Performance Marketing Blog

Why Offline Businesses Are Relics of the Past

Posted by Natalie Young

Dec 10, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Everyone’s consumer research begins online. Google has quickly become the research tool of choice, and 99% of consumers already know what they want before they call or come in to your office. A consumer’s buying journey starts and ends on the Internet. Is your business doing enough to facilitate the buyer’s journey before those consumers ever reach their competitor’s marketing?

If you aren’t actively pursuing customers on the Internet, you are losing business. A “brick and mortar business” (or, an Offline Business) is something of the past. If your business isn’t online, or doesn’t have what you believe to be a sufficient online presence, there are some important steps you can make to take it online.

Get a Good Website

Having a good website doesn’t just mean it’s pretty. Your website has to be useful. But, more importantly, it has to get the job done. Your website should accomplish three things:

  1. It must communicate your unique value proposition. This is what you provide your customers with, and what your competitors don’t.
  2. Your website has to be lead generation ready. Your website’s purpose is to introduce yourself and ask for information in return. It should be a dialogue, not a monologue. Make sure your website is ready to generate leads with an offer. Landing pages with forms are a great way to capture information from your leads.
  3. Your website should also feature a blog. It is the backbone of your online marketing strategies, and a great way to post fresh and interesting content that engages consumers.

If you read those steps and realized your website is in need of all three, it might be time to think about redesigning your website. We can help you determine if a website redesign is right for you.

Do Keyword Research

Keyword Research is done to discover how to target personas that are doing their research online. It is important you find what they are looking for, and then provide the content that will answer their questions. Your keywords are also incorporated into your website and blog to help you rank higher among search engines.

Create a Lead Generation Content Offer

It is important you create a free product that your ideal customers will want to download. This is where you can capture leads and start the nurturing process.

Businesses are online and they are there to say. Offline businesses have gone extinct, and today if you are not actively marketing online, someone else is and can take away customers quickly. If you need help transitioning your business online, Performance Marketing can help. We offer a variety of marketing services, including a free marketing assessment.

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Topics: Online marketing

Marketing Success: Are You Focused on Tools or Results?

Posted by Natalie Young

Sep 16, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Marketing_Results_BlogThere are all kinds of new marketing tools out there that promise to help you do a better job of marketing your company. Frankly, some of them are pretty cool! But when it comes to generating leads for your business, should you be focused on the tools—or on the results?

When you look at how the business is doing at the end of the day (or at the end of the quarter), nobody is going to ask you which marketing platform you used. Nobody is going to care how good you are with Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest. Nobody is going to care how many blogs you posted, or how much faster your new website loads. They are going to want to know one thing: How many leads did you bring in?

It’s not that new marketing apps and programs can’t be effective. They can be—if you use them properly and have a message that resonantes with your customers. But if you’re not seeing the results you need to see (leads that generate sales), the problem may not be with your marketing tools. The problem may lie with how you’re using those tools. The good news is that you already have one of the most powerful marketing tools imaginable right at your fingertips.

With your website, you can reach the right audience with the right message and generate leads. How? Think about how people do business today. A number of studies show that the vast majority (more than 70 percent) of purchasing decisions begin with an online search for information. In the automotive industry, it’s been reported that the average buyer spends 13 hours researching cars online before he or she ever sets foot on a showroom floor.

Is your website attracting the customers you want—and turning those visitors to your website into leads? If you’d like a bit more information about how that works, I invite you to download our free 5 Essential Steps to Generating Leads Using Your Website white paper. This easy-to-read report will teach you five secrets of inbound marketing (getting potential customers to come to you instead of trying to push information out to them) and show you how you can make cold calls a thing of the past. 

So don’t focus too much on new marketing tools. You’ve already got one of the most important and effective tools already. Learn how to use what you’ve got to get the results you want!
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Topics: Online marketing

What Does Marketing Success Look Like in the Lighting & Electrical Industry?

Posted by Natalie Young

Apr 21, 2014 7:00:00 AM

What-does-marketing-succcess-look-like-in-the-lighting-and-electircal-industryIf you’re involved in the lighting and electrical industry in Southern California, how do you define “marketing success”? Do you point to marketing plaques hanging on your office walls for “Best Brochure”? Do you create a special starburst button on your website that announces your website won the award for “Best Site of the Year” (and hope somebody notices it)?

Probably not.

Let’s face it: Winning marketing awards isn’t why you do marketing. The way you measure success in the lighting and energy industry is by results. And if your marketing efforts aren’t producing results, who cares about the plaques hanging on your office wall?

