If you're not an online marketer by trade, navigating social and technological trends can be difficult. It seems like new technology, software, and even social media platforms are being made every year.
Most business owners are completely lost when it comes to marketing. Unfortunately, businesses that don't know how to navigate the online marketplace will be left in the dust. That's because your customers are searching for your product or services online.
Think about it. When a customer wants to solve their problem, they search on Google. Knowing how to get in front of your customers, build trust and convert them into paying customers is a needed skill in today's world.
If you're struggling with marketing or not getting the results you want, you have a few options.
- Learn marketing and do it yourself.
- Hire a marketing employee
- Partner with a marketing consultant or outsourced marketing agency to help you promote your business and acquire more customers.
Unfortunately, you probably don't have the bandwidth or interest to learn it yourself, and therefore doing the marketing yourself is out of the question. Hiring an employee may not yield the best results since most marketing employees may not see the big picture.
A marketing consulting firm or agency can look at your business model, analyze your competitors and give you a big-picture overview of how you can implement a robust marketing strategy.
You might think hiring a marketing consultant or outsourced CMO to be expensive. But remember, everything has an opportunity cost. What's the cost of missing out on profits because your competitors have snagged your customers?
Think about the time and money it'd cost to learn it on your own as well. Hiring an outsourced chief marketing officer can be the shortcut to your success. Rather than trying to figure this "marketing stuff" out, you can focus on better serving your customers and building your business.
Signs Your Business Needs Help with Marketing
Being proactive in forming meaningful relationships with your customers increases the likelihood that they will come back in the future instead of choosing another brand. The importance of customer loyalty is imperative, especially in forming a new business. Whether you are a solely-online business trying to take advantage of new digital marketing methods or a corner shop considering using in-person signage to bring customers in through the doors, utilizing effective marketing methods is essential to building your brand.
After all, 81% of customers will take recommendations from their family and friends to choose their preferred company. Customer loyalty and brand recognition directly relate to your marketing success. With a customer-centric marketing approach, companies stop trying to tell their customers what they want. This kind of traditional marketing has become unattractive and unreliable. As any reputable marketer will tell you, the goal of marketing is to attract new customers and brand loyalists.
Customer-centric marketing uses personalized information, products, content, etc., to ensure that consumers get what they are looking for. But the customer-centric approach must go beyond mere marketing. Customer-centric companies do not promote products and want someone to buy them but create their messages, products, and content based on the unique needs of their target audiences.
Don't let your business struggle. If you do not see the results you're looking for, it's time to make a change. Here are red flags when it comes to marketing. If this is you, you may want to seek help with your marketing.
Your website doesn't receive enough traffic.
There are various types of website lead generation issues that you may come across as a new business. Fixing the bottlenecks that exist in your lead generation process will result in increased web traffic, higher click rates, and more lead conversions. So, how do you recognize the problems and reach this level of peak performance to boost your brand's marketing capabilities?
One of the main issues you may encounter with your web page is low number of visitors and reduced traffic. To fix the low traffic numbers, you'll need to increase the quality of content, optimize your keyword usage and employ good SEO tactics.
The average business page has a confusing layout that isn't optimized for Google's algorithm. Perhaps, the site isn't mobile-friendly, or the web copy is boring. Make sure your homepage and website layout are easy to follow and clickable - this way, customers will remain on your page for longer. By providing easy navigation, you can increase the chances of your customers staying on your page.
Lastly, solving any conversion paths that may lead to dead-ends or cause customer confusion is key to boosting marketing potential. If you visit your website and you find that the conversion pathway is hard to follow and doesn't make sense for the customer, the chances are that many readers will simply leave the page. If this is the case, consider spending more time researching your audience, identifying the buying process on your website, and using the correct CTAs (call to action) to ensure the customer is directed to the right spot.
If your business suffers from these common issues that can harm your web page visits, then hiring an outsourced CMO can help you deal with these challenges. An outsourced CMO will help you refocus your effort on other aspects of your business that may be struggling and lacking personal attention, such as your individual employees who feel unmotivated or underappreciated. Since an outsourced CMO will free up more time for you and your employees, you can end up increasing productivity across the board. This increase in productivity and time means you can improve your website and attract more leads.
You aren't receiving many inbound leads.
If you find that inbound lead generation is suffering in your business, there are certain ways that you can increase your online effectiveness. When it comes to inbound marketing, businesses usually focus on improving their quality of leads, increasing sales, boosting conversion rates, increasing brand awareness, and reducing costs associated with their marketing techniques. How can you achieve these aforementioned goals?
