From equipment dealer principal to mobile and technology strategy guy was always part of the plan, it just took time and patience.
When I left the dealer world in 2007, my vision was for better standards and application of those standards across the board in terms of digital marketing, new and used sales processes online and adoption of new, exciting and EFFICIENT technologies that let us do more with less investment, in less time, with better returns on investment, and happy, happy people.
If you remember the downturn in 2007 that lasted for 6 years, you could not have picked a worse time to hang your shingle out and look for digital consulting and marketing projects.
Yep, bad timing. But fortunately the other digital and outsource trends of doing more for less still existed for me and my model, so I applied what I do now to myself, made some mistakes but ultimately improved my own knowledge base to help customers just like you.
Main Lessons Learned
Later in this blog I give you some information about the amount of digital tools available to make you a really good marketing company if you can apply them. There are thousands of options available, to be put into a predictable marketing system customized to you WITHOUT spending a fortune.
A couple of the main lessons learned along the way:
- Big companies don’t always do the best work and they charge a fortune. There are better options you need to know about.
- Success comes from really understanding, through your eyes, the challenges, the stakeholders and understand clearly the user experience with your product and/or service, and communicate that back to your company accurately, and consistently to become better at what you do.
Digital Marketing Trends
I got into my current business to become a source of knowledge for others precisely because there was so much going on with digital, it’s practically impossible to keep up and REALLY know how you’re doing compared to how well you COULD be doing. That is a key distinction to make, and knowing the difference makes all the difference in the world.
Right now, there are three main trends that most affect your business, 1) Rapid change, 2) Massive complexity and, 3) Rising investment costs (people, ad costs, new tools and fees). How do you keep up? How do you know if you’re keeping up?
Like it or not, buyers in a B2B world are 57% percent through the buying cycle before they contact a human, before they engage in sales. Buyers in a B2C world still do 94% of their buying at a retail location (especially true in a capital equipment world, I’d surmise a higher percentage, like 99%), but 96% start their buying process online (probably close, maybe a little less given the relationship nature of our business, which still applies).
If you’re not easy to find, engage and get information from, you’re dead. How do you focus and improve those processes across the board? How sharp are you with response times and quality of information availability when THEY want?
Marketing is getting confusing and expensive. According to Chiefmartech, the landscape of marketing tools to help “efficiency” has increased to over 6,829 options, an increase of 27% from last year alone! https://chiefmartec.com/2018/04/marketing-technology-landscape-supergraphic-2018/
How do you know which applies or integrates to your own marketing “system”? How do you know what is right for you? Applied right, these tools help create and manage customers, but it’s easy to get lost on the options and knowing what is best.
Rising Investment Costs
It’s getting expensive to hire marketing people, with an average entry salary of $73K + for QUALIFIED marketing experts. Digital ad costs are going up, so you need to be efficient with your campaigns, KPI establishment and measurement. 2019 is the first year in history that digital ad spend has outpaced traditional media spend. And in 2020, this is expected to accelerate. It’s a maze of stuff to consider, and it’s complicated.
Consider carefully a well-crafted plan with people hired as necessary when your budget allows for it, or when personal contact and culture demands it.
About EquipmentFX Services
Over the years, the services I offer have evolved but primarily consist of assessments and follow on services we customize together. The number one question I get after assessments are “Can you just do this stuff for us”, followed by “we have marketing people, how can we make them and our processes more efficient”.
From there, we customize a plan that includes building a framework and turn-key set of tools, along with a success plan roadmap that clearly lays out how we increase the acquisition of new customers and sell more to existing ones. It’s that simple.
These strategy sessions include SEO best practices, website analysis, email, social media, growth coaching and numerous systems and processes to audit, understand and install best practices to create leads at every level of your company.
Ongoing support programs post assessment generally include a 90 day growth plan, 6 month managed services plan, or 12 month aggressive overhaul plan that may include rebranding, trademark development and overall plan with a budget we agree on together.
At the end of the engagement, we will have successfully 1) identified where the challenges are, 2) the tools and systems to fix the problem, 3) teach you to use the tools successfully, 4) Facilitate the discussion to make sure we know how to use them and 5) Coaching along the way to ensure the best decision is made. You will have a formal framework and internal audit process to build a program from scratch (to create more new customers), and to sell more to existing ones.
We’re excited to bring new content and solutions to the equipment industry. Look for more information on the upcoming EquipmentFX blog on industry news, marketing & technology trends and tools and lifestyle tips to keep us strong, healthy and selling!
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