Digital Marketing Transformation: The ‘Makeover’ for Your Small Business

You’ve no doubt seen shows on television where people are shown wearing badly outdated clothing, hair unkempt, and socks with Crocs.

These people are taken into the back and then marched back out totally transformed, polished, sleek and elegant, ready to take on the world.

You can do the same for your small business through digital marketing transformation.

In fact, it’s even more important for small business owners than it’s for larger corporations. The competition is tougher and you’re operating at a disadvantage in most circumstances. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to invest in digital marketing transformation and rethink your strategy.

Let’s delve in to make sure your business isn’t afflicted by a faux pas.

Why Digital Marketing Transformation?

It’s not a new term but often times it makes no sense. In fact, it could be mistaken for one of those Irritating Business Phrases.  In simple terms, it means reinventing your digital marketing strategies to bring them up-to-date and get results.

If you find your old campaigns are no longer effective, you’re not alone. Mobile devices, social media, and a new public awareness of outdated strategies will leave your business far behind if you don’t adapt.

Unfortunately, marketing has grown far beyond leaving a few fliers on windshields or cold-calling. A successful digital marketing campaign is multi-faceted.

It begins by analysing your needs and your current strategies, identifying your market, and customising your approach. There’s no one-size-fits-all digital marketing solution that can be found on the internet, and small business owners can quickly get discouraged when they try to do it themselves from an online promise that fails to deliver results.

Digital marketing transformation is reinventing your digital marketing strategies to bring them up-to-date.Click To Tweet

 7 Common digital marketing myths

The internet is teeming with strategies and recommendations, all yours for the low, low price of your sanity.

I see the same tired ideas getting pushed around under different names and repurposed as the “Next New Guaranteed Way” to put your small business on the digital map. All of these share one common theme: they simply don’t work in the ways they are presented.

Here are a few myths I’ve uncovered that deserve to be debunked, once and for all.

Myth 1: Target everyone with your campaign strategy

This is like throwing twenty extra-large pizzas against a wall to see if some of the pepperonis stick. It’s a lot of money spent on less than average results.

The truth: As a small business owner, you need to pinpoint who your potential audience is and target them specifically.

Not everyone will benefit from your product or service, so you should concentrate your efforts on those who will.

Myth 2: Staying on top of digital marketing is impossible

Social media, email, and other online marketing techniques can’t keep up with the ever-changing face of digital marketing demand.

The truth: Not all platforms reach everyone in your target audience. You need to narrow down your digital marketing campaign strategies to your desired audience.

For example, younger audiences will benefit from a presence on platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. But older audiences might not dare to tread into these markets and may stay primarily on Facebook.

Myth 3: A well-designed website is enough

Having a great website is enough to catch your target audience’s attention and make them customers.

The truth: A cool, interactive website is a great place to start, but if you don’t update your content and promote your website, it’s useless.

A car, no matter how sleek and shiny it is, will develop rust spots and stop working altogether if it isn’t maintained.

Myth 4: Negativity is always bad

If you see a negative review of your service or product, you might as well throw in the towel and give up.

The truth: Knowing how to manage negative commentary is a crucial element of any campaign strategy.

Instead of deleting the comment, a small business owner should respond to it and offer to make it right. This builds trust; no one ever believes a small business only gets positive reviews, all day, every day.

Myth 5: You should never change your target audience

Your product or service was designed to benefit one group of individuals, and you should continue to target only those people.

The truth: You should be willing to adapt to your changing targets fluidly. An excellent digital marketing strategy will incorporate any possible shifts in your targeted trends.

Once upon a time, for instance, karaoke was nearly unheard of and reserved for lonely people sipping beers in a dark pub.

It’s become so mainstream that it’s almost dull again, and karaoke is popular with all ages and demographics.  You would definitely need to change your target audience if you were promoting a business related to karaoke.

Myth 6: Don’t change your current campaign if it’s working

Good enough is good enough. I have way too many other concerns to worry about.