Inbound marketing helps you attract customers by providing valuable content instead of spreading your information. Inbound marketing has also proven to be much more effective than traditional advertising.
Businesses must prioritize producing high-quality content, fixing their inbound funnel, clarifying their landing pages, increasing their marketing outreach, and building a dedicated subscriber base. Addressing these common issues can help businesses focus on nurturing their leads and analyzing the correct metrics to help them continue performing at a high level across the board.
Poor keyword targeting in Google Ads can be another cause for the lack of consistent inbound leads. If you're using very broad keywords, these keywords are likely too competitive, and you aren't ranking on the first page of the search engine results page. Furthermore, the keyword phrase might not be relevant to your business if the keyword is too broad. More specific keyword searches will bring you the correct type of web traffic. In addition, if you do not use the right "matches" on Google, you will not be able to take advantage of direct correlations between specific queries and keywords on your home page.
If your company is struggling to bring in high-quality leads, hiring an outsourced CMO can help you revamp your inbound lead generation strategy so that you're attracting your target audience into your business. An outsource CMO will be able to provide an unbiased perspective on how to run your daily operations more efficiently, grow your business' assets, and increase customer acquisitions.
You don't know what marketing channels to use.
Do you need help with marketing, but you don't know where to start? Everyone starts somewhere - finding out the right marketing channels for your business is an important step that will determine how you communicate with customers, broadcast your products or services, and display your business to the general public. Starting with a highly-researched strategy is the best way to prepare and determine the most effective channels for your unique business.
We recommend looking at your goals - what are your short-term and long-term goals? Determining the end-game in your business is key to figuring out the foundation and building block of your marketing strategy. Once you identify your goals, you will have to identify your customers and determine where they spend the most time. Here are some of the best marketing channels and the benefits of using them.
Facebook: Great place to target all types of consumers. Facebook also has an excellent ad platform that allows you to target individuals by demographics and psychographics.
Twitter: A platform that limits the length of your posts. However, it's great for starting conversations with your target audience and customers.
LinkedIn: A platform for business professionals to interact with one another. It's suitable to target other business leaders and decision-makers of companies.
Google: A search engine that receives billions of searches per day. Ranking on Google for specific keywords provides inbound traffic to your site. Additionally, you can create evergreen content that brings in leads for years to come.
YouTube: A video platform where consumers can consume long-form video content. It's great for posting product demos, client interviews, and more.
You're unsure where to start or what social media strategy to use.
Researching social media strategies and choosing the perfect plan is essential to reaching your target market and building a deeper personal relationship with those using your products and services. Creating a Facebook or Twitter profile and then sitting there isn't effective in building any type of relationship - you need to interact, post quality content, and broadcast your products or services to show why customers should choose you over the competition. Building a social media profile and online personality is one of the best ways to interact with your target market. But where do you start with formulating your social media strategy?
The first step of creating your social media strategy is to analyze where you are starting - look at the competition to see their profiles, determine the strengths and weaknesses of what to improve in your business, and perform an online audit to see how your business is viewed in the online world. Once you identify your starting point, specify your niche and target market. See what group of people you are reaching the most and determine your ideal audience. A fractional CMO or outsourced CMO can help you conduct market research, create new product designs, and develop a foolproof strategy to be successful.
After analyzing your target market and your ideal consumer, you can begin setting the objectives for your social media campaign - what is your overarching goal and your specific goal? What do you want to achieve in the long-term, and what measurable goals can you achieve in the interim? A fractional CMO can help your business ensure your social media branding messages stand out among the crowd.
Setting goals can help you determine the right social media channels to broadcast your messages and promote your business. Selecting the right social platforms helps you directly communicate with your target market, utilize your resources, and create a social media plan for every platform. Along with setting goals, the decision-making process goes hand in hand with establishing short and long-term goals. Using a CMO can help you develop a step-by-step process to ensure that you make the best decision moving forward.
Next, a marketing consulting business will help build your social media strategy by ensuring sustainable growth over long periods, modeling a successful social media process, and providing critical feedback to help you benefit from unbiased opinions. Since the marketing consulting firm will have experienced strategic consultants who are experts at creating social media plans and development, you can rest assured that a fractional CMO or outsourced CFO will provide you with the much-needed tools to increase your chances of success.
Digital marketing is creating more headaches than opportunities for your business.
