Author: Don Vanpool

The Six Interconnected Steps to Digital Marketing Success

Before you can even venture into the digital marketing world, there are six essential steps you need for success. Once you complete them, you are ready to create a plan of action for digital marketing success and see the results happen without worrying about backtracking later in the process.

1.     Define Your Target Market

Ideally, you will have already completed this task. Knowing your target market is essential to saving you time and money in your marketing process. To help define who exactly your target market is, you need to take a look at who your past customers are, the area around your business, and the digital marketing possibilities for this market.

Once you have a list of who your current customers are, you can think of the reason why they are your customers. These reasons and the attributes of these customers will show you a target market and how to approach it.

2.     Write it Down

Take a few moments to write a paragraph or two about who you will be targeting with your digital marketing. Write down which emotional buying behavior triggers them to make a purchase. Also, conduct research and find out what consumers need and expect from your brand. This way, you can focus on the interests and needs of your customers.

3.     Identify Value Proposition

Why do your customers choose your business for the services you provide? This is an important question to answer! You need to know what makes you unique from your competition. Is it the services you offer? Your products? If you have a hard time identifying these factors, ask several customers. Offer a gift card for a brief five-minute survey and you’ll have the answers you need to identify what is working and what isn’t.

4.     Create Key Messages

Your key messages are the messages you convey when you put together a marketing strategy, online or offline. To put together your key messages, you need to make a list of the benefits you offer that your competitors do not. You can make this list with the information you already have and add in further research from your competitive landscape. Once you have this information, you will be able to use it to build your strategies in PPC (Pay Per Click), your blog, or other avenues of digital marketing.

5.     Scope Out the Competition

The more you know about your competition, the more you can put together a better marketing plan. The most obvious list includes what your competitors offer for services and products. You also need to know:

  • Where they advertise?
  • What are their strengths?
  • What are their weaknesses?
  • How do you stack up against them?
  • In what ways do they market that you should?
  • In what areas do they lack that you could ethically take advantage of?

You may also take a look at the advertising platforms they use and in some cases, and with the right software, even see the details of their advertising campaigns the results they produce. Make a note of these resources to check them out later.

6.     Check Out Your Digital Market

Research can feel like a lot of work. Still, it’s essential to understand better marketing opportunities, your competitors, and how you need to put together a successful digital marketing campaign.

Use search engines with keywords for your business and observe the results. One great way to do this is to use the Google Keyword Tool and generate a list of keywords (with their usage numbers) to find what keywords are the most effective. This way, you’ll get information about the most popular search terms around the topic and how other businesses use them. Keywords are invaluable when putting together a digital marketing campaign.

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me.

The Marketing Equation that Will Turn Advertising Dollars into a Revenue Windfall

At least 90% of marketing efforts by small business owners are completely wasted. The marketing pieces lack the hot buttons and attention grabbers to have any impact on the target market. And often the small business owner has not properly defined a target market and therefore does not know the hot buttons to begin with.

It is really quite simple … make your business unique, create an extraordinary offering and communicate effectively. And to communicate effectively the secret is to use the marketing conversion equation. Finding your core audience and getting their attention is simply following a proven set of principles. That formula is Interrupt, engage, educate and offer.

You MUST be able to enter the conversation taking place in the head of your prospects. Or another way to look at it is to be able address the number one question on your prospects mind at just the right time. The conversation taking place in EVERY prospect’s mind revolves around two major points … There’s a problem they have and they don’t want … There’s a result they want but don’t have.

Interrupt is your headline and is the problem they have and not want. Their hot button issues.

Engage is your sub headline and is the solution you provide that they are looking for.

Education is the information you provide either verbally or in writing that presents evidence to your prospect that you and your product or service are superior in every way to your competition.

The Offer MUST be so compelling and so irresistible your prospects can’t turn it down.

This messaging must be in every piece of marketing material you use and targeted at the niche part of your larger market opportunity. Utilized properly you will have more leads than you can possible address and can often get these leads while you sleep. It really is a simple equation that will turn advertising dollars into revenue. Happy marketing and see you here next week

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me.

