Put strategy versus tactics in a boxing ring and strategy gets a knockout every time. That was the thought that ran through my mind as I discussed this very subject with a potential client.
And yet that isn’t obvious to an ambitious, or desperate, business owner.
Many times a business owner wants to have a quick hit that boosts sales now. Like a punch drunk boxer they’ll grab hold of anything that seems to promise to support their sales and give them a breather.
Using Yellow Pages
A business advertises on Yellow Pages because:
- Everyone else in their market sector does
- The salesman was very persuasive
- They just felt “they should”
And often when it comes to renew the advert they will. And yet their advert is usually pretty much like most other advertisers in their section of the directory.
They become just a “me too” and then have to fight on price with all those other advertisers.
Running Pay Per Click Campaigns
PPC, or pay per click, campaigns are highly effective at driving traffic to a web site.
However, if no thought has gone into what the business does with the arriving traffic the vast bulk of the traffic is likely to be wasted because only 3% of people are buying now, this minute.
If they’re starting a new campaign their traffic immediately goes up (assuming correctly targeted keywords) and so do their sales. And the business owner never realises that their sales could have been much more than they’re getting for that pay per click cost.
Advertising in Their Markets Trade Press
Some companies who are thinking about their market may choose to advertise in their trade press magazines.
There tends to be 2 problems here:
- businesses don’t stick with an advertising campaign
- Adverts don’t have any call to action
The results are that few people respond to the one-off adverts that appear or even to those adverts that are part of a campaign if they’re not asking the reader to do something.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is often seen as a black art and businesses tend to shy away from it and outsource to specialist companies to do their SEO for them.
The problem here is that like Pay Per Click (PPC) if you don’t know what you want to do with the traffic you get it will simply click away to another site. And even if you do know what you want to sell them what do you do with the ones that aren’t buying now?
The other point is that if you’re not different in some way from your competition like a Yellow Pages listing you can become involved in a beauty competition that you’re not even aware of and lose the potential business to a competitor with a “better” web site.
Strategy Wins Every Time
The reason many people don’t use strategy is that unless they do use it they simply don’t realise just how many potential clients they lose by using a tactical approach.
I’ve listed some well known different tactics of getting business above.
If the businesses had worked out before hand things like:
- how to handle non buying prospects
- how to ensure they captured more of the Yellow Page eyeballs
- made sure their site stood out and ensured that people signed up for more
The business would have got more sales. More sales they wouldn’t have had to chase. More sales means business becomes less about chasing any sale and more about chasing the right sale for your business.
That’s a more profitable and strategic position to be in.