Category Archives: Revenue

The Rising Tide that Lifts All Boats

Well, as much as I hate to say it. I’ve been around a long time. My first real “career” was in marketing automation at American Airlines back in the 80s. Helping travel companies grow their business using hard-wired computer terminals, later followed by PCs.

When we got into this Internet thing in the early 90s, we were all neophytes…taking a stab at things and seeing how it worked. Google wasn’t even around…the big players were AOL and the newcomer; Yahoo!. I was fortunate to be working for a company with vision that let us make our way by making good and bad choices and learning from them. The most successful online ventures at the time continued to focus on customer service as they grew their websites. Lands’ End carried its “Guaranteed. Period.” and strong customer service model to a successful online shopping experience. We had eAAsy SABRE running on the Compuserve and Prodigy networks, which morphed into Travelocity. In a similar way, we invoked the strong customer service model that helped our customers learn about the wild and wooly practices of booking travel.

With that history in my pocket and Google becoming the prominent search engine, I struggled to learn SEO and all its minutiae. As my boss at the time, Stephan Spencer used to say; “SEO is the rising tide that lifts all boats,” and this is still true. The technical side of SEO broadened to include things like link building, social media, and other best practices…culminating in the practice that’s now called Digital Marketing.

My point in this little trip down memory lane is that learning from mistakes can lead to success, and it’s a game of inches. Google can impose penalties on those online businesses that try to cut corners, but overcoming this using online marketing best practices can lead to stronger results. Spending thousands of dollars on firehose marketing campaigns that produce few results is a learning experience that can result in being receptive to (full circle for me!) marketing automation tools that drive ongoing customer relationships.

One of our clients, TVLiftCabinet.com sells those nifty TV Lift Cabinets that hide the TV when you don’t need it. Back in 2014 when we started working together, they were the target of some spammy links, and were put in penalty situation with Google. The process to fix this took several months of tedious work to identify the offending links and implement the process to disavow them. The result of all this work more than doubled TVLiftCabinet’s natural search traffic and revenue. Since that time, we’ve done some pretty creative things along with the day to day work of SEO, all within the ethical best practices of online marketing, to continue to grow their business.

Finding the solution for your business can be about learning the hard way or finding someone with the experience (and the mistakes under their belt) to lead you in the right direction. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune…and will save you money in the long run.

Talk with us…the first conversation is always free!

 

Continue. Stop. Start.

Consumed by day-to-day operations, it’s amazing sometimes just how many business people forget where the money comes from. In other words, many fail to remember that there are exactly two* ways a dollar can enter most businesses:money

  1. From a new customer
  2. From an existing customer

(*Three, if your company is engaged in its own finance and investments. But let’s assume that’s not a significant portion of income for your business.)

This means that in order to achieve top-line growth, you need to sell stuff to new customers. Or you need to sell more stuff to existing customers. Or, ideally, both. Seems pretty obvious, but yet we tend to overlook its simplicity.

Some basic roadmap questions can help add perspective to driving more sales. They break down to three components: Continue, stop, start. Here’s how that looks:

What should we continue? What’s working well? Can it be even faster, cheaper or better? Can it be expanded and applied to other areas or markets? What do our customers really like?

Conversely, what should we stop doing? What’s NOT working well? Can it be fixed at a reasonable cost? Or should it be discontinued? What are we doing with five people that could be accomplished with two? What’s outdated or unwanted?

Finally, what can we start doing? Where is there a new opportunity that might not have existed even a short time ago? Where do we need to respond to competitive threats or simple market demands? Where can we make fast improvements? Is there a new technology make sense? Where are the long-term opportunities and how do we get there?

These aren’t always easy questions to answer. But they do create a framework for action. And all three directives—continue, stop, start (in that order)—could be significant influences on the ways dollars enter your business.

As always, when it comes to things related to road-mapping, strategic action plans, ecommerce, web marketing and other essential elements of building a business, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can help you identify and validate the things you should continue, stop and start.