Marketing: Breathless With Anticipation
“Plant spring bulbs now.” That was the message I saw on the 415 PRO Hardware sign on my way to work at our Dallas office today. Our CEO Nicole Farber is always talking about how successful businesses must routinely “prune” to ensure things are kept fresh, healthy, looking good, and thriving.
Yes, you must prune. And like the sign, you must also plant. But you also need to be proactive, plan, and understand how and when to execute your objectives. While I have the gardening talent of a decorative lawn gnome, I wanted to share some insights where I have some skill, and that’s with digital marketing.
If you don’t already have a marketing calendar, you should consider developing one. While there is marketing seasonality with many eCommerce stores such as 415 Pro Hardware, there can also be seasonality with lead generation marketing. For example, a DUI lawyer will want to ramp up marketing and resources prior to celebrations such as Halloween, Thanksgiving Eve, and New Year’s Eve in anticipation of historical increases in DUI incidents during those times. Timing is everything.
The Purchase Funnel
What is the average time your customer spends from the period of awareness to actually buying your product or service? Planting spring flower bulbs may be a sales cycle of a week from the time someone starts researching to the time of purchase. Selecting a DUI lawyer may be a sales cycle of less than an hour. Installing an inground pool may be a decision that takes six months or more. You need to be sure you are in the right place at the right time.
Proper marketing timelines are also important to understand, and vary drastically by marketing channel. For example, Social media marketing must move quickly, and grows stale more rapidly than an opened pack of pumpkin Peeps. Pay-per-click marketing (PPC) is a great way to drive traffic to a site in a short period of time, but in order to start seeing meaningful results, campaigns usually need three to six months to accumulate enough data to be statistically relevant. Search engine optimization (SEO) takes six to twelve months to start to blossom; therefore, if you are trying to improve your organic rankings for a term such as “local wedding venues,” if you start implementing your SEO strategy now, you won’t likely reap the rewards of those efforts until this time next year.
Think about how, in a brick and mortar store, it feels as if things are always being rushed. It seems that as soon as summer is over, winter coats and boots are all over the stores. When we’re in the thick of the winter frost, we start seeing bathing suit ads. There is a method to the madness, and if you don’t find the formula, your competition will.
Evaluate The Data
If you aren’t using Google Analytics, you need to start. And don’t assume that history will repeat itself, regardless of your industry. What worked last year won’t necessarily be successful this year. Google Trends is another great tool to have in your gardening apron. And sharpen those shears! Your skills are never sharp enough, so always be looking for opportunities to learn.
Finally, always correlate the data. Don’t look at just one metric on its own when making definitive optimization and strategic decisions. If you are used to 10 orders in a day and are now getting 20, that sounds great! But if, after expenses, the 10 orders were worth $1,000 and the 20 orders were worth $1,000, you may have doubled your orders, but you lost revenue. Peel back the layers of the onion or you will miss essential pieces of the puzzle.
As one season evaporates and another is upon you, make sure you are two steps ahead and already pruning, planning, and planting for the future. Need help with your own marketing strategy? Contact ENX2 Marketing now!