Although Hubspot has a great post containing 33 responses to the ‘it costs too much’ marketing budget objection, we have the ultimate solution that has twice as much power and value:
1. What if it were possible to finance a much needed marketing budget (hint: it is possible!)?
2. What if financing a marketing budget came with more cash capital that a business owner could use in other areas of her/his business (example: for equipment, additional profitable products, paying off worrisome and outstanding bills)?
Long ago, we here at the Digital Marketing Training Group figured it out and we have a seriously smart way to do so — and, we have a lending source ready to finance marketing budgets for your clients.
Here’s the rub: Only agencies that come through our digital marketing training (don’t let our name fool you: we are so much more than just training — we launch digital agencies for motivated entrepreneurs every month) are able to finance marketing campaigns.
Not exactly (or only) a value-proposition for your agency, but this is also a complementary service that your agency can use to differentiate your agency from the rest.
Should I Pan for Gold or Sell Pans?
Why Starting a Digital Marketing Agency is an Undeniably Smart & Profitable Move
The New Gold Rush
No doubt, we’re all familiar with the Gold Rush in the 1800s here in America. A er all, the discovery of gold nuggets in the Sacramento Valley in early 1848 lead to the California Gold Rush — arguably one of the most significant events to shape American history during the first half of the 19th century.
And when news spreads, thousands of prospective gold miners (many of which with no experience) traveled any way possible to the west coast for their chance to strike it rich.
PROFIT SMARTER, NOT HARDER
Many of the gold miners at the time either failed miserably or only eked out enough profit to keep moving forward without ever truly finding that elusive financial success.
On the other hand, the smarter business owner would have gone into business selling pans rather than taking the ultra-risky road towards business success based on hope and simply a desire to strike it rich.
In other words, panning for gold had high-risk potential but it created a gigantic audience with a need for pans — when thinking about what kind of business to launch, think about selling pans and not panning for gold.
Fast Forward to Today
What Does History Tell Us to Do in 2020 and Beyond?
THINK ABOUT THIS:
Research shows that a majority of businesses in America today don’t have an active marketing plan. According to a survey of 350 small and medium business (SMB) owners, 50% do not have a marketing plan for 2019. They are basically panning for gold.
NOW THINK ABOUT WHY BUSINESSES OFTEN FAIL:
A couple of the most common reasons businesses fail are due to a lack of capital and a lack of an effective marketing plan. If we equate them to those who are panning for gold (and there are millions of those businesses out there), that means a huge demand is out there for digital marketing agencies to swoop in and save the day.
Just like the Gold Rush in the 1800s, a huge audience was out there scraping up tiny nuggets, but the company that sold the pans had exactly what every gold miner needed — today, every business owner needs a reputable, trustworthy digital agency that gets results.
LET’S PUT THIS TO THE TEST
Start with Avoidable Mistakes: How to NOT Choose a Business Idea
If you’ve never owned a business before, know that the majority of businesses owners learn that it’s not the person running the business or the employees that make or break a company’s success— it’s often the need for, and profitability of, the idea behind the company.
People often choose a business idea that they want to turn into a fledging business based on two (2) common personal reasons.
And it’s more important for the success and longevity of the business to approach the pre-planning from a completely different angle than what comes naturally to mind.
The Two Most Common Personal Reasons/Misconceptions About Pursuing a Business Idea:
“I already know this business!”
Just because you’re a great with cars doesn’t mean you know how to run an auto repair shop. Nor does it mean you know how to successfully capture your local or regional market.
“I love this [product/service]”
Just because you love something doesn’t mean a profitable business will result based on your passion, even of there are successful businesses just like it already.
Learning to run a business is hard enough. You don’t need the added challenges of doing something you love rather than doing something that customers will love paying you in a profitable manner.
Start at the End:
3 Ways You’ll Know Your Business Idea Can TRULY MAKE A PROFIT
Where’s the End? It’s Where You Want To Be With Regard to Profit, Of Course!
Make sure the product/service has a repeat buy component
This is the most important aspect of business success based on longevity. You have to have a product or service that people will continue buying.
It’s more profitable to have a pool service company than a pool construction company. You’ll want a profitable product/ service based on not simply acquiring customers, but retaining them. In the world of digital marketing and advertising, the vast majority of solution-based services are monthly recurring services that produce monthly recurring profits.
