Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The Web Marketing Process (part 1)

This is part 1 of a series of articles. Get live updates as each new part is released: Follow on Twitter.

The Web Marketing Process contains 5 steps, each working together to deliver ever more profitable campaigns. The 5 steps are..
  1. Objectives
  2. Visitors
  3. Leads
  4. Follow up
  5. Report
The web marketing process is a virtuous circle. Each step contributes something essential to the one that follows.
The Web Marketing Process
The 5th step contributes crucial information that feeds back into step one of the next campaign.

The web marketing process is the key to success that drives all wildly successful online marketing campaigns. And it's the best way for you to build an enormous competitive advantage. Let's take a look at each step now...

Step One: Objectives

In step one, you state your desired return on investment (i.e. profit). You then work backwards to determine how many visitors you have to send to your site to achieve your target. I'll explain how to do this in a future blog entry.

You also define your target market(s) in step one. This information is essential to the success of step two (and the rest of the campaign).

Practical target marketing also pays off in step three, and is the subject of a future article in this blog.

Step Two: Visitors

Getting visitors to your site is essential to your web marketing success. The questions you'll need to answer are...
  • What sort of visitors do you want?
  • Where do they hang out on the Internet?
  • Where do they hang out offline?
  • What's the best source of visitors for this specific campaign?
  • How much money do you have to play with?
  • What can you do if you don't have enough money?
This is where proper target marketing really pays off. As you can see, there's a lot to getting visitors to your site. I'll look at a number of different ways to get targeted visitors to your site, including SEO marketing, in a series of future blog articles.

Step Three: Leads

Getting visitors to your site is essential, but it's not an end unto itself. The web marketing process is about making money. To do that, you have to convert visitors into leads.

Put another way, step three is about lead generation. The key components in lead generation are...
  • Landing page
  • The offer
  • Copywriting
  • Conversion
There's a lot more to lead conversion than meets the eye. Once again, I'll take a specific look at the tips, tricks and techniques of lead generation in a future article.

Step Four: Follow up

Now that you have leads, it's time to work on the sale. This involves follow up. For most businesses, a systematised customer relationship management (CRM) system is worth its weight in gold.

Naturally, it all works far better if you're following a plan that started way back when you first defined your target market. What's more, your offer and call-to-action (conversion) in step three ought to be integrated with and support your follow-up process.

The end result of the follow up process must be either a 'yes' (i.e. a sale) or a 'no' (i.e. no sale). You can't progress to the final step until you've forced each prospect to make a decision.

Step Five: Reporting

The web marketing process doesn't end with the sale. This is a virtuous circle. The fifth step is designed to provide essential information for step one of your next campaign.

In particular, you're going to want to know whether or not you achieved the profit and visitor targets you set in step one. In addition, you'll need to look at the following...
  • The results of any split testing (e.g. an A/B test on your offer, or copy, or call-to-action)
  • The actual ratios achieved in steps 2 and 3 versus the ones you used in step one
  • Anything else you were testing (e.g. different visitor sources)
This data is then fed back into step one, and used in the next campaign. Over time, your ratios become incredibly accurate. It becomes possible to predict, accurately and in advance, whether any given advertising is likely to deliver your profit target. This alone is an enormous competitive advantage, and will save you thousands of dollars.

That's the power of the web marketing process. You'll find specific and detailed information about each of 5 steps in an upcoming series of articles. They're to be published right here in this blog, and the first is due out soon.

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Carol Smith said...

Wow, this is a great article series. More people need to see this!