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A Tale Of Two Businesses: Are you breaking the commandment of CONTROL in your marketing?

Marketing, social media, advertising


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Jul 4, 2016
I have this client that runs two businesses parallel to each other. They sell the exact same product, but the difference is that they serve different countries and I handle the marketing for one of the businesses.

When we first started working together, I had a look at how they got new customers. Both businesses had blogs that got organic traffic from Google. After a visitor read one of their blog posts, he or she was shown an ad for their product. This was their only strategy for getting new sales.

And note that these blogs were the kind of 'faceless' blogs that just got visitors because they'd managed to rank good in Google. Not the branded blogs that people search specifically for, just because everyone loves their content.

Immediately I thought: "That's quite risky. Putting all eggs in one basket. We can't have that."

So I went to the owners and told them. Building a business on one single marketing channel is dumb. What if something F*cks up? What will you do then? Apply for social security? And when it comes to SEO, it's not unheard of businesses closing down because Google decided to make a small change to their algorithm.

We started focusing more on Google & FB ads and social media. We began to build an email list. I also made a point to improve the user experience of the blog, making sure it actually provided value and not only was made for the Google bots.

Anyways, remember how I mentioned there were two businesses, but I only helped the owners market one of them?

The business I had no connection to remained the same during this time. Relied only on organic traffic to their crappy little blog with overly SEO-optimized content.

But then... August came around. And Google decided to roll out yet another update. Made a huge difference. Some websites saw their traffic plummet. Some sites, mostly the ones with good content and trustworthiness, saw a sudden increase in visitors.

Luckily, the website for the business I helped benefited immensely from the update. Now they break new traffic records weekly. But even if they had seen a DECREASE in organic traffic due to the update... it would've been no problem. Sales would come in any way.

But the other business... the one which relied solely on SEO... it got struck bad. 70% decrease in traffic. And their sales dropped by just as much. They've no idea what to do next. And the worst thing is that it all could've been avoided had they only diversified their efforts.

Are you at some point in your marketing relying on ONE single thing? What would happen if someone took that away? Would you still be in business?
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Aug 26, 2018
I have one primary thing that feeds my business, and it is word of mouth (well, and repeat business). Fortunately, that's hard to take away unless we start doing a bad job. I have to admit though, I wish I knew more about Internet marketing channels, including adwords, facebook ads, etc. I've never gotten good with them, or had luck finding good people (lots of people who will make big promises and spend several thousand dollars of my money though). I'm an ace with a sales letter and a brochure at least ;)


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May 27, 2013
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I have one primary thing that feeds my business, and it is word of mouth (well, and repeat business).

When you reach the tipping point to where most of your business is referral and word of mouth... you're in a really good position. Not to mention how much cheaper the marketing is vs. running lots of ads!

Trying to get to that point myself. But for now... it's a lot of paid advertising for new leads.

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