Feature products/services with a high profit margin
Sure, as consumers, we can all be guilty of buying the ‘cheaper product’ from time to time; however, businesses that are in the game for the long term know that is not a sustainable model. This is especially true in the starting stages of a business.
Cash flow is your best friend at this point and if your profit margins are low and you’re banking on the strategy of doing business based on volume, you had best have a large amount of working capital on hand to get you through the lean years ahead. High-profit products and services are naturally the best strategy for businesses just getting started.
Plan for and have a strong support team: Good ideas go badly without this essential element
We’ve been exploring the need for a great business idea, but few great ideas flourish and prosper without the right team of people behind you and on your side. A great team will always greatly improve the chances for financial and competitive success of any business (new or established).
Don’t Plan to Pan
You don’t make money simply panning for gold, you’ll make money selling pans. And with the millions of businesses out there struggling to stay in business, succeed financially, and compete on a level that will keep those businesses growing for the long term, the question is:
Where is the gold rush today? You guessed it, digital marketing.
DIGITAL MARKETING STATISTICS
* 2018 saw digital marketing and advertising revenues hit $17 Billion
That includes traditional marketing and advertising (TV, radio, billboards, etc.).
* 54% of that revenue was for digital agencies only.
* Roughly $9 Billion in revenue was split among all digital agencies in the U.S. (2018).
* On average, that means roughly $700,000 per agency in revenue (includes small one/two person shops. Again, this is average).
However, you have to account for operating costs (office space, equipment, employees, tools, etc.).
You can see how the revenue starts to whittle down to leave profits; however, our program is built to not only help you remove those operating costs (keeping more revenue in the profit column), but the program is also built to scale profits higher than the U.S. average (above).
WE LAUNCH DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCIES FOR EVERYDAY PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU
OPERATING COSTS? NOT SO FAST!
The most common overhead for each of our ‘graduates’ and their agencies is the following:
• Internet connection
(Almost everyone has this equipment already!)
Office space? Unnecessary. Employees? Our entire team of experienced marketers ARE your team. Tools? Since it’s our team doing the work, you need few, if any tools that come with a high price tag.
Start at the End:
Remember these 3 essential components?
Make sure the product/service has a repeat buy component
The majority of services we train you to offer are recurring monthly service solutions.
Feature products/services with a high profit margin
We offer every ‘graduate’ high-quality, result-driven services for their clients at a true wholesale cost; enabling a sizable mark up on a monthly basis.
Plan for and have a strong support team: Good ideas go badly without this essential element
Our team of marketers and project managers are yours to ensure quality campaigns are helping your clients grow. And, not only is your access to all of them included in your training investment, your own Support team is as well: they’ll help you prospect, strategize, write proposals, and pitch proposals (and more).
Although we are Digital Marketing Training Group and digital marketing training is part of what our business model entails, we are so much more than simply a marketing training program: We are a digital marketing agency launchpad that comes with support, marketing for your agency (you’ll need to be in front of the right buyers, right?), and so much more. Let’s chat today, shall we?
Any great marketing firm or any great marketing pro will tell you that approaching a strategy and campaign requires addressing multiple channels. For example:
To magnify this point, let’s quickly consider traditional marketing and advertising prior to the Internet:
For this example, let’s use the ultra-visible brand Tide.
Prior to the Internet, when Tide sought to acquire and retain more customers, they most likely produced television commercials and had those commercials run at strategic times and on strategic television channels. Most likely on the big three networks:
Of course, they also utilized print, billboards, radio, etc. Those are most definitely additional channels (or multi-channel marketing and advertising); however, for the sake of this point, let’s keep the example simple and focus on the multiple television channels Tide used to magnify and spread their brand footprint in the analog world.
The point is, the parent company of Tide would have been proverbially shooting themselves in the foot if they chose to advertise only on CBS and leave its target audience that had television-show preferences on NBC and ABC ‘in the dark’, so to speak. They didn’t, thus, illustrating that Tide understood that they had a multi-faceted audience that had similar goals and needs, it’s just that they ‘consumed’ marketing and advertising messages on various channels, not simply one channel. Skipping the other channels would have stunted business growth.
It almost goes without saying, today, in the digital age, that same sentiment hasn’t changed. Target audiences not only consume messaging on multiple channels (search engines, social media, email, etc.), but also from diverse types of content (text, graphics, video, audio, etc.).
