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Ready to Research? Here’s How to Start

You know the importance of market research. You know the different kinds of market research. Now, where do you begin?
Being intentional about your approach to market research is the key to being efficient and effective. A poorly executed research plan can waste valuable time and money, along with producing subpar results.

Determine Your Goals

The first step in market research is to clearly define what you want to get out of it. Not only is this the foundation that determines all your other steps, but it can also help you decide what kind of market research is best. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • What information do you need the most from your research?
  • What are your assumptions? How will you validate them?
  • What actionable insights do you want to walk away with?

If you can clearly articulate what you’re trying to solve and what you want to walk away with, you’ll be in good shape.

Determine Your Approach

Your choice of market research (quantitative, qualitative, or empirical) will depend on the goals you have defined. Decide which method best fits your need, and then map out exactly how you will get the data.

For example, if qualitative research is best for you, will you send out a feedback survey? Run a focus group? Will you offer compensation for participation? What questions will you ask? Who will analyze the results?

Mapping out the research journey, while always referencing your goals to ensure your approach is in service to them, will help you avoid scope creep.

Determine Your Budget

Research costs money. It’s a solid investment, but it’s important to understand how much you are willing to spend before you dive in. Some research methods cost more than others. Focus groups often offer compensation for participation, for example. You may also need to hire a moderator, rent a space to host, provide snacks, and budget for your analyst’s salary to summarize the results. Don’t forget to account for the time and effort of your salaried employees as well.

Clearly defining your budget for your research efforts ahead of time will help you stay laser-focused on your goals.

Start Small

If you’re not yet sure how much data you’ll get or how valuable it’ll be, it’s okay to start on a smaller scale and build on it. There’s no rule that says you have to go all in on one market research approach right out of the gate. While you absolutely do want the right data to make good marketing decisions, sometimes it makes sense to test the waters before scaling. For example, if you’re looking for customer feedback, perhaps you start with a feedback survey that you send out to your email list. Depending on early results, you may want to scale it to a wider audience or host a focus group to dig in deeper.

Trust the Experts

If all of this sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. At BottomLine, we have seen the power of market research over and over again, and we know that the time, effort, and money is worth it. However, companies often don’t have the internal resources available with enough capacity to execute. Plus, employing the right market research strategy that will give you those actionable insights does require a high level of expertise.

That’s why organizations often hire experts like us to partner with them on their research strategy. This takes the time and effort largely off your shoulders and onto ours – and luckily, this is exactly what we love to do. If you want to explore how we can help you with your research needs, contact us today.

Maximizing Your Market Research: Choosing the Right Method

The way most people think about marketing is backwards. Why? Because they rely on their own opinions of what their audience will like, instead of using research and data to cater their marketing to their audience. The result is wasted dollars and ineffective marketing strategies.

That’s why market research is such a crucial tool for your business, regardless of how big you are or what industry you’re in. After all, you have a market that you sell to, right? You need to deeply understand that market—their behaviours, needs, values—and then create strategies that reflect your audience. Market research gives you these insights to better position you against your competitors.

As per, well, everything in life, there are many different ways to approach market research and figuring out what method to use can be daunting. Let’s break down the three categories and when they make sense.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is your numbers-on-a-spreadsheet type of data. Income, demographics, purchase totals, vacation destinations, bounce rates, how long it takes to perform a task—anything you can use mathematical analysis on to look for themes or gaps.

Quantitative research can be incredibly useful because, unlike some other research methods, the data you get is far less subjective to personal interpretation. It can also highlight key features of your market and their behaviour, and you typically get a much bigger data set to work with.

Let’s pretend you send out a multiple choice survey to your market and they tell you their age, income level, what social platforms they use, and how many products similar to yours they’ve purchased in the last year. Next, you look at your website analytics to determine where your traffic is coming from (search engine, social media, etc.), how long they stay on your website, and how often they actually buy something. All of these are examples of quantitative research and, through analysis, you can find themes on where your market spends their time and how they decide to buy (and compare that to where you’re spending your focus and dollars today).

Quantitative research is often the best first step, and is particularly useful when you already have an established offer and the data to go along with it.

