Working Your Marketing Plan in 2020

Most likely your business has a new budget starting fresh in January of 2020.

Many companies create the marketing budget as a percentage of revenue, or a percentage of desired revenue. The marketing team works closely with the sales team and uses the forecast to anticipate how to reach potential new customers, convert quotes into orders and build the pipeline.

Dividing the budget up into company awareness building and product/service advertising can help build the steps needed to build inquiries.

Deciding where to put the effort and expenses in media depends what influences your customers and how you can best attract potential customers.

If most of your customers come from referrals, perhaps your marketing plan rewards those who bring in new business with a discount on their products or services… or with a value-added product. Making it easy for your existing customer to share your contact information is a great way to help customers to refer new business to you.

How do you reward your referral network? Do you even know who your best referral customers are?

Do you know what they say when they refer your business and how they referred it? Is it via social media, a business card, sharing a contact from their phone?

Do you always ask “How did you hear about our business?” and “What have you heard about us?”

Both of these questions seem elementary, but the answers can provide a helpful key to where to spend your money.

“I saw your phone number painted on one of your trucks… on a yard sign… it popped up on my social media feed… I googled and your ad came up…. My buddy texted it to me.”

Does your marketing plan for 2020 include keeping track of how the leads reached you?

Riding 150 Miles to Help Fight MS

I’m riding my bicycle next weekend for 150 miles to help stop MS. Many of you have asked how you can support me in this. My personal fundraising page has many details, but here is the link to the secure donation page.

Click on the sign to go directly to the donation page.Cause marketing helps companies to show their values as well as get employees working together for a common goal. Many companies and organizations will form teams to ride the 150 miles for the MS Bike Pedal To The Point. I’m part of the Skiers on Bikes team which is a group of ski patrollers, ski instructors and their friends and family all riding together to fight MS.

The National MS Society has done a wonderful job in branding the various bike rides across the country. Bike to the Bay, Pedal to the Point and so on. In 2013 over 100,000 cyclists raised over $80 million dollars. I think many non profits that are struggling with fundraising can learn by studying the MS Bike download page. The overall take away: make it easy to share the fundraiser on Facebook and Twitter.

It is important to get as many people aware of the bike ride so we have the ability to raise as much money as possible. This is the one of the many aims that we want to achieve, but we also want to make sure that this 150-mile bike ride gets completed as safely as possible. Of course, to be able to fulfill this aim, all of the riders will need to have all of the relevant safety equipment, such as riding gear, helmets, and maybe even the best hydrating pack that they can find to ensure that they have access to fluids, especially on a trail this big. By incorporating all of these different features, they have a higher chance of remaining safe, but somethings are just out of their control. When a rider makes the decision to get on a bike, they are putting themselves at risk with colliding with another road user, and as a result, could suffer from lifechanging or catastrophic injuries. That’s why it is so important to do your research into law firms in your area, similar to lamber goodnow that you will be able to contact should anything happen to you or other bike riders whilst taking on this monumental challenge. But this is a risk that many are willing to make. Taking great care whilst taking part in the MS Bike Pedal To The Point will allow us to raise as many profits as we can.

Did You Forget This Key Website SEO Tactic From Your Internet Marketing?

Chances are your website has an “About us”, “Contact us”, “Home” and “News” page. They are pretty standard as websites go. And if you’ve got a blog, you probably have an about page, a blog roll and archives.

But are you capitalizing on the titles of those standard pages?

By just writing the familiar titles, you may be missing a huge opportunity to attract potential customers and clients but hiding your page from the search engines. What do I mean?

Hopefully your page has a title that doesn’t use the words: “About Us” “Home” or “News” as the name of the page.

This is a very common mistake that means you’ll be missing out of the potential Search Engine Optimization for your website.

Try to be more creative by using your company name… maybe even with a descriptor of your industry or keywords that someone may look for your company with. A geographic descriptor can be very helpful if you have a regional or local business.

There’s nothing wrong with using the phrase “About us”. Just remember that when you Google :about us”, about 9.7 billion results come back. Make sure you add your company name at a minimum.

Some key phrases that are often used to find a company or service are:

  • “Find a local…” plumber, roofer, pizza delivery.
  • “Help with…” taxes, lawn mowing, car repairs.
  • “near ___” fill in the city or county name.

Instead of naming the title of your page “About Us” it may be more helpful to name it “About our Car Repair Service in Toledo”. Can you see how that would help the search engines recognize your page? If you’re a plumber or plumbing firm for example and you need a website, it may be worth looking around at different website examples so you get an idea of the sites an agency can build you. This way, you can rest assured that you have an SEO savvy website that will already meet all these needs for you. Another great way of promoting your business is to become apart of a plumbers association, similar to Plumber Success International a spin-off of Success Group International. As SGI explained in a blog post, there are benefits of being a part of a plumbers association, it is a good way of reaching potential customers and growing a successful business. If you’d rather do it yourself, there are some more tips below to help you.

You can still use just the word about or about us in the navigation, but make the title and the URL into what people are searching for!

  • About our pizza delivery service in Chicago
  • About the dentists in our Nashville Tennessee office
  • How we help with moving to a new home in Florida

Have you tried this on your site yet? Make sure you have some analytic measurements (like Goggle analytics installed) to see how it increases your traffic on the page.

Why should you considering hiring a marketing consultant, when you could do this yourself?

Is Marketing and Branding Responsible for Obesity in America?