But what kind of results should you be looking for? How do you know if your marketing efforts are paying dividends? What are the metrics—the things you can actually measure to see if what you’re doing is worth the money you’re spending?

The good news is that if you have a website, it can provide you with all kinds of helpful information about how successful your efforts are—provided that it’s set up properly and you know what to look for. Here are a few of the key metrics that you should be monitoring.

  • Traffic: How many people (read that as “potential customers”) are visiting your website each day/week/month? If you’re not getting much traffic it’s going to be awfully hard to get your message out to potential clients.
  • Individual Page Views: It’s not enough to know that someone landed on your website. You need to know which pages they visited. If a page is popular, it lets you know that the information contained there is what people want to know. You can take advantage of that and create more of that kind of content.
  • Conversion: You can’t take website visits to the bank. As a matter of fact, you can’t even really market to them. You need to convert visitors to leads. What percentage of your visitors end up as qualified leads that you can contact?

This isn’t just theory. What you measure matters. We invite you to take a look at a case study from a manufacturer’s representative for lighting and energy control products. You’ll be able to see how this SOCAL business used their website—and how they were able to measure the impact of what they were doing.

What does success look like in the lighting and electrical industry? It looks like measurable results!

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Topics: SEO, marketing, Online marketing, measuring marketing results

Marketing and Your Website: Avoiding www.oops.com

Posted by Natalie Young

Apr 10, 2014 12:00:00 PM

Marketing-and-your-website-avoiding-www.oops.comThere doesn’t seem to be much debate anymore about the important role your website plays in marketing your business. As it turns out, however, knowing that isn’t enough. Simply having a website doesn’t necessarily improve your marketing presence.

That nugget of truth caught the attention of the folks over at Forbes magazine. They know a thing or two about successful businesses. A lot of CEOs and business owners would give up the key to the executive bathroom to be included on Forbes’ list of the “Top 100” or “Top 500” businesses.

So what did Forbes have to say about websites and business? First of all, they acknowledge that all marketing efforts [should] lead back to a company’s website. Even if they do, however, the marketing game isn’t won. What happens when a visitor actually hits the website, doesn’t always lead to more business. You can read the whole article here, but Forbes points out five common mistakes many businesses make when setting up their sites:

1. No Business Plan and Marketing Strategy

2. Underestimating the Work Involved

3. Choosing the Wrong Host and ecommerce Platforms

4. Too Blog Focused

5. Lack of Balance Between Design and Message

Of those five mistakes, three are particularly deadly for businesses today.

No Plan or Strategy: Nobody should create a business website just for the fun of it. Like any other solid business decision, there should be a good reason for doing it, followed by a solid strategy, and excellent execution. What’s your main reason for having a website? Is it because “everyone else has one”? Is it to “promote your brand”? Is it because it’s cheaper to put stuff online than to print catalogs and flyers? All of those reasons have an element of truth to them—but they’re really not good reasons to build a website. Your website should generate qualified leads for your business. How many leads (good leads that resulted in new customers) can you specifically trace back to your website? If you can’t answer that question, your site isn’t living up to its potential. And if you want to know how that can work, download this free report for some clear-cut answers.

It’s Easy to Do: Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t rocket science, but it is work. And like so many areas of business, the more work you put in up front, the better results you’ll get. If you’re really good at communicating your message and at working with technology that reaches people, you should be able to do this. If not, get some professional help. Your sister’s nephew may be a whiz with computers, but does he understand your business and how to use your site to generate leads? You don’t have to break the bank to get an effective website, but it’s worth it to spend something to get the results you want.

Mistaking Pretty for Effective: It’s easy to fall in love with a good-looking website. Good design is important, but the point of having a website isn’t to collect kudos for how great it looks. The design should serve the purpose. Never sacrifice results for pretty pictures and clever copy. Make sure your message comes through loud and clear. And what is your message? It should be along the lines of: “We understand your problem and we have a solution that can solve that problem. If you’d like to know more, we’d be happy to help. Contact us.”

If you pay attention to those things, you can create an effective website that will actually generate qualified leads. Ignore them, or get them wrong, and you’ll end up with www.oops.com.

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Topics: lead generation, marketing, Online marketing, website development

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

Are Your Sales and Marketing Efforts Working Together to Give You Results?

Posted by Natalie Young

Mar 20, 2014 3:00:00 AM

Depositphotos_5999250_originalSometimes people think of sales and marketing as the same thing. They’re not. They have different goals and use different methods to accomplish their objectives.

