The following article was originally published on LinkedIn Pulse...
We talk marketing with all types of businesses at Revenue River Marketing. Businesses of all shapes, sizes, and levels of maturity. No matter our contact's role, experience, or industry they generally share one critical thing in common.
They're all looking to grow.
They realize that online marketing is no longer an optional investment. And they understand they need help to get it done. They also all have better things to do with their other than analyzing their website page performance and conversion rates. They understand that unless they make a real commitment to marketing their business they won't reach their goals.
In order to identify where they need help and whether or not we're the right fit to help them, we like to ask a lot of questions. We have a process of evaluation that helps them organize their thoughts and helps us figure out what they're truly targeting.
It's about trying to stimulate some critical thought about where you are, what you already have in place, and what you're trying to accomplish. It's much more about business goal setting and projections instead of inbound marketing and web design talk. Once we get on the same page about the desired end in mind it becomes much easier to build the proper strategy and scope of work. Here's an outline of how we go about that discovery process.
The first step, we dig in on their business to learn about their customers
- How do your customers buy what you sell currently?
- How do they find the information they need to make a decision?
- What role does the website play in bringing in business?
- Who and where are your target prospects?
- Where do your prospects find what they're looking for?
Next, it's time to learn more about their business goals
- Do you have any specific goals or objectives the company is working to hit in 2016? (Revenue, sales, profit margin, etc…)
- What is the overall online marketing strategy for the year?
- How many new customers do you need to bring in to hit the goal?
- When you do achieve your goals, what will that change in your business?
- What will it change for you personally?
- Have you put thought into what will happen if you don’t achieve these goals?
- What would happen if you didn’t do anything different?
Now we can talk about what plans they have in place
- What are you trying to achieve with the website?
- What did you do for sales and marketing last year?
- What online marketing activities do you have planned?
- How many leads are you generating currently?
- Tell me about your sales team. Are they cold calling?
- How much does it cost to acquire your leads/customers?
Then, discussing what could prevent them from reaching their goals
- Which obstacles do you think will keep your plan from working?
- What assets do you already have in place to achieve what we’ve talked about?
- What do you think is your biggest online marketing challenge?
- Do you or your employees have enough time and skills to do it yourself?
- If you or your employees spend the time necessary what is the opportunity cost?
Finally, we work to understand their urgency around achievement
- When do you need to achieve these results?
- What do you need to put in place to hit your goals?
- What is the timeline to achieve your goals?
As you can see this is a lot to go through, it takes some time to evaluate opportunities and determine whether we're a fit for each other or not. Each of these questions can lead to critical thought and much more follow up questions.
All of this and we haven't really talked about what we do at Revenue River at all. We haven't talked about why online marketing is the perfect recipe for almost any business or service, it's just a matter of blending the right spices to make it taste delicious.