Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Are You a (Marketing) Secret Weapon?

Be a Marketing Secret Weapon:

Be a Marketing Secret Weapon.
No matter what size your company, if you want to use web marketing to promote your business become a "Secret Weapon". 

I've been called a marketing and business development "Secret Weapon" many times by divisional senior and executive management. To be so described is an honor and a validation of the work I do. But what actions, exactly, am I taking which cause my activities to be associated with "secret" and "weapon"? 

The Secret of the Secret Weapon:
The real secret is using Search Engine Marketing effectively. Organic and Paid Search (Google, Bing) are my primary weapons of choice for lead generation and customer research, validation and 'mind-share'. Wielding this powerful marketing technique brings a tremendous combination of high-quality and high-volume lead generation to a B-to-B business, no matter how big the business is, no matter how small. 

When used with focused, pragmatic, expertise, attention to detail, and consistent follow-through, search engine marketing can literally transform your company or business unit's fortunes. Your main competition may never be aware, understand, nor appreciate how you did it, making your marketing success a stealthy "secret". 

The world is full of potential quality customers looking for solutions which your business offers. Those people go to Google or Bing to start researching. Write concise and precise content that is relevant to your target markets, with a goal to rank high in organic search. You need to be there when they start looking! 

In essence, this is the true "secret" of a marketing "Secret Weapon"... be there, at the right time, the right place, with the right message.

Targeting profitable service niches with organic and paid search, applying long-tail search principles, geo-targeting and language targeting is easy if you have search engine marketing expertise and tools. Do these things well, do them consistently, and you will likely see success. Depending upon the target market, a dependable tsunami of high-value leads can land at your door.... business enquiries that don't reach your competitors. You attracted the potential client's attention and made a positive impression, so they contacted you first.

There are other useful lead-gen marketing tactics, such as brochures, trade shows, advertising, email campaigns, physical mailers, and social media. But the superior business results, reach, and lower costs gained from search engine marketing dwarf all those other options, based upon my experience with technical B-to-B lead generation. If done right, search engine results keep coming, as search engine marketing works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across industries, markets, nations, languages and cultures... always 'on-demand' for prospective customers and always certified 'spam-free'.

Every great Secret Weapon has a visionary who predicted its future. For search engine marketing, that visionary for me is Seth Godin. Seth's then radical but now classic book Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers became a prime inspiration for my priority focus on search engine marketing. History has proven me right, overcoming skeptics over and over again. And I thank my competitors who still don't get it... read my blog A Thank You Note to My Competitors .

Secret Weapons require quality craftsmanship and engineering to make them a success. Here is where your Webmaster comes in. Your webmaster is literally your Secret Weapon mechanic and right-hand man. To win at search engine marketing, your Website must be designed to be friendly for search engines, with an easy to use content management system. Follow best practices for web-design and navigation. The entire site should be extremely friendly and usable for prospective clients.

Search Engine Marketing is Industrial Strength Lead Generation (Or Should Be).