John Jantsch is an author, speaker, and marketing consultant who specializes in serving small businesses. He talked to host Jeff Coyle, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of MarketMuse, about the key behaviors involved in building small business marketing success.
The two marketing experts talked about the customer journey and the steps that a small business owner can take to build trust and cultivate lasting relationships with customers.
Both stressed the importance of taking a long-term view when creating a digital marketing strategy. Instead of aiming for quick wins, businesses should look at the bigger picture and strive for repeat business, word-of-mouth marketing, and customer retention. Customers should be treated as members and should be shown that their experience is valued every step of the way.
The topics that were discussed in the Webinar included:
- The key steps, or behaviors, small business leaders need to adopt to achieve marketing success.
- The customer journey and the different stages of a small business marketing strategy.
- The process of building up consumer trust throughout the customer journey.
- The post-purchase stage of the customer journey.
- Customer discovery, or, the need to get to know your customers, their needs, and their wishes as they evolve throughout the customer journey.
- The role that your website and your social media play in your overall marketing strategy.
- Building a strategic framework and making sure that everyone on your team is on the same page using a common toolbox.
- Selling products or services to a team of buyers.
A successful marketing plan incorporates long-term planning and a vision of your company’s future. There is no single quick fix for marketing. Instead, building up a great marketing model means creating an overarching strategic framework that your whole team can get on board with.
That means creating a common language that every member of your team can share. Talking about the customer journey is a useful framework because everyone in your business is involved in at least one stage of that journey.
The Role of a Small Business Website
Business owners often think of their websites as the places where purchases and conversions happen.
A website has a much broader, more varied role to play in your marketing strategy. Research shows that around 82% of people who visit a website for the first time are not there to make a purchase.
They may be there to carry out research or to browse and get ideas.
Your website is the first point where customers become aware of what you’re doing. It’s your first opportunity to signal to customers that you are trustworthy, that you carry value, and that you can offer them ease. It may take a long time before those customers make a purchase, but this is a crucial step in the journey.
The Importance of Customer Discovery
Customer discovery is a crucial aspect of marketing. As soon as your customer acquisition process begins, you need to build in an ongoing customer discovery process.
Customer discovery means learning as much as possible about how your customers decided to buy from you. It also means understanding what their ongoing experience is like as your customer.
For optimal results, you should be researching customer discovery quarterly. The information you gather will feed a better marketing campaign for the future because you’ll learn more about exactly how customers use your product to problem-solve in the real world.
The customer discovery process also allows you to extrapolate more about future customers and to offer ever more personalized services to all of your customers.
The Experience of Working With Multiple Buyers
Often, purchases are not just carried out by a single buyer. They’re carried out by a buying team.
In a family, of course, that looks like a few people in the family going together to make a purchase and discussing their options together. Likewise, in the B2B sphere, purchases often involve more than one key decision maker.
A successful marketing strategy will take this into account and will create a customer journey that is not only aimed at one buyer but a larger buying team. Ideally, this strategy should create an experience for people who are at different levels of maturity, or who may have different levels of expertise.
A typical scenario in B2B involves a buying team whose members all have different areas of expertise. One of the members may have search optimization experience and be delighted by an offering that stresses SEO. But that offering may not immediately appeal to other members of the buying team, who may be more content-focused.
That’s why a great strategy doesn’t just focus on one experience — in this case, the SEO. It offers a range of experiences to engage the full team.
The Role of Post-Sale Content in the Customer Journey
The post-sale stage is the most forgotten part of the customer journey. However, it’s a crucial stage that offers the highest return on investment of any other part of the journey.
The post-sale period is when customers can potentially become champions of a business and begin referring their friends to the business.
After all, human beings are wired to talk about great experiences. When a customer has an experience with a business that exceeds their expectations, they’re likely to talk about that business. That kind of word-of-mouth marketing is valuable to your business.
Your business can build a strong, positive post-sale experience for its customers by offering them added value. That means producing customized content demonstrating to them just how valuable the product they bought is.
The marketing maturity model acts as a framework for cultivating customer loyalty in the post-sale stage. It includes a series of stages, with the problems of that stage and the milestones to meet to move on to the next stage.
Ideally, businesses, especially SaaS offerings, should be treating their customers like members, rather than subscribers. This entails a shift in focus toward member outcomes and a constant focus on repeat business.
Your content marketing decisions should be based on your core message and your values.
At its center, your content should focus on the problems that your products or services will solve for your customer. Your content should tell a story about that problem-solving process, using genuine stories gathered from your post-sale customers.
John Jantsch, Founder & President, Duct Tape Marketing
John Jantsch is an author, speaker, and marketing consultant who specializes in assisting small businesses. He is the author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Referral Engine, and The Commitment Engine.
- A successful marketing strategy requires a shared framework that everyone on your team can work with.
- The customer journey is one of the best ways to understand the process from customer acquisition to the post-sale referral period. Every stage of the customer journey is vital to the success of your marketing strategy.
- Customer discovery is one of the most important aspects of a successful marketing strategy. It’s an ongoing process that will inform every stage of your strategy.
- Solving problems should be a major content marketing goal. Use stories to demonstrate how your products help customers solve problems.
For further information, feel free to consult the following resources mentioned in the webinar: