Sales & Marketing

10 ways to digitally market your business without a silver bullet

6 min read

21 September 2015

How can you use digital marketing to boost your business growth? Follow these ten tips.

For most digital businesses, particularly those in low-interest categories, digital marketing and driving performance remains very operational and it is here where you get results.

Silver bullets are few and far between: when I was the marketing director at Confused.com, we had to go up against Compare The Market’s Meerkats. I’ve wasted my fair share of time talking about the next big thing that came to nothing. 

For those of us that don’t have a silver bullet, here are some hints and tips as to the strategies in which to invest your time and effort when it comes to digital marketing, to reap the most effective returns.

1. Long-term value

In competitive PPC markets, try and establish the long term value of that initial click. Did that initial purchase lead to many more once in the CRM programme and do you attribute value back to your bid strategy to allow more scope to drive further sales? 

Most brands work off the initial sale and it limits volume when smart brands know that break even could be much higher when you attribute those future sales. The same goes for attributing fractional revenue for assisting channels.

2. High-value customers

Find high value customers and use their behaviour to find those with the potential to be future high value customers. When you’ve monitored their behaviour on site, alter the customer journey to reflect capturing more of them.

3. How is your site used?

Don’t just build responsive sites, but alter customer journeys to reflect the way your site is consumed on different devices. 

There’s nothing like trying to find the emergency number for your bank on a smart phone only to find you’ve been pickpocketed in a foreign country and you’re on an expensive service plan. Customer attitudes and behaviour fluctuate depending on the platform upon which they consume your content, so make sure to take this into account when building their journey.

4. Over communicate. 

I know text messaging seems retro, but at least when you have an urgent message it gets read.

5. Deliver great service 

Deliver great service not only when it means a sale, but also when you’re clearing up those customer service challenges that arise from time to time. It’s easy to forget these customer journeys but results and feedback on review sites can be seen instantly and that hurts acquisition. 

Tesco Direct left me fuming recently when they failed to collect some faulty goods on two separate occasions, despite them asking for me to stay in between 7am and 7pm (this is 2015, not 1997!). With the ease of making a complaint on Twitter and other social media platforms, it is imperative that your customer service is of a consistently high quality across the board.

Continue reading tips on page two…

6. Build capability in-house

For major spenders considering programmatic, take the time and build the capability in-house. When creating audiences internally, use a DMP, serve your own creative, feed performance into your CRM. 

The industry is very immature and often like the wild west. You won’t see the opportunity or pitfalls whilst this exists with an agency and you need the data stored and being accessed in your own systems.

7. Single customer view

Build a single customer view and use it in tandem with a data management platform to drive your website, programmatic and ECRM programme.

8. Focus on the key issues

Delete most new business emails and avoid wasting too much time with the millions of ad tech firms who now exist. They confuse you and can consume an inordinate amount of time if you allow them to. 

Focus instead on the rest of key issues which will demonstrably make an impact on your profile, such as those outlined here, and try not to be too distracted by shiny new offerings which may not provide the best assistance to your brand.

9. Meet your customers’ needs

Don’t forget that marketing is about creating products and services that fulfil consumer needs. Too often we spend way too long trying to squeeze the last drops of life out of dying products in overly competitive markets and not enough time trying to create new products or services. 

Ensure you are investing your time in products that will actually provide value to customers once they’re made aware of them and their capabilities – otherwise all your hard work will not pay off when it comes to sales.

10. Build advocacy

Encourage your advocates to talk about you. It’s been said a million times, but it bears repeating that review sites and social media can really extend your message and in markets where media inflation is rampant, this should be harnessed. 

We use popular customer review site TrustPilot, which provides an amazing point of validation and confirmation for consumers. Review sites like this are really strong in saying to consumers: there are people like you up and down the country using this product or service and having great results.

Joby Russell is CMO at online estate agency Purplebricks.com.