EZSolution provides integrated marketing solutions for small to medium sized businesses throughout the USA.
The EZSolution team provides a variety of agency marketing services for clients nationwide. Their service offerings are based around a solid website design, and using a variety of online and offline marketing strategies to help their clients grow their businesses. These include SEO, PPC, social media services, print marketing, and more.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the difference between a good website and a great one?
Matt: Whether it’s a small 5-10 page brochure-type website or a larger ecommerce website, a good website typically has a decent design and general information such as images and content. However, a great website has not only an eye-catching design and valuable information, but strong calls to action and strong sales and marketing messaging.
It’s easy to just build a website these days, but if the websites purpose is primarily to drive leads and sales, then those types of things have to be determined at the beginning, during the discovery phase of the project. Using an online website builder with a template will not have the same outcome as a well thought-out custom-made website.
It’s crucial to make sure that the brand’s core message is consistent and apparent on the website. This might include the USP (unique selling proposition) that sets you apart from your competition, and perhaps the company’s story. Making sure that the messaging is consistent with your other marketing materials is critical, because websites have become the hub of most companies’ marketing strategies.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you share how your lead generation strategy helps to ensure that visitors take action and follow through with their transaction?
Matt: Absolutely! Each website is constructed differently based on a client’s own unique business model and needs. Marketing funnels for each industry will vary based on the products or services that a business provides. At EZSolution, we work to determine the client’s business goals first and then create a customized marketing strategy and campaigns around that specific need. For websites, the marketing funnel is built into the website to help achieve the client’s goals. There are a variety of tactics that can be employed.
If you have a small brochure-type website, most often you’ll have a contact form to request information. Many times, those website visitors just want information without a sales pitch, so they generally refuse to fill out the form. Those visitors are in the early stages of the customer journey and are not ready to buy yet. One thing to do is provide a free report for something in that industry in exchange for entering an email address.
By gating some valuable information, you can build a great targeted list of prospects for email marketing purposes and the website visitor gets more information that they were looking for without having to talk to anyone. By capturing their information and being able to market to them a few more times in the future, you might capture their interest at the right time when they are ready to buy.
From the e-commerce perspective, there are a variety of techniques when you look at something like cart abandonment. This is a scenario where customers are ready to check out and then for one reason or another they leave. There’s a lot of analysis that can be done from Google Analytics and other tracking programs to determine the weak-points of the marketing funnel.
Exit popups have been another popular strategy. For example, as someone tries to browse away from the website you can try to incentivize that person to get a discount to checkout immediately. As a result, it can improve conversions, albeit at a slightly smaller profit margin. There are a variety of tactics that can be used in various situations.
BusinessInterviews.com: How do you help your clients to understand the ROI that they are getting in their various marketing campaigns?
Matt: It’s funny you ask that, because that seems to be the trending topic that we’re hearing in the industry these days. Over time, we’ve needed to keep adjusting the deliverables and reporting metrics that we provide to clients, while trying to stay ahead of the curve.
When we look at online marketing and specific organic SEO, three years ago it was all about the rankings of the website and what keywords people are using to get to a website. Then it became all about the total amount of organic traffic the website was getting, regardless of keywords. Since Google started hiding specific keywords used to get to the website within Google Analytics, it actually made that information more difficult to obtain.
Within the last year, all of the talk in the industry has been about conversions; not only in SEO but across the board. Rightfully so, as clients deserve to more precisely know what marketing services are really generating for them in terms of leads and sales, and what their ROI is.
In the past, many businesses had attempted to keep track of this information themselves. However, what we’ve found is that most companies do not have a robust system in place for their sales teams to accurately determine where the lead came from. Furthermore, a customer might just say they found their website, even if that lead actually came through an organic SEO, PPC, social media or email marketing channel.
On the flipside, we also had situations where business owners did not know what a customer was worth to them, or what their average customer lifetime value was. To determine the ROI, you need a few things. First, you have to accurately culminate all of that information automatically (without relying on detective work from the sales team) by tracking the entire customer journey to see where the lead originated from. Also, the business has to know what a customer is worth to them.
