Strategic Marketing for Professional Services

LEE FREDERIKSEN | September 11, 2017

article image
Strategic marketing sounds like it would be a good idea for a professional services firm. And in fact, it is. Whether you are an accounting firm or a technology powerhouse, you face a lot of competition from many directions. New technology, commoditization and unrelenting price pressure add to the fun.

Spotlight

Marketing.co.uk

The network is designed to allow members to interact with each other by joining groups and starting discussions and debates around specific marketing topics. Users can share their marketing knowledge by answering questions & submitting marketing articles & blogs, as well as the ability to upload marketing videos of interest.

OTHER ARTICLES

Did Ask Jeeves have a point? How ‘search’ has become the new brand in the SEO landscape

Article | September 1, 2021

The way in which consumers are searching for products online has changed. In recent times, there has been a significant increase in question-based searches from consumers looking for quick solutions to their needs, overtaking direct searches for brand names. It’s clear the consumer environment is evolving, so what can be done to ensure existing and emerging businesses can keep up? Nate Burke, CEO of technology, digital marketing, and ecommerce solutions firm Diginius, explains the importance of optimising your products to meet this changing behaviour, while also remembering to build on your brand to become the ultimate business. Marketplaces are now dominating the online sphere, which results in more unbranded searches being made by online shoppers who are looking for solutions to their queries, rather than a name-brand product. Nowadays, global brands can expect 58% of their searches to be unbranded, while surprisingly, for small and mid-sized businesses, the figure is much higher, sitting at around 81%. Of course, for many businesses that heavily rely on their brand awareness and branded searches to bring in revenue, this rise might be a cause for concern. However, virtual and online marketplaces are now considered one of the most effective ways to scale globally, both for established businesses and smaller brands as they account for almost half of all global ecommerce sales. Whilst these platforms were once a place for small and independent brands, online retail giants such as Amazon and Walmart are beginning to scale their own marketplaces, capitalising on the nearly $2 trillion that is spent annually on the top 100 marketplaces. The shift in search can be put down to a number of changes in the way we shop, consume media and use technology. Notably, the increasing access to voice search, with Alexa and Google devices now regular features in our homes, has encouraged the rise of question-based searches. Understandably, competition on these platforms is increasing. So, in order to ensure their products are being presented to the right customers, businesses must work on product optimisation, while also building on their brand to encourage trust and repeat purchases. Recreating the “boutique” shopping experience online One way to do this is by aligning in store and online experiences. For example, although the days of exploring treasure trove, boutique shops are dwindling in favour of the online environment, consumers are still looking for those unique, personalised experiences from brands. In fact, 33% of consumers prefer to buy unique products over mass-manufactured items, which businesses should use as an opportunity for innovation within their product offering – to develop something that the other big retailers do not. Etsy is the perfect example of how independent sellers have come together on one virtual marketplace platform to provide consumers with just that: the opportunity to find unique, handmade products, combined with the ease of shopping online. The ecommerce and PPC perspectives Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second. Whilst some of these are guaranteed to be named brand searches, many are following suit with the growing solution-led trend, creating a strong case for brands to focus their efforts on appearing in these results through search engine and product description optimisation. For example, say a consumer is searching for loungewear. Emotional, descriptive words that create a sense of feel and a tailored result should play into your product descriptions, such as “warm loungewear”, “comfortable loungewear” or “soft loungewear”. The idea here is to narrow down descriptions to give people exactly what they want when performing these niche, specific searches. And in the era of voice search, ensuring products are optimised with accurate and specific descriptions is crucial. The same approach is effective for product ads, too. Descriptions and targeting cues must be tailored to customers’ searches in order to generate the best results. While this might sound like a time-consuming task, the use of PPC software and analytics tools can help you to automate, test and adjust activity for optimum performance. For example, through use of dynamic ads, copy can be adjusted to ensure it is directly relevant and personal to each searcher to encourage click through and conversions. Although Google remains the go-to search advertising platform, we always recommend running ads on Microsoft’s Bing platform too, as often, businesses find they generate better returns and require less budget. This is because Bing is much less competitive than Google, with fewer advertisers bidding for the same keyword, although search volumes remain attractive. Similarly, with the rise of social media commerce, with Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shopping leading the way, as well as Amazon advertising, businesses looking to capitalise on shifting search and shopping habits have a number of avenues to explore. And while these tactics can help get products in front of customers in the increasingly competitive solution-led search environment, others, including retargeting, can then help to build brand awareness. This way, brands can capture customers who may have only been in the discovery or research phase when they were served the initial ad, as well as customers who may be ready to repurchase. Full circle This solutions-based environment is similar to that of Ask Jeeves, or, as it is known today, Ask.com. The question answering business was a perfect example of how a search engine can cater to the needs of consumers and provide quick answers to their questions. However, it was launched ahead of its time. It is interesting to see how this has now come full circle, with consumers needing quick and snappy results on-the-go, and Ask.com being perfectly positioned to cater to this need. AI has somewhat advanced this algorithmic model in today’s Google-led environment, but one could have imagined, in another time and place, that Ask could have been a pioneer in search-led advancement, rather than being the nostalgic afterthought it remains today. This is also a prime example of the constantly evolving online market. What consumers need today might not be what they want tomorrow. Although unfortunate in the case of Ask.com, businesses that can stay ahead of the curve by paying close attention to changes in consumer behaviour are much better off than those that stay stagnant. And, brands, whatever their size or scale, should most certainly pay attention and align their product descriptions to fit a much more solutions-led environment. But whilst adapting to changes, it’s important to never lose focus of the brand. Customers will always inherently look for trust in their purchases, and a simple flash offer is not enough to sway them away from a brand that deliver quality and confidence in its delivery. Although non-branded searches are the trend today, any sustainable business must be backed by a strong brand - that’s one thing that will never change.