Compared with television, radio, or direct mail advertising, digital marketing costs are significantly reduced while covering a wider audience. Using digital marketing to promote your product will increase your chances of business success. It's not always about the money you have to spend on marketing, but the time and effort you put into it, and more importantly, its value to your customers.
Either way, if your business often reflect on their marketing - or it is causing more of a headache than a success - it's time to hire an agency to do it for you.
An agency can fill your sales funnel with marketing-qualified leads, and your salespeople can move from there. A marketing agency will work closely with your sales team to create the mythical sales and marketing alliance you've heard so much about. You may not need a content team, but chances are you will greatly benefit from an agency coming in to recommend strategies for interacting with your target channels and markets. Once implemented you should start to notice your blog traffic and, if it's targeted correctly, leads in your pipeline.
Therefore, look for opportunities to introduce yourself to customers through marketing messages. As your marketing strategy generates more potential customers and revenue opportunities, you will have more choices. Having the right to choose will give you courage to enter a new market.
Know your ideal client and consider how and where they spend their time. Once you identify your target market and understand its needs, you are ready to execute your complete marketing plan. As a marketer, you must define your target audience and then find ways to promote it specifically.
To truly design a "successful" marketing campaign, you only need to understand your customers. To truly maximize the results of your marketing efforts, it's time to delve into what motivates your audience and why you should work with them. Business leaders need to know how to conduct reasonable marketing research. Those involved in product development also need to understand the basics of marketing and prioritize the needs of new products and the features they need to create first.
Your current marketing plan is flawed and outdated.
One of the best ways to update your marketing plan is to conduct market research and see changes that you can make. From administrative positions to business management, marketing research is needed for various reasons that have nothing to do with self-promotion.
Marketing research can help you understand how potential customers make a buying decision. A marketer can understand the reasons for this decision and go deeper, perhaps beyond profit margins, to help others truly thrive. Lead segmentation can help you decipher the quality of leads and identify which leads are ready to buy.
Your content marketing strategy should start with the most important KPIs in your business. You need to ensure that your content is fully optimized and follow SEO best practices to reward your content marketing efforts. If done well, you can use content marketing to push yourself from uncharted territory to industry celebrities. If you find it difficult to choose the product that best suits your business, you need marketing help. Hiring a marketing consultant can help you create the most effective marketing strategy for your company. Using a marketing consultant is more cost-effective than hiring a new employee for your company - not to mention, they are experts in the field who have ample experience in creating foolproof marketing strategies to help your business succeed.
Should You Hire an Outsourced CMO
If you are concerned about the effects of your current marketing strategy, then you might need a little extra help during the set-up and implementation process of your outreach methods. Just because you are struggling with your current communication with your clients and the promotion of your products or services, it doesn't have to stay this way forever. Using a trusted marketing firm or consultant can advise you on the right marketing channels to reach your target market.
If you struggle to gather leads, increase conversions, attract your target market, or build meaningful relationships with your consumers, you'll want to seek help with marketing. Using a marketing firm or agency is the right next step. A marketing agency can identify the pain points in your current strategy, modernize your current plan, take over the hard work to provide you with more free time to focus on other tasks, reduce your overhead costs, and produce long-term results that will help you be more successful.
Hiring a fractional CMO can help you put these issues in the past. A fractional CMO will help your business gain more customers, improve your sales, and increase the rate of growth of your business. By hiring a fractional CMO, you can reap all the benefits of having a full-time executive - while paying a fraction of the cost.
Let's see a few marketing strategy questions and answers to see if hiring a fractional CMO or marketing firm is worth the process.
What is marketing strategy consulting?
Strategy consulting means bringing a third party to your organization to provide their expert perspective on your business challenges. Generally, strategy consultants have industry knowledge and can provide an unbiased opinion about your business. They identify the problems in your business and provide advice or solutions on how to solve them.
The consultant will start by performing an in-depth analysis of the client's business goals. This analysis aims to determine whether their current practices align with what they're looking to achieve.
So what does a marketing strategy consultant do? Some of their contractual responsibilities may include:
- Improve or create a lead generation strategy to attract new customers with your desired target audience.
- Improve the lead nurturing process or buyer's journey so that prospects trust your brand.
- Find ways to increase sales conversions.
- Shape your company's branding, such as the mission statement and messaging, to resonate with your target audience.
- Maximize the lifetime value of your customers to boost profits. Discover ways to upsell or provide additional value to the customer.