Qualitative Research

If quantitative research is numbers on a spreadsheet, qualitative research is how your market feels about it. The goal of qualitative research is to discover the beliefs, values, and habits of your market—what they hold wildly important, and what influences them to make the decisions that they do.

Qualitative data comes most commonly from feedback surveys, open-ended questions, and focus groups. This can be a great way of figuring out the “why” behind the themes in your quantitative data. For example, you may know that visitors to your website often drop once they get to your about page, and by then surveying your market on their feedback on that page, or even targeting those who bounced and asking them what happened, you suddenly get the context around why it’s happening.

This method (particularly focus groups) is also very helpful when you’re in the early stages of development and want to understand how your market thinks and feels about it, or if you have a specific roadblock you want to put in front of people for their input. Keep in mind, though, that it is very subject to interpretation and/or bias, and you tend to get a much smaller data set to work with.

Empirical Research

Empirical data relies on observations, past results, and/or experience. Approaching something a certain way because it worked really well for you or someone else before, seeking out business professionals asking for their advice, or making a hypothesis based on trends you are seeing—all of these are empirical. And while “but we’ve always done it this way!” is often a barrier to progress, intentional use of tactics that have proven success records is just a smart way to not have to start from square one.

Both the qualitative and quantitative research methods relied on the fact that you knew who your market was. But if you’re just starting out and are not yet clear on who your target audience even is, empirical research is the best place to start. While it can be fantastic to start defining your market and make some hypotheses around behaviour, it doesn’t bring that rich analysis that quantitative research does, nor the in-depth understanding that comes with qualitative research.

Why not a mix?

Each type of research has its place, and there’s no rule that says you can only pick one. In fact, a mix of different methods is often the best way to get the whole picture. Quantitative can give you the numbers, qualitative can lend the context, and empirical can help you formulate a strategy when you don’t yet have enough to go on. When deciding your research strategy, don’t forget to also factor in how much time and money you have to get it done with. It’s important to balance the potential benefits of the research against the resources required to conduct it.

Overall, market research is a critical part of developing any kind of business strategy. If you don’t understand who your market is and why they do what they do, you’re simply spinning your wheels. Of course, you don’t have to go at this alone—at BottomLine, we specialize in a research-first approach and can do the heavy lifting for you. Get in touch with us today for your free consultation and rest easy knowing that you’re in good hands.

How To Use Influencer Marketing To Amplify Your Content Strategy

When expanding your brand’s reach, it’s tempting to go alone. After all, you’ve got plenty on your plate as it is. But you don’t have to do it all yourself — and in fact, you shouldn’t.

Today’s audiences are more connected than ever before, which means they have more options for what they spend their time on. That means that it’s up to you to make sure that your content reaches them in the ways they want to be reached.

In the past, companies could only reach consumers through traditional marketing channels like television, radio, or print. Now, they can use social media influencers and partners to reach customers in new ways.

What are social media influencers?

Influencers have a large following on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. They can be bloggers, celebrities, or popular personalities with an engaged audience who trust their opinion.

Influencers have the power to drive awareness for your brand by creating content about it that is both engaging and authentic for their followers.

How can you leverage an influencer’s reach for your brand?

Using influencers is a powerful way to reach new audiences and expand your brand’s reach can be used in a variety of ways:

Social Media Promotions

Influencers can help you spread the word about your products or services through their social media accounts. This can be done by posting pictures or videos of themselves using your product, tagging you in posts, or using specific hashtags that relate to your brand.

For the actual content itself, it’s highly recommended that you let the influencers create their original content for you and phrase their reviews coming from a personal experience. This strategy would create more relatable content for your brand and the influencer’s following.

Brand Ambassador

If an influencer has a large following, they may want to represent your company somehow. This could mean wearing clothing with your logo, attending events where they are representing you, supporting your launches, or reviewing products/services on their blog/YouTube channel (with a disclaimer).

Content Amplifier

If you’ve ever tried to create a video, case study, or pdf guide, then you know how difficult it can be to get people interested in what you have to say. But if an influencer shares your content with their audience, then there’s a better chance that it will go viral among their followers too! That means more people will see (and sign up or download) your lead magnet, and more eyes will look at your brand!

