Performance Marketing Blog

Push or Pull? How Does Your SOCAL Lighting Business Attract Customers?

Posted by Natalie Young

Mar 27, 2014 5:00:00 PM

Depositphotos_40389321_originalAttracting customers to your Southern California Lighting or Energy Control business has always been a challenge. We almost never hear business owners complain that they have too much business or that they have too many qualified leads. And it seems that these days, the challenge has gotten even tougher.

Marketing budgets have been pared down, and on top of that, methods that used to work don’t work anymore. And yet, the need to bring in good leads is as pressing as ever. So how do you go about it?

Part of what’s happened is that the way your customers do business has changed. That means the way you attract them needs to change as well. Generating new leads and attracting customers has gone from “push” to “pull.” Here’s what that looks like,

Conventional marketing methods pushed information out to customers. Lighting businesses used to send out mailings and catalogs in an attempt to attract business. They’d run ads in the Yellow Pages and maybe in some magazines or newspapers. They’d push their products and services out into the public in hopes that people would respond. And they’d make cold calls to individuals who really didn’t want to talk to them. Think of the image of a “pushy” salesperson.

Customers today aren’t waiting for this kind of information. They have questions. They have problems they want to solve. They’re not waiting for a catalog so that they can buy. They are looking for information about which solutions will meet their needs. When they get it, then they’re ready to buy.

Where do you think your customers are looking? They’re not looking in the mailbox. They’re not reading magazine ads. They’re not pulling out the Yellow Pages. They’re looking for information online.

So how do you attract them to your website? It’s not just by putting your catalog online. It’s not just by telling them how wonderful your products are. What pulls potential customers into your site is when you offer them information that answers their questions and solves their problems. By enabling them to make a good buying decision, you win their trust—and maybe their business.

It’s called inbound marketing. It pulls customers in with helpful content and allows you the opportunity to win their business. And it’s a whole lot more effective than trying to push products or services on someone who may or may not want them.

How are you interacting with your potential customers? Are you pulling them in with great content that helps them? Or are you pushing them away with sales pitches they don’t want to hear?

If you’d like to explore a bit more about what inbound marketing is all about, download our free 5 Essential Steps to Generating Leads Using Your Website whitepaper. You’ll discover the five secrets of inbound marketing and learn how to make cold calling a thing of the past.

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Topics: lead generation, marketing, Inbound Marketing, Online marketing

Marketing For Light And Energy Control Companies: What Are You REALLY Selling?

Posted by Natalie Young

Mar 7, 2014 4:30:00 PM

Depositphotos_11346151_originalOne of the keys to marketing success in the light and energy control industry is having a good handle on what you’re really selling to your clients and customers. That may sound a bit odd—particularly if you’ve been in the industry for a while. After all, who knows your business better than you?

I’m confident you do know your business. But successful marketing asks a different question: “What exactly are your clients and customers looking to buy?”

It may seem like a subtle difference, but it’s an important one. It can be easy to assume that your potential customers—whether they’re looking for commercial or residential lighting solutions—are looking to purchase products: lighting fixtures, CFL or LED bulbs, control units, dimmer switches, etc. Without question, that’s part of what they’re looking for. But it’s not the whole picture. What they’re really shopping for are solutions to their lighting and energy problems.

If you design, specify or install lighting and energy control systems, what your customers (and potential customers) are looking for—what they want to buy—is your expertise.

When they hit your website, are they immediately struck with the fact that you can help them solve their lighting or energy problems? Or are they left staring at a one page website offering no depth of information?

Your website provides a fantastic opportunity to pull potential customers in by talking to them about the things that really matter. Your customers are out there—online—looking for answers about the lighting and energy control challenges they face. If you share a bit of your expertise with them, you demonstrate that you understand what they’re up against. And you position yourself as someone who isn’t just trying to sell them hardware—you’re someone who can help them come up with a solution that will work for them.

That’s one of the big differences between what we call inbound marketing and conventional marketing methods. It’s pulling people (potential customers) in, instead of pushing a product or service on them that may or may not be what they really need.

If you’d like to know more about inbound marketing—and how to use your website to generate more qualified leads for your business, I invite you to download our free 5 Steps to Generating Leads Using Your Website white paper. Not only will you learn five secrets of inbound marketing, but you’ll also discover how to make ineffective cold-calling a thing of the past!

