Is There a Gap in Your Marketing Strategy?

marketing-strategy

marketing-strategy

Shoppers spend hours searching online for the best product at the best price. In most cases, they’d prefer getting quick results. They want to find what they need, make a purchase, and move on to more productive things.

The problem that so often occurs, though, is that shopping online becomes as time consuming as shopping from store to store by car. In this age of technology, finding the right product at the right price needn’t be so complicated. So why does this gap occur?  Are shoppers just too indecisive? Or could there be seller logistical reasons complicating the process?

Examine Your Marketing Strategy

As a seller, if you want to prevent buyer dissatisfaction and gain quick sales, you’ll want to pay thorough attention to your entire marketing campaign from your sales department to your shipping department; from your IT services to your customer service team.

When developing your marketing strategy, it’s important to put yourself in a buyer’s shoes. Start by thinking through all the information a buyer might need to know before completing a transaction.  Ask how you can best convert web surfers into buyers. Think about how you can intersect with potential buyers most often. Think about the last time you were frustrated with a purchase and make sure your organization doesn’t have a similar gap.

Cover all the Bases

Doing great business includes more than having a great website. There are a number of bases to cover.

Say Joe’s business sells the same product as Jane’s business, but Joe’s website has thorough product descriptions, a demonstration video, great photos, detailed product specifications, a shopping cart, and complete shipping and return information.

Jane’s website has a good about page, photos of products, and brief descriptions of the products, but there is no shopping cart or even a way to order online even by email. Customers must telephone Jane to place an order.  It makes sense that Joe has covered a lot of logistics.  His business is the clear winner in gaining buyer trust and making sales.

It may cost a little extra to fancy up your sales formats, but as technology continues to advance, covering all the bases will be necessary if you’re to stay competitive.

Content Marketing

Providing the right information at the right time and via the right verticals is key to making sales. All of Joe’s content marketing points to his website. And his website points to some of his content. His content includes articles, blog posts, YouTube videos, Tweets, and a Facebook page.

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Joe’s content goes a step further in client conversion. Since Joe likes his website to be clean and clutter-free, he depends on his blog, YouTube videos, and articles to tell a deeper story, providing the customer with more information. Each month he focuses on an aspect of his business or he features a certain product. His web content is designed to help shoppers gain more understanding, as well as to intersect with his business more frequently.

Since buyers like to make informed decisions, Joe uses all the tools he can to connect with them. He offers as many pertinent details as he can without being spammy.

The Right Perspective

It’s easy to think marketing is about selling yourself. That’s where Jane has gotten stuck. She uses in-person networking and Facebook interaction to help others get to know her. She assumes those that are really interested in her products will seek her out. She spent money on a custom website, having a professional profile photo taken, an endearing logo drawn, and she hired a professional writer to create her about page.

Much of what Jane has done is good, but her sincerest focus should be on answering the needs of her prospective buyers. They will care less about her cute pink dress than they will about whether or not she has what they need. They’ll care less about her endearing logo than they will about how speedy she’ll be in getting a solid product to them. They’ll care less about a flowery about page than they will about how trustworthy she is as a seller.

Intersect Paths

Any strategic marketing campaign should include numerous avenues of engagement. The more often a seller can cross paths with a buyer, the better.

When developing your campaign, as noted above, cover the logistics making purchases easy, and then develop avenues for using valuable, relevant, and consistent content.

Your campaign might include online ads, videos, podcasts, newsletters, eBooks, how-to guides, coupons, articles, photos, blogs, and so on. As long as your content educates, provides a solution, or is entertaining, your readers will take notice. Always point your content to your website and your website to your content if applicable.

Close the Gaps

While it’s presumed your content marketing will focus on the product information shoppers need to make purchases, the best scenario in designing your campaign should begin and end with the customer.

Review your campaign from your customers’ viewpoint. Make shopping pain-free for them. Don’t let your customers become frustrated by receiving a product that doesn’t match the description on your site or their expectations.

Product returns do no one any favors. If a table is cream, not white, clearly state it is cream.  If a notebook has four holes, say so, otherwise a shopper will assume it has three. If your brackets support 10 pounds, don’t let a customer who needs to support 40 pounds be fooled.

Monitor and Improve

Above all, ensure your organization has adequate communication from the top down and from the bottom up. Listen to concerns expressed by your shipping department, customer service team, and IT department. Consider customer feedback seriously.

If you run a business with an online presence and want it to survive, it only makes sense to put in the effort that will help fill the gaps that keep shoppers stuck in shopper’s no-man’s land.

Why not review your campaign now, uncomplicate your process and do what it takes to make your business a top-notch go-to online location buyers will recommend to their friends.

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Tyler Horvath

Webpreneur, CEO of Tyton Media, investor and efficiency aficionado. With over 13 years experience in SEO, Digital Marketing and Web Design. @tylerbhorvath