Where the CEO Should Focus Her Time

     The number one place for the CEO or founder to spend their time is with customers and strategy formulation. This should be the focus 80% of the time and unfortunately the opposite is usually the case. Most often the CEO is fighting fires or dealing with a poor hire. Or maybe the founder is trying to scale a business where processes were not properly developed. Most often this is work that should have been completed before the first $1mm in revenue was realized but now ensure the leader is working 70+ hours every week. So what are the top 5 things that will ensure this is remedied?

 

 

-Develop a capable staff and second in command

-Prioritize key process indicators and assign an owner

-Ensure a strategy is in place and operating rhythms are developed

-Create a process to listen to customers for feedback

-Create a strategy process

 

The primary order of business is to hire and develop key leaders well before you 11themployee. This involves psychometric profiling, developing a network of hiring partners and create a robust process. With this system in place the founder can on-board the most capable executives well before the business starts to scale. With those leaders in the business a developmental plan can be implemented to ensure these leaders are in place and ready to help grow the business and run the day to day operations.

 

From there it is important to ensure the prioritized key process indicators (KPI) and in place to drive the correct behavior and initiatives. It is equally as important to have a clear owner for each KPI. And of course, with a great hiring system in place, you will have the most capable of business leaders to make stellar progress. Your business will have a great sales manager in place owning lead generation, a marketing person that is driving conversion strategies and a manufacturing guru reducing cycle times to drive cash generation.

 

These leaders will consequently own operating rhythms to ensure progress is made on a daily and weekly basis. A quick one hour review daily or weekly, depending on the size of the business, will quickly resolve issues and drive cross-functional accountability. While it will take time for the KPI owner to conduct these reviews, countless hours will be saved by reducing emails, adhoc meetings, and countless voicemails looking for information. These operating meeting should have a clear agenda and a follow up list generated to drive accountability for actions.

 

Now that the CEO is free from the day to day details they can create a customer feedback process with sales, marketing and customer service. Focus either on key customers or work with NPS data to gather valuable product or service feedback and respond with solutions. This will show your customers you value their input and let them know you are continuously improving for their satisfaction. These efforts alone will drive customer affinity and loyalty. This activity should consume a great majority of the CEOs time and provide daily and valuable feedback for business improvement.

 

Finally, the CEO should reserve the balance of the time for strategy creation and execution. Weekly, quarterly and yearly mechanisms should be in the CEOs default calendar to review progress with various levels of leadership depending on the size and complexity of the organization. At least weekly the leader of the company should have an early breakfast meeting with other C leaders in the business to discuss strategy in a more informal manner. On a weekly or monthly basis the CEO can review departmental progress of key strategic initiatives to ensure progress and accountability. This can be combined with quarterly and yearly reviews with a larger portion of their organization to leverage ideas and drive clarity deeper in the organization.

 

The leader of any organization regardless of size must ensure the correct people, processes and tools exist to free them from the day to day grind of business operations. Their role is to work directly with customers and direct the strategy to grow their business to include revenues and gross margins. This infrastructure should be developed early in the life cycle of the company and most certainly before the organization has 50 employees or $1MM in revenues. With this in place the organization can scale and realize double digit growth year over year.

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me.

 

 

 

Key Performance Indicators – The only way to properly delegate in your business

 

A Key Performance Indicator System is one of the most important strategies you can implement in your business if you desire to experience freedom from the operational responsibilities of your company. A Key Performance Indicator System measures and reports the key activities in your business so that everyone knows how their efforts are either making or breaking the business. Without this, it’s impossible for your team to know how the business is running, how they’re doing, and what they need to change.

 

Here’s how it works. Imagine that you have to spend the next few months alone on an island with your cell phone. You’re allowed to make just one 60-minute call per week to just a few people in your company to direct and coach their activity. What numbers (usually 5 to 10) would you like sent to your cell phone at the end of each day to give you a very clear idea of how the day went, how the team performed, and how the business is running? What numbers will give you the basis for coaching your team to run the business effectively in your absence?