Read More

6 Key Capabilities Your Marketing Automation Tool Should Do For You

Article | September 1, 2021

Digital Market News lists automation as one of the top five key advantages of creating a digital marketing program. Furthermore, the article notes how automation is growing at a rapid rate—helping businesses transform, automate, accelerate, and optimize repetitive manual tasks such as sending emails, posting social media, and online ads. Putting marketing automation into play for your company is critical because delivering personalized, connected experiences is the only way to attract prospects and retain customers. But deploying the solution requires a bit of work. As Digital Market News also emphasizes, understanding the components and the nuances is key.

Read More

Top Trending Marketing Channels for Your Business In 2021

Article | September 1, 2021

Do you find it challenging to choose the proper marketing channels that can help you boost sales? Find details about top trending marketing channels for your business in 2021. Jay Baer once said, “Doyour marketing so useful people would pay you for it.” As a marketer, it is needed to have a sophisticated marketing approach, well-versed with research, planning, creativity, and a team of experts. You can only make your marketing efficacious and influential when you are aware of its trends. More than 95% of marketers believe that different trendingdigital marketing channels are much more powerful to drive high ROI. Different kind of marketing channels can help you to accomplish your business goal. First, you need to find appropriate and quality-driven channels. Let’s look at some of the essential marketing channels that businesses are adapting to grow. Blogs Blogs have become one of the prominent channels to attract an audience. Nearly 80% of companies utilize blogging as a part of their marketing strategy. It is relatively easy to convince your target audience through blogging as you approach them in a descriptive and informative manner. Customers love to read blogs as they find valuable information easily and quickly. It builds trust with your target audience. Blogging is an excellent medium for enhancing communication with your customers. Using FAQs, you provide solutions to the various questions that come into users’ minds. Consistent blogging with relevant information assists SEO to perform better, strengthen relationships with existing and new customers, and maximize brand identity. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 70% of marketers see SEO as more effective than other marketing channels.Properly implementing SEO is immensely useful to scale your business. SEO is a technology that transforms constantly. Companies need to comprehend those algorithms. Innumerable searches are made every year on Google. Executing SEOranks your website high in search engine results pages, and allows your contentto be easily visible and accessible. Keyword research is the essential component of SEO strategy thatbuilds brand credibility,increasesengagement, traffic, and conversion. Social Media Marketing The number of social media users was more than 3.6 billion in 2020, and the number will reach 4.41 billion in 2025. Therefore, it evidences that social media is a powerfulpromotional channel to reach your target audience. Customers use social media for entertainment, education, connecting with friends, buying essential services or products, etc. Brands use the social media calendar to ensure a constant flow of content that supports brand voice and consumers consider it a reliable source of information. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube are the most used channels. It includes text, images, video, and gifs to encourage audience engagement. Influencer Marketing Influencer marketing is a powerful channel to convince people to buy your product or services.Brands convey their message with the relevant influencers to meet marketing goals to create leads and increase brand awareness. More than 71% of marketers say that the quality of traffic generated from influencer marketing is better than other ad formats.They are leveraging influencers to attract the audience to believe in your brand and convert them into a long-term customer. Influencer marketing gives unprecedented growth to the businesses of different industries. It provides vast visibility and reach, maintains relationships with your customers, and enriches your content strategy.Moreover, 93% of marketers are already investing in influencer marketing which is one of the best marketing channels for small businesses. Email Marketing According to 80% of professionals, email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention. In addition,91% of US adults like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with. Thus, executing email marketing has the tremendous benefits that it delivers the highest ROI. But, this is not the only reasonto invest in it. The significance