By Lorie Steiner
Are you suffering from website woes? Spending time and money on your company’s online presence but falling flat in the results department? Chances are you started off on the wrong foot and now you’re tripping over obstacles like out-of-date content, broken links, and a slew of social media icons that go nowhere, at least nowhere of value. Take heart. We went to an expert in digital marketing, and came up with A Four-Step Guide to Mapping the Customer’s Journey – a winning strategy to have you up and running in the online race for gold.
Many business owners admit to being unhappy with their company website. They don’t think it’s doing a good enough job. But, ask them to look at their business from the customer’s perspective; to come up with 20 keywords to define a value proposition; implement new homepage content; test and re-test; and they’ll say, “That’s too much work. It’s good enough, as is.”
Marie Wiese hears it all the time. People settling for good enough because it’s easier; the same ones who keep throwing everything onto a website to see what sticks. Wiese is Founder & President of Toronto-based Marketing CoPilot, where she uses her 30 years of combined old school and online marketing experience to guide businesses through the enigma of the digital marketing landscape – using a common-sense approach to understanding the buyer’s journey, with optimum results.
According to Wiese, these are the six most frequently-asked questions from business owners who come to her for help. They may sound familiar…
- My website is not generating leads – no one is calling me – why?
- I’m on social media but it doesn’t help with sales – why?
- How much should I invest in my website, or how do I go about building a better one?
- What type of content should I put on my site and why?
- Should I do email marketing and, if so, how?
- If I just pay for Adwords, won’t that drive sales for my business?
The key to answering all these questions is the same: Know Your Customer. Why do they decide to buy a certain product or service over another? Why would they choose another company over yours? If you don’t understand buyer behavior, your marketing strategy is just a very expensive guessing game. The odds are not in your favor.
Wiese notes, “It’s easy to get distracted in today’s online world. There are a lot of bright shiny toys you can use (email, social media, SEO, etc.) but instead of trying to chase everything and do everything, stop and consider who your best customers are, where they are online, and what they need from you to make the decision to buy from you – and KEEP buying from you.”
Walk four steps in your Buyer’s shoes…
A value proposition explains why your company is the best solution for a customer’s needs. It’s not a tagline or a slogan, it’s a clear statement saying why someone should buy from you. Here is a four-step starter guide for defining a value proposition by mapping your buyer’s journey:
Step 1: Review & analyze recent sales deals based on Ease of Delivery; Profitability; Referability; Cost of Sale. What did your best customers know about you that you can communicate to prospective customers?
Step 2: Review your best customers to find common elements – List customer attributes, buying triggers, expectations.
Step 3: Decide “Can my team accomplish this?” Developing and implementing a successful digital marketing strategy is not a one-person job. You need in-house resources for strategy, execution, analysis, and creative. If your business is not fully equipped, now is the time to reach out to a professional agency for expert advice and support.
Step 4: Don’t let fear or complacency about digital marketing stand in the way of giving your business the best possible growth boost. Marketing CoPilot has developed a customer scorecard you can download free. Homework, if you will, to start understanding the journey your customers take from having a problem to selecting you to solve it.
Wiese’s advice: “Go get the customer scorecard at http://marketingcopilot.com/customer-scorecard-template/ and get started. Sit with a coffee and document your five best customers, why they bought from you, and what they do online to make buying decisions about your product or service. Then map it back to what you are doing today and see if it aligns.”
*Marie Wiese is the author of newly-released “You Can’t Be Everywhere: A Common Sense Approach to Digital Marketing for Any Business.” See our review of this must-read book in our November 2016 issue of Business View Magazine.
Check out this handpicked feature on BOOKMARKED: You Can’t Be Everywhere.
Lorie Lee Steiner is an accomplished writer, editor, photographer with a vivid sense of imagery and love of the written word. Knowledgeable in a wide array of genres, with an avid curiosity and proven success working remotely since 2004, Lorie has hundreds of published articles to her credit in Canadian and U.S. magazines. Long-time contributor and former Assistant Editor at Arabella Art, Architecture & Design Magazine, Lorie is currently Associate Editor and Social Media Manager at Florida-based Business View Publishing. In this capacity, she interviews industry executives and city representatives, and specializes in creating engaging business-to-business content, SEO, and online marketing for monthly digital publications – Business View Magazine (North America) and Business View Caribbean. Lorie lives and works in southwestern Ontario, Canada and enjoys kayaking the beautiful local rivers at every opportunity.