 

Here’s a partial list of common KPIs used by most business owners, as organized by business function:

 

Marketing

    1. Leads generated
    2. Cost per lead

Sales

    1. Inbound calls
    2. Appointments set
    3. Appointments conducted
    4. New sales closed
    5. Average sale value
    6. Conversion rate
    7. Revenue generated
    8. Revenue growth rate

Operations

    1. Units produced per hour
    2. Gross profit per unit sold
    3. Product returns
    4. Inventory turns
    5. Average transaction value
    6. Billable hours per employee
    7. Average hourly rate
    8. Customer satisfaction
    9. Customer retention
    10. Revenue per customer

Finance

    1. Current Ratio
    2. Quick ratio
    3. Inventory Days
    4. Accounts Receivable Days
    5. Accounts Payable Days
    6. Gross Profit Margin
    7. Net Profit Margin
    8. Advertising to Sales
    9. Rent to Sales
    10. Payroll to Sales
    11. Interest Coverage Ratio
    12. Debt-to-Equity Ratio
    13. Debt Leverage Ratio
    14. Return on Equity
    15. Return on Assets
    16. Fixed Asset Turnover

Questions to consider as you’re crafting your KPI system:

 

1.  How often you want to review your KPIs? (Daily, weekly)

2.  What key positions and responsibilities do you want to measure? (Review your organizational chart and position descriptions)

3.  What KPIs are important to you? (Numbers, ratios, percentages)

4.  How do you want the information delivered? (Fax, email, text message)

5.  How often will you communicate the KPIs to your team? (Email, bulletin board)

6.  What indicates good performance in this position? What is the goal? How do you measure good performance?

From there the business owner assigns accountability and creates operating rhythms to coach team members. This is the only real way to delegate to your staff and ensure effort is allocated to the 20% of actions driving 80% of your desired outcomes. Consistent actions will drive extraordinary results … Guaranteed!

Don Vanpool

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me.

Your Sales Process Can be the Ultimate Killer App

Have you documented your sales process and can you quantify how well it functions within your business? The 80/20 rules implies 80% of our success is determined by 20% of our efforts. And this is no different for growing your business through increased sales of your product or service.

There are three key things to measure and improve to consistently grow revenue. Improve your lead funnel, convert more of those leads to sales and sell more at the point of sale. And to determine marketing programs and improvements it is important to use process mapping to determine how to get better at all three.

By simply mapping your sales process, you can get a better understanding of the sales tactics to generate leads and convert those leads to sales, while simultaneously getting a great idea of the costs involved. Imagine that. You can test out your ideas without spending any money and build a scaleable sales engine at the same time.

From there it is relatively easy to develop a marketing plan and schedule to ensure smooth execution of your sales process by product or service. Fortunately, there are only 7 sales channels to concern yourself with and about 20 marketing strategies. All of which become evident when you map your sales process.

No more worrying about the latest fad or new technology. Better to learn the art of process mapping and apply to your business. And develop a killer tactical marketing plan to 3X your leads and double your conversions.

Don Vanpool

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me.

 

The Secret to Great Marketing

There are two ways to view marketing’s purpose in simple terms…

enter the conversation taking place in the head of your prospect
answer the number one question on your prospect’s mind… at just the right time

Evaluate your marketing based on those critical criteria.

How does your marketing stack up?

I can give you a hand with that evaluation using my Conversion Equation Evaluator that has the power to predict the future success of your marketing… both from a results and a financial standpoint.

Today, let’s discuss three critical fundamentals of marketing that are highlighted on the free video I offer as a service to small business owners.

Click here if you haven’t watched it yet.

The three fundamentals of marketing are…

  1. have something good to say
  2. say it well
  3. say it often

Let’s explore that first fundamental today… have something good to say.

This fundamental is neglected by virtually EVERY business owner on the planet.

To have something good to say means that your business MUST be unique when compared to all the others who sell what you sell.

You must be different… there must be something that separates your business from all of your competition.

When businesses copy each other, it forces those businesses into price competition, because price then becomes the ONLY differentiator for prospects to consider.

It becomes the ONLY value proposition left to the prospects.

Any business that determines it isn’t unique MUST innovate so it does become unique.

Domino’s Pizza did this back in 1971.

Domino’s became a billion dollar behemoth in an overcrowded market back then.