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Topics: lead generation, Inbound Marketing, Online marketing, Light and Energy Solution Marketing

Setting marketing goals for 2014- be sure they are SMART

Posted by Natalie Young

Dec 16, 2013 12:09:00 PM

smart goals in marketingWith 2013 winding to a close, it’s time to get a jump start on next year and begin setting marketing goals for 2014. While it may seem like a simple task, you need to take time to identify your professional ambitions and pinpoint specific methods that you’ll use to accomplish your objectives. As you sit down to brainstorm about your marketing approach for 2014, keep in mind some “SMART” ideas to make the process easier.

  • SPECIFIC - Be very detailed in setting marketing goals for 2014. Instead of just vowing to turn a higher profit as compared to 2013, lay out the steps you’ll take to increase your sales. For example, pledge to make ten more phone calls than the previous week or post two blog entries per day. You might want to start with a summary of the goals you want to achieve, followed by specific numbers that will help you accomplish them.
  • MEASUREABLE - Make your marketing goals quantitative instead of using broad strokes or general terms like “more” and “better.” Website metrics and online tools can help you determine where additional effort is necessary to improve your sales. If you find that certain traffic is driven to your site via one particular source, devote more resources to exploit the phenomenon. It might be helpful to categorize your goals into appropriate segments, such as website updates as separate from social media posts and blog entries.
  • ATTAINABLE - Be realistic when setting marketing goals for 2014, instead of chasing a pipe dream that will result in failure. Avoid challenges that would be impossible, too complicated or simply impractical to attain. Make sure your vision is achievable with hard work, not one that requires you to move mountains or develop super powers.
  • REALISTIC - No one knows you and your business better than yourself, so be honest when setting marketing goals for 2014. If you’ve had failures in the past and found that accomplishing certain goals is simply out of reach, it’s a waste of resources to continue. While it may be a goal you want to achieve, chasing an impossible dream won’t result in sales or increased profits. Your efforts are better focused elsewhere, on goals that you're confident you can complete with appropriate efforts and a reasonable time frame
  • TIMEBOUND - Stick with a deadline when establishing marketing goals in the New Year, rather than just promising to accomplish them as soon as possible. Based on your experience, you should be able to pinpoint the amount of time each of your goals will take to achieve. Add to this period the delays and issues that will inevitably arise, and you can establish a time frame to help you stay true to your goals. Commit to this schedule, stay motivated, and increase your efforts if you haven't hit your goal as the deadline rolls around. It's smart to incorporate the agenda into your calendar so you're alerted in advance and can concentrate resources on accomplishing what you aim to do.

It may be time consuming and require you to step outside your professional comfort zone, but setting marketing goals for 2014 is a necessary part of moving into the New Year. Just as with any significant undertaking, success results only from the proper investment of time and resources as you plan the next phase.

If you are interested in getting a free marketing assessment - contact us here!
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Topics: increase sales, HubSpot Tips, Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, business marketing, effective marketing

Marketing For Lighting Solution Companies: Why Online Catalogs Don’t Cut It

Posted by Natalie Young

Sep 12, 2013 6:00:00 AM

Marketing for lighting soultion companies why online catalogs don%27t cut itOnce upon a time, it seemed that all a lighting solution company had to do was post their catalog online, and they’d be able to sell product. To be honest, it’s questionable how successful that ever was, but it sure doesn’t work now.

Here’s one reason. If you do a search for “Southern California lighting solution companies,” it takes Google less than a half a second to come up with 2,500,000 results. Now, maybe all of those aren’t legitimate competitors of yours, but it’s a lot of results to sort through. And unless you’re in one of the top spots on that list, what are the chances that someone is going to tumble onto your website and wade through your catalog?

Unless they already know your name, your chances of getting found online are pretty slim. And online is definitely where your potential customers are looking. So you’ve got to find a way to help them find you.

Most customers looking for what you have to offer aren’t searching for you by name. They’re searching based on what they need. And guess what?  They’re looking for more than just a list of products and prices. They’re generally looking for some expertise and advice as well.

What can you do to make sure they find you? That’s really what inbound marketing is all about. It’s creating content on your website and on your blog that addresses the issues and answers the questions your potential customers have. It involves pulling them into your website because you have solutions to their problems. That’s a lot different than trying to push a catalog full of products (which may or may not address their needs) out to a bunch of people you don’t know.

Click here for a more in-depth explanation of what inbound marketing is—and how you can take advantage of it to drive prospective clients to your website, where they can become lifelong customers. Or contact us if you have more specific questions about how to put inbound marketing to work for your company. We’ll be happy to help!

