GOALS: Identity + Reach > Traction ^ Conversion
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Designing and implementing effective positioning, tools, systems, and processes creates a solid foundation for effective growth. Time invested in planning always reaps richer dividends than attempting to go without, despite the fact that so many ventures casually do the latter.
Message Positioning functions as a crucial, consistent building block of all involved promotional efforts. This essential component of Brand Identity, combined with appropriate visual cues, enables recognizable elements of a differentiated Brand to be established. Such a system of aligned talking points and images sets the opportunity for capturing and retaining residual passive market share, in addition to the direct active captures: thereby maximizing the outcomes of reach, enhancing traction, increasing conversion ratios, and ultimately optimizing revenue streams and potential profitability.
Capture for conversion in eCommerce and other digital platforms requires additional tactics beyond those used for traditional business models. Because the opportunity for direct contact is eliminated, deferred, or reduced (as per the corresponding Sales and other Distribution Channels) – particularly in the case of a new spontaneous site visit – alternative means to establish and maintain a line of receptive communication and follow-up are necessary. SEO, SEM, and other rank or keyword level visitor attraction (passive, pull) systems only become viable and begin to generate impact after traction and awareness have already been established at significant thresholds. Therefore, pivotal tools – including landing pages and loss-leader conversion incentives – become leverage points through which value-added prospect relationships can be seized and shaped in the early stages: broadening both…the modes of reach, and leverage toward conversion.
Funnel Management demands consistent and efficient activity and results tracking, as well as systematized organization of the most vital business resource: properly qualified prospects. While analytics can contribute to the assessment of volumes, flow, data accuracy, and even conversion ratios, the fact remains that both active and passive tactics must be implemented in order to ensure consistent early-stage customer – and true revenue – growth. A reliable database containing accurate and timely updates can then serve the individual or team responsible for active follow-up: impacting increased conversion.
Awareness Campaigns provide systematized avenues of direct reach for Marketing messages. The first step in marketing an emerging operation involves educating the target audiences about the existing presence of the solution (product/service offering) and its USP (value proposition and key differentiators). Ultimately: why they want, need, and will prefer this solution over other options that currently exist…as well as those as not yet available or developed. Systematized repeat campaigns layer additional necessary information into the awareness of the target markets, and add more trigger points into each subsequent cycle: simultaneously beginning to build Brand Recognition within these initial target prospects as well, which will foster grassroots and potential social media expansion toward traction points.
Public Relations (PR) & Media complements the direct, active, and specifically targeted promotional Educational & Awareness Campaigns by reaching a broad scope of the target segments with concise, concentrated messages that reinforce the direct touch of Awareness Campaigns from converging angles. These alternative angles also enhance company credibility via affiliation with known traditional and social media circles (social proof). This also serves to compound and expand reach beyond existing points of contact (known prospects & customers) in the organization’s CRM database.
Customer Support falls into the Sales & Marketing realm as well, though technically operational in nature: the absorbed cost of acquiring and retaining customers attributed to these teams. Customer churn is expensive, even – or especially – in eCommerce, where effective points of communication can be more difficult to establish and maintain as compared to more traditional business models. Ideally, conversion of a website visitor into an active customer is only the first step.
In order for a small or mid-sized (SMB) business to survive, and ultimately thrive, minimizing churn while maximizing repeat business is the overarching goal. Amazon’s trend shaping pattern-analytic based automated shopping suggestions offer a relevant example of the power gained by leveraging the traction of repeat business from an existing base.
Replicable and reliable systems for Customer Support and follow-up must be effectively established and available – from the time the first customer is secured – in order to achieve optimal success, revenue generation, and sustain profitability.
Tactical Plans, implemented from an effective long-term Strategy, focus on immediate tasks that intend to catapult next-stage growth, awareness, and revenue generation. Additional considerations addressed in review during the fiscal Quarters following implementation of these components, as a priority, should consider how substantially both short-term and long-term objectives were met. Strategic Planning and implementation must precede tactics for optimal effectiveness, conversion, growth, and profitability.
How much growth, revenue, and profit can your venture hope to create in 2016?
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