In essence, the benefits of influencer marketing are clear. Brands and businesses may save money on advertising, build relationships with verified influencers, and gain valuable attention from customers that have been primed to purchase from them.

It’s more than just a buzzword, and here at BottomLine, it’s practically become a part of the way we’ve been looking at marketing for our clients.

Want to implement Influencer marketing in your marketing strategy? We’re here to help. Reach out to us anytime at info@wearebottomline.com!

Backwards Market Research to Tip the Scales for Your Business Success

The success of your business plan relies heavily on the relationship your consumers have with your brand and offer. Effective marketing is how you establish and maintain that connection – but how do you know if your marketing will be effective? 

 

Conducting market research to establish vital business intelligence will guide your choices and optimize the performance of your marketing efforts so you can grow your business with confidence. 

 

One problem: Not all market research performs equally well.

 

We are going to dive into 3 types of market research and why we do things differently at BottomLine.

 

Reactive Marketing

This is the equivalent of the “act first, ask questions later” style of marketing. You can get some valuable feedback from the analytics provided and you should listen to these insights as you move forward in your marketing. However, this is not an ideal to start as it can quickly look a lot like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks – ill-advised if you’re looking for statistically significant results from the get-go. This is why we, at BottomLine, encourage starting with proactive marketing through scientific research and results-driven marketing decisions. 

 

Conceptual Research 

Most marketing firms lead with conceptual research when creating and launching their marketing plans. This involves conducting studies (like focus groups) to gather preliminary information to form a hypothesis about how your product, service and promotional assets may perform. Conceptual research is valuable, however, it is also costly and time-consuming. Once this conceptual research is completed, most firms will conduct empirical research to validate their original findings.

 

Empirical Research

At BottomLine, we always start with empirical research to form a hypothesis about the potential performance of a business’s marketing strategy. While this seems backward compared with other firms, the advantage of this research order is crystal clear. Empirical research involves gathering information from already existing secondary sources which provide a statistically valid basis on which to launch a further investigation to validate the planned marketing strategy. This saves time, money and resources in your back-end promotional development and sets you up for success before diving into any idea headfirst.  

 

Conducting marketing research sets you up for business intelligence success and leverages science to increase the efficiency of all of your marketing campaigns. As with reactive marketing, if you start conceptually then it’s much like starting from scratch. You need to conduct expensive preliminary research before having any statistical evidence to support your marketing endeavours which is temporally and financially impractical. 

 

Meanwhile, if you begin with empirical research, you save time and money while you effectively gather statistically significant information that will allow you to predict the probability of success for your unique marketing circumstance. Going against the grain never made more sense!

 

Marketing without research is like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks. Find where your brand is hitting the mark – and where it isn’t – with a Digital Assessment. Send us a note at info@wearebottomline.com to learn more and get the ball rolling! 

Eat Your Veggies Before Dessert: Why Competitive Analysis is Your First Step in Your Strategy

At BottomLine, we’re big on research and data. You’ll see that theme woven in everything we do, from your Impact Assessment all the way to your Strategy. That’s because we know that good marketing and copy is rooted in insights, and far more than words on a page. When you deeply understand what is at the heart of your customer’s behaviour, decisions, and desires, along with where you shine (or fall short), you can create the plan to perfectly match. The result? Maximized ROI and far more bang for your buck.

 

The Importance of a Competitive Analysis

 

One of the key pieces of research that cannot be sidestepped is a competitive analysis. Just like you need to deeply understand your customers, you must also understand who plays in the same space. What do they do well? What are their opportunities? How does your company differentiate from the rest? Without this insight, you’re at risk of being another carbon copy—and copies don’t translate to dollars.

 

The goal isn’t usually to be like others in the business. Instead, you want to find your niche or strength and play that up. You can’t be everything to everyone, and you don’t want to be. And you can’t begin to know what the opportunities are if you don’t understand your competition. 