Today’s Multi-Channel Approaches Are More About Search Than Typically Thought
That’s a bold statement that may catch the eye of other marketers, those who may say, “Prove it.” Saddle up, because here we go:
First, understand how people buy: The Buyer Behavior Process is rooted in science and its definitions can easily lead us back to Search.
In the first step, consumers have a Needs Awareness moment. They recognize there is a need or a problem to solve, thus, they NEED a solution.
It’s this critical second step that forms the foundation for this post’s argument:
The second step to the Buyer Behavior Process is search; an Informational Search. Let’s broaden our definition of search and get out of the confines of thinking simply of digital search (i.e. Google searches).
People, especially in American culture (but not exclusive to), start search with this:
INTERNAL SEARCH: this is when a consumer starts searching for information, but often the first place he or she looks is to his or her own experience or memory.
The average consumer thinks about the brands he/she already knows and can include the experiences he or she has had with those brands, but doesn’t always have to be a direct product/service experience with the brand that comes to mind. The brand(s) that a consumer recalls from memory are a reflection of his or her top of mind awareness. Upon recalling brands from memory, a consumer disregards any options that would be obviously unsuitable.
See that? We mention search in a digital marketing blog post and many readers expected a dissertation on Google, Yahoo, and Bing! However, this is where we have found the foundation of our point: internal search is first — this can lead to branded searches on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, but also on social media channels, Youtube and more.
To take this behavioral idea one step further, think of the multi-channel examples we referenced above:
When a brand is actively pursuing a marketing strategy and campaign from a multi-channel digital perspective, no doubt they would be strategically creating high-quality, consumable, meaningful, valued content on platforms (i.e. channels) such as social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, et al), email marketing with active segmentation strategies, ad campaigns (including text ads, banner, retargeting, search ads, social ads, etc.) and SEO (think stellar UX and content on their responsive website properties).
Even if a consumer hasn’t necessarily experienced, first hand, the products and services of some brands, the power of campaigns rooted in great content get shared and spread far and wide. Brand awareness, therefore, is also a hugely under-represented factor in marketing and advertising campaigns — where typically, marketing agencies and business owners can often seek targeted traffic mainly for the sake of conversions only.
And, they often report campaign progress from a baseline standpoint compared to the number of conversions over time. Not a bad thing, just making the point not to forget the power of brand awareness in a digital world that is suffocating us all with the sheer amount of content and sheer number of choices.
Circling back, internal search can be influenced by brand awareness (not always brand experiences) from a multi-channel marketing strategy/campaign.
Internal Search Triggers External Search
Consumers conduct an external search by some of the following:
- Looking through search engine results
- Asking for information on their social networks
- Checking and evaluating review sites
- Asking friends for recommendations
Let’s again look at multi-channel approaches from an external search perspective using our examples directly above:
Looking through search engine results
This is the typical/conventional definition of search when thinking about and talking about digital marketing strategies.
Asking for information on their social networks
Brands need to be present (and active) on social networks for numerous reasons, but for this post: search doesn’t always start and end with Google. Social networks have powerful search functions and powerful influential aspects that brands can either benefit from or give away that power of social influence to their competitors.
Checking and evaluating review sites
Beyond the obvious reasons why reviews matter (from a pre-Internet definition), we know that humans are social animals and are influenced by the opinions of and buying habits of others. And, of course, reviews can influence search results in some cases.
Asking friends for recommendations
These inquiries can be from real-world/offline friends, but the Internet has created a massive online community of ‘acquaintances’ that cross borders and industries. These types of searches harken back to our previous point (we base buying behavior on the buying habits of others) but they are directly influenced by the buying habits of friends/acquaintances who have already been influenced by multi-channel marketing and advertising of particular brands.
In other words:
A multi-channel campaign influences people and their purchases. Those people are later queried by their friends for opinions about brands/products/services; thus, multi-channel campaigns affect those who are directly influenced, but their experiences then can directly influence the buying decisions of others who may not have any touch points online for a particular brand/product/service. Therefore, multi-channel approaches both influence directly and indirectly and to a larger audience than first considered at the outset of the campaign itself.
