Jan 29

Online Marketing. It’s the Experience, Stupid

Online Marketing Experience

Marketing has been around forever.

  • 40,000 years ago, cavemen used to paint on cave walls to market their bison for sale. (That could be true)
  • Around 1,000 B.C., Egyptians carved notices in steel thus creating the first billboards. (That’s actually true)
  • In 1450, Johannes Gutenberg introduced mass printing to Europe. Thus making mass marketing in print form available for the first time.
  • In the 70’s our beloved practice of telemarketing became a common practice.

Throughout history, the marketer had most of the power. They forced their messages on us with little regard to what the consumer actually wanted. But the balance of power has shifted to the consumer.

Let me show you why this matters and how to position yourself to succeed in this new environment.

Shift From Results to Experience

The marketing world is focusing more and more on results and numbers. Modern technology allows businesses to get any numbers they want.

  • How many views did my blog get?
  • How many visitors to my website this month?
  • How many of those converted into leads?

The business owner wants to know the ROI of each aspect of online marketing. A marketing campaign is then deemed “successful” based on those numbers. Keeping track of numbers and ROI is a good thing. I encourage you to keep track of what works and what doesn’t, but not at the expense of your prospects experience.

I propose you shift your marketing to focus on experience. Why? When you shift your focus towards experience, the end results you are seeking will become a byproduct of your approach rather than an end.

Marketing is On-Going

If your primary focus is to get more clicks to your website, understand that the experience is over when they leave. So what? When you focus on the experience your visitor has when they engage in your content, you end up with even better results. The same concept applies to social media, email marketing or any of your other online content.

Proof

Here’s a brief case study: One of our clients is an HVAC company (Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition). Their previous online marketing agency focused primarily on pay-per-click advertising (PPC). The majority of their budget was spent in May, June, and July on PPC (it gets hot in Dallas, TX). That agency created above average results. They were really good at PPC. Here’s what their “in season” results were when they started PPC advertising:

  • Clicks: Averaged around 5,000 clicks per month – not too shabby
  • Click to Lead Conversion: Averaged around 10% = 500 leads per month.
  • Lead to Customer Conversion: Averaged around 20% = 100 new customers per month

Those numbers were great and represented an excellent ROI for them. However, they had two major problems. The first problem was that as the space became more competitive, they had to spend more money to get the same results. The second problem was that they had to keep spending money on PPC to get new clients because the focus was on results (clicks), not the experience.

How can an HVAC company use online marketing to create a great experience?

How To Get Better Results By Focusing on Experience

When we took over, we gradually weaned them off their dependence on PPC and focused on experience. (They still use PPC because it works – about 20% of previous spent)

How? By focusing on their customer needs and giving them a better experience. We created:

  • Social Media sites: These sites are full of useful content. Social Media also provides a way to engage in a conversation with their prospects and customers.
  • Email Marketing: We help them capture email leads and created a follow-up system that allows for an on-going relationship with both prospects and customers.
  • Website Design: We redesigned their website to be mobile friendly and to create a better user experience.
  • Blogging: We blog 2-3 times per month during the peak season. (Their blog actually ranks higher than their website on Google)

The blogs have become their most powerful marketing tool. They are full of useful information that their prospects and customers need. Here are some examples:

  • How to cut your summer electrical bill in half
  • Top 5 ways to keep your home cool
  • How to save $4,000 by increasing the life of your AC unit

So what happened?

Results after shifting marketing approach to focus on experience:

  • Immediate Cost Reduction: Their monthly spend was cut in half (they really like that part)
  • Clicks: They average less (which you’re about to see is ok). About 3,500 clicks per month
  • Click to Lead Conversion: Double! From 10% to 20% = 700 new leads per month.
  • Lead to Customer Conversion: Increased to 30% = 210 new customers per month. More than double what they were getting.
  • Referrals and Repeat Business: Here’s the best part: They used to get a few referrals, but now the majority of their business is from referrals and current customers.

By focusing on experience, three things happened:

  1. Doubled the number of new leads
  2. Cut their marketing budget in half
  3. They get over half of their business from referrals and current customers

But My Industry Is Different

Yes, every business is different, but you can apply this approach to almost every type of business. Maybe you sell cars. Maybe you own a coffee shop. Think about the way Mercedes markets their cars. If they focused on the end result – a vehicle gets you from point A to point B – then nobody would buy a Mercedes. They focus on the experience of owning a Mercedes. Another example is the king of experience, Starbucks (or “co-king” along with Apple). They created a niche that didn’t exist because they focused on experience.

Starbucks Advertising

Next Steps

It’s important to know where you are now before you start making changes. If you want to save time and get a 3rd person perspective of your website and where you are now, check out our free Website Analysis.

Last but not least, don’t forget the numbers, but once you shift your marketing to focus on experience, I guarantee you’ll see amazing results.

To your continued success,

Hendrik

3 Comments

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