 

When to Do a Competitive Analysis

 

When starting a new business or rebranding your current one, an evaluation of other market players should be one of your first steps. It can even be a good idea if you don’t fully have your business model finalized! Sometimes, knowing what gaps that need filling can help you develop the right product or tactic to address them. 

 

But don’t forget that the market changes, and that you need to change with it. It’s also important to conduct periodical analyses to see what has shifted and how you might need to adapt.

 

How to Do a Competitive Analysis

 

Let’s break down the steps in a good competitive analysis.

 

1. Identify the competition.
Although this may sound easy, competitors come in many forms. You want to list the obvious direct competitors that offer similar service or products as you, but you also want to identify your indirect competitors and your replacement competitors.  Indirect competitors offer products or services in the same general category as you (coffee vs tea, for example), while replacement competitors don’t offer the same product or service at all, but are after your same customer (an energy bar company trying to get customers to choose a different way to wake them up, or a detox company trying to promote a coffee fast).

Coming up with the full list can take some out-of-the-box thinking and creativity.

2. Research critical data points.
For each competitor identified, it’s time to outline their approach.  How does their product or service compare to yours? What do the reviews say, both good and bad? What is their marketing approach? Where do they place their ads? What geographic area do they serve and how big is their company? How big is their market share?

3. Compare.
Now that you know who your competitors are and what they do, it’s time to rate each element when compared to you. A spreadsheet or chart works great for this. List out all the attributes you researched in the rows, and then you and your competitors in the columns. Give yourself and each competitor a rating (1-5 or 1-10 is common) for each element.  For any particularly low or high scores, reflect on what earned them that rating.

4. Strategize.
From your comparison, where do you stand out? What are your relative strengths when compared to your peers? Alternatively, what are your peers’ weaknesses that you could solve with your offer?
Once you identify your area of focus, now you can develop your content, marketing, and business strategy to highlight your differentiators to the customers that need them. 

 

Tools You Can Use

 

There are many tools available online to help with your competitive analysis. Hubspot, for example, offers some templates to get you started, alongside their paid Competitor Analysis Tool.  Similarly, Semrush has a Market Explorer tool that can analyze web and ad traffic. 

While these tools are indeed helpful, keep in mind that they don’t (and can’t) encompass all aspects of a thorough report. You will still need human expertise to dive into the more nuanced elements.

 

Call in the Experts

 

If doing your own research sounds daunting, or if you’d rather save the time to focus on other critical pieces of your business, we can help! Our team of experts are well-versed in competitive analysis, and are happy to help you gain actionable insights. In fact, we take business from idea to implementation, and can leverage our hard-earned data on top of the additional research we do for you. 

 

Case Study: Verge Ag

 

When Verge Ag came to BottomLine, they had just acquired a software solution that was set to revolutionize the way agriculture was done. Despite the desire for their solution, however, the demand was way less than it should’ve been.  Verge needed insights—what was getting in their way?

 

Through research, particularly a competitive analysis, BottomLine determined that Verge was not internationally recognized and not yet trusted by the international market they were trying to tap into. Through analysis of other players in the market, it became clear that Verge needed a full rebrand to attract the clients they wanted.

 

In fact, Verge wasn’t even their name! But, insights clearly showed that a name change was also necessary to gain market share. 

 

It was the competitive analysis that highlighted the opportunities and gaps that lead to a laser focus on the right priorities. The result? Multi-million funding from investors and an 800% increase in profit.  

 

Having the right insights that come from the right research is often (if not always) the key differentiator in a business’ success. At BottomLine, our entire foundation is rooted in research, so we can help you toward the same results that Verge was able to realize.

Engagement vs. Reach vs. Impressions: What sets these social media metrics apart?

As a go-to marketing channel for many businesses, social media is often used to share information about a company or product, promote events, and build rapport with potential customers. 

Back in the day, social media marketing success was determined by the amount of “likes” or “followers” they have. In recent years, however, we’ve seen a shift to metrics that are much more complex.

Sure, you’ve heard of the terms “engagement”, “reach”, and “impressions” but what do they really mean?

