Blueprint for Breakthrough

Posted in Business Practices, Marketing | November 9,2021

Five Pillars for Moving the Needle in Your Marketing Efforts

We were really excited to be chosen as the preferred marketing partner for the 2021 Small Business Expo in Dallas. We had so much fun working with this high-energy organization that puts on a one-day event designed to help you and your small business from every angle!

From speed networking and industry-specific vendors to educational workshops put on by industry experts (hey!!), this was a power-packed day designed to give small businesses plenty of inspiration, support, ideas and help. It was a blast!

If you missed it, no worries. The 2022 Small Business Expo planning is already underway, and we’ll be sure to let you know when next year’s event is on the books.

Our own Haynes Hudson, Director of Accounts, and Tammy Hinojos (that’s me!), Director of Editorial Services, served on the panel of industry experts and presented a workshop titled Blueprint for Breakthrough: Why Build It and They Will Come is Not Enough.

In it, we laid out five pillar strategies for marketing your business. The session went really well, and so many entrepreneurs and small business owners approached us afterward to chat more about ideas they have, challenges they’re facing and what are the next steps for breaking through with their business.

Wondering about how to take your business to the next level? Over the course of the next few weeks, we’re going to share each of the five pillars for growing your business and getting the very most out of your marketing efforts.

Pillar #1 – Be Strategic (Identify Your Target Audience)

This may sound like a “duh” thing to say. But over the years, we have found that, oftentimes, there can be a disconnect between who you think your customer is and who they actually are. Confusing these two is a potential pitfall you’ll want to avoid. You don’t want to have an idealistic view of your customer that isn’t synced to reality.

I’ll share a quick example of why this is so important. We work with a great bariatric practice and have for several years. When we were onboarding them, we looked at their website metrics and noticed that while they were getting significant traffic, their bounce rate was around 80%! Red flag!!

So we did some data digging and found that their customer profile was much more narrow in scope. So, once we made that adjustment, we saw an almost immediate improvement. Website traffic declined slightly, but the bounce rate went from nearly 80% to about 20%! And that’s why knowing your target audience matters!

If you skip this important part, here’s what you can expect:

So do the research. Ask the questions. Then you won’t be left wondering why you’re not connecting.

So, how do you go about figuring out who your customer is and what’s important to them?

Ask Questions

And lots of them. The easiest and most practical way to do this is through engagement with your customers. Naturally, you’re going to be interacting with them, so take the time and make the effort to know them. Asking questions like:

  • How did you hear about us?
  • Where do you live?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • Did you consider choosing a competitor?
  • What made you choose us?

This information gathering can be done in an informal conversational way, or it can be through more formal data collection measures.

For example, you know when you go to Academy, and they ask you to enter your zip code at check out? Well, they’re not just being nosy. They use that information to help drive business decisions like where to focus their marketing efforts, in making customer profiles, decisions about future locations, etc.

Using form fills on your website can also be a great way to collect customer data. We call this the Give a Little to Get a Little model for data collection. For example, your website visitor fills out a form to download an educational brochure about your services. In exchange, you get their name, contact information and industry they work in. Give a little, get a little!

Organize Your Data

Finally, you’ll want to establish a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform for keeping and organizing the customer profile data you’ve collected. This can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet, or you can invest in a platform like Hubspot’s CRM. Most are fairly affordable, and some of them even offer the ability to send and receive communication with your customer, which is a nice feature.

Whatever you decide in the way of storing the data, please don’t skip the step of taking the time to gather it. Gathering data will help you greatly in informing your marketing decisions.

Trust a Marketing Expert

At Miller Public Relations, we sincerely love working with small businesses; mainly because we are a small business ourselves! So we deeply understand the challenges and joys of building and maintaining a successful business in a pretty crowded market.

But we’ve learned some amazing strategies after being in the trenches for 27 years. They’ve worked well for us, and we use many of them to help our clients become trusted leaders in their markets, too. And we’d be honored to help you. Let’s talk.