Last month Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan reduced his projection of economic growth in South Africa (SA), for 2016 down to 0,5%. Not good news for SA business owners. Are you having to rethink your sales funnel marketing strategy as the economy slows down even more?
We often get enquiries from businesses that, for years, were able to rely on word of mouth and some traditional advertising to bring in business. But not anymore. Some may ask for a static website or an electronic brochure. Or they might have an old website that needs to be upgraded to be mobile responsive. Others may want to have a Facebook or LinkedIn page setup.
But when we ask about their overall marketing strategy, they don’t have one.
By marketing strategy, we mean simple processes that are designed to bring in prospects and convert them into customers – in other words, processes that feed your sales funnel. For instance, if you have a website, how are you going to get people to find it and visit it? And when visitors land on your website, what do you want them to do there? If you’d like them to convert into customers, how will your website help to do this?
In online marketing strategy, you need to understand how technology has shaped the buyer’s journey. Your customers are doing their own research online and may need to encounter your brand many times, in many different places, before they are ready to make a purchase decision. So your marketing activity should be designed to guide them through all the stages of the sales funnel.
We always advise clients on strategy before we provide them with a service. Because whatever you do in marketing, you want to see the results in your bottom line. So it is really important to understand the customer journey in detail and implement activities that will support the journey from beginning to end, and back to the beginning again. A website in isolation won’t do this for you. Neither will social media engagement that doesn’t go anywhere; nor a sales process that finishes at a dead end.
It’s so vital for businesses to take this approach that we have tailored our whole service offering to support the online marketing funnel:
- Social media to provide brand experience, raise awareness and prompt people to visit the website.
- Websites to help your prospects and customers to get to know you and want to keep on coming back for more.
- Content that informs, enlightens and delights.
- Communication that supports customers during the sales process.
- Continued engagement that ensures a positive brand experience.
- Strategies for securing repeat business.
No matter how small or simple the marketing activity you have planned – even if it’s just the corporate gifts you want to send out at year end – think about how you can capitalise on this by making sure that it gives legs to the buyer’s journey.