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The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. Peter Drucker

Online marketing success is, in no small part, determined by how well you understand and manage key relationships between:

  1. you and your website,
  2. you and your customer,
  3. marketing and sales,
  4. your online and offline marketing, and
  5. your analytics and actions taken.

If any relationship is not working as needed, change is the immediate order of the day. However, sometimes we choose pain over change because the pain is familiar and change is hard. Even when it’s for our better good.

You and Your Website

The most common change needed here is to take control of your website starting from owning your own domain. Too many put the control of this key asset into the hands of others and come to regret it later. Don’t let this be you.

Then, spend whatever time and money are needed to master learning what makes good design and the basics of hypertext markup language (HTML), search engine optimization (SEO), and landing page and conversion optimization. These skills are important both for making a good first impression on web site visitors and attracting leads.

You do not need to become an expert; you do need to know how to direct and evaluate the work of professionals you may need to hire to help you with the technical aspects of site development, implementation and management. The confidence you develop in being able to manage this critical asset and respond quickly to changing circumstances and new opportunities will, over time, prove invaluable to you.

You and Your Customer

Once your web site is in place, use it strategically to build a strong relationship with your audience over time. It’s never about you; it’s always about them. Start by consistently publishing content of value and interest to your target audience. Do not violate the trust shown by those who share their email addresses with you by bombarding them with excessive messages and irrelevant offers.

A carefully nurtured relationship with a clean and responsive list of engaged prospects is the most highly valued asset of any business, and especially one marketed online. This is best achieved by segmenting your list in the way that best suits your marketing objective, building workflows that support strategic goals, and personalizing your communication with each of your lists by providing relevant content.

Marketing and Sales

All leads are not created equal. Know the difference between marketing and sales qualified leads and design your lead nurturing process(es) accordingly.

For online marketers, an easy way to recognize the difference between the two types of leads is a marketing lead has typically responded to a free digital download offer (checklist, whitepaper, ebook, ecourse etc.) that can be automatically delivered and a sales lead has made a specific request requiring personal contact or interaction for follow-up.

In either case, the action you take next is both different and dictated by the nature of the lead you hope to nurture through the customer acquisition cycle.

Online and Offline Marketing

Running an online business does not mean you no longer need to concern yourself with offline marketing. Your marketing message may be executed differently online and offline, but the message needs to be the same communication regardless of how and where it is presented.

How well you streamline and integrate all of your marketing opportunities is essential. Because effective marketing, regardless of delivery method, is consistent in all communication formats, clear in calls-to-action, and efficient in identifying and moving prospects through the pipeline and into the sales funnel you’ve designed.

Analytics and Actions Taken

Finally, don’t forget to measure results from all marketing sources and use what you learn to do more of what’s working and less (or even none) of what’s not. Your numbers tell a story. The story won’t change until you do.

More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.

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