 

Engagement

Engagement is the number of times a person clicks on, comments on, or shares a post. It’s a good indicator of the quality of your content because it shows that people are interested in what you’re producing.

Engagement is important because it shows that people are actually interacting with your content – not just passively consuming it. Engagement represents audience interest through actions like clicking links or sharing photos with others in their network. 

Your engagement numbers tell you how well your posts are resonating with your audience so you can use that information to improve future posts’ quality and performance.

 

Reach

Reach is the total number of unique users who saw your posts. This includes people who see your content in their newsfeeds, on their timelines, or in an advertisement. Reach is a good indicator of how many people you can reach with your social media channel.

Paying close attention to reach gives insight into the size of your audience’s engagement with a campaign or piece of content. For example, if a post has a high percentage of reach but low engagement (such as a lack of shares and comments), this may mean that more users have seen the post than liked it or shared it, which could indicate that improvements need to be made before posting again.

 

Impressions

Impressions are the total number of times a post is viewed. It’s important to distinguish that impressions do not mean engagement. 

For example, if your brand has a large following and you’ve posted an ad or product image on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and received thousands of views without any likes or comments, this could indicate a problem: your content isn’t resonating with your audience.

 

Bringing it all together

Now you understand the difference between engagements, reach, and impressions. Great! 

But how do you measure the success of these metrics? 

Like any other marketing initiative, it’s critical that you can demonstrate results and, therefore, ROI from your social media activities. Measuring the impact of your content is important because it allows for more accurate budgeting for future campaigns by showing which channels are working best for each type of post and what types of posts generate higher engagement rates overall.

As you can see, these metrics are closely related and are often used together. However, they each have their own specific role to play when measuring the effectiveness of your social media strategy. 

 

Marketing is nothing without metrics. Find where your brand is hitting the mark – and where it isn’t – with a Digital Assessment. Send us a note at info@wearebottomline.com to learn more and get the ball rolling!

The Inner Workings of a New Brand Identity

 

Branding is about so much more than just a logo. A strong brand provides a visual identity for your company and brings life to the value that you have to offer your customer. Yes, a brand’s visual identity includes specific colours, fonts and graphics, but these are part of a larger picture to support your brand’s personality and messaging.

 

 

 

What makes up a brand identity?

  • Clear brand purpose and positioning
  • Thorough market research
  • Likeable brand personality
  • Memorable name & logo
  • Attractive colour palette
  • On-brand typography
  • Supporting graphics
  • Proper messaging

 

How a BottomLine rebrand takes shape

 

Step 1 – Branding homework questionnaire

Here, we ask our clients prompting questions to help everyone involved get clear on WHY we’re rebranding in the first place. Questions about the brand’s audience, market position, and what’s working (and what’s not) for the current brand all helps us narrow the scope.

Step 2 – Official Kick-off Meeting

With more background info in our back pocket, we dive into our official kick-off call with clients where we uncover even more insights that will help us intentionally craft a brand that will resonate. Some aspects covered include: 

  • Research highlights 
    • Industry
    • Competitors
    • Key demographics
    • Stats & data
  • Brand purpose (current and new)
  • Target audience
  • Brand personality, message, tone
  • Visual identity aspects
    • Colours, typography, brand
    • Graphics
  • Naming

Step 3 – Develop Creative Brief

One of the most important things you can do when undertaking a rebrand is to create a detailed creative brief. A creative brief will outline how the visual identity elements need to be designed in order to fit with our new brand strategy. 

Step 4 – Design Concepts

Creative brief in hand, our team of strategists, copywriters, and designers develop a complete brand identity including elements such as colours, typography, logos, graphics, and messaging.

Step 5 – Refine

As with anything creative, a rebrand is an iterative process; we go through a few rounds of review within our internal team before collaborating with our clients for the final review stages. 

Step 6 – Finalization

Once our clients are happy, so are we! New brand identity in hand, we help our clients introduce the brand’s new persona to the world.  

Yes, rebranding is fun – but it can also be daunting, especially before you dive in. Taking each phase as it comes is important – not only does it help with overwhelm, but it ensures that the new brand really lands with your audience. 