- Build a client retention program, referral program, and other ways to generate word-of-mouth marketing.
- Increase brand awareness through content marketing, social media marketing, ad campaigns, SEO, and other lead generation tactics.
- Track and analyze your marketing efforts and create a benchmark for success.
- Provide digital marketing training to relevant people in your company.
When Do You Need a Marketing Consultant?
If you're not happy with your marketing efforts, chances are you need a consultant to help you get unstuck. Here are reasons to consider hiring a marketing consultant or outsourced CMO:
- Want to accelerate your business growth
- Need effective digital marketing training for yourself and your team
- Looking to enter new markets or attract new clientele
- Want to increase customer retention and loyalty
- Need an outsourced party to hold your marketing team accountable
- Provide new insights and strategies to help you break past your current limitations
When should you hire a marketing consultant or outsourced CMO?
Why You Should Hire an Outsourced CMO
If you have a marketing team, yet the results aren't showing, you're likely throwing money down the drain. Nowadays, high-level outsourcing positions like an outsourced chief marketing officer (CMO) can save you thousands of dollars every month.
62% of businesses are already outsourcing their contact marketing to an agency or freelancer. And 53% of B2B marketing executives in a Forrester survey claim to outsource over half of their marketing activities.
Here's what an outsourced CMO can do for your business:
Reduce marketing costs
Payroll is perhaps the biggest expense for any business. When hiring a full-time employee, you're responsible for additional expenses such as 401k matches, sick days, vacation time, health insurance, training costs, equipment, and office space. By hiring an outsourced CMO, you pay for results rather than time. Furthermore, you won't have to pay for these additional expenses that don't directly contribute to your success.
Additionally, a skilled CMO can reduce your marketing expenses by eliminating any ineffective strategies, tools, and funnels that could be sucking up your resources. Often, they can improve the ROI of your marketing by doubling down on the most effective marketing strategies and campaigns and eliminating ones that don't work.
Increase productivity and marketing results
When you outsource marketing tasks, it'll free up time for your team members to work on other areas of the business. Instead, you can utilize your employee's strengths and get them to tasks that produce the highest output. Perhaps, you can have more employees dedicated to following up with prospects or improving the customer experience with your clientele.
Provide marketing expertise
It's common for a business to lack marketing expertise. Hiring junior marketing professionals won't impact the big-picture efforts of your company. Marketing personnel that has grown from within may have good skill sets but may not have the industry knowledge and wide range of experience needed to help you achieve your goals. An outsourced CMO can offer training on marketing concepts, strategies, implementations, and software that can be utilized in your business. By increasing your employees' knowledge and skill set, you'll get increased output and results from your current marketing team.
Accelerate business growth
Most outsourced CMOs are brought in to scale their business. That means they're results-driven and solely focused on reducing expenses and increasing revenue. They look for every competitive advantage to help you succeed. For instance, they will objectively help you eliminate commitments or costs that are ineffective. Furthermore, a CMO can provide new strategies to shake up your marketing campaigns or optimize your existing campaigns to increase traffic and conversions.
Inject a fresh perspective
Working inside a business can sometimes limit your perspective. An unbiased outsider can provide a fresh perspective on how they see your business and where it fits in a marketplace. For instance, it's easy for employees to believe they have the best product due to blind faith. However, an outsider with industry knowledge can provide objective feedback.
An outsourced CMO can help you rebrand or reposition your company to increase its market share and build more brand awareness. When everyone works for the same company, it's easy to adopt the same thinking, strategies, and thought patterns. A third-party expert will provide fresh ideas to help you break out of mediocrity and achieve new heights. Often, they can push your business to explore new markets or get rid of outdated methods that simply aren't serving you anymore.
Partner with Universal Creative Solutions
Unlike a marketing agency or freelancers who simply perform the services you ask for, Universal Creative Solutions strive to think big picture. We identify your goals and help align strategy with your objective to obtain your company's vision.
Transform your marketing with proven, tried-and-tested approaches and customer-centric data insights. Rather than pay for an entire marketing department for underwhelming results, we strive to deliver exceptional results for the cost of a marketing direction.
We focus on a wide range of marketing consulting services, including:
- Content strategy consulting
- Lead generation
- Search engine marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Product marketing
- Social media marketing
- Brand consulting
Whether you're looking for a structured plan or need a dedicated partner, Universal Creative Solutions helps your business overcome its current challenges and achieve your short and long-term goals. Book a free consultation meeting with us and learn how we can help.