That lone voice in the wilderness, it is yours. It is a scary and lonely place to be, where wild animals predate you, and there is a fear of starvation and dehydration. Am I talking about a literal forest? The answer is no. In the Durable Medical Equipment space everyone wants a site, they build one, but are then confused when the site is up and no one buys or browses. Where are the customers and traffic they ask? I built it, and they dont come. My products are fantastic and my price is right.
There is usually a chicken and egg argument here. Do I market the site before I build it, or build site before I market the site? Nine times out of ten people build sites before they think of marketing their site. When the site is built, and a site owner does the marketing strategy, the execution many times fails due to inexperience and ignorance. What generally happens is youre a new site gets lost in the wilderness of thousands of companies who know what they are doing. Although there is a light in your sector of the world, its slowly dimming due to being obscured by a myriad of other brighter lights. The experience is literally like being in a dense forest in the middle of nowhere, being lost, and calling out for help. How do you garner attention in this vast landscape? Without a Marketing Strategy or experience in Marketing in general, you will be lost in the forest without a compass.
What should you do?
- Pre-Plan a Marketing and Go To Market Strategy
- Generate buzz with your product and site launch and evangelize when your site arrives to your consumer base if you have one
- If you do not have a base you should start to build one (social media, mailers, email blast, social media, direct sales)
- Have a Marketing strategy in place once your site launches
- Get budgets together for launch, active, and maintenance dates
- Have an audience segmentation plan
- Use analytics to understand your audience and their behaviors
Types of Marketing you should do and plan for
- SEO, people need to find you
- Pay Per Click, aka online version of buying leads
- Email blast campaigns get emails buy a database and network, stay in the forefront of your consumers mind
- Standard mailing campaigns to client targets you may have that you want to frequent your site
- Blog, become a known voice in your industry
- Use social Media to market your site Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook etc
- Use direct sales people to drive traffic to your site
- Create a user friendly experience for your customers by creating a dedicated buying experience
- Strategically Merchandise on your site to instigate buying behaviors
- Utilize discount and volume schemes and broadcast them
Marketing is the engine behind a successful website, without it and the skills and understanding to standout you will be forever struggling to find civilization and financial sanctuary. The bears are your competitors and they are out there hunting everyday and you are next on the list. Being eaten is the equivalent of going out of business, which happens to hundreds of DME companies every year. Get your bearings, plan, and get out of the wilderness to the sanctuary of business success.