The truth: Good enough is never actually good enough when it can be great. Think about it; you could be missing out on ways to take your digital marketing campaign to a whole new level.

If you don’t have the time or the full capabilities to assess your strategies, let a professional do it for you.

Myth 7: Marketing campaigns are all about the tools you use

Schedulers, automation tools, and extensive analytics…with all these cool toys, my campaign will succeed no matter what.

The truth: Your tools are worth nothing without a sound strategy to back them up. Stop spending money on tools you can’t use effectively. Until you start at the beginning they won’t help your business.

How a little boy’s relay race relates to your marketing efforts

An adorable relay race goes horribly wrong

Little Johnny stands trembling with his baton in his hand. This is the proudest moment of his five years of life on this planet.

He isn’t entirely sure of the rules of relay racing because he was chasing a caterpillar when the coach taught them to the team.

He hears the whistle, and he takes off as fast as his little legs will carry him. He is fully concentrating on his sprinting, so much so he can’t hear the audience yelling,

“Turn around, Little Johnny, you’re running the wrong way!”

When Johnny’s feet hit the parking lot, he realises he ran in the wrong direction.

But he stops to admire a shiny new red car, smudging his fingerprints all over the sleek polished paint, before spinning and running back to his waiting team.

He is thoroughly confused, although still adorable, so he hands the baton off to the first person he sees, who happens to be the caretaker.

The caretaker holds the baton in one hand and his mop in the other, utterly baffled. He jogs over to the first student he sees and hands the baton to them; Unfortunately, the student is on the opposite team.

Little Johnny eventually makes it across the finish line, but the entire team has been disqualified.

Tears, tantrums and ice cream follow the event.

What has a relay race got to do with marketing strategies?

In digital marketing, there are steps that must be followed in the right order, or the entire process is thrown off.

Too many times, marketing strategies start off intense and exciting, but they move in the wrong direction.

At the point that the strategy begins to fail, small business owners try to backtrack and fix the issues, but all too often they lose sight of their goals along the way.

When you focus on the wrong things, you are effectively handing your entire strategy to your competition.

While you may get there in the end, you’ll have wasted time and resources. A straight line would have gotten you there much more efficiently.

Small business owners can get distracted with the promise that a new, shiny tool like a handy social media scheduler will hold all the answers to their marketing problems.

Too often, they forget that they need a solid plan first. As much as digital marketing is changing, the basic rules are still the same. Don’t be distracted by all of the options until you are sure of the direction you need to go.

Don’t be like Johnny.

Understanding the customer journey

The entire path of your customer’s decision to purchase your product or service is referred to as the customer journey. This starts when they first identify a need and follows through with every step the customer makes until they finally purchase your product or service.

A productive way for any small business to identify with a customer is a customer journey map.

Understanding the customer’s decision-making process allows small business owners to improve their offerings, add more services, streamline their existing ones, update their digital marketing strategies, and more.

An effective starting point will be to check social media and website reviews, follow up with a satisfaction survey, or even monitor your customer service department to see what kind of feedback they’re getting. These assessments are called touchpoints, and they’re absolutely vital to the growth or development of successful campaigns.

A visit to an ice cream shop and the customer journey

Let’s revisit Little Johnny to see a customer journey in action. He is in an ice cream shop with his team, and they’re drowning their sorrows in cones of double scooped chocolate.