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Topics: marketing, Inbound Marketing, Online marketing, Southern California lighting solution marketing

Performance Marketing Hires Douglas Fisher as Art Director

Posted by Natalie Young

Apr 16, 2013 3:04:00 PM

doug fisherPerformance Marketing, a full service ad agency in Orange California offering internet marketing, marketing services and branding, is excited to announce the hiring of experienced designer Douglas Fisher as Art Director. In his new position, Douglas will be responsible for implementing project design projects and leading the design team. Douglas brings 13 years of experience in high-level print, design and web production. Accomplished in the areas of corporate identity, print collateral, illustration, standards compliant HTML/CSS, and dynamic web technologies, he is also skilled in traditional, web and social media marketing, copy writing, and project management. Additionally Doug brings his skills as a video editor and photography.

Performance Marketing is a 21 year marketing agency located in Orange, CA. The agency specializes in Inbound Marketing – a highly effective, specialized type of internet marketing. Offering a full spectrum of marketing services and marketing automation consulting, the agency is owned by Natalie Young, an award-winning Creative Director. For more information please contact Natalie Young at 714-385-9904 or Natalie@performancepromo.com

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Topics: marketing, website marketing, Inbound Marketing, marketing services, outsourcing marketing efforts

Are You Dropping the Ball On Marketing? You Don’t Have To Do It All Yourself.

Posted by Natalie Young

Mar 28, 2013 8:30:00 AM

DroppingMktgBall resized 600Running a business is no job for the timid—or for people who can’t multi-task. If you run a business with a small staff, you know that better than most people. You’ve always got multiple balls in the air. You’ve got clients to meet, bills to pay and employees to oversee. Your hands are full—and busy.

Unfortunately, if you’re not bringing in new customers on a regular basis, you’ll soon have nothing but time on your hands. But just how are you supposed to do that in addition to everything else that’s going on? It’s tough enough for trained marketing people to do marketing well these days.

Marketing has changed dramatically during the past few years. Initiatives that used to work aren’t working anymore because people have changed the way that they do business. “Traditional” marketing can’t compete with “new” marketing. But if you’re busy running your business, you may not have time to learn—and get good at—the new marketing you need to generate leads and win customers.

The good news is that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. If you’re a business owner looking to grow revenue—without increasing staff or working yourself into an early grave—you might want to take a look at outsourcing your marketing efforts to somebody who does that for a living (and actually likes all this new marketing stuff).

You may feel a little uncomfortable “giving up control,” but the benefits can make it well worthwhile. At least that’s what professors Gail McGovern and John Quelch suggested in their March 1, 2005 Harvard Business Review article:

“Outsourcing marketing can lead to better quality and lower costs. The outsourcing of marketing activities is catching on; in fact, in a recent poll of marketing executives, 53 percent reported plans to outsource most of their marketing activities.”

In addition to getting better marketing results, outsourcing your marketing can free you up to focus on the thing you do well—running your business.

Just getting marketing activities “off your plate,” however, isn’t the real goal. It’s got to improve your marketing efforts. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses don’t even really know how well their marketing efforts are working. They may know that they need to be attracting customers online—but they don’t have the foggiest idea how many (if any) of their leads are coming in through their website. And they don’t know how they stack up against their competitors in this area, either.

If you’d like to see how you’re doing compared to your competition, I’d like to invite you to take advantage of a free website analysis. You can find out how you rate against your competitors; how to improve your ranking; and how to set up a website that can actually capture leads.

You can keep trying to juggle your marketing efforts along with all the other responsibilities you have. Or you can start by taking a look at where you really stand now. The ball is in your court!

Generate More Leads Now!

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, outsourcing marketing efforts, business marketing

Cold Calling vs. Inbound Marketing

Posted by Natalie Young

Feb 14, 2013 1:17:00 PM

cold calling vs inbound marketingIn this day and age, many unsolicited business calls go unanswered. Modern sales and marketing professionals are up against savvy buyers that are more empowered than ever by easy access to detailed product information on the Web.

Everyone is connected to the latest information. And if buyers don’t want to hear from marketers, they have a variety of technologies (e.g. Caller ID, email spam filters, etc.) to block out marketing attempts to get in touch. But surely some people are able to get through all these defense mechanisms and land that one magical deal. Or are they?

