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How to grow sales on a downsized marketing budget

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | How to grow sales on a downsized marketing budgetBusinesses are often quick to slash marketing budgets in times of disruption, and the response to the recent economic upheaval has been no different. Global ad spend is predicted to fall by nearly $50 billion in 2020, with major organizations like Google cutting marketing budgets in half for the rest of the year. Most companies are either in startup or turnaround mode and looking to reduce expenses while maximizing the impact of their remaining resources.

Though marketing is largely seen as a “nice-to-have” versus an essential business function, it’s actually a critical aspect of any business that works to drive sales. For organizations already struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, freezing or scaling back on marketing can have dire consequences on business growth when it’s needed most.

How can business leaders confidently continue to invest in marketing during such a volatile time when both budgets and timelines are tight? The key is not necessarily to invest more in your marketing budget but to invest more wisely with strategic, data-based initiatives. That’s where segmentation comes into play.

By using data you probably already have on hand to group your clients or customers based on their value to your business, it’s possible to make the most of your digital marketing efforts to grow your revenue, fast. Though the concept of segmentation is nothing new, what is new is how quickly you can derive them and garner insights. In the past, investing in segmentation for your business could take months and millions of dollars. But with advances in technology, today it’s possible to get it done in days, not months or years, and take immediate action on the insights to boost your bottom line.

Whether you’re the leader of a startup without much digital marketing prowess yet, or a business that’s had to make marketing cuts in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, segmentation can help you spend less and make more by empowering your marketing team to:

1. Target the right people

Segmentation allows you to identify the shared characteristics of your best customers and create detailed personas to inform your approach. Most businesses will have several distinct high-value personas, which can be grouped by a number of segmentation techniques, such as demographics, geographics or psychographics (the way people think, feel or behave). For example, a luxury car dealership might segment its customers by the attitudes and beliefs that motivate purchases (the need for speed versus family safety), whereas a grocery retailer might segment customers by demographics such as their age, education or profession.

A common mistake is taking a cookie-cutter approach by spending the same amount of money going after your high-value customer segments as your low-value segments. By determining the margins each type of customer brings to your business, you can stop wasting resources on unprofitable segments and instead more strategically focus your marketing efforts on targeting the customer segments that will deliver the greatest ROI, such as lookalike or adjacent audiences to your high-value customers. What’s great about digital advertising is that you can be incredibly specific about who you target. All the major platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn allow you to display ads to return customers, go after new audiences who are similar to existing customers or target an entirely new segment based on criteria you select.

2. Adjust your messaging

It’s not only important to determine who you need to target through digital marketing, but also what you need to say to those valuable audience segments. Generic messaging will likely have your best customers scrolling past your ads or tossing your email in their junk folders, so take what you discovered in your research about your high-value personas and tailor your content accordingly.

How you communicate with one segment versus another may be wildly different based on several motivating factors. For example, young parents and well-off retirees might consider the same pieces of furniture from a high-end retailer, but their motivations for purchasing them are very different. While young parents are more likely to purchase furniture that holds up well to long-term wear-and-tear from kids and pets, retirees might be drawn to more expensive pieces because they feel they’ve earned nice things. Segmentation allows you to truly understand these unique (but equally high-value) groups and create different pieces of marketing content that speak directly to each one.

This may seem like an obvious step, but when is the last time you really performed a robust segmentation and used that to inspire your messaging? The information you uncover may surprise you — especially if you have never segmented in the past, or haven’t for a long while. We have experienced such a significant cultural shift recently that the usual wants, needs and motivating factors of your clients or customers may have shifted as well. It might be time to take another look at your segmentation to craft more impactful messaging.

3. Tailor your product offering

In addition to who you’re targeting and how you’re targeting them with your digital marketing content, segmentation can also inform what you’re offering. With consumer needs and concerns changing over the past several months, this ability to strategically pivot your products or services based on data is more important than ever before.

Perhaps your data reveals that one high-value customer segment desires a trimmed-down version of your product or service, while another prefers a more robust option. The best course of action might be to create a streamlined version and a premium version in addition to your core product or service, and then map these offerings to their corresponding segments throughout your sales and marketing efforts. But you won’t know how to make this pivot until you really understand your customer segments and determine what needs they have.

