Jack of All Trades, Master of None

As I sit here watching the NFL playoffs, I can’t count all the people on the sidelines. You have 65 players on each team, broken down into offense, defense, special teams, and a head coach with offensive and defensive coordinators. These are broken down even further into smaller groups- the offense alone has quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, wide receivers, and the offensive line, each with their own coach. These groups are then often further segmented into possession receivers, big play receivers, speed backs, power backs, 3rd down backs, blocking backs, receiving tight ends, blocking tight ends, guards, tackles (left and right), and centers. Whew!

What we see is specialization on a massive scale. Every player on the team has a very specific job, and how well they do the small tasks they are responsible for is often what determines the winner and loser for each game. Even the referees are specialized. Every member of the officiating crew has an individualized job- certain players to watch for specific rule infractions.
When I play football with my friends on the weekends, we don’t have the same type of specialization- we often trade off who plays quarterback and receiver, and we all play both offense and defense. We also, not coincidentally, aren’t very good at any of these positions. We also aren’t being paid millions of dollars, because we just play for fun.

What do you do to market your business on the Internet? Are you just playing for fun? Or are you hoping to make it a major part of your business? If you really want to use the Internet to generate revenue, you can’t afford to be a weekend warrior that just plays around. You need to display the same type of specialization seen in the NFL. It is what makes the difference between successful Internet marketers and unsuccessful ones.

The best tool available on the Internet for savvy marketers is pay per click advertising. These small ads show up on Google and other search engines and websites when you search for a term specified by the advertiser. The great thing about them is that it costs nothing to have your ad displayed- you just pay a small amount (usually somewhere between $.05 and $10.00) each time someone acts on your ad by going to your website.

Let’s say someone wanted to market a product to small business owners on the Internet using pay per click advertising. What many novice Internet marketers would be tempted to do is run ads for the term “business”. They would then run an ad that describes their product in general terms, hoping to attract as many visitors to their website as possible. Because there are so many people advertising with the term “business”, the cost per click is probably up near the $10 mark. If they sold their product for $200, they would need to convert one out of every 20 visitors as actual sales for the program to pay for itself. When you factor in the cost of development, labor, delivery of the product, and other factors, they probably need to convert more like one of every 10 visitors. While possible, this is very difficult, and far from an optimum use of their time. What they lack is proper specialization.

A savvy Internet marketer would take the same product and advertise using the same method. Instead of advertising on the term “business”, they would come up with hundreds of terms that relate to the benefit received from the product (“lower costs of communication for small businesses”); because there are far fewer people advertising with these terms, they can probably get clicks for about $.10. They will then run ads for each of these terms that are specific to the search term. One ad should mention items such as “business communication”, “lower costs”, and “small business”- the words used in the search term example. This means they only need to sell their program to one in every 2000 visitors to turn a profit. The use of specialization hasincreased the profitability of the marketing effort by a factor of 100!

So let me ask again- are you a weekend warrior with your Internet marketing? Or are you a championship contender?

These techniques take a while to learn and apply. If you are considering a pay per click campaign or already have one that is receiving marginal results, we offer a full analysis that includes suggested ads, keywords, and bid prices, with ad text and more advanced techniques to receive greater results. Contact me at mwalker@sbanetwork.org to find out more and see a sample analysis to learn how this can apply to your business.
This Business Update was written by SBA Network Sales Technology Specialist Matthew Walker- for more information, please contact him at 714-269-4123 or mwalker@sbanetwork.org.

Have a great week!
I hope that this “Business Update” has been helpful in assisting you to improve the performance of your organization. For more information on how the Small Business Advisory Network assists companies in improving their performance, please feel free to contact us at 310-320-8190 or email mark@markdeo.com

Mark Deo
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