Obesity and overweight in America CDC websiteAs a marketer, at first I was upset, but now I feel there is a huge marketing opportunity.

When marketers hang their heads in shame - it’s an opportunity for NPD - new product development!

After reading The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Foods called to my attention by Dr. Barbara Berkley,  I realize there is a tremendous opportunity for new product development and marketing in the food industry.

Michael Moss details examples of the market research and marketing of products that consumers crave… which has resulted in the obesity epidemic:

“Discover what consumers want to buy and give it to them with both barrels. Sell more, keep your job! How do marketers often translate these ‘rules’ into action on food? Our limbic brains love sugar, fat, salt. . . . So formulate products to deliver these. Perhaps add low-cost ingredients to boost profit margins. Then ‘supersize’ to sell more. . . . And advertise/promote to lock in ‘heavy users.’ Plenty of guilt to go around here!”

The New Product Development Challenge:

To create and market healthy (low fat, low sugar and low sodium) convenient foods that deliver a balance of vitamin/minerals AND tastes good.

Intellectually we can know certain foods are “not good” for us, but they taste so good, they become hard to resist. Addicting actually.

In the last 5 years I’ve been trying to focus on becoming more healthy, learning how to how to change my eating habits and exercise behavior. It’s amazing how easy and difficult at the same time it can be.

With the Obesity Epidemic in the United States soaring, (almost 70% of the USA is overweight or obese) I know I’m not the only marketing professional concerned with this! I believe that there is a tremendous marketing opportunity here. As marketers, we must figure out a way to market the healthy food better.

The secret to making it happen? Follow the money. Some QSR and casual dining restaurants are finding that healthier choices improve sales.

Comments please!

13 Ways to Improve Landing Page Conversion Rates Today

Guest Author Jason Wells is the CEO of ContactPoint.

One of the best ways to get a lead is to create a landing page. Landing pages can offer anything from a coupon or a White Paper to a Demo or an actual product.

While keeping in mind that no landing page is perfect, there are a few simple ways you can improve landing page conversion rates today. Whether you’re lucky enough to have a Conversion rate optimisation agency on your side or you’re going in solo, it’s important to know these points for your company development.

1. Goal – When you create a landing page what is your goal? What is the purpose of your landing page? Do you want people to download a White Paper, schedule a demo, or call you on the phone? Do you want them to buy something? This goal should be clearly defined and obvious to the visitor at-a-glance. Everything on that landing page should work to accomplish that goal.

2. Headline – The headline of your landing page needs to be clear and concise. That is all.

3. Crisp Copy –There is a rule that journalists use that marketers should also follow. The rule is this: use the fewest words necessary to make your point.

4. Call-to-Action – Make it crystal clear. What do you want a visitor to do on your landing page? (Remember what we said about goals a moment ago).

5. Form Fields – Have you ever been to a landing page that asks for everything from the name of your dog to your mother’s maiden name. They want to know how big your business is, how many people work there and if you like pretzels. The other day I visited a landing page that had 14 fields to fill out. 14! With forms, shorter is always better. Now, there is no perfect number for form fields. But one thing is certain: 14 is way too many.

6. Forms Placement – Forms on the right side of the page have a 5% to 10% higher conversion rate than forms on the left side. Place text on the left side and place the form on the right side.

7. Buttons – Green Call-to-Action buttons convert 21% more than red buttons. It sounds dumb. But 21% is not dumb.

8. FREE – Using the word FREE in the offer or having a badge or button that says FREE increases conversion rates from 4% to 10%

9. Arrow – Using an arrow pointing toward the form or the sign up button increases conversion rates by up to 20%

10. Give Them a Deal – Promoting that you’re giving a discount will increase conversion rate.

11. Time Window – Using a specific time frame in the text increases the conversion rates of your landing page by 5% to 10%. A good example is to say ‘Sign up in less than 60 seconds’ instead of saying ‘Sign Up.’ Or, ‘ Sign up for a 15 minute demo’ instead of ‘Sign up for Demo.’ Using time sensitive wording adds some urgency to the offer and it gives them an idea of how long the process will take.

12. ‘Retreat’ Offers – If someone doesn’t want to sign up for a demo on your landing page, for example, give them the option to download a White Paper when they leave. Or if someone doesn’t want to buy something, let them sign up for your newsletter before they go.

13. Phone Numbers – When you create a landing page you need to put a unique toll free phone numbers on it to track how many calls the page generates. The landing page produces calls and the majority of these calls result in closed deals. Phone lead-to-customer conversion rates are 15 – 20 times higher than web leads-to-conversion rates.

Of all these ideas for improving conversion, I feel the most strongly that you should put phone numbers on your landing pages. You’ll get a better idea of what that landing page’s actual conversion rate is (if you don’t track calls you won’t know), and it will give people another and better option than just filling out a form. If you feel you are struggling with getting the formula right, it might be a good idea to check out a landing page builder to help you make some mock landing pages to A/B test what the builder can do with what you currently have.

Jason Wells is the CEO of ContactPoint. Their new product, LogMyCalls, represents the next generation of intelligent call tracking and marketing automation. Prior to joining ContactPoint, Jason served as the Senior Vice President of Sony International, where he led the creation and international expansion of Sony’s mobile business line from London.

Jason has spoken on marketing topics at SES New York, SES Toronto, Ad Tech, Digital Hollywood, Nokia World, CTIA and elsewhere. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. To read more about LogMyCalls, add LogMyCalls to your Google+ circles or follow them on Twitter.