This month – some food for thought on your web marketing. One of the great advantages of the Internet is the ability to join up with your other off-line marketing, but make not mistake this is not as easy as it looks. Recently, we’ve seen two great examples of how not to do marketing, we may as well share them with you:
- Website and Bricks and Mortars chain of shops. The head of the bricks and mortars division completely stonewalled the idea that he needed to promote the website within his stores. With multiple outlets – the idea of giving away sales (on which he gets his bonus) to the the Internet was a completely negative way to run his side of the business.
- Sales Teams and their data. Your sales team has often spent years building up their contacts and detailed knowledge of their clients. However, sharing or entering their data into a centralise database connected to the website – while acceptable – proved very worrying to them, the lack of trust between marketing and sales remains very distinct.
From these examples, we can see problems of old as companies try to modernise their web marketing and integrate the various arms together. A Sales team is delighted to see their name on a website as they hope it will bring them more sales. But aghast to share their sales data as it will give away sales to another medium.
But everything has to act together – in the modern sales cycle, (whatever name they have given it these days) the internet can be just as beneficial to both Sales Teams or Shops and Marketing. In fact they have to be.
Joining the Dots
The first major consideration to look at is how to reward. For Marketing this has always been slightly easier as the Marketing Department deals in a different set of Goals to Sales Teams. Often the marketing team will appear to have less financial based targets and will take a bigger overview of the Brand they are trying to raise profile for.
Shops and Sales Teams have a clear goal, they cost a company Y and they must take in Sales X. So careful thought has to be put into how these teams can be made to feel rewarded when they promote the website for the Brand. Ideas like:
- Loyalty programmes
- Reservation Systems
- Online Accounts
- Pick up services
All work both ways…
Once over come the opportunities can start to bear fruit. By having a consistent promotion on the website that works in the Store and that allows a Sales Team to further promote makes sense.
If you can make the web marketing benefit these teams then the dots will have been joined.
The basis of our example lies in capitalising of ‘word of mouth’ marketing. However much marketing you do, or high street presence you have or high calibre salesmen you have – word of mouth will always work better. Get your customers talking about you and you’ll get great returns.
So how to do this – you need to think through a customers contact points with your brand, and then you need to ensure they get more of them. But more emails, more postal flyers isn’t going to do it. What is needed is reason for the customer to come to you. Create something online for them and they will.
Once they are coming to you (rather than you hunting them down) they will talk about you to their contacts. Customers are far more likely to recommend your brand if they have purposefully sourced it themselves.
Real Life Examples of this type of web marketing
- Account Areas – when you set up a account area for a customer they need to come to your website to get their Invoices, Quotes, Estimates and any other ‘paperwork’. There’s no reason for you to send a client their documents via email – just tell them to download off the website.
- Instruction Manuals – if you make something save the expensive of any paper work – Think Apple – and instead send them to a specific place on the website to download or view their needs. Easier to update, amend and manage as well. The customer will great a great experience of their product, when they want it, how they want. Who wants to clutter shelves with old paperwork.
- Customer Only Areas – if the service or product is complex it could be the customer needs to be ‘onboarded’, i.e. set up to work with your Brand or service. They might visit the High Street, get home and watch the online Video – that’s a great experience. Your Sales Team might place the order for the customer – and then customer can have access to their digital only content.
This is your opportunity to get them to visit the website where they can see ‘what’s going on’. From there you can upsell and if that client belongs to the Salesmen or Shop – it can all be traced back.
Joining the dots in web marketing should be given far more priority than it is. These days it is not about getting a volume of customers to Like a Facebook page – but it is about giving customer every reason to contact us online, in a bricks and mortar store or via a Sales rep. It all makes sense.