Author of The Business of Getting Business
Do you want to know how to implement a digital marketing strategy?
Today we’ve shared an interview with Joe Manausa, author of The Business of Getting Business, the digital marketing guide for bricks and mortar businesses. It’s a book about how to ensure that your digital marketing strategy carries your organization into the future.
Recently, Joe was on a podcast hosted by Jessie Frahm, Founder & CEO at Studio Roo Ltd, Board Member, and host of Podcast Bosses for Breakfast. You can hear the full interview by clicking the play button below.
The important takeaways from the interview are outlined below.
Morning Routine And Background
I’m a morning person, likely from many years of sports training and then serving in the military. I usually knock out a new piece of content before 6:00 a.m. each morning. Additionally, I spend a few hours setting up the promotion of the article for the entire day.
I own a real estate brokerage company. Primarily, we help families move by helping them sell homes and buy homes. I’ve been in the business for nearly 30 years and have owned my own company since 1992.
I started the transition from traditional marketing to digital marketing in 2007 when I started my first blog.
There really were no resources out there to guide me, so I just started producing content to see where it would go. Thirteen years later, I can say that the entire way that we conduct our business has changed. Digital marketing has evolved our relationships with customers and changed the way we serve them.
It’s Not Just About A Digital Marketing Strategy
I wrote this book for several reasons.
First, I wrote this book as an implementation guide that I wish were available when I was learning how to be an effective digital marketer. It certainly would have saved me a lot of time and wasted resources. There are so many people out there saying “do this” or “do that,”
but how does a small-business owner know which is best for his business?
The trial and error process that took me ten years to achieve success will take my readers much less time. It provides an overview of the future benefits and a step-by-step process for getting there.
Secondly, I wrote this book as a training manual for new employees. I decided it was time to hire people to replace the roles that I was filling myself. I knew that schools were not teaching what I was doing, so a guide was needed.
The internet has made the cycle of change so rapid that colleges cannot hire somebody who has done the things that are working today. I have a new marketing employee reading the book right now. I’m confident that he’ll be a quick learner and implementer once he understands the big picture and the steps our company needs to take.
Finally, I wrote this book as a warning to small businesses and bloggers. Whether you are a local contractor who provides a service, or a professional that specializes in situational needs, be prepared for change.
In the past, new competition entering your field, in your market area was normal. Somebody would come in and basically do what you do and you knew what it took to compete with them. But there is a far more dangerous threat that is growing for all businesses.
Beware Digital Marketers As Psuedo-Competition
I refer to the threat as digital marketers (DM). These organizations have no intention of servicing the consumer. DMs form to take advantage of the lack of digital marketing skills in industries that have not embraced this recent change.
These DMs can generate customer leads and then, in turn, sell them to local business owners.
Business owners will see these digital marketers as a positive opportunity to outsource some or all of their marketing efforts. They will mistakenly see this as a way to simplify their operations that will enable shop owners to focus on customer service rather than generating business.
They believe the marketing company will ‘market’, while their own business will ‘service’. And therein lies the rub.
The Parasite Becomes The Host
If you allow an organization to generate the business for you, what will you do years later when they choose to enter the business? Or perhaps, if they raise the price of their service to an amount you are not able to pay? They will have the strongest brand for your product or service in the area, thus they ultimately will own you whether you like it or not.
This is very much the case of the parasite consuming the host. The fees you pay to the digital marketer helps them establish a footprint in your market area. Over the years, DMs continue to invest to strengthen that footprint. In a small amount of time, they will have a stronger digital footprint than you.
The Reason Behind Your Digital Marketing Strategy
When I first started writing this book, I had chosen a preliminary title of “The Business Of Business Is Getting Business!” It is my belief that regardless of your field or industry …
If you own or operate a business, your primary job is to ensure that customers continue to come through the door.
If you outsource this task, then you raise the risk of becoming irrelevant. The business (job) of owning a business is to generate more business!
There are numerous examples of digital marketers who are gaining great traction today in the US. Look no further than Zillow in real estate, or HomeAdvisor in the home improvement and maintenance services.
These organizations are controlling a respectable percentage of the business in these fields, yet neither organization provides a service to the consumer. They are the link between the business and the consumer.
Do you really want to pay somebody for the right of talking to your prospective customer?
The Business of Getting Business is a guide to building your own local digital footprint. It helps you reach more consumers without relying on a digital marketer. The stronger you build your footprint, the harder they will find it to break into your market area.
Define Digital Marketing
The definition of digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies on the Internet. This is done through mobile phone Apps, display advertising, and any other digital mediums including email and texts.
There are some clear, black and white examples of digital marketing (like email), but there are some gray areas that one must also understand.
One great example of digital marketing that is also a traditional marketing channel is newspapers.