  1. After the team lost, Little Johnny’s coach took them to a local shop. He had seen the sign out front, and because it was right next to the school, decided it was a great place to take his team. He chose the shop because it was very close.
  2. The shop assistant was very pleasant to the coach and kids and cleared a table for them all to sit together. The coach had a fantastic interaction with the shop assistant.
  3. The shop offered a large variety of ice cream, and all of the kids were able to get whatever flavours they wanted. The coach was pleased with the selection of merchandise.
  4. There happened to be an advert hanging from the wall that offered discounts to large groups, so the coach paid a lot less than he thought he would. The coach is very pleased with the value of the merchandise.
  5. Little Johnny wasn’t happy with his ice cream choice and wanted a different flavour. The shop assistant allowed Johnny to trade his ice cream for a different flavour without charging the coach for a replacement. The shop resolved an issue in a way that made the customer happy.
  6. The ice cream was delicious, handmade and creamy like their sign claimed it would be. Everyone enjoyed their ice cream. The shop stood behind its claims.
  7. After the team finished their ice cream, the shop assistant gave them each a balloon. The shop assistant went above and beyond to make the customer happy.
  8. The coach made a note of the shop and decided that he would exclusively go to this shop after games, and even bring his family. The shop now has a repeat customer.
  9. After he got home, the coach made fantastic reviews on the shop’s website. He also told everyone on his social media platforms how pleased he was with the entire experience. The coach is widely followed by the parents of his team. The coach made positive postings that will most likely draw in additional customers.
  10. The shop decided that it could develop an effective campaign targeted at parents of school-aged children who come to buy ice cream in a sports uniform, or who got good grades in school. A previously untapped audience came out of the interactions with the coach, and the shop did a digital marketing transformation to upgrade their older, outdated strategies.

When a customer journey fails

Not all customer journeys end quite so well, and even when the outcome is a little disappointing, it’s a learning experience. Let’s see how this might have played out if things went a little differently.

  1. The coach decided to take Little Johnny’s team out for ice cream. He chose the local ice cream shop because it was nearby. The coach chose the shop because it was very close.
  2. The shop assistant was texting on his phone and ignored the coach and his team for five minutes. The shop assistant was very annoyed that there were so many kids and didn’t push tables together for them to sit as a team. The coach’s interactions with the shop assistant were not favourable.
  3. The shop was out of several popular flavours, and the kids could only choose between vanilla and chocolate. The shop had a small selection of merchandise.
  4. Despite there being an advert on the wall for group discounts, the coach had to complain before the discount was applied. The coach was not pleased with the value of the merchandise.
  5. Little Johnny was unhappy with his ice cream and wanted to trade it in for a different flavour. The shop assistant tells Little Johnny he can get another flavour but he’d have to pay for it. The shop was unwilling to work for their customer’s satisfaction.
  6. The ice cream was freezer burnt and didn’t taste good despite their sign saying it was homemade and fresh. The coach asked for a refund but the shop assistant refused. The shop did not stand behind its merchandise.
  7. When the team finished, the shop assistant continued to text on his phone and didn’t acknowledge them at all as they left. The shop assistant made the coach feel that his business was unimportant to the company.
  8. The coach made a note to call the shop owner directly to complain. The coach will not be returning to this small business.
  1. The coach got home later that evening and posted negative reviews on the shop’s website. He also complained about the ice cream shop all over his social media feeds, which are closely followed by the parents of his team. No one from the shop responded to his posts. Negative reviews will hurt this business, and drive away potential new customers.
  2. The shop later assessed the coach’s customer journey and realized that they needed to correct their mistakes. A digital marketing transformation was done as a form of damage control after the coach’s rants went viral. 

A customer journey map is a crucial element of any marketing strategy, and many decisions can be made from it. In the above cases, the customer journey map led directly to a complete digital marketing transformation that ultimately benefitted the small business.

Overwhelmed? Here’s a great place to start

We’ve covered a lot of ground, but digital marketing is a big topic. It can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.

I may be a little biased, but I think the best place for small business owners to start is with my Digital Marketing Transformation Roadmap™. This is a great start to see where you are now, and where you want to be in the future.

Where did you see yourself? Chances are, your current strategies don’t have you all the way at the top. At least, not yet. The truth is, without guidance the entire process can be overwhelming, confusing and ineffective. The journey to a successful campaign isn’t just full of “what to do,” it’s also full of “what NOT to do.”

This is why successful small business owners turn to professionals to transform their digital marketing strategies.

What to expect from a digital marketing professional?

A good digital marketing professional understands that while tools are essential, the most critical aspect of your campaign is your goals and strategy.