While marketing can certainly serve as an external cue to trigger need recognition, the various channels a brand utilizes in its marketing toolbox can serve as internal search and external search opportunities. Multi-channel marketing is more about search than you think, just not the modern default definition rooted in search engines.
Want to thrive in the business and marketing world? We all do. Regardless of what you focus on, what your vertical is, or maybe you are a full-stack agency owner, there are a number of stellar business and marketing podcasts that everyone and anyone can learn from. Here are 5 of our top favorites:
1. Marketing Over Coffee
John Wall: Speaks, writes and practices at the intersection of marketing, sales, and technology.
Chris Penn: Labeled a visionary in new media with an intuitive sense for how marketing and community outreach should be done, Mr. Penn is co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp New Media Community unConference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast.
2. Social Media Marketing Podcast
In this show, you’ll discover success stories and expert interviews from leading social media marketing pros in a weekly 45-minute podcast. Discover how successful businesses employ social media, learn new strategies and tactics, and gain actionable tips to improve your social media marketing.
3. Marketing School
Unconventional Marketing Wisdom with Neil Patel & Eric Siu.
4. Hack the Entrepreneur
None of us are born as entrepreneurs, we are simply driven to it.
If you have ever had that feeling in the pit of your stomach — a pang that tells you are meant to do something bigger, more meaningful, and all yours — you are an entrepreneur.
5. Hustle & Flowchart
Because we’re “so many goals, so little time” kind of guys, we decided to take a leap into a platform that would allow us a broader reach while consuming less of our time. Yep, we took our show onto the internet superhighway, and we haven’t looked back since. Now we’re truly seeing how broad our reach can be while designing a workday with our goals and priorities dictating our schedules.
Do These 3 Things and Not These 3 Things with Your Marketing Clients
Take is from us, just from experience, there are certain things you should strongly consider doing with you clients in order to keep them happy and the projects coming your way. Of course, with each practice you should do, there are equal numbers of practices you shouldn’t participate in; let’s take a look:
Do These 3 Things:
1. Sell Solutions, Not Products and Services
If all you have in your sales conversations are products and services, your conversations and the campaigns are missing something — your empathy and recommendations. If every camoaign was as easy as picking a ‘package’, we’d all have the same results; we know that isn’t true. Like any kind of specialist, we know more than the average business person about properly strategizing and running a successful campaign depends on that. A transmission specialist knows more than me about fixing your car’s transmission, and that mechanic is going to understand car repair more than you and I ever will. With every option, we should also be giving a recommendation backed by logic and data.
2. Treat Your Clients As Unique Cases: Don’t Generalize
Each client is different and unique onto themselves. Seems like a no-brainer, but we see agencies treating all their clients and prospects as the same. This sentiment isn’t exactly breaking news, but I’ve seen many account managers treat all clients in the same manner. Be sure to tailor your conversations and deliverables to their exact needs and goals, but make sure you find out from each one of them ‘exactly’ what they need from you should they choose to work with your agency. This way, should you treat them and give them what they need ‘exactly’, there’s little room for them to feel like just another client.
3. Protect Your Work But Be Transparent In Times of Difficulty
Every so often, not on purpose, bu every so often you’ll accidentally ‘drop the ball’. It’s okay, it happens to every agency and every marketer. You’re only human. It’s important to own up to it, be honest, be transparent; however, if the issue is on the side of the client, be sure to defend your work, but don’t get into the habit of perseverating and/or constantly looking for errors with each next step.
Don’t Do These 3 Things:
1a. Avoid ‘promising the world’
At the end of the day, your job is to help the business owner solve a problem; via digital marketing solutions. But, that means you are the expert – don’t agree to everything the business owner says he/she wants. Even when it comes to timelines — if the client is ultra-late on getting you the assets you need for a project, reset the expectations; timelines are delicate, change them according to how ti best fits your production of the project and the eventual successes.
2b. Don’t let the client prioritize themselves against your other clients
The ole ‘I pay you a lot of money and you should be honored to work with me’ excuse to move other clients to the bottom of the list isn’t uncommon. In fact, what you should do, instead, is protect your integrity and explain to the client that your entire roster spends hard-earned money with you and that you treat them all with respect and equal importance.
3c. Don’t let a potential client walk if they don’t have the full budget
First, if you’re a graduate of our program you know you’re equipped to finance the campaigns; however, in some cases that won’t work out. Instead of saying goodbye to your potential client, offer to do a smaller job as proof of concept; more than likely, with good results and a good experience, the client’s wallet will open up and you just might discover the budget was there . all along.
