions to answer:
- Do you have a clear, up-to-date brand that properly identifies your company and consistently generates the same brand image for consumers?
- Does your brand have a consistent look and feel across all media?
- How does your website compare to the competition? Tip: Google “catering [your primary region/city]” e.g., “Catering Las Vegas,” and compare.
- Are there any barriers in your prospects’ path toward becoming customers?
- Do you have the tools and systems in place to measure the success of your marketing investment?
- Do you have a solid and solidified strategy for business development and marketing related to it?
With goals set and success measures in place, it’s time to allocate your marketing budget.
Your first priority is to remedy any weaknesses found in step two. Addressing weaknesses found in step two, more often than not, will be done with extra funding—marketing and/or business development funding—so you still have the full 5% of sales revenue to devote to day-to-day marketing activities.
Remember, both are necessary to launch your growth (with no traffic, even the best website in the world is worth very little).
With goals set and a strong marketing foundation (including a marketing strategy), you’re ready to select marketing activities.