HOW I CAN TELL MARKETING COULD BE IMPROVED JUST FROM LOOKING AT THE WEBSITE |
Of course the website site alone isn’t a complete picture of all marketing activities for a business, but there are tell-tale signs that things can be greatly improved. The 3 areas discussed below can have the biggest impact on improving marketing results.
1. There was no information that sufficiently describes the business, or sets it apart from others.
A lot of businesses have a hard time describing themselves in a way that differentiates them, and also helps visitors appreciate the value of what they have to offer. When you visit a website, think of what you read, particularly on the home page. This is where a lot of alignment between the business and their target markets happens, and where a business especially wants to capture them.
When careful consideration is put into defining a brand strategy, expressing it in content and communications creates alignment with desired target markets. This alignment is achieved with brand positioning, and can be expressed in a well-crafted Brand Positioning Statement. This is one of the primary goals of the brand strategy, so the target markets will see the business as a peer provider.
With good alignment, brand positioning is aligned with the target markets’ needs and drivers, and they appreciate the value of what is being offered. It’s then easy for them to take the initiative to engage more deeply. When there is no brand positioning the business is like a blank slate, not especially focused on themselves, or the target markets.
Developing brand alignment is a foundational phase of marketing. Establishing this helps prospects appreciate the value of what the business has to offer.
2. There was information about the business, but nothing reflecting who they serve.
The content on the website included information about what the business does, how they do it, why they’re the best, how long they’ve been doing it, etc. There was almost no content directed at how the target market is helped by what they have to offer. When content is strongly focused on the features of the products or services, it can come across like the friend who brags too much. A little is ok, but too much reflects more interest in the business itself than in the visitor. It does not pull the attention of the target market in, or develop engagement with them.
Using benefit-oriented content consistently answers the question, “What’s in it for me?” It attracts, keeping the reader’s attention by solving, or promising to solve their pain point. On a more subtle level it shows you care about helping them, thereby helping to build likeability – one of the most important decision making factors. We simply do not buy from people or businesses we do not like. The goal is to communicate the features in a benefit oriented way.
Developing benefit-oriented communications occurs in the Attracting phase of marketing. Many businesses focus only on this phase, but use feature-oriented communications.
3. There was no encouragement to take a next step.
It’s up to the business to define action steps toward deeper engagement. Take the call to action for instance. For the most part, when content is provided without a call to action, it is not marketing, it’s informational only. It’s truly shocking how much “marketing” is out there without a strategic call to action. A call to action is a directive to take the next step.
We’ve all seen websites that went too far with calls to action, and they come across as overly aggressive at pursuing the sale. This is akin to the pushy sales person. It does nothing to develop likeability, and can negatively affect trust levels.
If a prospect visits your website but does not call or fill out the contact form, how are you continuing the relationship from there? At every touch point in front of your target markets; website, email, social media, networking, etc. much consideration should be given to how you are going to continue the relationship in a mutually prosperous way toward the marketing goals. In Relationship Marketing, you assume 100% responsibility for the relationship, taking the initiative to move it along – at all stages of the sales funnel.
Relationship development is the primary focus of the Prospering phase of marketing. This phase is skipped by many businesses, so attention to it can help to outshine
If you want to market strategically:
- Develop brand positioning with key differentiators that are specific, unique to your business, and have high value.
- Define and learn about your target markets and their drivers.
- Communicate in a benefit vs. feature oriented way.
- Focus on relationship development in every touch point, and at every stage of the sale.
When you get strategic, you get results. Up-level your marketing in this way and you’ll not only have more meaningful, impactful, and engaging marketing tools in place, you’ll realize the benefits to your bottom line.
Are you ready to Align, Attract, and Prosper? Contact me for an assessment to determine opportunities to improve your marketing results, or a complimentary strategy session to focus on immediate action items.