Lessons from a CEO Roundtable: Generating New Customers Through Digital Marketing

The way businesses and consumers purchase products and services has changed dramatically over the past few months. The majority of face-to-face interactions have been replaced by virtual or remote communication and most transactions are taking place online. How can your company generate new customers within the current environment?

During one of our CEO Roundtables, Darrell Keezer, CEO of Candybox Marketing, gave an extremely informative presentation on ‘Digital Marketing in a Crisis’. During the presentation, Darrell discussed recent trends and behaviors and shared some tactics that can help you leverage digital marketing to increase your business:

What is your conversation rate?

“What is your conversion rate?” has possibly become the most important business question of 2020. Conversion rate measures the percentage of potential customers that ‘convert’ by taking a meaningful action towards becoming a paying customer. It’s a generic term that can mean different things to different businesses but some common conversion examples include making a purchase, submitting a form, downloading something, subscribing to something, or contacting your business. To determine your conversion rate, you just divide the number of conversions within any given time period by the total number of potential customers (based on website visitors, store visitors, cold calls etc.) during the same time period and then multiply that number by 100%.

It is critical that you know your conversion rate on a monthly and even weekly basis. Are conversions happening at the same rate? Are they increasing? decreasing? Explore ways to positively influence your conversion rate by changing your creative, changing your messaging, or launching a new web page—now is a great time to experiment and pivot!

Start with your website

With approximately 60-80% of all sales transactions now occurring online, your website has become your main point of conversion and so it’s vital that site visitors have a meaningful experience. If your web presence currently isn’t very strong, you need to work quickly to improve it as much as possible. There may not be time for a complete overhaul in the short term—and your resources and finances may already be stretched thin—but a strategic redo of the main landing page can be a fast, affordable, and effective method of increasing both your conversion rate and brand image. Focus on what you’re doing and why it’s important in a way that stands out, and make sure there is a conversion tool on the page. You may even want to create two versions of the landing page and then test to see which results in more conversions.

Consider giving away information of value to start a conversation and establish a relationship—this will hopefully lead to lead generation.

Take advantage of current opportunities

With your customers more active online than ever before, this is a great time to promote your brand and marketing messages. B2B opportunities in particular are on the rise, with many industries—including finance, accounting, on-demand media, and business management and consulting firms—experiencing a considerable increase in online searches and conversions. This implies that many individuals and businesses are actively looking to secure or switch service providers.

If you are planning any online advertising, keep in mind that many ‘hot spot’ locations have changed. With significantly more people working from home, downtown areas and airports have seen a decrease in internet usage while suburban and other residential areas have witnessed an increase. Use location-based advertising to target these new hot spots.

The importance of remarketing

With more time to search out the best product or service for the best deal, many purchasers are now taking longer to finalize their transactions. Since we know that a highly engaged user is much more likely to convert, it is extremely important to go back to people who have interacted with your website and remind them of your product or service offering after their initial search

Over communicating to customers and potential customers is critical right now, so get your marketing message out there by whatever means available, be it email, social media, DMs, text or phone calls—whatever works best to reach your audience. And don’t worry about your content being perfect. We all have a license to be more ‘real’ these days.


Closing Thought

The competitive landscape has changed dramatically for 2020 and so your marketing plan must follow suit. Do you have a strategic digital marketing plan in place that reflects the current environment? The best place to start is with your brand. Digital marketing broadcasts your brand to the world, so it’s important to first nail ‘brand’ before undertaking any website adjustments or digital advertising. Does your brand need to pivot to meet the needs of the new marketplace? Ask yourself: Who is my current customer? Where do I want this business to go? What do I stand for? and then revisit your messaging, tone, and imagery to ensure that they are still well aligned with your present objectives.