Marketing Your Small Business Part 2 - Tools
In my previous article, I wrote about marketing a small business. It started with getting clear about messaging. In this article, I want to expand on the systems needed to generate leads.
With limited time, and a limited budget, you want and need to get in front of prospective buyers. There are three parts to this.
- You show up where and when they search.
- Your offer appeals to them in a way that makes sense to them.
- Your landing page is useful and informative.
Here's a pro-tip. We live in an era of the Educated Buyer. Educated Buyers want to know all about your product and service before they call and talk to you.
When you know where your buyers look for solutions, and when you can speak to your ideal buyer in their language without jargon, and when your website makes it easy for them to act on your offer, then you are ready to build a lead generation system. Notice, I said start with these three, not with your marketing materials. You create materials using your message to fit your marketing system, not the other way around.
I say system because there is no one solution for marketing. Marketing is a system, not a task. Your system will be a blend of multiple channels and platforms. Some channels might be paid advertising. Others might be social. And some could be traditional like radio, or public relations, and the press. The idea is that you want to appear where your prospects spend their time thinking about the problem your business can solve for them.
What's more, you cannot launch a channel and walk away from it. Pay Per Click campaigns change radically based upon competition and search algorithms all the time. Social channels require interaction and engagement. Each system requires optimization and regular maintenance. Running a marketing system is a continuous series of tasks and activities.
I know this because we had to build all of this from scratch for GameTruck. When we tried to outsource it, we ran into the marketing money making paradox. Marketing companies want lead costs to be high with lots of profit for them. We want lead costs to be low, so we could afford to buy lots of leads and maximize our profits. As a result, GameTruck runs a marketing division that operates a marketing system optimized around our franchise owner businesses. Every week we measure lead volume and lead cost. We want to maximize demand and reduce cost. We call this demand management.
I believe this is one of the key reasons GameTruck franchise owners who use our systems achieve higher levels of performance over independent operators. GameTruck owners are the price leader in their markets, have more web traffic, and do more events than their competitors in nearly every market where we operate.
When an owner works with GameTruck to generate leads, they are free to build relationships like only a small business owner can. This is the best way to activate consumer curiosity, through word of mouth. Word of mouth is best generated face to face. The best marketing systems are ones that focus on lead generation while giving the owner the time to focus on relationships.