Did Domino’s make the best pizza? Not even close!

Did they offer comfortable in-house dining like ALL pizza places did back in those days? No way!

Did they offer the largest selection on their menu? NO… they offered the exact same pizza as ALL of their competitors!

They dominated by having something good to say that was radically different back then when compared to ALL the other pizza franchises… fresh hot pizza delivered to you in 30 minutes or less!

But then Domino’s had to innovate in order to make good on that promise.

They specifically targeted hungry college kids living in crowded dorms (densely populated where few had transportation).

Domino’s went to small shopping centers located nearby the various college campuses and rented small storefronts just big enough to accommodate a pizza oven and a preparation counter.

One kid made the pizzas while another delivered them.

The result – Domino’s became a billion dollar behemoth in an overcrowded market.

You can do the EXACT same thing with your business.

And if you do, you will be well on your way to dominating your market, just like Domino’s did.

Next week, let’s discuss fundamental #2, say it well.

See you then.

Don Vanpool

P.S. Also remember, to determine how likely your marketing is to convert, simply fill out my Conversion Equation Evaluator.

This evaluator has the unprecedented ability to predict the future success of any marketing collateral you develop… as well as predict whether that marketing will be profitable or not. And, it’s 100% free to use!

After calculating your marketing conversion level, I can show you exactly what to do with your website and marketing collateral that could double or triple the number of prospects who respond to your marketing.

Just schedule a complimentary meeting with me.

Educate Your Customers

Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!

Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.

Here are 4 key elements to use to retain your current customers:

  1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
  2. Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
  3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
  4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:

  •  Quality product/service
  • Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
  • Offer subject your customers find interesting

Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insights and you will rewarded with loyalty and success

Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!

As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every ways possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”

P.S. Do not leave this blog until you have a plan of action!

PPS. If you’re looking for a proven system to grow your business …. we created business development software and high-end step by step training to support it…

I can find any business owner $100,000 in 45 minutes without them spending an extra dollar on marketing or advertising.

Visit me on optaprofit.com to find out how or book time on my calendar https://optaprofit1.youcanbook.me

Don Vanpool … AKA “The King of Cash”

Create a Market Dominating Position or Perish

Most businesses are me-too with very little differentiation. They have not created a unique position in the market place, and if they have, are not communicating their uniqueness to the outside market. A market dominating position (MDP) is simply any value-added customer perceived benefit, or a combination of benefits, that differentiates you from your competitors, and does so in a strong enough manner that makes your business the logical choice in the minds of your prospects and customers. One great example is Domino’s Pizza, which built stores in areas with lots of colleges, which was fast hot pizza, targeted specifically for hungry college kids. A contemporary example would be stock trading start-up Robinhood with a hassle-free signup process, a sleek website design and zero fee trading.

Some key ways to differentiate yourself from the competition includes level of service:

Convenience – location, availability, ordering, delivery, and ease of payment

Speed – loan approval time

Education and training – on-line training for 24/7/365 access

Removal of potential risk – what is your guarantee

Quality

Security and safety – are your restaurant strictly following CDC guidelines

Another key category is selection. In Netflix’s case, all they had to do was match their competition in the areas of selection, and innovate int he area of convenience.

And finally, price such as single or fixed pricing. Businesses can differentiate themselves by offering a set price. Fixed pricing can be used for most businesses to establish an MDP when you use a little imagination. What about a divorce attorney that charges a fixed price for a divorce?

Your MDP will never be 100% complete and you will need to continuously innovate your business to stay unique. With the proper marketing you can then communicate that uniqueness to the market and crush your competition.

P.S. Do not leave this blog until you have a plan of action!

PPS. If you’re looking for a proven system to grow your business …. we created business development software and high-end step by step training to support it…

I can find any business owner $100,000 in 45 minutes without them spending an extra dollar on marketing or advertising.

Visit me on optaprofit.com to find out how or book time on my calendar https://optaprofit1.youcanbook.me

Don Vanpool … AKA “The King of Cash”

9 Time Tested Principles of Leadership

There are 9 time-tested principles of leadership that will work for all leaders at every level of an organization. This is the CEO to the newest employee with no direct reports, endeavoring to drive positive change. Print this list, keep it handy and get an accountability partner.