Is there anything more traditional than advertising in a newspaper?
Well for most newspapers today, when you advertise in the paper, you are also advertising in their digital edition. In some cases, you can also provide a link that takes the reader to the next step in your sales funnel.
A simple way of defining digital marketing is the use of technology to build your brand and to draw consumers to your business.
5 Initial Steps To Implement A Digital Marketing Strategy
Step One – Research
I would spend some time researching companies similar to mine in other market areas. Choose ones that seem to be doing a good job using digital marketing to feed their businesses.
Reach out to the business owners to discuss their experiences and what they find to be generating a profitable return on investment.
Warning: During this process, most of these owners will have a tendency to exaggerate their results. Take everything you are told with a grain of salt.
Step Two – Digital Leads Funnel
I would determine how to best build my digital lead funnel. Do I need a website? Can I build a long-term solution using just social media channels?
This step is basically the foundation of how you will establish your digital plan. For example, if somebody sends an email to your company with a consumer type of question, what happens? When is it read? How do you respond? What references do you include?
Step Three – Personnel And Processes
I would evaluate my current personnel and operating processes to see if they can support a digital approach.
One thing that you will learn early (and often) about a digital consumer, is they lack the patience of yesterday’s consumer.
Digital consumers want answers, and they want it now.
If you do not provide the answer, then somebody else will. Your staff must respond to inquiries within 5 minutes or less, this is today’s standard. If you think this does not apply to your industry, you are likely very wrong.
Step Four – The Written Plan
I would write a plan. Plans cost nothing, and they end up saving you a lot of money.
The marketing world is full of creative people with great creative ideas that are easy to get excited about. But the reality is that
successful marketing is far more about promotion than production.
Exciting ideas are easy, getting the word out to the right people is the challenge (and the cost).
The plan should include specific measurables attached to defined timeframes. You do not have to be fully digitally tomorrow, but you also don’t want this transition to take a backseat to other pressing issues.
You must ensure that your plan gets you where you need to be, and soon.
Step Five – Choosing A CMO
Ensure that a very important person within the organization is in charge of the success of this plan. No matter how small your organization, you must have a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
Frankly, I believe this should be the small-business owner, regardless of his or her experience in marketing. The digital marketing plan is the key to your organizational survival in the coming years, so ensure that its implementation is in the hands of somebody worthy.
Social Media. Do You Have To Go All-In?
I committed a great deal of space in the book to this question. The problem with social media is that most business owners, much like myself several years ago, are hardly active at all. Even today, I only engage on a few social media platforms, so what does a novice do?
In the book, I use an analogy of a shopping mall. The analogy explains how many different social media platforms serve a similar purpose one experienced in a traditional mega mall. This analogy will help those starting out see which apps are a good fit for their business.
The good news is that you do not need to be active everywhere and on every platform.
Just start with one social media platform and get good at it.
If you find it helping, put more resources behind it. Continue to investigate businesses similar to yours in other areas of the country (or world). See what they are doing. Research is a critical component of successful marketing.
Social media should serve as part of your marketing plan. You should develop clear ROI goals if you are using an SM app to generate business. Don’t run yourself out of time and money just to be active on the app.
Digital Marketing Sustainability
Your digital marketing plan should be a money-making machine. You want to know that every $1 spent in each digital channel would generate a certain, predictable ROI.
Unlike the days before digital, it is far easier to attribute a sale to a source with digital marketing. We no longer need to rely on the recollections of a salesperson to track our marketing results. We build sales funnels and ROI calculators that allow us to make faster and smarter marketing decisions.
A Simple, Structured Digital Marketing Strategy
The key to your digital marketing strategy is scale. The size and productivity of your organization will determine how the strategy is implemented.
If you are a very small organization, like mine was at inception, it means you might initially do everything. I produced content early in the morning and scheduled the promotion of the content throughout the day.
If you are a larger organization, use specialists with detailed calendars to ensure that all your objectives are being met. Your digital marketing strategy must ensure that consumers receive timely and accurate responses (a need for speed).
Running a digital marketing schedule is really similar to running any type of detailed schedule.
Is there really a huge difference between managing manufacturing tasks versus managing marketing tasks?
While they are very different in detail, both require a process and a specific time schedule.
How To Measure Digital Marketing Success
While there are many metrics that people want you to believe are important, the success of a digital marketing plan is measured in profitability and return on investment.
That’s it. Is your marketing profitable? Are you achieving the profitability goals established? Ensure that your digital marketing plan is organized to answer these questions as they are “success.”
Order The Business Of Getting Business
You need a plan! Get the book “The Business of Getting Business?” It’s a comprehensive guide for small businesses to help them make the move to digital. For those of us who want to survive and thrive in a world where large corporations are taking over, it is a must-read.