Sounds like a pretty basic question, doesn’t it? It’s actually one that we ask our clients quite often. Much of the time it’s something that our clients have never thought about. Many times we’ll receive a response like “Our primary strategy is to drive as much traffic to our web site as possible”. On follow-up we’ll ask “what do you want your web site visitors to achieve once they’ve reached your web site”. Often times we are left without an answer.
Typically we all know what we want to achieve when we set out to do something. For example, if we are going to the grocery store, we already know what we need to buy, in fact many of us will prepare a shopping list so we don’t forget. If we are going on a long business trip or vacation, we pack accordingly for the occasion and climate. But, when it comes to online marketing, for some reason most companies decide to take on a herd mentality when it comes to their marketing efforts. They basically follow along with whatever the latest trend is, without giving much thought as to how it will help them achieve their ultimate goals and objectives.
Are You Part of the Herd Mentality?
Today, most companies make use of a variety of online marketing approaches – whether it be a web site, a blog, a Facebook page, email marketing, etc. But have they ever really mapped out a clearly defined strategy with a list of goals and objectives related to their overall marketing efforts? Have they really given much thought as to how their web site or Facebook page relates to their overall marketing objectives, both online and offline? Our experience tells us that the answer to this is “No”. We find most companies are overly occupied with the notion that they need to drive as much traffic to their website as possible, in hopes that this will increase their chances for a sale or lead.
How to Catch Lobsters, Not Cod
This approach (driving as much traffic to a web site as possible) is a lot like casting a huge net out into the online world and then pulling in anyone that comes along irregardless of whether they are a potential customer or not. It’s analogous to a lobster fisherman casting a wide net out into the ocean in order to catch lobsters. The downside with this fishing approach is that he will bring in mostly cod, not lobsters.
Why is this? Well, the reason he ends up with more cod is because lobsters live on the bottom of the ocean, not at the top where the net was thrown. If a lobster fisherman really wants to catch lobsters he needs to use a different strategy. He’s going to need to use a lobster trap and then place that trap where the lobsters are living, on the floor of the ocean. This ultimately becomes his strategy for success, with the result being more lobsters caught. It’s more efficient to fish this way.
The Recommended Approach
When you look at your online marketing efforts, are you catching cod or lobsters? Are you spending 100% of your time trying to catch lobsters at the surface of the ocean, but instead ending up with cod? If so, then basically you need reevaluate your online strategy. You really need to first determine who your potential customers are, and then develop a strategy which will reach out to them in the online world. If you’re trying to promote a product via Facebook, and your target market does not use Facebook, then all you’re doing is wasting time and money.
Our recommended approach is to first fully understand your consumers from head to toe. Find out if they are looking for your type of product or service online, and if so how likely are they to convert via an online promotion. You really need to first fully understand your targeted consumer before you can create a strategy that will reach out to them.
Establishing an online marketing strategy containing a list of goals and objectives will allow you to become more efficient at attracting potential customers online. The immediate advantage with this is that your customer acquisition costs will go down, and you’ll become more efficient because now you are focusing in on attracting specific visitors that will convert into customers. Bottom line, first establish a strategy THEN develop a solution that will reach out to your market and allow you to reach your goals more quickly. Go after your market with an appropriate online strategy and solution!