As the owner of an online marketing company, I speak to professional pet sitters every day who are looking for help with ALL aspects of their marketing.
They need help with:
- Website Development
- Search Engine Optimization
- Hiring & Employment Campaigns
- Lead Generation
- Email Marketing
You name it, we’ve heard they need help with it.
The challenge is: Not everybody’s pet sitting business is the same.
We don’t all provide the same services. Some pet sitters have I.C.’s, others have employees. Some businesses are looking to bring in new clients while others are looking for more effective ways to reach existing customers.
Either way, when we get on our discovery calls I have 20 minutes (or fewer) to find out everything I need to about the caller’s business.
Some of the items we touch upon are:
- Who the business owner is and what’s important to them.
- What their business model looks like. (Do they even have a business model)
- What their current objectives/goals are.
- What are they doing to accomplish those goals now?
- If they’ve got campaigns running – what are the results?
That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a discovery call.
Why do we need that much info?
Because at the end of that call the business owner I’m on the call with is expecting a recommendation from me on the best way to accomplish their goals with online marketing.
I take that responsibility very seriously because I understand the prospect I’m talking with may very well invest their own money on the campaigns I recommend so I want to make sure I’m giving the best advice possible.
To give the most valuable advice and valid recommendations I needed to come up with a way to consistently get the information I needed quickly. The faster I can get the details about what the client is hoping to accomplish – the more time we’ll have to discuss and fine-tune our recommendations.
I came up with a document I call the “Online Marketing Roadmap.”
The purpose of the Online Marketing Roadmap is to quickly identify ALL of the elements needed to run a successful marketing campaign.
I use the Online Marketing Roadmap as a troubleshooting tool when I’m on calls with clients, but where the Roadmap excels is by being used as a checklist for future marketing campaigns.
The really cool part is this: the Roadmap works for ANY kind of marketing campaign and it’s broken down into 4 simple steps.
Before we get to the 4 steps – I’ve uncovered 3 rules about the Roadmap we’ve got to address first:
- Rule 1: All 4 steps must be done (you can’t pick and choose)
- Rule 2: All the steps must be done completely (you only get out of your marketing what you put in: DON’T cut corners)
- Rule 3: All the steps must be done IN ORDER (DON’T skip around)
Okay now on to the steps.
Phase 1: Strategy
The strategy phase of your marketing campaign is THE MOST IMPORTANT phase of the entire campaign. The reason is this is the phase where we identify all the details needed to successfully execute this marketing campaign.
Normally we think about this in terms of: “Who,” “What,” “When,” “Where,” “Why,” and “How”
For us the order matters so we’re going to switch it up and go in a slightly different order as follows:
1 WHY: Why are we doing this?
What goals or objectives are we hoping to accomplish? For example, are we looking to generate sales, create engagement with our audience, nurture current customers or generate new leads? Why are we running this campaign?
2 WHAT: Identify the campaign type
In online marketing, there are many different ways to accomplish the same task. What type of campaign are we looking to run? Website design, engagement (social media), lead generation, etc.
3 WHO: Who is this campaign for?
Who will you be attempting to reach with this campaign? Existing customers? New customers? Potential new sitters for your business (Yes, we run marketing campaigns to attract high-quality talent to your business, too).
4 WHEN: Identify the timetable
All campaigns need to have clearly identified timelines. When is this campaign going to start? How long will it last? Is it evergreen (ongoing)?
5 WHERE: Identify the campaign location
Where is this campaign going to take place? Is it online or offline? Is it a Facebook campaign or an email marketing campaign (or both)? Where will we be driving traffic FROM and where will we be driving traffic TO?
6 HOW: Specifically, HOW is this campaign going to run?
** This one is my favorite **
Here you should be able to explain this campaign to another human being. What are the goals? What is the first step? Second? What campaign resources will we need to create? How are we going to be driving traffic?
SPECIAL NOTE: As the business owner or person responsible for your company’s marketing – this HAS to come from you. This is YOUR business strategy – you can’t let somebody else do this for you.
Phase 2: Creation / Development
In the last step we essentially created the entire campaign on paper. We talked about the “Who,” “What,” “When,” “Where,” “Why,” and “How.” Now, we need to get busy creating the resources necessary to successfully execute the campaign.
These resources could include:
- Landing pages
- Thank you pages
- Marketing funnels
- Email messages
- Tracking codes/pixels
- Ad graphics
- Professional copywriting
Pro Tip: Ideally, these resources would be created either by, or with the assistance of, professionals: A professional designer, professional developer, professional copywriter, etc.
Why do you want to use professionals for this?
Because it matters! No disrespect intended and I mean this with the utmost love and respect for you, but using professionals that understand design, search engine optimization, marketing and copywriting will ABSOLUTELY give you better results. It’s what they do!
For example: I’ve been marketing online since 1998 and have taken numerous courses on direct response and copywriting. I feel like I write good copy. It’s fine when I’m posting social media or sending out newsletters (non-sales activities) but when I’m creating anything that impacts my bottom line (landing pages, websites, email campaigns, etc) – I ALWAYS write first and then have it edited by a professional. Time and time again their copy outperforms mine.
Once we’ve created (and tested) all of the resources in step #2 – it’s time to execute the campaign.
Phase 3: Execution / Marketing
This is where we begin the campaign and more importantly when we start collecting data.
Remember: Gut feelings are awesome when you’re meeting new people, coming across another dog on a trail or scoping out a new restaurant, but for your marketing,
we want to make adjustments based on cold, hard, measurable data.
SPECIAL NOTE: The biggest item to remember is when we’re in the MARKETING phase we are no longer making changes to ANY of the campaign elements.
Marketing is an iterative process and that means:
- We run a campaign
- Check the results
- Make a change
- Run again to see if our change made things better or worse.
These small, incremental changes, allow us to get better and better with our marketing. This ONLY works though, if we leave the resources untouched during the campaign. If we make changes in the middle of a campaign we will not be able to track down (with certainty) the cause that brought about the change.
Like we just mentioned the last step in ANY marketing cycle is evaluating results.
Phase 4: Evaluation
Contrary to popular belief, marketing usually doesn’t work profitably when it’s new. Sometimes it does and once in a while, you’ll catch “lightning in a bottle” with a piece of viral content. Most often, though when we launch marketing campaigns they lose a little.
The question then becomes:
How can we make it better? How can we make this campaign return a positive ROI (return on investment)?
The answer is – Split Testing. Without going into too much detail, split testing is the process of changing JUST one element of a marketing campaign in an attempt to get it to perform better.
The KEY here is to only change one thing at a time because then and ONLY then will you know FOR SURE, what the change you made did to your performance.
That makes sense, right? If you change 4 things and then re-run your campaign you’ll likely get different numbers but because you made 4 different changes – we can’t be sure which change is responsible for the increased or decreased numbers.
Some sample split-tests you can include on your marketing include:
- Swapping colors
- Swapping images
- Trying different traffic sources
- Testing different offers
- Using different headlines
- And so on …
SO there you have it – the 4 phases that EVERY pet sitter marketing campaign goes through as well as a FREE download for our Online marketing Roadmap so you can start running your marketing campaigns like a pro … PROFITABLY!