But sales and marketing need to work together if you want to get the kind of results that will grow your business. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.

What sometimes happens is that the marketing people work to create leads for the sales people to follow up on. Too often, however, the sales people will say that the leads they’re getting from marketing just aren’t good. They’re not quality leads. They are simply names (along with phone numbers and maybe email addresses) of people who really aren’t the ideal customers. And they’re just not interested in talking to a sales person. As a matter of fact, following up on these “leads” feels a lot like cold calling.

Marketing people, on the other hand, often feel like the sales people aren’t following up on the leads they provide. And they too often feel like they don’t get the feedback from sales that they need to generate better quality leads.

Sales and Marketing should be pulling together on the same rope! Together they should identify what common characteristics and traits make up a qualified lead. It requires some thinking and research because what they really need is more than just income level, gender, or age. They need to know what these potential customers are looking for—what problems and issue they need to solve. Then marketing can create content that draws the right kind of people in.

Marketing needs to use great content to initiate contact with potential customers and to qualify them (How serious are they? Do they really want/need the product or service our company offers? Can they afford what we sell? Will our product solve their problems?). When marketing knows those answers then they can pass the information over to sales.

Then the sales team needs to close the loop and give marketing feedback on how the leads are turning out. Are they getting the right kind of people? Are the leads ready to talk? Is marketing getting them the kind of information that makes it easier for the sales team to do their job?

Having the sales and marketing teams work together results in something we like to call “Smarketing.” If you’d like to take a more in-depth look at how to bring sales and marketing together to get great results, check out our Smarketing Development Webinar Series.

You’ll be able to accomplish so much more when your teams work together—and you’ll get the results you really want.

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Topics: marketing, Online marketing, sales and marketing alignment, getting better sales results

Read This BEFORE Redesigning Your Website

Posted by Natalie Young

Mar 11, 2014 2:00:00 PM

Read-this-BEFORE-you-redesign-your-websiteYour website is arguably the most powerful marketing tool you have at your disposal. It’s a link to a vast number of people who may be looking for exactly what it is that you do. There’s no limit to the amount of content you can publish on your website. And the incremental cost to add new material is ridiculously low.

Of course, none of this matters one bit if your site is (how shall I say this?) “challenged.” Unless you have a well-designed, well-planned site, it’s not going to matter.

Redesigning your site, however, is about a lot more than choosing a pleasing pallet of colors and adding pretty pictures. Sure, you want your website to look good (an ugly website is a non-starter for visitors). So before you start spending any money on making your site look good, ask yourself these questions.

Who exactly is my audience? That word “exactly” is in that sentence for a reason. You need to be specific about who you’re trying to reach. Not everyone who has a computer is a potential client. Some people couldn’t care less about what you’re selling. It simply doesn’t meet their needs. Don’t waste their time—or yours—trying to reach them. And think beyond things like age, income, gender, and education. Think about the problems they are trying to solve. Think about what it is that your products or services can do that will help them succeed. That’s what will get them to sit up and take notice of you.

Does my website make it clear what I do? Not everybody has heard of you. Your name may not be synonymous with the solution you provide. Let’s say you’re in the lighting and energy control business and your name is Acme Solutions. That name doesn’t tell anyone what you do. You need a tagline that spells it out clearly. It could be something like: “Southern California’s Lighting and Energy Control Specialists.” Or maybe you’d want to go with something like: “Southern California’s Leader in Lighting and Energy Control Products and Solutions.” Don’t make visitors guess. Spell it out for them. And, by the way, that will also help you get found on the Web.

Does my site have a compelling offer? You want visitors to do something when they visit your site. You need to engage them. But you need to give them a good reason to do it. You want people to reach out to you and tell you that they are interested in what you have to offer. Here’s an example. If you want to learn more about how to use your website to generate quality business leads, click here for our free eBook! This offer not only presents readers with something they may want—it also gives them the ability to access it right now (that’s why the link is there).

Does my copy describe the benefits of what I sell—or is it just a list of features? It may be important that your product is made of stainless steel, or that it has a 10-year warranty, or that it’s a sleek new design. But what’s more important is: what will it do for your audience? What problem will it solve? How will it help them achieve a goal? It’s OK to talk about the features. Sometimes they are important. But do it in terms of how your product or service will deliver benefit.

