Long before we became masters of technology, great word of mouth and a convincing traveling salesman was all the sales and marketing needed to grow a successful business. Today, you still need great word of mouth, a great salesman but with your customers spread around the world and competitors entering your market every day, a solid marketing platform is essential to grow your business.
Your marketing platform is your base that allows you to continually send your marketing messages to the world. It is your amplifier to the world and is your way to attract and keep customers in an efficient, technology-driven way.
Building Your Platform
We think of your platform as your marketing system. It is where your leads are collected and where marketing turns into sales. You already have the beginnings of one if you have a website but as you can see by the picture, there’s more. You need a platform that takes your customers through your sales process and brings them, at every touchpoint, back to your website, landing page or whatever lead collecting tool you have.
Building your platform depends on your time and resources but every small business should have one. Here’s the components of a marketing platform that every small business needs:
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM)
- Search Engine Optimization
- Marketing Automation
|This Photo by ACTone is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC|
You can buy one system, ACT ONE, HUB SPOT, SALESFORCE, etc. or you can create a platform that uses your website as the key and build from there. The goal is to use your platform to collect all your leads and fast-track the ability to sell to them.
Why Small Businesses Need a Marketing Platform
A platform elevates your company’s brand. It makes it easy for your target market to interact with, get to know you and trust you.
A platform delivers connection. In our modern-day world, social media provides the benefit of reaching of reaching out to many people with one message. Prior to social media, you were only able to initiate only a one-way conversation. But social media, as part of your platform, has taken conversations to a new level. In fact, if you may not need a website if your social media game is on point. Almost everything you can do on your website, you can do on Facebook. Now chatbots are having conversations for you. The decision about how robust you want your platform to be is yours.
It keeps your customers moving towards a BUY or NOT BUY decision. The simplistic goal of marketing is to create, attract and keep customers. If your business is Business-to-Business (B2B) then this marketing is slightly easier to do but if your business sells to consumers (B2C) than your platform is key to success. It will give you a clearer insight into who’s buying and who isn’t. It can tell you where your sales process is breaking down and determine campaigns to increase sales.
It focuses your marketing efforts. Your platform can do a lot of the routine work for you while you focus on generating creative campaigns. It can automate your marketing campaigns, track your leads through a system and as we discussed, talk to your customers for you. It has your back and lets you do what you need to sell more.
There are many reasons to step up your marketing game with a marketing platform. There are only a few reasons why you won’t, knowledge, time, and resources. These are the normal issues why the small business owner doesn’t take on new tasks but building a marketing platform is one that will deliver results.