Don’t fixate on what platforms to use until you understand what you need to put on those platforms.

The cart before the horse is an old adage, but a very appropriate one here. Getting the right content and understanding how the content will move your audience from casual clickers to buyers is something I can help you with.

A good digital marketing professional understands that while tools are essential, the most critical aspect of your campaign is your goals and strategy.Click To Tweet

A few tips from my Digital Marketing Transformation Method™

As a small business owner myself, I understand the needs of other small business owners. My proprietary methodology, The Digital Marketing Transformation Method™, was designed to help businesses bring their marketing strategies current and make them effective within 90 days.

My method revolves around three basic stages to success:

1. Recognition

There are some brand names you immediately recognize from the first notes of their jingle. Some of these jingles will be stuck in your head for days, but that means they are doing their job.

To gain that kind of recognition, you need to understand the message you’re trying to portray to your targets.

Too often, ads become so entangled with artsy messages and images, the target audience is left with no idea what the advertisement was for, or what the message actually was.

You also need to know and understand your competition; what sells and doesn’t sell in your market. When you balance these factors, you’ll get recognition.

2. Rapport

Now it’s time to start connecting with your audience on a personal level. Obviously, you’re not going to stalk their Twitter feeds, but you need to develop a clear understanding of not only who they are but how to reach them.

Establishing a rapport with a target audience basically means you need to speak their language.

You wouldn’t advertise your arthritis medication to an elderly target audience using a heavy metal band.

And you wouldn’t use pictures of cakes and pizza to sell your diet protein drink.

Knowing your audience gives you the means to connect with them effectively.

3. Retention

It’s not enough for people to watch your material or read your content, you need to convert them into customers.

Not just any customers, but repeat customers.

When a potential customer is looking for advice on a purchase, they ask around. Her aunt’s best friend’s daughter’s boyfriend’s friend used your product, and he recommends it highly.

Repeat customers are the sources of referrals, test marketing strategies, and of course, repeat purchases. This is where everything comes together, and you can merge your strategies with the tools to make promoting your business a lot easier.

How can I help you today?

With my proven Digital Marketing Transformation Method™, I go in a very different direction than my competition.

In 90 days, I’ll help you turn digital marketing into a competitive advantage. This will result in increased sales, and better customer retention with no tech overwhelm.

I focus on strategy first, tools last. I make sure the strategies we develop together are 100% suitable for your business, not to my skills.

Other agencies dangle shiny new platforms and tools in front of their prospective clients, leading them forward like baiting a wagon-pulling donkey with a carrot.

I’m not concerned with the carrot as much as I am with what the donkey has in his wagon and where he needs to go.

If no one understands where the donkey is trying to take his wagon, he’s going to be walking in circles for a very long time, no matter how delicious that carrot looks.

I’m all about making small business owners look good to their potential customers and making that the centrepiece of the strategies we build together.

I take you from A, struggling and ineffective, to B, successful and profitable.

I work with my clients, AND their VAs, to be sure they get the best results.

How to get started

You have many options to start working with me today, however, the two most common ways to get started are as follows:

1. Schedule a 20-minute complimentary Discovery Call

This will be valuable because you’ll get a quick diagnosis of where your business stands so you can either hire me or have a good starting point to go it alone.

2. Schedule your Deep Dive Strategy Session

My friendly strategy sessions are affordable and provide you with a simple, step-by-step plan to develop a robust foundation for your digital marketing. I get you started off in the right direction!

Final thoughts

By reinventing your digital marketing strategies, small business owners should not be trying to reinvent the marketing wheel. You want to make sure that the strategies you had in place last year are still relevant. If not, it’s time to transform them.

Did you find this post helpful? Have you tried to transform your digital marketing recently? What worked, or didn’t work, for you? Share them in the comments section below.

About the author

I’m Tara-Tamiko and I help successful small businesses integrate winning digital marketing transformation strategies in 90 days, so they can increase sales and retain customers without tech overwhelm. Find out more, schedule a Deep Dive Strategy Session.

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