Transitioning from a one-size-fits all marketing strategy to high-level segmentation, with the eventual goal of one-on-one personalization, simply won’t happen overnight. It’s an evolution that will take time, patience and trial and error. But the good news is, if you’re asking the right questions and tracking what’s working and not working, your segments can actually get “smarter” and more effective over time. Likewise, your creative team will become more experienced crafting the right messaging for the right clients or customer segments at the right time. This is where the art and science of data segmentation can really come together to enhance your marketing strategy and content for greater ROI.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Rob RistagnoRob Ristagno is the founder and CEO of Sterling Woods Group and a keynote speaker focused on sharing new ways to use data to drive business results. Rob combines his expertise in data science with proven sales and marketing strategies to help established middle-market companies quickly generate new revenue by improving the way they gather and utilize data.

Rob earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Dartmouth College and his Master of Business Administration in general management from Harvard Business School. He currently lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with his wife, Kate, his daughter, Leni, and his black lab, Royce. For more information, please visit www.sterlingwoods.com.

5 Methods to Attract More Customers to Your Restaurant

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article | 5 Methods to Attract More Customers to Your RestaurantRunning a restaurant is hard work. It’s not simply a case of cooking up some food, serving it up to customers, and earning a profit. Many different elements need to be considered. This includes everything from managing a front of house team to the logistics of regularly ordering fresh ingredients.

With so much going on, it can be challenging to find the time to actually market the restaurant.

However, adequate promotion is an essential component for your restaurant – particularly if you’re a newcomer to the market. Established, award-winning eateries can get by on their reputation alone, but beginners have to fight for every customer.

If you’re struggling to get people through the door to sample your food, here are five methods to attract more customers to your restaurant.

Place your restaurant details online

As a starting point, ensure your essential restaurant details can easily be found online. This should begin with both a Google My Business and Facebook page, where you can feature details such as the restaurant’s location and opening times.

Also, it’s highly recommended to create a dedicated website for your restaurant. This site can add further information, including your menu complete with prices and exclusive deals.

Speaking of deals…

Run a limited deal

If someone is undecided about visiting your restaurant, there’s one way to ensure they turn up as a paying customer: offering an enticement of some sort.

What can this enticement be, exactly? Well, for one example, it could be an offer where a customer buys one meal and receives another for free. It might be 20% off the total bill or a significant reduction on a set menu.

People love to feel like they’re getting a deal, and this is an effective way of giving them that feeling.

Use PPC advertising

If your restaurant is in a bustling city with a plethora of restaurant options available, it can be challenging to gain any visibility via local SEO means. There is, however, one way of having your restaurant show up in local search results: PPC.

PPC, aka pay-per-click, is a way of placing an advert for your restaurant above organic results in search results. Mostly, if you use Google Ads, your restaurant will appear first in any relevant local searches. For more information, Made by Factory, one of the leading PPC management agencies around, can provide all the help you could need.

Ask for reviews

Reviews are often the lifeblood for any small business. Positive reviews for your restaurant will help illustrate the quality of your food and service. The more glowing reviews you receive, the more potential customers will believe your eatery is the real deal.

As a result, don’t be shy in asking previous patrons to leave a review if they were happy with their visit.

Don’t avoid traditional marketing techniques

Yes, the above tips primarily focus on digital marketing. However, you should never avoid traditional marketing techniques. Leaflets are an excellent method for supplying potential customers with details about your restaurant. Another example would be to run a print ad in a local newspaper.

This Is How Much to Spend on Facebook Ads

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, This Is How Much to Spend on Facebook Ads

Facebook ads! They whisper promises of high revenue and ROI until they cost too much. People spend up to thousands of dollars on Facebook ads hoping for the best results, but there is usually more at play on how much to spend on Facebook ads.

In 2019, Facebook ad spend reached $25.56 billion, which was a 107% increase from 2016. As a business, you obviously want to try out Facebook ads for yourself, but the question is, how much should you spend on them?

One of the best things about Facebook ads is that it doesn’t matter how big or small your budget is, and you can spend as little as $1 a day and still get results. However, this strategy doesn’t work for everyone, so we’ll help you figure out how much to spend on Facebook ads for your business.

How Much Should I Budget for Facebook Ads?

There isn’t an absolute answer to this question because so many things are at play. You have to consider the exact costs of the click-through-rate, cost-per-click, cost-per-1,000 impressions, and cost-per-action.

When showing your ads, Facebook considers two things; positive and relevant experience for customers, and value for you as the advertiser and how your ads reach your target audience. You get to reach the people who are receptive to your ads, and users get to see ads they are interested in.

Essentially, this means advertisers with the highest monetary bids win. It means that the advertisers with the best value come out on top, so what you need more than a high budget is valuable adverts.

