Now that the year is half over, this might be a good time to evaluate your revenue goals against the reality of actual revenue. Are you on track? If not, you are not alone. Every day I talk with executives who not only are not meeting their goals, but month over month are falling further behind.As unbelievable as it may sound, some of these executives have not embraced the world of online marketing. They have not taken any steps towards building an online presence. Some don’t even have a website. For these executives, I recommend immediately doing a website and online strategy. However, these are not the companies I had in mind when writing this article.
This article is to help those companies who have or are currently engaged in tactics that should be increasing their revenue, whether they have an internal team or hired an outside agency to assist.
Below you will find the top 5 reasons companies fail at meeting revenue goals, even after executing any combination of the following online marketing tactics: SEO/SMO, Social Media, Display Advertising, Paid Search/SEM or Website projects.
1. Build it and leave it.
The world of online marketing changes consistently. By consistently, I mean on a daily or even minute to minute basis. Google will change its Algorithm. Competitors will change the way they are advertising, (increasing bids, putting more effort towards certain keywords for SEO, developing more content). New competitors will enter the market. Consumers will change their buying habits, (how they search, information they need, where they go).
These are only a few of the uncontrollable situations that will impact how digital marketing tactics should be executed. This is why it is nearly impossible to, “Build it” and leave it. To be successful, it is essential to consistently monitor the competitive market through deep analysis and make any necessary changes that will improve your online presence. I guarantee some percentage of your competitors are using data analysis to tweak their companies on a consistent basis and these are the competitors that are getting your share of the consumers’ revenue.
2. Not allocating enough budget or time.
I realize that none of us are blessed enough to have unlimited funds to allocate in digital marketing. However, if only minimal effort is being given towards online marketing tactics or if a budget is being spread too thin, there is a high probability that you will not see any positive results.
What is the minimal time or dollar amount that should be allocated? I don’t have that answer because it is specific to each situation as well as each company. However, next I will talk about how you can ensure you know how much time or money you need to be successful.
3. Failure to strategize.
Failure to execute online marketing strategies is one of most common reasons for online marketing failures. Not having a strategy in place is the equivalent of leaving for vacation without knowing where you are going or how you will get there.
An online marketing strategy will show you what your competitors are doing, what your target market needs, and a plan to meet those needs better than your competitors. As mentioned above, you will also know what effort or money is needed in order to gain a competitive advantage.
4. Hiring the wrong digital marketing firm.
Although there are many great online marketing agencies, there are just as many, (if not more) unethical ones. It is true that many times you won’t know which type you hired until it is too late. Here are some things to help you make the best decision upfront:
• If someone promises results such as you will rank on the 1st page, you should be cautious. Because of the situations discussed above that are outside everyone’s control, there are no guarantees in online marketing.
• Be aware of companies that offer very cheap prices. Again, in order to get results, it takes time and effort. It is very unlikely that any company can stay in business by giving these services away.
• Be careful of agencies who want to execute online tactics without first doing a strategy.
• Finally, if a digital marketing firm you are considering is more interested in clicks and impressions than revenue and results, I recommend you discontinue conversations with them. Although clicks and impressions have their place, they don’t necessarily result in sales for you and that should always be the focus.
5. Website is not conversion friendly.
What is a conversion friendly website? It’s a website that leads consumers through the process of taking a desired action and provides the consumer enough information to make a decision. A few characteristics of websites that are not conversion friendly include:
• Difficultly in navigating through the site to find desired information.
• Content is too technical or difficult to understand.
• Contact information is difficult to find.
• No clear direction on what the consumer should do next.
I will never forget my Christmas shopping experience last year. After my daughter wrote her letter to Santa, I did my due diligence in finding her gifts online. I was amazed at the number of websites where I couldn’t even figure out how to actually make the purchase of the products.
If you are noticing that you too are falling behind your 2014 revenue goals, it’s not too late to catch up. Contact DirectiveGroup today for a free high-level assessment of your online landscape. We will be happy to help you better understand your competitive landscape and where your opportunities can be found.