Brian Gatti is the Experience Design Creator over at Inspire Business Concepts.
Inspire Business Concepts is an integrated marketing company with an emphasis on the digital realm. Their tagline is, “we do marketing differently”.
The Inspire team provides a suite of services to their clients, including but not limited to, web development, online advertising, traditional advertising, brand development, content creation, and marketing strategy.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are the most common mistakes you see businesses make when it comes to website design and how can they be avoided?
Brian: This may sound counterintuitive but the biggest mistake (and the most easily avoided) is when they think about the website’s design first. As a result we see a LOT of really pretty websites that don’t do a good job of actually generating more business. This can be avoided by putting a little time into the strategy prior to building the website.
We recommend that companies consider the primary audience for the website (who will be visiting), the offer (what do they want from you) and the primary call to action (what do you want them to do). The reality is that you’ve got about 3 seconds from the moment someone hits your website to figure out what you do, how it pertains to them, and how they can get in touch with you.
If you can get these three things done before you start building your website, you’ll have a dramatic advantage over your competition.
BusinessInterviews.com: Why do you think that marketing companies and their clients need to be more willing to focus more on analysis and experimentation?
Brian: Marketing budgets and time aren’t unlimited. We often speak to business owners who are frustrated with their online marketing. They’ll talk about the thousands of dollars they’ve invested without any results.
Companies can’t get away with shooting from the hip anymore. With competition increasing and demands for greater profitability, companies need to be savvy about how much it costs them to acquire new business.
When we work with business owners, we identify what success looks like during an experiment and how to track the outcomes of the experiments. We know a lot of companies like to ask people how they heard about them but we find that this isn’t the best way to get reliable data. That’s why we like to use call tracking numbers, landing pages, coupon codes, and Google Analytics goals.
Once all that is set, it’s time to begin testing. By experimenting with new messages, new offers, and new channels before committing, you give your company the best possible opportunity for success.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are the most important aspects to keep in mind when it comes to brand development?
Brian: The single most important thing is for a business owner to know their audience.
We suggest that businesses spend time building customer profiles for their core audience(s). This is more than just a demographic breakdown of their audience. We’ll encourage companies to create actual biographies of hypothetical customers in order to make the audience more real in their mind. Once you’re working with specific people in mind, it becomes much easier to develop a brand for people that are similar to the person you have in mind.
As long as companies focus on whom they serve, brand development becomes easier. It will temper the desire to become all things to all people.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you talk about the art behind discovering what makes your clients truly unique in their marketplace?
Brian: This is a multi-step process. The first thing we do is start with the client. We’ll ask them what they think differentiates them from their competition in the market place. This can be a fun exercise because it reveals how little business owners think about what makes them unique. One of my favorite questions is, “Why shouldn’t I just call (insert name of their competitor)? They do the same thing for basically the same price.”
Many times business owners talk about their commitment to service or honesty. I challenge them on these points because everyone else says the same thing.
After grilling the business owner, we like to call their best customers and ask them why they choose to do business with our client. We’ll explore what helped them make the initial buying decision and why they keep coming back for more. We’ll ask them about any negative experiences they may have had and how this has shaped their relationship with the client.
Last, we’ll ask their competitors. We’ll ask them to compare themselves to our client to see what they say, what stands out in their minds as making our client unique and different.
This process is typically very exciting and revealing. It can give insight into what’s truly working and what might not be as relevant as they once thought.
BusinessInterviews.com: What inspired you to develop a new product designed to provide marketing solutions for small business owners?
Brian: This may sound hokey but we’re passionate believers in the entrepreneurial dream. We have deep respect for people who are willing to take the leap to starting their own business. We know that being a small business owner often means being the CEO, customer service department, and janitor. It’s a lot of hats for a small team.
We also know that building a new business is fraught with risk and the biggest ones can come from marketing. We’ve seen business owners spend too much money on bad websites, invest in advertising without understanding the risks, or give up on sound strategies that were just executed poorly.
We’re excited about our new product offering because it gives us the ability to take all of our experience, knowledge, and resources and package it in a way that will be useful for small business owners at an extremely reasonable cost.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you share some insights on how to get customers engaged and keep the momentum going?
Brian: Email marketing is one of the greatest ways to staying in front of your customer. I’ve heard from business owners that they’re suspicious that email marketing still works. With aggressive spam filters and jaded consumers, is it possible to keep interest in the inbox?
The answer is absolutely yes! There are just a few things of which to be mindful.
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