That was the subject of the latest Google+ Debate from Software Advice -- a website that reviews marketing automation technologies -- titled, “Does Cold Calling Still Work?” The panel, moderated by Derek Singleton, brought together inbound marketing and inside sales experts to debate three questions:

  • Given how the Web has empowered B2B buyers, is cold calling still relevant in the Internet Age -- and are companies still generating a return on investment (ROI) on it?
  • With other lead generation activities on the rise, like paid search and content marketing, can cold calling help marketers stand out from the noise?
  • Can inbound marketing and analytics help us better decide who to cold call and when?

Here are the takeaways from the debate.

Cold Calling is Shifting to Warm Calling
Understandably, every panelist agreed that cold calling (in it’s original form) is decreasing significantly in effectiveness. Furthermore, there is no excuse for business calls to be random and unsolicited anymore. In the words of Anneke Seley, Founder and CEO of Reality Works Group, “in this day and age, there’s no excuse for a call to be cold anymore.”

That is, with so many options for connecting with people on the Web (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook) it’s very easy to find out information about your prospect before you pick up a phone. And they, in turn, can learn a little about you before you commit to a call. The group called this “warm calling.”

Only Call the People that Come to You
But Mike Volpe, CMO of HubSpot, thinks that marketers can take it one step further and not even waste time reaching out in this manner. Volpe believes that the world is shifting away from any type of outbound marketing and that your inside sales team should only reply to inbound inquiries because you already they’re interested in your product or service.

Meanwhile, Volpe explains that inbound marketing tactics like SEO and PPC that are significantly cheaper that doing things like employing a great sales rep to make outbound calls. And he says it’s also a much less invasive approach to contacting buyers.

Find a Happy Medium by Employing Both Tactics
Of course, there’s usually room for middle ground. And that’s where Ken Krogue, President of InsideSales.com, sided on the debate. According to Krogue, InsideSales.com relies very heavily on inbound marketing tactics but the leads they generate by purely inbound means just aren’t high enough value. So he turns to very targeted outbound calling after warming up contacts. To quote Krogue:

If we [at InsideSales.com] just rely on the Internet to bring us leads, it’s like a fish sitting in a pond waiting for the river to bring whatever it brings them. What we’ve found is that if you look at a typical bell curve, 70 percent of all the leads that come in are small. For example, we’re moving up to enterprise class companies and we have to forget about the Web bringing us those leads and have to reach out to initialize the conversation (usually through calling), then we move to a Web-based type of nurturing.”

In any Case, Marketing is Becoming Permission-Based
One point each panelist could agree on was that lead generation is shifting toward a permission-based model of marketing. This means marketing will need to evolve into being about showing buyers how valuable you are, and ultimately getting them to come to you. If you aren’t demonstrating your value in a tangible way, then buyers will increasingly look over your company and not engage with your marketing efforts.

What are your thoughts on the evolution of outbound and inbound marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments below. To read the full article, visit the B2B Marketing Mentor.

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Topics: Hubspot, Inbound Marketing, internet marketing, sales development, marketing tactics

Are Your Marketing Efforts Driving You Insane?

Posted by Natalie Young

Feb 13, 2013 5:30:00 AM

inbound-marketing, business-efforts, marketing-tacticsMost of us have heard Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We all know that Einstein was a really smart guy—but who knew he was a marketing genius? It turns out that his definition of insanity applies to the world of marketing as well.

For years many businesses have relied on the same marketing methods they’ve always used. The problem is that the results they’re getting aren’t what they want—or need. But they keep trying the same things over and over, hoping that something will change. Unfortunately, the only thing that changes is that their results get worse. And it’s driving a lot of them insane.

The way business is done has changed. And that means the way we market our businesses needs to change as well. Sure, there are some new technologies out there—and some shiny new tools we can use. But the problem isn’t really with the tools—it’s with the way we think. The way business is done has changed and we need to change with it.

Our customers aren’t out there waiting for our next flyer, brochure, TV ad or radio spot to hit them and tell them about our newest offerings. As a matter of fact, they’re kind of tired of us barging into their lives and demanding their attention. The Internet has put the customer in control—even in control of marketing. Now if customers want to know something, they go to the Internet and they look for what they want and they do it when they want. Even if they don’t actually purchase online, they are gathering their information online. They’re not looking for a sales pitch, either. They are looking for information that will help them solve a problem or meet a need.

That’s what inbound marketing is all about. We don’t push our information out and force it on customers—they pull it in when it gives them what they want. But you need a plan and must know how to execute it.

