Does Your Digital Strategy Cover the Entire Buying Process?

As customers are ever more connected, the “balance of power” in the marketing field shifts towards them at an ever greater speed. This means that you cannot afford to base your digital strategy solely on traditional approaches and techniques such as direct advertising. If you want to be profitable in today’s dynamic online environment, you need a strategy which encompasses all steps to making a purchase, the purchase itself and the actions that the customer will take afterwards. Consider the stages of the buying process and how to influence the consumer effectively at each one.

Step 1: Recognising a Need
At the awareness stage, consumers realise that they can satisfy a specific need or solve a particular problem. The best way to influence them at this stage is education. Your digital strategy should be focused on educating consumers by providing high-quality written, graphic and video content via all popular online channels and more specifically through social media including your blog. The key thing is to provide valuable information and advice focused on the specific need or problem rather than to use direct promotional techniques.

Step 2: Doing Research
Consumers seek information about the possible ways to satisfy their need or solve their problem. This is also a stage at which the marketer can take the role of an educator by presenting different options and explaining them in detail. The social element plays a particularly important role as consumers would typically count on people that they know for advice and recommendations. That is why one of your major goals should be to increase fan following on the social media. Creating brand awareness and building strong reputations are others factors which will make you particularly influential at this stage of the buying process.

Step 3: Comparing Alternatives
This is where you have to stand out among competitors with strong advertising and promotion. What consumers want at this stage is to find a high-quality product at a reasonable price. Polish your pricing strategy and gear your marketing efforts towards making the best offer at the best time. Use marketing channels with high success rate including direct advertising on Google and other websites, email marketing and mobile app advertising through push notifications and in-app notifications. It pays off to invest more in emphasising the benefits of your product with top-quality photos and videos showing how it works. Positive customer reviews can be particularly influential.

Step 4: Making a Purchase
Unfortunately, many marketers think that their job is done at this stage, but this cannot be further from the truth. Once consumers have made a decision to buy your product, you have to give them the easiest, quickest and most secure way to do so. The purchase process requires extensive planning based on rich customer data and accurate design perfected with A/B testing.

Step 5: Evaluation and Further Actions
Your customers’ experience with your brand doesn’t end with the purchase. People will evaluate your product and consider whether to come back again. You should harness this natural behaviour to work in favour of your business. Invite customers to provide feedback and reviews. Engage them with your brand on the social networks as well as on your website and by sending them special personalised content and offers via email. These are just some of the most basic tools for creating engagement and expanding your loyal customer base.

If you plan to give your business a fresh start and/or a more powerful boost with a comprehensive digital strategy, get in touch with me.

“If You Don’t Have a Mobile Strategy, You Don’t Have a Future Strategy”

Have you gone mobile yet? This isn’t about getting out and delivering on the go. It’s about having a mobile strategy for your web presence. Without it, you won’t have a future in business. It’s time to think about mobile app development, and here are three reasons why.

It’s Where Your Customers Are
Your customers own smartphones. They expect their wanted businesses to be there, whether they’re using social media, looking for takeaways or need local repair shops. If you haven’t started your Android app development or got something for the iPhone, you’re letting people down. You’re missing out on a big target market that will help your business grow.

It’s Where Your Competitors Are
By the time you work on your iOS app development / Android app development it will be too late if you don’t start right now. Your competitors are already there. When customers can’t find you, they will look for your competitors instead. They’re not going to search for you again when they find your competitors already on their phones and tablets, so you’ve completely lost the market.

It’s Where Your Customer Services Need to Be
Whether your customer service team helps with problem solving or they deal with cancellations and sales, they need to be mobile. Sure, online chat helps but there are plenty of times when your customers will need to connect via an app. An app will improve responsiveness considerably, meaning your business comes across as more customer friendly. This will help with word of mouth.

It’s time to look into mobile app development right now. You’ll boost your business reputation and improve your marketing range. Be honest with yourself: why haven’t you done it yet? You’re missing out on a future for your business.

How Do You Achieve High Website Traffic and Conversion Rate?

The simple answer is digital marketing, but you probably already know this. The bigger question is what’s behind this seemingly complex and constantly expanding term. In my experience as a web development consultant, the best way to look at digital marketing is from a strategic point of view. With a complete digital strategy, you will be able to achieve your business goals online. Let’s look at the main elements of the strategy more closely.

The Goal
With digital marketing, the details are paramount. You don’t simply need lots of visitors to your website, but targeted traffic. These are users who are interested in your products and services and seek them as a solution to a particular problem.
At the same time, even high targeted traffic does not guarantee you a good conversion rate if you don’t have a well-developed marketing funnel on your website. It has a lot of elements to it from the design of the pages, menus and CTA buttons to the selection of sign-up and payment options available.
Keeping these factors in mind, you can set measurable goals. Reliable website analytics will help you to monitor your performance, analyse it and make adjustments to your marketing strategy, when required.

Target Audience
Defining your target market is in the core of every business strategy executed either online or offline. You will need to do through research to define your audience’s demographics. Your website’s analytics will help you to learn more about user preferences and behaviour which is crucial for marketing and for building a loyal customer base.
Currently, the trend is for websites and all web-based services and products to become ever more personalised to match the individual user’s preferences and needs even more perfectly. There is a broad set of tools for achieving this. These range from personalised product suggestions to tools for finding your preferred style.

