As a new financial year dawns today, small business owners are setting goals. Unless you decide to change something, it’s the same as deciding everything stays the same!
- Do you want more qualified leads?
- Do you want a higher conversion rate?
- Do you want to work with nicer, paying clients?
- Do you absolutely need more sales and income this year?
- Then, our Digital Marketing Engine is something you must look at, YES?!
What is a Digital Marketing Engine?
A Digital Marketing Engine includes integrated components that mutually re-inforce one another, creating multiple growth volutions (I had to sneak that in!) with exponential success over time, via increased, targeted audiences.
This is a mouthful, so let’s look at some key aspects that need to be present before you can throw this term around:
- Integration – Unless each component links to at least one (and usually multiple) other components at various touch-points, they might as well be stand-alone efforts. Stand-alone digital efforts are better than no effort, so we don’t knock it; you just lose out on…:
- Exponential growth – There is a beautiful synergy as each digital component feeds into other component(s) which feed back into the component in question, each time leveraging the effort. Think of gearing in a car engine. This effect leads to growth faster than the growth curve of each individual component could have achieved.
- Mutual reinforcement – Multiple exposure on the internet of your business, product or service leads to brand recognition and eventually lead generation, which leads to SALES. It works on the acquisition side and it blocks attrition of your….
- Audiences – At the center of all your marketing efforts there should be clear recognition that you are trying to build up a loyal, qualified Audience likely to buy / gain from what you are offering, either now or in the future. Lifetime Value, average spend, conversion cost and other such statistics start having meaning if you have such an audience.
So what’s the Real Secret about a Digital Marketing Engine?
A sales funnel is a consumer-focused marketing concept whereby a customer journeys towards making a purchase. At first you attract interest by creating broad awareness of what you offer, then the potential customer shapes an opinion regarding your offering through engagement, then the discovery phase where they consider the possible fit of your solution to their problem, then the purchase of the preferred product when presented with a timely and clear Call To Action and… lastly, retention as you should know the worth of an existing client to you by now!
At each step, potential leads fall away, which is why you need multiple leads for each sale, a key success ratio that differs from industry to industry and business to business.
The secret of a Digital Marketing Engine…. drumroll…. is that it can attain for you the cheapest possible conversion cost by:
- growing the widest audience possible which you then
- target as narrowly as possible to increase the probability of a sale.
Benefits of implementing a Digital Marketing Engine
Well, the cat is out the bag regarding The Big Secret 🙂 Still, your digital strategy when built in this integrated web way, brings a range of benefits to you:
- Brand-building – initial exposure as well as brand recognition from multiple ongoing internet and e-mail exposures over time.
- Growing your Audience/s fast (i.e. traffic, likes, followers, subscribers etc.)
- Fine-tuning the sharp edge of your targeting through segmentation, demographic profiling and product-service bias (i.e. via AdWords Campaigns and Facebook Ad Campaigns etc).
- Loyalty and Retention via multiple moments-of-truth when you can reach out to and/or suggest the next step to existing Audiences and clients.
- Authority is built not only due to multiple digital exposure, but hopefully also via the really useful, informative and educational information you offer in your blog, ads and posts – so you become recognised as a voice in your industry.
- Personal Fit and Flow. You’ll keep creeping closer to only working with your Ideal Client, from your strengths, as you have more choice available to you. This is a very subtle aspect that we’ll explore in a different article… it makes the difference between you LOVING your clients and what you do and you wanting to slit your wrists! (Please don’t DO that – give me a call instead).
- It has an element of fast-paced excitement as you see your Digital efforts gaining momentum!
- It makes you a nicer person to do business with as you’ll be less obvious, pushy, or annoying since you have the benefit of large numbers of leads where the people who need what you offer now, will connect now; and those who’ll only need it some other time…. you get the picture.
The Key Components of an effective Digital Marketing Engine
Our DME model above should give you a good mental take on how things fit together at a high level. To get more juicy information on the various elements of a Digital Marketing Engine that works, see these:
- Website design and development
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Website Analytics
- AdWords Campaigns
- A Facebook Business Page and Ad Campaigns
- E-mail marketing
This is an eagle’s perspective overview.
As you can imagine there is a host of strategic and technical considerations for each of these, not to mention how agile they should be to fit around your unique business, product or service.
A DME does not operate in isolation and every aspect of every functional area within your business provides context and direction, so don’t jump the gun without knowing what you are doing!
How do you get yourself one of those DME’s?
With great care and forethought!
You are likely already bombarded from all angles by ads to implement the individual parts of a Digital Marketing Engine (website / seo / analytics / adwords / facebook marketing / e-mail marketing), although this article should now help you be able to picture where it should really fit into a DME. Terms like pixel tracking and look-alike still jump out at you like scary monsters out of your closet!
It stands to reason that implementing any part of such an integrated, mutually reinforcing web based engine, should take into account future touch points with other parts to increase effectiveness and reduce overall cost.
In fact, one shortcut to assess whether an offering takes an integrated view or not, is by looking at the cost range of individual element products. If someone is selling only a website, or only an Adwords campaign, or only SEO, or only Facebook Marketing for what looks like a lot more than the average price range, it is unlikely that they take an integrated view, else there would be economies of scale for them (and for you). So it does not necessarily mean they are red-hot at what they do (to justify their higher costs)!
And taking even another step back, you should not be doing any of this without being able to sprout your marketing strategy in your sleep. Without a unifying vision of what you are trying to establish, you’ll end up with a bunch of irritating internet interfaces that requires messy admin for little reward.
You need to research quality DME service providers that clearly have an integral understanding of the DME concept:
- If they aren’t asking you for at least your ideal client and your USP’s, pass them by.
- If they aren’t explaining how the current step will fit in with the next step, move on.
- If they don’t have their own fully working Digital Marketing Engine operating for their own business – RUN!
The right digital partner for YOU will help you see how you can implement DME components one-by-one, yet in a strategic way so that you step-by-step build your Digital Marketing Engine over time and within your small business budget.
Oh, and if you are still wondering what a Volution is, here goes:
Let’s spiral YOUR business up a turn at a time with an agile, cost-effective Digital Marketing Engine!
May your next budgeting period be the one that breaks through your targets & puts a smile on your face!
STAY AHEAD OF YOUR COMPETITION!
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Author: Ronel Pieterse
Ronel has spent 24 years in the corporate world (finance, banking, mining, manufacturing and agriculture) and has also started 5 small businesses herself over the past 20 years. Four of these are still operational today in one form or another. Ronel's passion is to use her considerable skills in spheres of business and IT to help other small business owners and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses to the next level and to attain sustainable competitive advantage in the process. View all posts by Ronel Pieterse