 

  1. Know yourself and embrace life-long learning— understand who you are, your values, priorities, strengths and weaknesses. And have a development plan.
  2. Be the master of your domain — before leaders can lead effectively, they must have mastered the tasks required by the people they lead. In addition, leaders train their people to do their own jobs while understudying the leader so that they are prepared to replace the leader if necessary.
  3. Embrace accountability and take the initiative– Organizational effectiveness depends upon having leaders at all levels that exercise initiative, are resourceful and take opportunities that will lead to goal accomplishment and business success.
  4. Lead by example— people want and need their leaders to be role models. This is a heavy responsibility, but leaders have no choice. No aspect of leadership is more powerful.
  5. Know your people and look out for their welfare — it is not enough to know the names and birth dates of your people. You need to understand what motivates them and what is important to them. Commit time and effort to listen to and learn about them. Keep them updated and informed.
  6. Ensure the mission is understood and teams are held accountable— your team must understand what you want done, to what standard and by when.
  7. Develop a sense of responsibility among your people— people feel a sense of pride and responsibility when they successfully accomplish a new task. Delegation indicates trust in people and encourages them to seek responsibility.
  8. Train cross-functional teams — teamwork is becoming more and more crucial to achieving goals. Teamwork is possible only when people have trust and respect for their leader and for each other as competent professionals and see the importance of their contributions to the organization.
  9. Make sound and timely decisions— leaders must assess situations rapidly and make sound decisions. They need to know when to make decisions themselves, when to consult with people before deciding and when to delegate the decision.

PS. Do not leave this blog until you have a plan of action!

PPS. If you’re looking for a proven system to grow your business …. we created business development software and high-end step by step training to support it…

I can find any business owner $100,000 in 45 minutes without them spending an extra dollar on marketing or advertising.’

Visit me on optaprofit.com to find out how or book time on my calendar https://optaprofit1.youcanbook.me

Don Vanpool … AKA “The King of Cash”

Customer Service as the WOW factor

Customer service is a pretty hot topic and can make or break your business. Consumers have little patience for lousy customer service and easily get tired of waiting in long lines, trying to get a live person on the line, going through an interrogation to return something or trying to communicate through a language barrier.

If you provide them with a simple, efficient, pleasant experience they will revisit your business over and over. More importantly, they will tell everyone they know!

There are three secrets to good customer service, the first one we’re going to conquer is knowing exactly what YOU want.

You are the captain of the ship and the visionary for the future of your business, so you need to have a clearly defined plan for your business and that includes customer service. There are three main goals you need to consider:

  1. It needs to be easy for your customers to do business with you. You can do this with advertised discounts, kiosks, your website and other technology based programs to help them shop.
  2. Doing business with you needs to be a warm and pleasant experience. Your staff has to be knowledgeable, approachable, warm and patient. Your customers need to feel like they are getting a good value for their time and money. Perceived value goes beyond the price of the products and extends to their shopping experience. Make certain your team is cross-trained if you sell in multiple product lines.
  3. Change your mind set and ask yourself “How can I NOT afford to do these things?” This shouldn’t be a question of expenses, but making and keep happy customers. A motivated customer service team can become a revenue generating profit center with proper planning and execution.

Which these thoughts in mind you also need to take a few things into consideration when deciding on the actual programs and standards you’ll put into place.

  • Develop the customer service vision with your staff.
  • Connect your incentive programs and bonuses directly to customer service.
  • Monitor the level of customer service your staff is delivering & provide coaching.
  • Teach your customer service staff to cross sell, upsell and down sell.
  • Create visual management that has everyone focused on the goals.

Now, that you know what you want you can start thinking about how to meet those wants and create a positive customer service experience.

PS. Do not leave this blog until you have a plan of action!

PPS. If you’re looking for a proven system to grow your business …. we created business development software and high-end step by step training to support it…

I can find any business owner $100,000 in 45 minutes without them spending an extra dollar on marketing or advertising.’

Visit me on optaprofit.com to find out how

Don Vanpool … AKA “The King of Cash”