The Australian Small Business Blog

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Diary of a New Business- 6. Getting the Marketing Right

As in any new business, the marketing was critical. It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is, if no one knows about it, you have no business. The idea of if you build it, they will come, is just the stuff of movies. Especially on the internet.

For the Australian Business Coaching Club, being an online business, eMarketing was critical. But not enough on its own. However, I also had an advantage- the pre-existing marketing infrastructure of Empower Business Solutions, the parent of the Australian Business Coaching Club.

But, before anything else I had to understand my target market.

Empower Business Solutions target market was for small businesses with a profit of greater than $100,000 but with fewer than 50 employees. The market for the new Australian Business Coaching Club would be for businesses smaller than the target market for Empower Business Solutions. And I was aware that many people on my Empower Business Solutions mailing list were already in that category. These were people ideally suited for the new business, but not ready for my existing business.

The Australian Business Coaching Club was not designed for start-ups, although they would benefit. It was designed for the micro-businesses. The solopreneur, and one-man bands. Businesses that had already started, had some history, but were struggling on what they should do for their next phase of growth. They were also unable to afford private coaching. I was already attracting many of these leads to my existing website, just due to its prominence in the search engine listings. But this business would need its own, far more focused campaigns.

Step two was to develop a website more in keeping with making an online sale to my target market. On the Empower Business Solutions website, the marketing process was to establish sufficient online credibility and a call to action that would ultimately result in an offline contact, and an offline sale. For the Australian Business Coaching Club website, the whole sales process was to be online.

When you compare the two websites, you can see a totally different marketing philosophy. On the new website, you can see, firstly, it is targeted specifically for the micro-business owner. This site would not appeal to my ideal Empower Business Solutions client. Secondly, the website copy is far more sales focused. It also has more web technology driving the website- a far higher level of automation, as is essential for a lower cost service- but more on that in another posting.

Getting the website right was critical for the business. As it was going to succeed or fail due to its web presence, I devoted a very significant amount of resources to its development. As well as the marketing technology, what is also not visible to the visitor, is the service delivery- the members area- again, watch out for a future posting for more on that.

So the critical success factor for this website was its ability to make online sales.

The copy was important, as was the follow-up strategy, as most people would not make a decision to buy from an initial visit to the site. So the website was designed so that contact could be maintained after the initial visit until they were either ready to join, or unsubscribed.

But this was still not enough. I had to have a strategy to generate traffic leads for the website.

If you are building a website have you worked out your eMarketing Strategy?

The next article in The Diary of a New Business will be: Generating Leads.

If you would like to post a comment on this article, please click on the Comments link below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club and is a Business Coach and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems.

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