 

If your company’s brand is in serious need of an overhaul, connect with us! We’ll walk you through a free brainstorming session to see what a rebrand strategy could look like for you.  

What’s the deal with AI copywriting tools? BottomLine’s Content Specialist weighs in

It’s only Tuesday, and by the end of the week, you have your company’s monthly blog, social media calendar, and a new whitepaper to finish – all while juggling the rest of the meetings, emails, and responsibilities on your plate. 

 

Let me guess – your stress level probably just went up reading this. 

That’s when your coworker suggests the latest and greatest AI copywriting tool to you, which certainly piques your interest if it lives up to its promises (“This tool will help you Write 10x Faster!”) of saving what precious time you have in your week. 

 

Okay, I’ll bite. 

Yes, an AI writer sounds like a great idea for automation and it has the potential to help you write faster and speed up the writing process without having to hire another writer, but that’s really only true if the software’s content generation works as it’s truly intended. 

 

If you’ve ever explored AI copywriting tools, you’ve likely looked at it through the lens of a ‘handy helper’ rather than a complete solution to your writing woes – and in our opinion at BottomLine, that’s exactly the extent to which you should rely on it. 

 

Getting AI to write content that *actually* replaces human creativity and quality is a tall order. 

After giving it a test of our own, here’s what we have to say to you if you’re thinking about including AI-generated content into your digital marketing workflows. 

 

What you’ll get

With most AI writing software out there at this point in time, you can typically get access to: 

  • Generate titles based on keywords you identify
  • Outline for blog posts or other content such as social media posts
  • Additional keyword suggestions
  • Depending on the software, can help you rephrase or create more concise content

 

What you’ll miss out on

But just like anything, AI writing solutions have their limitations. If you were to rely on the tool for completely share-worthy content, this is what you’d be missing out on:

  • Content that follows true continuity and flows in a logical order for the reader
  • Good writing for business is generally written in active voice because it’s more engaging and punchy – writing tools can tend to write in passive voice
  • Information errors (because, of course, the software is pulling from a variety of sources on the internet)
  • Lack of alignment with your brand’s tone of voice

 

Our biggest holdup: technology simply can’t mimic the creativity and strategic lens that humans can. 

 

If you know us at all, you know that BottomLine thrives on research and strategy… and that’s something that we’re simply not willing to give up. As we tested out a handful of solutions and did further research, we found that AI writing tools miss the bigger picture of strategy and fail to consider your ideal customer’s needs and pain points. 

 

Of course, AI copywriting solutions aren’t all created equal. If you do decide to go for one, give a few solutions a try and go into it with the mindset that it won’t be doing the work for you, but it could easily help you overcome writer’s block and give you a starting point that you can then edit from if that style of writing and working jives with you. 

 

For many BottomLine clients, content is often the sticking point in the digital marketing workflow – and we don’t blame them! These days, frequency is the name of the game, and harnessing the attention of your ideal customers is no easy feat. If you’re struggling to get enough content in front of enough customers, connect with us! We’ll walk you through a free brainstorming session to improve your brand strategy and content marketing process.  

Ask Our Developer: 5 Things to Consider When Building a Website

Ahhh, building a website. For many of our clients, the thought of a complete website overhaul – or a new website from scratch – is met with a heavy sigh and procrastination. 

But eventually, every organization outgrows their website. And, really, that’s a good thing! It means your business has evolved to better meet the needs of your customer, it’s simply that your website hasn’t quite kept up. 

Before we hit publish on a website, there are a few things that should be considered to ensure that the site will hit the mark for the long term. As BottomLine’s lead web developer, here’s what I’ve come to learn is the most important set of considerations when building a site. 

 

1. Purpose

For most clients, a website is really a tool to aid in the customer journey. With this in mind, we start each project by asking a set of questions: 

  • Will this be just a plain informative site? 
  • Will it be used for conversion? 
  • Perhaps scheduling and booking? 
  • Is this a page for a single monthly event? 

Once you figure out the purpose, we then begin to zero in on the target users. This influences the design, site layout and content. We have to specifically know the purpose so that we can set goals and create a tailored client journey to achieve those goals (such as conversions). 