Do I have a system for collecting the information? It’s great to get people interested in what you have to offer. But you need to have some kind of system for collecting and sorting the information so that you can get back to these people. Remember: People who visit your site aren’t leads, they’re visitors. When they engage with you they become leads. But leads aren’t customers. You still have to convert them from interested leads to paying customers.

A well-designed website can be a powerful marketing tool. But remember that design is about more than looking good. Let’s talk about how to create a site that will bring you the leads and customers your want!

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Topics: marketing success, marketing, Online marketing, reaching audience

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

What Should You Do If Your Internet Marketing Isn’t Generating Sales?

Posted by Natalie Young

Jan 23, 2014 8:00:00 AM

What should you do if your Internet marketing isn't workingIf you want to survive in today’s economy, you need to reach potential customers on the Web. After all, that’s where your customers go to get information long before they ever contact you to make a purchase. Having a strong Internet marketing strategy is essential if you want to thrive—or even survive.

But what if your Internet marketing isn’t working? As a matter of fact, how do you even know if your Internet marketing is working or not?

A lot of businesses are doing “something” on the Web, but they really don’t know if what they’re doing is effective. They don’t know how many people visit their site. They don’t know which of their pages are attractive to potential clients. They hope to generate leads with their web activity—but they can’t really track how many of their visitors end up becoming legitimate leads. And they’d be hard-pressed to point to leads that became actual customers as a result of what they’re doing online.

If any of those scenarios ring a bell with you—you’re in good company. A lot of businesses have a tough time answering those questions. There’s a lot more to having an effective Web marketing presence than simply having a website address and some content.

So what should you do if your Internet marketing isn’t generating sales? One thing that’s key, is to make sure your sales and marketing efforts are aligned with each other—and that they are coordinated to match your clients’ buying patterns. Aligning sales and marketing is something we call “smarketing.” And when you combine that approach with a solid inbound marketing strategy, you’ll end with delighted customers—who will tell their friends and colleagues about you.

If doing “the same old thing” in your marketing efforts isn’t giving you the results you want, I’d urge you to sign up for our 12-week Smarketing Development Course. You’ll learn how to get better ROI from inbound marketing, develop a simple, repeatable sales and marketing process, identify decision makers, retain more customers and develop customers who are evangelists for your brand.

The way your customers buy has changed. If you’re not getting the results you want from your sales and marketing efforts, it’s probably time to change the way you reach your customers. We’d love to help you make that happen.

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Topics: marketing, Online marketing, Sales-Marketing alignment, improve marketing ROI

Marketing Today: Overcoming That Overwhelmed Feeling

Posted by Natalie Young

Dec 12, 2013 4:45:00 AM

Marketing today overcoming that overwhelmed feelingIf you’re tasked with the marketing responsibilities for your business, you just might be feeling a little overwhelmed by trying to keep up. Guess what? You’re not alone!

A recent (2013) survey of 1,000 U.S. marketers by the good folks at Adobe turned up some pretty revealing information. Here are a few tidbits.

  • 76 percent of marketers think marketing has changed more in the past two years than the past 50.
  • 48 percent of digital marketers feel highly proficient in digital marketing.
  • 40 percent think their company’s marketing is effective.
  • 68 percent of marketing professionals feel more pressured to show return on investment for their marketing spending.
  • 82 percent of digital marketers learn on the job (no training).
  • 9 percent of respondents strongly agree with the statement “I know our digital marketing is working.”

Apparently, a lot of people involved in marketing—especially in this digital age—are feeling overwhelmed and uncertain. And despite the fact that two-thirds of them believe that companies today can’t succeed without a functional digital marketing approach, 82 percent of them are concerned that they’re not reaching their customers and 79 percent simply don’t know if their campaigns are working or not.

We’d have to agree with the 76 percent of marketers who think marketing has changed dramatically. But it’s not just the technology that’s changed. The way people do business has changed—and that means the way we reach people with our marketing messages has to change as well. This requires us to rethink our marketing strategies—moving from a traditional “outbound” approach to a new “inbound” approach.

It also means integrating your marketing efforts so that your brand and your messaging are consistent across all of your initiatives.

And sometimes it means getting a little help. You don’t have to be an expert in everything, and it’s OK to bring in some outside expertise for those areas where you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, whether it’s in the area of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or generating leads through your website.

If trying to fulfill all of your marketing responsibilities in a constantly changing marketing environment has you feeling a little overwhelmed, the good news is that you’re not alone. And the better news is that there’s help out there. We’d love to partner with you and help you get back on top of your game!

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Topics: marketing, effective marketing, Online marketing, dealing with marketing changes, marketing help

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