conquering competition

For almost a decade, I’ve helped hundreds of business owners with their marketing.

There is a noticeable difference between good and great companies.  Good companies (or ones that are barely surviving) don’t realize the importance of marketing.  They have starving marketing budgets, rely on referrals to run their business and consider marketing an afterthought.

Successful companies think completely different.  They realize marketing is what drives their business.  These companies are hungry to grow, use marketing to create more sales opportunities and the top leaders of the company are actively involved in the planning and measurement of marketing results.

Let’s look at a few ways how successful companies generate more leads online than their competitors.

They are the first to adopt new marketing strategies

First to adopt new marketing strategies

Companies that are successful are not afraid to adopt new marketing strategies that will set them apart from their competitors.

Adopting new strategies isn’t only smart for your business, but it’s generally cheaper because your competitors haven’t driven up the price.  For example, 10 years ago, advertising on Google was much cheaper than what it costs today.


Over time most businesses have shifted from traditional advertising like purchasing ads in phone books to advertising online.  So for early adopters, advertisers were rewarded with leads and sales at a fraction of the cost today.

One of the most successful companies that has a tendency to adopt new strategies is Amazon.

The brand has grown in popularity like wildfire, and not too many people admit to not using Amazon. It’s efficient and their platform is designed with the user-experience in mind.

Amazon started A/B testing elements on their website to improve sales conversions long before most companies.  They were one of the first to test various website layouts, call-to-action buttons and other on-page variables to discover which elements converted into more sales.

Currently, 74% of Amazon Prime members that visit the website will make a purchase.  In 2015, Amazon generated $107 billion in revenue.

Can you see how it’s important to adopt new strategies quickly?

Our Story: Several years ago, one of our clients in the real estate industry, came to us wanting to launch a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign.  Not many companies within his industry were investing into digital marketing but because he adopted SEO early on, his business grew rapidly.

In only 4 years, he went from a one-man-show to a multi-million dollar company that employs over 30 people.


They Focus On 3 Types Of Their Ideal Customer

ideal customer

Successful companies know who their ideal customer is and have a detailed description that can include demographics, interests, pain points, and more.

If you don’t have this yet, you’re already behind.

There are 3 types of an ideal customer that successful companies have zeroed in on and have tailored their marketing towards.  Let’s take a deeper look at these types of customers.

1.      The ideal customer who is actively looking for a solution to their problem

When I speak with business owners about their marketing, most say they want to increase their visibility on search engines by using SEO or pay-per-click advertising.  This is a great way to target potential customers who are actively looking for a solution to their problem.

These potential customers have already recognized their problem and are looking for a solution. This type of customer is in the “buy now” mindset, so companies market to these prospects hoping to turn them into a lead or sale.

For example, a dentist located in Chicago could use SEO and/or search engine advertising like Google Adwords, to  show for search queries related to “Dentist in Chicago”.

Companies that market to this ideal customer typically have a high conversion rate, since they are positioning themselves as the solution to the potential customer’s problem.

2.      The ideal customer who needs your product or service but doesn’t know it exists

Successful companies make it a priority to continue learning more about their ideal customer.  The more they know, the easier it is to grab their audience’s attention by marketing on websites their ideal customer frequents. This can range from social media, news sites,  forums and more.

These customers get drawn in through helpful content like blogs, videos, guides and more that discuss the ideal customer’s pain point and eventually leading them to the company’s product or service as a solution.

Here’s an example…

Let’s pretend that your company sells baby strollers.

Run an ad campaign on Facebook offering expecting mothers to download a free guide, “The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Stroller that Fits You and Your Baby’s Lifestyle”.

Many expectant mothers stress over finding the safest, most comfortable stroller for their baby.  By offering your free guide, you have the chance to position your company as a trusted expert and build an email list of your ideal customers (if you require an email before download) that you can nurture into leads or sales.

3.      The ideal customer who has contacted you but hasn’t purchased yet

According to a study by Gleanster Research, 50% of leads are qualified but not quite ready to pull the trigger and make a purchase.  Out of that 50%, 25% are future sales opportunities. The other 25% will not make a purchase.

Most companies concentrate on the prospects who present themselves as immediate sales opportunities.  But successful companies don’t forget about the other 25% who are qualified, but not ready to buy yet.

By using automated email marketing and ad retargeting campaigns, they stay in front of these prospects and nurture them into becoming customers.

Nurture leads by using testimonials, helpful articles, industry recognition,  and even case studies to build trust with your target audience.

Using Amazon as an example again, you’ll see ads of products that you placed in your shopping cart but never bought.  These ads will be strategically placed on Facebook or other websites that have space for advertisements.  This makes it almost impossible to forget about almost purchasing that product.  There is a good chance, you’ll go back and finalize the sale after seeing it enough.

They Don’t Put All Their Eggs into One Basket

eggs in one basket

Successful companies don’t rely on just one marketing channel to drive leads and sales.  They incorporate a variety of marketing channels into their overall strategy – SEO, search engine advertising, email marketing, social media advertising, paid advertising (native ads and display ads), and even traditional offline marketing.

I’ve evaluated many marketing campaigns where the business isn’t tracking results.  They have no idea exactly how many leads or sales are being generated or at what cost!

This is the exact opposite of what a successful company practices.  They constantly track and measure their return on investment (ROI) for each channel using smart website analytics, phone call and website contact form tracking.

Here are a few key metrics that successful companies use to evaluate each channel:

  • Leads per channel
  • Lead to sale conversion rate per channel
  • Sales revenue per channel
  • Profit per channel

Are you tracking these metrics?

You should be.

This is the only way to determine if your marketing generates a positive return.  With these metrics you will know what is working and can then redistribute your marketing budget to the most profitable channels.

Successful companies take their marketing seriously.  Some will even consider their business a “marketing company that sells a product or service”.

Your business can generate sales only if your marketing campaign is creating those opportunities for you.  Without a well-crafted marketing strategy you are relying on luck to generate sales opportunities and it is very difficult to survive and grow your business that way.

So let’s start thinking like a successful company.  What marketing company do you own?