 

2. Deciding on the Platform

Depending on the site’s purpose, the developed website requires the use of management systems. 

Let’s take WordPress for example. You’ve all heard of WordPress, right? 

WordPress is a popular Content Management System (CMS), it allows easy adding and editing of content by users without advanced knowledge of coding. Beyond content management systems like WordPress, we also have LMS or Learning Management Systems, which is most often used for education or training purposes or for a forum-like experience.

 

3. Compatibility

It’s 2022, which means that I likely don’t have to tell you that a mobile-friendly website is not only best practice, but it’s really a necessity. Did you know that mobile accounts for about half of web traffic around the world? In fact, Statista reported that the last quarter of 2021 saw mobile devices (excluding tablets) generating 54.4% of website traffic globally. 

Long story short: A website must be accessible via mobile devices.

 

4. Expansion or Scalability

The longevity of a website also means that you have to think about the future in terms of content. In most cases, I’d recommend that you plan for scale. 

Websites can host a ton of things. Aside from the informative pages about your company, it can have blogs, written and video content, podcasts, hidden landing pages or content specifically accessible to clients via a special link (just to name a few). It’s typically my M.O. to ensure that a client’s site allows for expansion and flexibility as their needs grow and change. 

 

5. Budget

A website is an investment in your business, which also means that it will have a cost associated with it. Between scope and budget, we recommend a project outline and build it out to meet the needs of your business. 

One factor is the website hosting platform. For example, WordPress is a free platform, but there are a lot of premium plugins that would make your site awesome for users and easier for you to manage. This, of course, influences the project cost. 

On the other hand, you could also stick with free plugins, but I’d only recommend this if you truly think you can manage without the premium add-ons. There’s also web domain and web hosting to consider. 

 

 

If a website project is on your horizon, it can help to have a clear idea of what to expect. Reach out for a 1:1 with us and we’ll walk you through what it will take to create a site that is a salesperson, customer service rep and brand ambassador all at once. 

Creating an effective sales process

Yes, we often talk about marketing here, but wherever you find marketing, sales is not that far away

Honestly, it would be silly for us to approach our work with our clients through the narrow lens of typical advertising, especially since marketing’s main purpose is to contribute to the larger organizational objectives

So while you’re building a lead machine that feeds your sales funnel, here are some tips to refine the other side of the equation. 

 

What your sales process should include

 

Time to understand if they’ve added staff or let staff go recently. 

Taking the time to evaluate their organizational structure gives us a good picture into whether there may be issues inside the organization operationally or if they’re growing rapidly.

 

LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

We’re tellin’ you right now – it’s worth the money. Leveraging LinkedIn’s sales function saves us time when searching out prospects and staying on top of their updates so we can stay in touch in a meaningful way. 

 

Virtual Coffee or Zoom Call.

The first ‘real’ engagement we have with a prospect is a virtual coffee. This helps us to get to know our prospect on a more personal level and BottomLine’s representative, can gauge if they are the right fit for us (and vice versa!)

 

Leverage personal networks. 

Many of the organizations that we cross paths with are fantastic places to meet new people, both for sales and simply as new professional acquaintances. We work closely with organizations like Alberta IoT, Women Presidents Organization (WPO), and WeConnect. Clients usually come from referrals so it’s best to tap into those genuine personal connections and people from within our circles. 

 

Strengthen connections and stay in touch with them. Who knows? They might have a client for us someday! 

 

Utilize Hubspot (CRM)

As a robust CRM tool, Hubspot helps us stay organized, keep records, manage our pipeline effectively, track activities & store contact info. Not only does this just eliminate our stress, but it creates a foundation for a much smoother and, honestly, genuine relationship with our prospective clients. 


Take a step back

We dive into all of this when we complete an Impact Assessment for a client: 

  • What is the typical buying journey for the customer? 
  • Where are the sticking points in your sales process? 
  • What are your competitors doing differently?

 

Understand what your sales process needs with research

 

We’d love to help you take your new ambitions and make them a reality. If you’re looking to improve your brand strategy and sales process, let’s talk.