You don’t have to settle for marketing that makes you crazy. If you’d like to stop the insanity, start by downloading our free whitepaper that gives you the five essential secrets of inbound marketing and shows you how you can use your website to start generating qualified leads.

We can’t guarantee that what you learn will make you an Einstein—but you’ll be a step ahead of your competition!

Generate More Leads Now!

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, business efforts, marketing tactics

Simple Simon Marketing: Fishing In the Wrong Places With the Wrong Tools

Posted by Natalie Young

Dec 19, 2012 5:30:00 AM

inbound-marketing, marketing-strategy, marketing-tools Many of us grew up hearing the nursery rhyme about Simple Simon. Poor Simon wasn’t called “simple” because of his uncomplicated approach to life, but because he wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. Simon simply didn’t grasp how things really worked in the world around him. What can Simple Simon teach us about marketing? 

Sometimes our businesses can be a little bit “simple” about the way we approach our marketing. Here’s the Simple Simon approach:

Simple Simon went a-fishing for to catch a whale;
All the water he had got was in his mother's pail
.

As children we laughed at the preposterous notion that Simple Simon would attempt to catch a whale by dangling his fishing line in a pail of water. We knew that if anyone wanted to catch a whale, they would have to go to the ocean and that they wouldn’t be able to use a simple fishing pole and hook to snare something so large. Simon was fishing in the wrong place and he was using the wrong tool.

Sometimes, however, as marketers we take the same approach to marketing that Simon took to fishing. We “fish” in the wrong places and we use the wrong tools in our attempts to “catch” customers.

If you want to market successfully today you need to know where your audience is, what they are looking for, and how they go about making their buying decisions. These days, most people’s purchasing plans (at least when it comes to significant purchases) begin with gathering information. But people are unlikely to request your catalog or visit your showroom right away. They are going to go online and look for helpful information first.

If your prospective customers have a problem to solve or a need to meet, they are going to go online to see if someone out there has the goods, services and expertise to meet their needs. And they are going to search for things using their own terms—not necessarily the terms you use to describe your products and services. That’s really what search engine optimization (SEO) is really all about. It’s not about some magic formula that will fool Google and make your site pop up at the top of every search. It’s making sure the kind of content you put out in your blog and on your Facebook page is the kind of thing people are really looking for—and that it’s presented in language that makes sense to them.

If you’re sending out the same old message (a sales pitch) in the same old way (ads, commercials, catalogs and flyers), you’re fishing for a whale in a pail. 

Generate More Leads Now!

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Topics: marketing strategy, Inbound Marketing, marketing tools

Marketing Today: What Do You Know?

Posted by Natalie Young

Dec 11, 2012 1:01:00 PM

marketing today orange county caYears ago, Lord Leverhulme, the founder of Unilever, famously quipped,  “I know that half of my advertising budget is wasted, but I'm not sure which half.” Sadly, things haven’t changed all that much for many businesses today. And sometimes the picture is even less clear.

Today’s businesses are using marketing tools that didn’t even exist a few years ago and they’re often not sure how to measure the impact or the effectiveness of these new tools.

A few years ago, marketing gurus told businesses that if they didn’t have a website they wouldn’t be able to do business in the future. It turns out that those gurus were pretty much right because  more than 90 percent of purchases today begin with an online search for information. Businesses took heed and spent money to create websites. The problem is that many businesses have no idea whether their websites are producing any results. They face the same dilemma that plagued Lord Leverhulme. Maybe you’re one of those businesses that spent money on a website but don’t know what it’s giving you in return.

What should you know about your website? And how should you measure it? Here are three questions you can ask in order to begin understanding how your site is performing.

1. Who’s There? How many visitors are coming to your site every day? How are they finding you? What pages are they visiting, and how long are they staying there?

2. Are Visitors Engaging? Having potential customers visit your site is a good thing, but that’s not the end goal. How many of your visitors are engaging with you (downloading information or asking for additional information)? Are you converting visitors into real leads?

3. What Are You Learning? Are you keeping track of which offers are getting the most response so that you can repeat them (maybe in a slightly different form) later? What kind of information is the most popular? What questions are visitors most frequently asking? These things will help you shape your marketing messages for the future.

Knowledge is power. The more you know about how your site is performing, the more you can leverage that power to better communicate with your target audience. If you’re interested in understanding how to measure these three things, let’s talk about how we can do that for your business.

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Topics: website marketing, Inbound Marketing, internet marketing

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