For any strategy in retail marketing – online or offline – the goal isn’t simply to reach a wide audience; it’s to generate leads from your efforts.
This is a fact that many digital marketers lose sight of. They are on a quest for more visitors or a higher page rank, when the metric to focus on is conversions. Website visitors aren’t the same things as leads. Especially if you are a solely brick-and-mortar business, web traffic is useless if it doesn’t translate into traffic for your store.
In Store Traffic: Generating Leads in Traditional and Digital Mediums
A successful marketing campaign is one that is a lead generation machine, effectively moving people through the decision-making process:
- Need Recognition/Problem Awareness
- Information Search
- Evaluation of Alternatives
- Post-Purchase Evaluation (important for repeat business)
This process starts long before your customers set foot in your store. Since you’re armed with a detailed customer profile, you can actually start the process by making people who fit your profile aware of a need or problem that your product or service addresses, thereby generating a new lead for your store.
Pay attention to the traffic flow. One way you can uncover insight is through analyzing the traffic flow on your website. What pages are people visiting before they head to your “Contact” or “Locations” page? Often, these pages directly correspond to different stages in the decision-making process.
Analyze traffic sources. It can be tempting to pour money into channels that are bringing the most visitors, but it’s more effective to focus on those that are actually generating leads. For some marketing efforts, such as social media, it can be difficult to determine how their influence translates into conversions, but with other marketing avenues, like PPC, you can see a clear correlation between how much you spend and how many leads are generated.
Know when they’re ready to commit. If you push people to make a purchase too early in the process, you can turn off a potential lead. By understanding the entire buying cycle, you can provide potential leads with the information they want when they need it, guiding them through the decision-making process.
Reach a targeted audience. Whether you are doing a direct mail campaign or an email campaign, the best way to generate leads is to narrow your focus. You’ll get the most ROI when you use customer profiling and lifestyle groups to build your mailing list and target your marketing copy.
Give your content a longer lifespan. Most content marketing falls into the need recognition/problem awareness and information search stages of the decision-making process. For this reason, the longer content is relevant and the more channels you can use it in, the more you can get out of your investment. For instance, blogs can have a second life as a downloadable e-book or print newsletter, giving you two new opportunities to reach potential leads.
Lead Generation: Not a One-Size-Fits-All Job
While there are basic principles of lead generation that are universal, every business needs a different strategy, tailored for its strengths, USPs, and competition. The process of uncovering the best lead generation techniques for a company involves constant testing and analysis. This is especially true today since the market is changing faster than ever before. Businesses that actively look at the big picture grow, while those that don’t stagnate or fail.
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