Factors That Determine How Much to Spend on Facebook Ads

There are several factors at play here. You need to consider them to come to a decision about how much to spend on Facebook ads.

Consider Your Bid and How Much You Need to Show Your Ad

Once you create a Facebook ad for your business, you’ll be joining a huge pool of advertisers, some of whom are your competitors. You’ll be competing with multiple businesses for the ad spaces available, and your bid amount will determine how interested you are in getting that spot.

The higher your bid is, the higher the chances of getting that ad space and having your ad shown to your target market. You can set your bids manually, or automatically. Manual bids involve setting a maximum amount of money you want to spend on your ads, and you’ll enter bids depending on how much they are worth to you.

The thing about bidding manually is if you bid too low, you may not get the kind of exposure you’re looking for. You still get what you pay for, even on Facebook ads. When you choose automatic bids, Facebook will decide the bid amount for you and use the entire bid budget to maximize your results.

Consider the Ad Quality and How Interested Your Target Audience Will Be

Facebook determines the relevance and quality of an ad, depending on how it performs. It considers both positive and negative feedback. Positive feedback in terms of video views, clicks, or app installs and negative in terms of the number of people that clicked on the “I don’t want to see this ad” option.

They provide a Relevance Score for all ads, and if yours is high, they show your ad more times than those with a low relevance score. Even better, you’ll get to pay less and reach more people in your target market.

Consider Estimated Action Rates

Estimated action rates refer to how likely people are to react to your business ads. Are the people who come across your ad likely to click on it? Facebook makes a determination based on the past actions of your target market and how many times they have clicked on similar ads and purchased products or signed to the services advertised.

Your Target Market

How many people are you targeting? Your target market and the number of people you’re trying to reach will essentially impact how much you spend on Facebook ads.

Your competitors are fighting the same battle and trying to reach the same people, and the more competitors you have vying for the same audience, the higher the cost will be to reach them. Beyond that, the age, location, languages, interests, and behaviors of your target audience may influence your advertising costs.

What Time of the Year Is It?

Certain peak times of the year, more advertisers vie for the same ad spaces, and during such times, the advertising costs rise as well. Some of these times include holidays such as Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Where Your Advertisements Appear

The Facebook ecosystem is huge, and placement will also determine how much you pay for your ads. Your ads could appear in Facebook’s desktop News Feed, Facebook’s desktop right column, Messenger, Audience Network, Instagram’s mobile News Feed, or Facebook’s mobile News Feed. So, determine which location your target audience is likely to be while making a choice.

What Your Adverts Are Optimized For

Optimization for ad delivery could determine who gets to see your ads. For instance, if you were to optimize your Facebook ads for lawyers for clicks, Facebook will show them to people who are more likely to click on them. This will profoundly influence how much to spend on Facebook ads because any action taken will affect your Relevance Score.

How Much to Spend on Facebook Ads: A Guide

As much as you want to consider how much to spend on Facebook ads, you should also consider your ROI, both financial and social. All these factors come into play when determining how much you should spend on Facebook ads and what you want to achieve.

If you like our post and would like to read more informative articles, please check out our blog section.

5 Creative Marketing Ideas to use in 2020

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, 5 Creative Marketing Ideas to use in 2020

2020 is here, ready to change the world entirely. Many things this year have been transforming. The approaches that businesses are taking to sustain have also exclusively revolutionized. The silver lining comes from the fact that the room to be creative and explore has increased by a significant amount. You can give your consumers a real taste of augmented virtual reality and can shape the trends. The use of the latest technologies like artificial intelligence can be integrated into your marketing practices to bring out the abilities. From email personalization to e-commerce communication, you can smartly use various ideas to foster the marketing methods to new heights. That is going to both help and cultivate your business into what you want it to be.

The requisite of smart marketing tactics is the need of an hour. With that, the cat is out of the bag, and here are the five most creative marketing ideas you could use in 2020 to grow.

1. Innovative Chatbots

There is no fun in marketing if it is not as ingenious as it can be. Businesses that can provide a creative edge to any marketing idea will foster more clientele in every way. The era of websites has changed dramatically; consumers no longer want to search for what they want. With one click, they want the work made much more straightforward.

By introducing chatbots, you can achieve that within no time. These chats can direct the users to the exact page they are looking for, making your website seem efficient but very effective. There are no better marketing ideas than competence. That can help you gather insightful information about consumer trends and choices, crucial for making marketing strategies for your business in the future.

