As an Internet Marketing Company, we work with businesses of various sizes to grow their organizations. One of the ways that we explain the key areas of Internet marketing and what’s required to properly set up and scale up a business is through what we call the Four Marketing Pillars.

The Four Marketing Pillars are traffic generation, Website development, email marketing, and customer relationship management (CRM). If you do these four things well, you will be able to develop a powerful foundation and rapidly develop your business. Let’s take a look at each starting with traffic generation.

Traffic Generation
What do we mean when we say “traffic generation” from an Internet marketing perspective? Traffic generation is the ability to drive prospects to your Website and business. Without traffic, you simply can’t grow your organization. But, where do you start? There’s social media, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC), email lists, print, among other channels. The key with traffic generation is that you look at what your numbers are telling you. It’s really not about the channel.

It’s all about selecting the right advertising opportunities at the lowest cost possible, while driving the highest volume of leads and sales possible. For example, if you set up a PPC campaign and spend $2000 on a campaign that drives 200 leads and 20 sales, you know that your cost per lead is $10 and your cost per sale is $100. If you then ran a print campaign that cost you the same amount, $2000, but generated 100 leads and 10 sales, you know that you PPC campaign is more efficient. This means that you should eliminate your print campaign or test a new print ad to see if you can lift the response. This takes us to the second pillar, Website conversion.

Website Conversion
It’s great that you’re able to drive prospects to your Website or landing page, commonly referred to as a squeeze page, but is your landing page converting at the highest rate possible? We often notice that people are happy to spend money on advertising because they believe that it’s necessary to grow their business. This is correct to a certain extent, but the place that you are directing your advertising to has just as much of an impact on the results of your marketing campaign. And it costs less than advertising to improve. For example, if your advertising is directed to a Web page that is converting at 20% from unique visitor to lead, then you optimize your web page to convert at 40%, you just doubled the number of leads from your advertising. There are two things that have the greatest impact on the results of your landing page. The first is your headline. The second is your offer such as a free eBook, video series, etc. Next time you’re running an ad, regardless of the channel that you’re using, consider testing a different headline or offer. You may be surprised by the impact on your results. That takes us to the third area that has a significant impact on your marketing return on investment, email marketing.

Email Marketing
Prospects go through a decision-making process that’s quite clearly defined before making a purchase starting from recognizing that they have a need, to information gathering, to comparison shopping, to purchase, and post-purchase. When you advertise, the prospects that you are connecting with are at all different stages in the decision-making process. This is the reason that only approximately 5% of prospects actually convert to sale in the next 90 days. The remainder of leads need more time to understand why they should buy from you versus the competition. And there are two variables that have the greatest influence on their purchase decision. The first is trust. They have to feel like they can trust you, which is established over time. The second variable is desire. They have to desire what you are offering more than the competitors products and services.

This is the function that automated email marketing campaigns perform. Instead of sending all of your leads to a sales person, regardless of if they are ready to make a purchase decision, use an automated email campaign to establish a relationship and desire. There are several types of automated email campaigns that you can use from event-based campaigns using Webinars, to multi-video campaigns that develop a relationship with your prospects and desire over a sequence of videos. This takes us to the fourth pillar of Internet marketing, which is customer relationship management (CRM).

CRM
As your company grows, your database and CRM system forms the foundation of all of your marketing technology. It allows you to integrate your Website; a lead scoring system to identify which leads should be contacted by sales; your reporting system to track your cost per lead and sale; as well as your social media automation and monitoring systems such as Radian6.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment. Have a great day!