of email marketing is that it helps reach millions of people at once by saving your time which is also cost-effective. Through email marketing, you can share targeted and highly personalized content with your audience that resonates with your customer.Brands believe that including relevant links to your site within the email content is the best way to get customers to visit your website. Word of Mouth Word of mouth marketing is the perfect way to maintain communication with the target audience and build a strong connection with them. In-word-of mouth marketing, your contented consumer endorses your product or services. Likewise, the unknown person gets attracted owing to the recommendation of their family or friends. According to a study by Convince & Convert Consulting, 83% of Americans are more likely to purchase a product or service recommended by a friend or family member through word of mouth. Involving your customer to review your product or service, utilize hashtags to promote your campaign on social media are the best ways to make mouth marketing more influential and productive. Content Marketing 70%of marketers are actively investing in content marketing.78%of companies have a team of one to three content specialists. These statistics show how effective content marketing is. This marketing strategy includes creating unique and appropriate content that your consumer find valuable. It makes your SEO better, enhances your social media tactics, and gives uses’ an incredible experience. If you continuously deliver relevant and valuable information to your customers, they will automatically get attracted and become your long-term customer. It is a long-term strategy to reach definite outcomes in building your brand, generating more leads, increasing sales, etc. Podcast Marketing According to the survey of Edison Research in 2020, Podcasts now reach over 100 million Americans every month. Podcasts allow the listeners to hear the emotions behind your wordsthat build a strong connection between your brand and listeners on a more personal level.Through sponsorships, ads, and paid interviews, you can generate income. It has low competition, interactive & attractive features, an authoritative presence, lower marketing expenses, and much more. These qualities make this marketing strategy unique from other marketing channels.If you execute podcast marketing appropriately, you will experience new potential customers and clients. Final Thoughts To summarize, these are the essential, valuable, and viablemarketing channels that fit your business objectives and increase the possibilities of your success.Prominent businesses find these channels worthy and pertinent to scale their business towards perpetual development, achievement, and ideal results. Consistency, top-notch, quality, and comprehending buyer persona make your marketing strategy stand out. So, while implementing these marketing channels strategy,take care of these points mentioned above. Frequently Asked Questions What is a direct marketing channel? The process of selling directly to the end buyer without any intermediary is called a direct marketing channel. How do you choose the best marketing channels for business? Doing research on different marketing channels, having clear pictures about your objectives, determining your campaign budget, and knowing about buyer persona can help you find the best marketing channel for your business. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a direct marketing channel?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The process of selling directly to the end buyer without any intermediary is called a direct marketing channel." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do you choose the best marketing channels for business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Doing research on different marketing channels, having clear pictures about your objectives, determining your campaign budget, and knowing about buyer persona can help you find the best marketing channel for your business." } }] }

Read More

Amazon Releases Enhancements to Sponsored Display Ad Offering

Article | September 1, 2021

Last week, Amazon released several advancements to its Sponsored Display ad offering, which has been in beta since September 2019. With these advancements to the Sponsored Display capabilities, Amazon expands the ability of sellers and brands to take advantage of Amazon’s expansive audience pool. This equally gives more control to brands and sellers to drive traffic not just at the keyword level, but also at the audience level.

Read More

Spotlight

Marketing.co.uk

The network is designed to allow members to interact with each other by joining groups and starting discussions and debates around specific marketing topics. Users can share their marketing knowledge by answering questions & submitting marketing articles & blogs, as well as the ability to upload marketing videos of interest.

Events