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Internet Marketing June 7th, 2012
You may not think dating is comparable to the relationship held between an Internet marketing company and its clients but there are some fundamental similarities in how one must choose and how to best conduct one’s self. I’ll outline three for you.
When you’re considering investing a lot of time into a potential mate, what are you considering? Here are some of the things I consider:
A) Are they worth investing time into?
B) Are they a good fit?
C) Are they honest?
D) Are they interested in the same things I am?
E) Can I look forward to great performance?
These same questions are the ones you have to ask when choosing an Internet marketing company to work with. If you’re interviewing an Internet marketing company, you should run fast and run far if any of the following is true:
A) The company is too new. Granted, all businesses have to start small, but when it comes to Internet marketing there’s so much demanded in executing a successful campaign that it is improbable that a small staff would possess the expertise, time and continuing education to service your business completely. While I wish all new businesses luck, I would rather them practice Internet marketing with someone else’s money first. For that reason, they would not be worth investing time into.
B) You do not sense great company culture. Like in dating, instincts can go a long way in determining what the person/salesperson is like and what kind of family/company they come from. If the sales person expresses no passion for the company, it’s probably because the company doesn’t love the salesperson which means the company will never love you. If the company can’t give your business the love, it isn’t a good fit.
C) Companies that insist on collecting marketing spend and then in-turn spend an undisclosed portion with Google. Note: You should always be the one funding Google directly from YOUR AdWords account. Companies that won’t even disclose how much of your money is being spent with Google cannot possibly be trusted to be honest about anything else.
D) Companies that will focus their performance metrics on visitors, impressions, rankings and clicks. Sure, these are all important but they are merely a means to an end. The focus has to be on the end result which is to generate a lead or a sale. Online marketing has to be performance oriented. If the company you are speaking with doesn’t have an interest or a way to measure what truly matters to you, there is no point in engaging because the interests are not aligned.
E) You’re receiving statements but not the feeling of confidence in performance.
Most companies will ask their advertiser for a 3, 6 or 12 Month commitment because they want to guarantee their revenue and retain their clients on contracts. It’s also good for forecasting and planning, but what good is it to you?
Most of the time, it isn’t good at all and there is absolutely no benefit to you and in fact harms you. It harms you because now that you’re in a contract, the Internet marketing company can procrastinate. They can take their time, and focus on other clients with a safety net because – in signing that contract – you’ve resigned your autonomy.
Why tie up the client’s hands if you’re telling them they’ll be patting you on the back for a job well done? After all, the vast majority of business owners are reasonable and will appreciate the right expectations being set from the beginning and will stick with the program.
Again, in a relationship, you shouldn’t have to be with someone you aren’t happy with and the same is true of your Internet marketing company.
Interestingly, I have only found one company that takes this open approach without contracts and it’s the one I work for called TechWyse.
TechWyse Internet Marketing doesn’t have contracts, just a month to month platform. Why? Well, we don’t believe anyone should be obligated to work with us if they don’t want to. We’ll always do our best to recommend the right set of services that will best serve the customers goals. Being without a contract also, inevitably creates a sense or urgency from day one. This is because 97.5% of the company is in operations, which means we have the resources to be dangerous to your competition and we have the confidence to keep the relationship open because everything that can be done will be done.
Once you’ve made the commitment to go forward with your chosen company, be sure to treat them like your partner and not your servant. The more you communicate, brainstorm and get to know one another, the better the results will be every time. The more engaged the client is with our team, the better everything will work.
I often like to take my clients out for dinner or some kind of event here and there. It’s a great way to say “thank you” for your business, get to know one another, strategize off the clock and off the cuff. My friends have said ‘that’s great for you guys because it builds the relationship’ and that is definitely true. However, I find the real winner is the client. Here is a story that illustrates the point.
Here at TechWyse, we assign a dedicated Campaign Analyst and a Project Manager for each of our clients. They have their own focussed responsibilities and serve as two great points of contact that the customer can speak with at anytime who are always on the same page.
One evening, I invited one of my clients out and brought the campaign analyst and project manager to dinner too. Without getting too specific, it was a great night with great conversation. We talked a bit of business, did a little brainstorming, but kept it very casual (as it should be).
This was the first time the Analyst and the Project Manager had met the client. After dinner the team members were pumped and thought the client was an all-around amazing guy and praised him highly. Our Senior Project Manager liked the client so much, she proposed and approved a bunch of work to be done free of charge.
Also, ends up the campaign analyst had friends in common with the client and they had a great conversation. The meeting resulted in even better rapport, greater understanding of one another and in this case, a few free enhancements to the website.
Therefore, working together and putting in that time and effort benefits both partners and creates stronger relationships, which in business is everything.
Internet leads are different from other forms of lead generation in some important ways:
1) Internet leads are generally much cheaper from a cost per lead perspective than print, radio, TV, billboard etc. In addition, these leads are attractive (people are already looking for the service you offer). Whereas, offline forms of media are broad, interruptive and less targeted.
2) A potential customer who contacts you from the result of an offline marketing effort (like direct mail) most likely only has you in mind. Whereas in online search, you’re trying to get your product or service in front of consumers who also have your competition to consider (because they’re right there at a click of the mouse!). Therefore a lead that comes from the Internet may inquire with you and several of your competitors.
Therefore, if these leads come in to you and a few of your competitors, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of who has the best combination of value and salesmanship and the first step is picking up the phone.
I’m baffled when I’m looking for a product or service and I call the number on a site I’ve just clicked on and I’m taken to a voicemail or an automated phone system. The advertiser spent so much time and money to appear in front of me and they can’t even field my inquiry. Guess what my next step is as the consumer? Call someone else who takes my call.
Thus, your Internet marketing company can only bring you leads and put you in contention for that potential business knocking at your door. The rest is up to you to compete and offer the best value to that prospect above and beyond the competition who is also vying to serve that customer. Since the competition can be intense, the best practice is to make sure that when a call comes in, someone, not a machine, answers the phone professionally and positively. The leads aren’t cheap, so treat them like gold!
Internet marketing only works if the proper volumes of leads are generated and enough of those leads become a sale, which makes it a team effort. We’re in it together. If you starve, we starve. If you’re doing well, we’re doing well, which is why we care so much about the whole process.
Here at TechWyse, we can track the keyword searched from the lead to the sale. If our partners are engaged, over time this can really focus and improve our combined efforts.
So choose your team wisely, work with them, and maximize your returns online for everyone’s benefit.