A web strategy should be an evolution not a revolution. A carefully planned strategy needs to be rolled out over time so it can be continually tested and measured and adjusted to maximize the ever-changing landscape of the online market.
Your website is now the front door of your business. It’s the first sales person your prospects meet, so it must speak to them in their language and give them what they want. Your website needs to address all your target markets with a consistent story from your brand and culture right through to delivery. Inconsistencies will create distrust and your prospect will move on to the next business in the search results.
Your site should clearly present your products and services and funnel customers into a purchase or enquiry action. This is where the second component comes in …
Collecting customer data and ensuring it is in good shape is absolutely critical. The success of any online strategy hinges on clarity of data and your ability to interpret it. This data will tell you if your messages line up with your products and services, your customer base, your culture and branding and your delivery. To do this, it also needs to be connected to other systems like financial, logistics, warehousing or project management.
Digital strategy is about optimizing your business in any area that will make or save money. This may involve driving more sales, increasing profits or finding efficiencies within the business. Often it’s a bit of everything.
A strategy is a process of iteration. Go for the low hanging fruit first. Get your best bang for buck early to gain efficiencies to prove the concept and approach and make the most of small budgets in the beginning and then grow your strategy from that base.
Leveraging digital internally is important. Focus on the systems that make the most difference to your business. A customer database (CRM) is THE MOST critical element. Without that, you don’t have value in your business. It’s critical for tracking customer interactions, purchases, repeat sales, popular products and services, demographics, marketing plans, newsletters and all other marketing. Connecting it to your other systems will not only provide admin efficiencies, but also provide a clearer picture of your business and the elements that make it tick.
Cloud software is cheaper and more efficient for small business – e.g. Xero accounting system. We are a huge fan of cloud software because it’s connects so easily to other systems, plus we can access it anywhere and there is no hardware costs.
Leveraging a digital strategy externally can enable businesses to grow enormously. This not only includes a quality website and online marketing strategy, but it should also include customer service systems. Digital systems can help you provide better customer service at incredibly low costs.
For example, we assisted a national carpet cleaning service to reduce their sales response times down from 4 hours to 4 minutes. We built an efficient lead capture on their website and connected it to a powerful CRM, an app and SMS messaging.
The system allows a carpet cleaner working on a job to get a notification on their phone, log into the app and respond with a branded, formatted quote that conveys a consistent message back to their prospect and convert the sale within 4 minutes. It has provided a huge saving with relatively cost effective implementation.
So, this boils down to 3 key areas
All of them will help grow your business if they work together to form elements of a single, well-planned strategy that is rolled out and fine-tuned over time.Posted by Chris Garrett on 29 October 2013