We were introduced to a 20 year old IT services business that had experienced significant growth for the first 10 years, a more steady period for the next five years, and a period of plateau and slight downturn in the last five years. Their marketing effort had been restricted to basic documentation and design work that could be facilitated by administrative staff.
We worked with the management team to understand what they wanted to be known for, where they saw the business going over the next five years, and areas of the business they felt were dominant in the marketplace. We also spent time with the sales team getting a handle on the feedback they were receiving in the marketplace about the brand, and which competitors they kept coming up against.
The proposal we put forward focused on developing strategies to address their two major weaknesses:
- How to communicate the value of core services to ideal clients; and
- How to implement a digital marketing program that could show growth and logic in line with the marketing spend
Part one came together over a series of robust conversations with the leadership team. We demonstrated to the client that they needed to get away from the concept that “everyone” was the target market and become more specific with who the sales team should be pursuing. We were able to establish what the ideal client looked like by working through a process for defining what the client’s core services were and who they were of value to. We then worked to clarify and specifically articulate what the actual value was – what characteristics of the client’s core services made a noticeable positive difference on their clients.
Part two was more challenging as the client did not have any history with digital marketing beyond building their website.
We demonstrated to the client that all of the competitors that the sales team were running into all had a significant digital presence. We were able to show them social engagement metrics and Google search metrics that equated to enquiries (and therefore lead opportunities).
The client wanted to keep their digital costs down until they could see some progress, so to do so, we spent time with their administration team to educate them on what they could do to take some of the load off us and help keep costs down. This allowed the client to proceed with a social media program but at a modified cost by utilising internal resources.
Given that we were able to identify who their ideal customer was in part one, we were then able to implement a search engine optimisation program that targeted services and issues that those customers typically searched for as part of an ongoing education and execution program.
Within three months, the search engine optimisation program had brought in enough business to cover itself for seven years. The social media effort helped increase website views by more than 700%, and also triggered an influx of resumes and applications from viewers who were keen to join the business.
Having newly defined core services, identifying real value, and identifying ideal clients, the sales team’s productivity (calls and meetings) had increased 250% and the sales pipeline value was up 150%. Additionally, the opportunities in the pipeline were more in line with what the business wanted to be selling rather than just listing “any” opportunity to sell “something”.