Tracking the entire customer journey is definitely a tedious process. We are currently working towards a system that utilizes a combination of call tracking and URL-based cookie tracking to more accurately paint a picture of each customer’s journey during the sales and marketing process.
For clients that desire this precision, it requires strong adherence to using this single system to track website visitors and phone calls, as well as digital marketing campaigns for social media, PPC, and email marketing, as well as print marketing campaigns such as letters, billboards, and collateral.
Going this route offers a more accurate answer as to where the lead came from, as well as monumental improvement in reporting, viewing an individual user’s customer journey, and understanding what ROI’s are on specific marketing campaigns.
BusinessInterviews.com: Do you think that print marketing still has a place and value in this increasingly digital age that we’re living in?
Matt: Print marketing definitely still has value and it’s something that businesses are actively asking for. It depends on the industry, the location, and time of year which makes it successful. A great example might be a targeted postcard mailer campaign for a landscaper in the months leading up to spring and fall. With a great message that’s perfectly timed to homeowners, it has the best possible chance for success.
As I mentioned, the website is the hub of marketing these days; however “integrated marketing” has become an industry-wide term that essentially allows a print marketing piece to drive business back to the website. You couldn’t easily fill all that information on a postcard, so in some scenarios part of the plan is to drive that person to the website for more information, or in other scenarios it might just be the first mailing in a series of postcards.
Leading up to 2012, EZSolution had a great need from our client base to provide these types of print marketing services. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, we went out and purchased Rice & Rice Advertising, a print marketing agency with experts with over 40 years in the field. They had won a bunch of Addy awards for their work, so we were thrilled to bring them onto our team.
When we bring on a new client that hires us for agency work, we have the ability to really set them up with a cohesive strategy and make sure they have solid brand messaging. This ensures that the print marketing campaigns and materials that they desire are really consistent and integrated with everything else so they’re setup for the best possible success.
Conversely, we’ve seen competitors in the industry or business owners just do a one-time mailing without cohesive messaging and it’s usually a bust. Spending the proper time investment in the research phase will help make sure the campaign has the best possible change of succeeding.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are some business related trends that you’re excited about or think that our readers should be paying attention to?
Matt: I believe the biggest opportunity that many businesses have is the evolving ways of online marketing. Millions of new websites are being launched each year, search engines are changing their algorithms daily, and consumers are adjusting their buying processes.
Decades ago, the only way to buy products was through local brick and mortar stores or print catalogs. Now, you can literally buy almost anything on the Internet. It’s put the buying power at the fingertips of a large majority of the world. Businesses that were affected by this evolution and have embraced changes in technology are those that will continue to succeed.
2014 was the first time that mobile searches have overtaken desktop searches in Google in various industry segments. That means more and more consumers are leveraging the power of mobile phones and devices to get the information they are seeking, and many times it’s products they are looking to purchase or services they are looking to use.
While it can be difficult to measure, more and more companies are utilizing the power of social media to sell their products and services. With websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, there are so many opportunities in different industries to capitalize on hungry consumers.
The more easily we can track these types of campaigns to measure success, the more companies will be willing to invest in them. However, those that are early movers in these types of evolving spaces have become industry leaders with a strong digital presence. This is huge, because those followers and people that buy your product instantly become brand advocates, sharing your information to their friends, families, and coworkers.
BusinessInterviews.com: What advice would you give to a new business who needs to figure out their social media campaign?
Matt: The biggest piece of advice that I could give would be to clearly understand the audience that you are trying to target. There are a variety of social media platforms available and the demographic makeup and targeting abilities on each platform differs.
If your business is B to B, then LinkedIn is probably one of your stronger platforms. If you’re looking for B to C, then Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are probably your best opportunities. If you’re looking to target younger audiences then Instagram may be your best bet.
Facebook was the early mover on paid advertising, but LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest have followed suit. Dependent on your budget and demographic makeup of your prospect, you can narrow in your promoted content to the targeted audience that you’re after.
Making sure the target audience is narrowed will allow the business to make sure the followers that they obtain really want to hear about the products or services that they offer. It also makes sure that any money being spent is towards a really targeted prospect.
Thanks for the opportunity to discuss and letting me share my thoughts.
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