2. Create Crisp Content

Rich, well-structured content creates for decent user experience. Social media surely has the power to make or break your business. That is where the element of surprise comes into play. You can repurpose your content in the boosting way that cannot only increase traffic but also make people hooked. With options like Designrr, you can revamp your blogs, posts, podcasts, and anything that can elevate your marketing game to the next level in an inventive manner. It will grow your business is a much more significant manner and attract the right kind of people.

3. Tell Your Story

A great creative marketing idea that is directly off the charts is telling your story the people. That is not about composing fiction or false stories to attract customers; instead, it is about building a connection with them that is much more emotional. With storytelling, you can invoke sentiments in your consumers that they can associate with better. Right here is the most compelling form of communication. It can bring that element of stability in your brand and make it much more real and genuine for the people. If you can master the art of storytelling, your sales will surely skyrocket through the roof. That can give you a marketing edge on many other competitors and make you shine much brighter.

4. Use of Guerilla Marketing

It has to be one of the most creative yet underrated marketing ideas that have not been utilizing to their full potential. There is no secret that this is tricky, but once done effectively, it can change the marketing game for you overall. Once it catches people’s attention, this idea can spread like wildfire and do most of the work without any hassle. In 2020 where everything is so fast-paced, this is a great way. You could put something out there on social media, and through the two-step-flow process, it can utilize. That helps build opinion leaders and uses them with their authority over the clusters they associate themselves. Nothing can give your better coverage than this.

5. Engage Through Personalization

Anything that has a stamp of personalization over it can make it very far. Marketing experts all over the globe very much encourage this particular idea for any small or big business anywhere in the world. Dig sincere, my friends, and keep digging deep. Only adding the name of a customer might not do the trick. You must learn and analyze the trend and patterns that pike their interests. That can make them feel so much special than you could ever anticipate, and this can lead to developing a much deeper connection with your brand or services. It has to be one of the cleverest yet effectual ideas to be done. It helps understand behavioral segmentation better and can help implement more strategies in the long run.

Conclusion

Marketing ideas need to upgrade each time, like the phone software. You cannot expect one idea to work the same way longer periods. People crave excitement, and you must give it to them. That can make only widespread when you add creativity to every element of marketing. It builds anticipation, which makes people more enquiring.

How to Develop a Digital Marketing Strategy for 2020

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, How to Develop a Digital Marketing Strategy for 2020

Every business needs to have a digital marketing strategy in 2020. If your business has any kind of online presence at all, as every business should at this point, digital marketing is essential to your survival.

But just throwing money at your digital marketing isn’t going to get you very far. If you want your marketing to have an impact and achieve your goals, you need to have a solid strategy at the core. Developing a comprehensive strategy doesn’t have to be difficult; you just need to approach it in the right way. Here’s what you need to know to develop your digital marketing strategy in 2020.

Start by Defining Your Brand

Throughout all of your digital marketing campaigns, the essence of your brand should shine through. The first stage of planning for any new marketing campaign should be working out what you want to say and what you want to convey to your audience. Messaging is very important with regards to marketing, and all your marketing needs to convey something about the nature and ethos of your business.

Having a clear and detailed definition of your brand and what it stands for is essential if you want to put together a thoughtful marketing strategy.

Set Yourself SMART Goals

SMART goals are goals that are simple, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. This means that they should be easy to understand and you should have a clear idea of how you will achieve them. There’s nothing wrong with setting yourself ambitious goals, but if you set yourself unrealistic goals, then you will be setting yourself up for failure and frustration.

Call in Professional Help If You Need It

Not every business is in a position to do their own digital marketing to the best of their ability. Some businesses will be better served by calling in an external digital marketing agency like Smartboost to handle their strategizing for them. There is no sense struggling to put together a comprehensive digital marketing strategy if you don’t have access to the resources and knowledge that you need. Hiring a marketing agency to do things for you might be a smarter move financially than trying to do it all yourself.

Always Track Your Results

It is only by tracking the results of past marketing campaigns that you can learn the lessons you need to improve future campaigns. The data and feedback that your campaigns produce is the most useful tool you have for refining your marketing strategy and improving your approach for the future. You can never know too much when it comes to your past campaigns and the impacts that they have. Knowing what has worked and what hasn’t enables you to take a more considered approach the next time.

A coherent strategy is an essential foundation for any successful marketing campaign. If you don’t have an overarching strategy, your marketing is inevitably going to be aimless and unfocused. Sticking to the advice above will enable you to develop the digital marketing strategy you need to make 2020 a success.