Small business owners are a hearty bunch. You worked crazy hours to start up your business and sacrificed spending time with your families to launch your venture. And now that you are growing, you find it hard to generate new business and invest in marketing to sustain your growth. This article will explore how local business owners can overcome these obstacles and build a sustainable lead generation program. We understand the challenges local business owners face, and we want to let you know there are solutions available to take the pain out of the marketing process.
Why Is Local Marketing Important to Your Business?
If you want your business to grow from digital marketing, you need your customers to find you on the internet. One reason local marketing is important is that more people are moving than ever before. According to an article on Forbes.com, “An analysis of data from the United States Postal Service revealed more than 15.9 million people moved last year.” These people need all types of new services, furniture, appliances, contractors, professional services, and even childcare. These ‘movers’ don’t have the luxury of a local community to obtain word-of-mouth referrals. Instead, they need to depend upon business listings and online reviews to make purchasing decisions. If you neglect local marketing, you are missing out on a lot of potential business.
Top 3 Local Marketing Challenges
There are several marketing challenges you face as a small business owner. Still, we believe there are three challenges that you need to prioritize if you want your business to continue growing.
Lack of Pipeline
Like other small business owners, you spent a lot of time networking with known colleagues, family and friends to get your business off the ground. You nurtured these relationships to land your first customers, then leverage these relationships to expand your circle of influence. But, as your business grows, you get spread thin, and you start to focus on the activities you believe are most important — servicing your clients. This strategy works for a while, but soon you find that the pipeline of new business begins to dry up. Your network is tapped out. At this point, it takes time, often months or even years, to develop new opportunities. To avoid this empty pipeline syndrome, you need to build a predictable system to consistently find people interested in your products or services.
While you work hard to satisfy your clientele, it is a sure thing that some of your customers will stop doing business with your company. It may have nothing to do with your products or services but simply changes in the circumstances. The company may be purchased, or the owner decides to retire. Sometimes their needs change, and they choose to find a different vendor for any number of reasons. No matter how hard you try to hold onto your customers, some will move on. We call that customer churn. Keeping churn to a minimum will help your company stay in business.
Owner Expertise and Time
If you want to be an intelligent business owner, you need to recognize what you are good at doing and what tasks need to be passed on to someone who is an expert in that field. For instance, if you are a great attorney, you may not be very good at bookkeeping or sales. Your accountant may understand tax law but needs to hire a plumber to fix the leaky sink. Everybody needs help in certain areas. Understanding when to hire someone with expertise in a given field is a skill that isn’t taught in business school. You also need to recognize when to find a better way to solve problems. Fortunately, our business world is now full of technology products to save you time and improve productivity.
What Is a Marketing Intelligence Platform, and Why Do You Need One?
A marketing intelligence platform is a digital toolbox containing all of the tools you need to develop a modern local marketing program. Since it is a cloud-based platform, you can access it from any computer, in any location, at any time. A well-designed marketing platform is an all-in-one solution to manage your website, digital advertising, listings, online reviews, client communications, lead generation, and competitive intelligence processes.
What Are the Top Benefits of Using a Marketing Intelligence Platform?
You can never have enough time. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for you to build the business you want to and still get some sleep. A marketing intelligence platform reduces the amount of time you need to create and manage your local marketing program.
View Marketing Activities from a Single Dashboard
There is no need to dig for the answers when you use a marketing intelligence platform. All of your advertising and website analytical data is viewed from a single dashboard. Some of the reports available on the platform include website statistics, advertising costs, and new leads.
Accurately Attribute Results to Goals and KPIs
It’s hard to measure marketing results without the help of a marketing intelligence platform. Now you can set goals, measure activities and view results with a single click of the mouse. For instance, you can analyze how your digital advertising drives new sales leads and compare different ad types and calls to action to optimize your advertising spend.
Gain Deeper Insights Into What Your Competition Is Doing
Your competitors are competing to gain the attention of the same target audience as you are. You need to outperform them and create better, more compelling messaging. A marketing intelligence platform lets you see what your competition is doing without them knowing that you’re watching. This information allows you to identify gaps in their capabilities so you can create a distinct competitive advantage.
Use Local Marketing Automation to Make Quick Adjustments
Every day there seems to be a news event that changes the business landscape. It’s hard to predict the future. At least before, there were marketing intelligence platforms capable of predicting future events and automating the marketing process. These advanced tools use machine intelligence to learn from past behaviors. Marketing automation features reduce manual efforts by creating pre-planned sequences of activities. These technologies allow you to spend more time building your business and less time fooling around with marketing software.
Make Your Entire Budget Count
Every marketing dollar is precious, and you need to justify how to spend that money. Using a marketing platform gives you insights into which strategies work and which don’t work. This type of information allows you to fail fast and make micro-adjustments to your advertising and communications plan. You can also use the dashboards and reports to demonstrate your success to investors and business associates.
Learn How an All-In-One Marketing Intelligence Platform Will Make You Into a Marketing Superhero
It might look like you need to be a superhero to manage all of the marketing duties to create a successful business. But when you use an integrated platform, you are the hero as you add new customers and expand your services.
Take Control of Online Visibility
Business listings are a vital tool for getting found on the internet. However, there are hundreds of listing services, and keeping track of these listings can be time-consuming. A marketing intelligence platform allows you to manage all of your listings from a single location.
A Cloud-Based Platform Allows You to Have All of Your Digital Tools in One Place
Most small business owners do not like to be tied to a desk. You visit your clients, supervise job sites, and attend meetings and conferences. But while you are on the move, you still need to monitor and respond to new business opportunities. Using a cloud-based platform allows you to run your marketing activities from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer. In addition, you don’t have to worry about losing your data since both the software and data are backed up on cloud-based storage systems.
Schedule a Live Demo of the Local Marketing Platform
We at Surefire Local provide you with the software to take control of your online visibility and guide you every step of the way with our experienced digital marketing experts, online training sessions, videos, and tips.
Grow your local business with an all-in-one platform that combines all of your digital tools in one place that can be accessed everywhere across devices and browsers, attracts new customers and grows profits efficiently.