Marketing Channels
Which ones will have the highest return on investment? A well-rounded strategy will include a set of channels, which are focused on your target audience and can be used together for achieving higher efficiency and better results. A key consideration here is that modern digital marketing channels are highly interlinked and the best way to exploit them is to go for full integration.
Modern search engine optimisation and content marketing go hand in hand. The idea is to create content, which is valuable to users and optimised for the current Google algorithms. Social media marketing is an effective channel for promotion your website and content. It can be used for direct advertising and for customer engagement via different campaigns.
Video marketing emerges as a top trend as web video traffic continues to grow and consumers increasingly using this type of content for making purchase decisions. Email marketing has been highly underrated in recent years, but it still has high ROI, especially in the B2B field. This is a highly effective channel for delivering marketing content and personalised offers and for building loyalty.

A digital marketing strategy using multiple integrated channels may seem complex to implement, but you can always rely on automation with custom software especially developed for your business.

Need a solid digital strategy bringing high ROI? Let’s discuss it.

Key Factors for Developing a Successful Digital Strategy

Just over ten years ago, the web was viewed as just one of the marketing channels available to businesses. Now it is a powerful platform not only for promotions, but for direct sales. How effective are your digital marketing efforts? If they are not organised in a whole digital strategy with clearly set objectives, then you are most probably losing money as well as prospects. But how do you create a strategy that works? As an experienced digital consultant, I’d like to take you through the primary steps which have to be taken.

Analysis and Goal Setting
It is important to approach the development of a digital strategy in the same way as the creation of a business plan. It all begins with analysing your strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats in the digital environment. Given how dynamic this environment is, you need to identify your competitive advantage and come up with a strong value proposition.
Millions of people in the UK alone use the web, but it is neither effective nor cost-efficient to target all of them. One of the first steps to take is to define your target audience using precise demographics. This will help for the development of your website and its content and for the choice and utilisation of digital marketing channels later on.
You have to define precise goals that you want to achieve with your digital strategy. The key thing is for them to be measurable. You should focus on traffic, conversion rates, sales and revenues.

Digital Channel Selection
It is a common misconception that you can focus solely on two or three digital marketing channels. This is because they are all connected just like everything on the web today. Due to the numerous changes in the algorithms of Google in recent years, driving organic traffic to a business website has become more challenging and requires a great amount of effort to be put in content creation. PPC campaigns still have high return on investment, especially thanks to Google AdWords.
Content marketing is essential for promotion and should ideally be spread to a variety of social media. Social media marketing can be used not only for driving traffic and conversion, but for creating engagement and building loyalty. This is where its strength lies. Email marketing remains one of the most effective and dependable digital channels allowing you to capture and convert high-quality leads.

Planning and Scheduling
Once you have the big picture, it is time to come up with the actual plans to follow. It is up to you to decide on the period which is to be covered by a single plan. It depends on your individual business operations. For many companies, the three-month plans work well given the dynamics of the online business environment.
The decision on the number and types of digital marketing campaigns which will be carried out during the year should never be underestimated. In addition to those for new product launches, you may want to boost sales during traditional low periods or to increase your revenue during the holiday season. Advance planning combined with flexibility will give you the best chances of success.

It’s time to start creating your digital strategy for the coming periods. Count on me to help you at every step of the way.

Need an experienced digital consultant to help you with developing your digital strategy? Email me or send a message online.

The Scope of the Digital Consultant’s Work

Why do companies hire a digital consultant? The simple answer is that digital marketing and e-commerce have become so well-developed and advanced that a single person or even a team may not be sufficient to manage them. While a small local business may not have the right specialist for the job, a large company may be lagging behind competitors because their specialised department hasn’t been quick enough to catch up with the latest trends. The professional will help you get on the right track and achieve your goals. Here I will share with you how this works based on my personal experience as a digital consultant.

Key Roles
A business of any size, level and industry can take advantage of digital consultancy to improve its performance regardless of how long it has been present on the web. If you have just founded a new company or you have been using outdated and ineffective online marketing methods, you can get a head start or restart with a complete digital strategy. It will have clearly set business goals and precisely defined time frame, schedule and budget. It is my primary objective to tailor it to the specific needs of the business given its own characteristics, the marketing conditions, which it operates in, and its target audience.

Solving problems is another major role of the consultant. Most companies can clearly identify the nature of the problem related to their online performance, but cannot find the cause and come up with a solution. If you experience a drop in your online sales, for example, my role will be to pinpoint the weak points in your marketing, search engine optimisation and e-commerce website performance, to name the main areas. The next step involves determining the most effective and cost-efficient solution.
Very often, companies prefer to outsource specific projects like ones for website and mobile app development. In such cases, the role of the consultant can range from setting criteria and a process for hiring a developer to outlining a development strategy. As a consultant who has a team of developers and designers, I can execute the strategy as well.

Level of Client Involvement
Will the consultant present the ready strategy, solution or project plant directly or work together with members of the company’s team to create it? As the company or department manager, you decide how much involvement you and your team will have in the process. The bare minimum is for the consultant to have access to data and other useful materials and to establish reliable communication with the person in charge. Close cooperation usually brings the best results. This is what my personal experience has shown.

Effective Communication
No matter what the level of involvement of the client is in the actual work on the project, the two parties should be on the same page at all times. It is paramount for the digital consultant to keep the client up-to-date on the development of the project and to inform the company about any changes which have to be made. Similarly, if there are shifts in the business’s plans, the professional should know about them as soon as possible.

Managers are not supposed to be digital specialists, but they have the opportunity to hire the help which they need and to negotiate the most favourable terms when doing so.

If you are looking to hire an experienced digital consultant call me or send me an email or a message. When you contact my office at Whiz, seek Philip Philipov.