Our Marketing Director, Joe Schaefer, is being interviewed by CourseMagnet on Tuesday, August 27, 2019.
The interview will be in the form of a video discussion about the industry. Stay tuned for a link to the final video.
Most sales teams have access to less than 2% of their website visitors. CourseMagnet gives +41% more qualified leads. They come with the best way/time to contact & their likelihood to purchase. Get a short-cut to more qualified prospects while sticking to your existing workflow. The setup is fast and simple in less than 3 minutes. No complicated software to learn to get started.
Through our Support Team, we offer comprehensive ongoing support and continuing education to our graduates. We want our graduates to have access to the latest marketing strategies so they can experience continued growth and success in a very fluid and dynamic industry.
Our 5-day in-person training is simply the beginning.
Whether you need help with a concept on your first day of running your business, or down the road, our dedicated support team will be there for you.
Our graduates enjoy one-on-one support and mentorship after training. Our support team essentially becomes an extension of your business. Whether it’s a simple email or an in-depth conversation, our support staff will be there to help with any needs your business might have. Additionally, the training and education does not stop after your initial 5-day training.
Springboard has a great post that delves deeply into the need and the huge benefits for having a mentor as a marketer. And, that’s another way to think of our Support Team – as your built-in mentor(s).
Springboard’s post states:
“Few people would argue against the benefits of mentorship or coaching; show me any successful athlete, artist, business person, or lion tamer and most are quick to point out the mentors and coaches who were responsible for developing them. ”
The author, Geoff Roberts, lists the following reasons mentorship in marketing matters:
1. “…the skills needed to deal with this rapid change can only be learned through experience and can be greatly accelerated with the help of mentors who have been there themselves.” (referencing the rapid changes in digital marketing, specifically keyword research)
2. “…with the rise of digital marketing, there’s less ambiguity than ever before. Marketers can now embrace the data left by digital interactions to prove the impact of their campaigns.”
Have a mentor of your own? Want to learn more about our Support Team?
Instead of reading about our experiences with humor in marketing, let’s look at some other industry pros and what they’ve said about this all-too-important and often over-looked digital marketing approach:
Bryan Kramer has a great post on this subject and he kicks it off with important stats:
“According to a recent marketing study by the textbook rental service Chegg, almost 80 % of college-age kids remembers ads that make them laugh. And this phenomenon is not limited to just millennials, as Nielsen recently ranked some of the most memorable Super Bowls in the past four years.” See Bryan’s post right here.
Steve Olenski’s post in Forbes reminds us that:
“Humor breaks down walls, shows personality a.k.a. shows a brand’s human side.”
Emily Gaudette references Dr. James Barry, a humorist, professor at Nova Southeastern University by writing:
“Barry told me that infusing content with humor has a lot of potential for B2C and B2B companies alike, provided that they avoid re-inventing the wheel. “Seriously, humor works very well in B2B spaces,” he said. “As long as the creator knows exactly what type of humor strategy they’re using. Why wouldn’t CEOs want to be entertained? They’re just like anyone else.””
See the above post on Contently.
Do we practice what we preach? Well, we try! We have a handful of humor-based videos that promote our digital marketing training program that we would love to get your feedback on — check them out below:
Be Your Own Boss – Digital Marketing Training Classes
Digital Marketing Training – Be Your Own Boss (Isn’t It Time?)
Digital Marketing Training – Don’t Be Ned
Well, did we at least make you chuckle? Break a smile? How will you use humor in your marketing efforts?
Meet Jim, one of our graduates. Jim came through training in August 2019 and is hitting the ground running.
Jim flew in from the mid-west to spend a week with our team during training. Here, in the video below, Jim discusses his experiences and how impressed he was with what we delivered in 5 days. We’re looking forward to working with Jim each day moving forward.
According to Hubspot and many of their sources, search engine optimization as a means of driving inbound visitors is just as valuable today as ever.
Google is responsible for 94% of total organic traffic. (Web Presence Solutions, 2017) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
70-80% of search engine users are only focusing on the organic results. (MarTech, 2018) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
Organic SEO is about 5.66 times better than paid search ads. (New Media Campaigns, 2018) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)