Hard Work by JD Hancock

Let's be honest. You are a knowledgeable and respected practitioner of online marketing, you have mad skills, and you are not afraid to roll up your sleeves. You keep a close eye on the company revenue. You know which side of your bread is buttered - as long as you help your boss make money for the company, your Superstar reputation will only become stronger.

As an online marketer, your primary contribution will most likely be in two areas: expanding market share and market size. Your responsibilities include demand generation, solidifying customer loyalty, creating a sense of community and open communication with clients, connecting with advocates, and many more. You understand your contribution to revenue growth and carve out your strategy to achieve outstanding results. In order to achieve them quickly, it helps to focus on things that matter when making money for your boss and company.

In this post, I would like to talk about a framework of the three things that really matter: knowing your business, your customer, and ability to analyze data and implement changes. That's where your mad skills should be quite handy.

Know your business

First, it very much helps to understand, why your company does what it does. Your company has a purpose and a mission, which is the reason behind products and services. Talk to sales and customer service to find out why customers love your company. Why is your company unique? How does it compare to competitors? A powerful customer message will contain all this knowledge.

Truly understand your company's message to customers. Take time to ponder on the company vision. Where does the business plan to be in a year or 5 years? How do the projects and initiatives of today help achieve this goal? Ask your boss these questions. Offer your opinion on where the industry is going. Have a discussion on how the company is adjusting to the industry changes. Find out which customer feature requests take priority and why. Brainstorm the features you anticipate the customers will want in the near future.

That brings us to the next, most important thing - your customer.

Know your customer

By now, you should have a good idea who your customers are and what problems you are solving for them. Understanding the customer will allow you to communicate your business offer to your target audience through carefully crafted messages. These messages take into consideration appropriate tone, demographic information, and psychological aspects of your ideal customer. They focus on what is important to the prospect, not what you think should be important.

Collect all your company knowledge about clients and distill it into buyer personas. Better yet, pioneer a persona development initiative in your company, figure out best ways to communicate with your customers, and share the results within your business. Persona profiles will be a powerful tool for any customer-facing departments to promote loyalty, brand awareness, and customer satisfaction.

Once you understand how customers relate to your product or service, you can start looking to expand your reach. There must be others who have problems your product could solve. You can figure out who those people are, where they hang out, and join their party. There will be a demand generation opportunity once they get to know you. Find other ways people can benefit from your company by connecting your company purpose with their cause. Once they understand why you are in business, they will relate to what you offer.

This is also a perfect time to separate yourself from competition with a clear statement highlighting why you are unique. This is your chance to connect the dots - why you think you are special and why your customers choose you over your competitors. Use social media, reviews, posts, feedback, surveys, questions, etc. to listen to the voice of your customer. Are the reasons in sync? If they are not, talk to your boss about adjusting the marketing message based on your findings. Add industry insights to the picture - and you might have given your boss ammunition for the next strategy meeting. Nicely done!

Equipped with the business knowledge and deep understanding of your customers, it is time to take a look at your website. Perhaps, you can find ways to optimize it for conversions or create content people are looking for. No doubt, your website Analytics should help with insights on customer behavior.

Know your Analytics

Analytics helps you have an insight into how your online visitors behave on your website. You can tie the behavior to macro and micro conversions and formulate hypotheses on how to increase conversions and revenue. Use your persona description to connect your message with visitors' motivation to convert.

Look at data (visitor flow, for example) to understand how people interact with your content. Analyze internal search and learn what people are looking for and having trouble finding. Evaluate paths to conversion. Segment all traffic to gain better perception of on-line behavior and, possibly, include your observations into your persona descriptions. Analyze devices visitors used to access your website for better targeting.

Site analytics data is not complete. It tells you what happened, but it does not tell you why it happened. Experiment and test to figure out why people did what they did. Utilize Google Website Optimizer to improve conversions.

Even better approach is to ask your visitors. Implement a quick survey to find out if they accomplished what they wanted. Conduct usability tests. Ask for feedback.

Brainstorm with your boss and your team on what else you can do based on what competition is doing. Identify the projects you can start now that will bring your company closer to accomplishing long term goals. Market trends, industry insights, evolution of customer interests will help you shape your vision.

How did you help your boss make money?

There are three pillars of successful marketing. Knowledge of the business and customers which you test, shape, and correct through analysis of data. You define ways to apply that knowledge to generating revenue through hypotheses and testing. Then, you incorporate results back into your analysis process and business/customer knowledge. That, my friend, is the Circle of Know-How.

In our examples, you made money for the business by merging the customer needs with company offer that resulted in better conversions. You saved money by focusing only on projects that are in line with company goals which resulted in market share and market size growth. You saved time by creating customer personas. All customer-facing teams use persona profiles and showing outstanding customer satisfaction numbers.

Your business and customer knowledge combined with analytical skills helped you define marketing strategies. Implementation of positive results increased revenue. You helped build stronger relationships with customers and strengthened loyalty. You showed initiative and helped others work smarter. Together with your team, you shaped future vision. And the boss did not even have to tell you what to do.

Well, Superstar, are you ready for a raise?