Paying for Organic Growth or Sales?

What are you paying for? Very important to understand

Month 1: “I want you to rank my website”
Month X: “I am unhappy with your work” Agency: Why Sir, we have ranked for the keyword and also ranking for more. Client: I wanted more traffic.
Month Y: “I am unhappy again” Agency: Why sir, you are getting good traffic. Client: What’s the point of traffic I am not getting any sales. 

Business Goals focused Digital Marketing

At Techshu, we try to help the client understand the real purpose of engaging with us. As Neil says, Most SEO/Digital marketing agencies have it wrong! (Even Techshu does it wrong at times for many reasons). They focus on rankings, not revenue or business goals (The real business goal you want to achieve, it can be users, traffic anything but it should have a logical reason and direct connection with business goals).Rankings and traffic are great, but if those visitors don’t convert into actual business goals, it doesn’t matter. All we should care about is how we can help you with your business goals. We should not care about things which doesn’t matter much like rankings, traffic, or anything unless thats your business goal……  One must analyze the business, find the areas that need to be improved and come up with a game plan to reach your business goals progressively. Before we start our engagement, we should use math (EXCEL) to show you how we progress together conservatively, moderately and aggressively… and what steps need to be completed to hit those business milestones. 

Different Goals for Digital Marketing

As a project owner, you need to put the goals very clearly. Returns can come from

  1. Put X Get Y Sales based marketing (quick returns)
  2. Organic growth for sales (To cut the cost per acquisition and increase margins)
  3. Branding for Sales (To hit premium levels) – It needs strong commitment from the company, an agency can only put more light on you, it will not make you look good or bad, it will just highlight you. If you are bad, people will see your ugly face, if you are good, people will fall in love with you.

Returns from Put X Get Y based marketing will grow in proportion (You put more, you get more) whereas organic growth will be disproportional growth, a bell curve, initially it may time to pick but later will take your business to  a new height. With Organic Growth and Branding, you can put less of X to get more of Y.

Digital Marketing Growth

So you need to choose what you want to focus on. You can focus on put X and get Y. You can invest for organic growth, you can invest for branding or a mix of it. The investment has to be very clear, the returns has to be very clearly put into target.

Also you need to be prepare your business for it. For online sale, you need prepare your website, offering, channels etc. For Organic Growth, you need team to execute the plan for growth, also you need to choose the right organic growth channel. For Branding, you need right positioning. In other words, you need to get involved in getting the right direction for marketing. Agencies like ours are catalysts, help and guide. We can add value but the best return comes when all of us are on the same page.

Let us put more details here:

  • Put X get Y Sales based marketing/promotion: Where the focus is generate sales through different promotion (targeting the right segment with right message and right offer and convincing them that we are better that others to generate leads/sales)
    • You need to have good product, good offering, good pricing, better than competitor
    • should be able to convince through website that you are good.
    • Should have good margins
    • It can also be used for initial push (Push to grow organically)
  • Organic Growth for Sales: Where you bring people to you in a continues way month after month.
    • It takes time (Search Engine ranking, referrals, viral, social media growth, affiliates organic, repeat buy, user participation etc)
    • Mass products will have to rely on this. (Mass products generally have low margins)
    • Paid channels can be used for branding push as more people getting to know about the product helps it grow at a faster pace.
    • Early mover advantage can be utilized. Like in case of digital marketing in India, Techshu can take that advantage. if you do something cool, you must take the advantage.
  • Branding for Sales:
    • Not every company can become brand (A name people want to remember for an offering)
ChannelsTime to show resultsCost of salesWhy?Who Should do?
Promotions for sales2 to 4 months (Short term)Generally very high, if done well, you can find right cost sales as wellEasy to sellWhen the business is offering something of really good value, where conversion rate can be expected high
Organic GrowthDepends on, 1 month to 1 year (Long term)Very low in long term, in short term very high.Huge Market available and must for aggressive growth and low cost sales.When the company wants to become a major player in the industry and is thinking long term

Few successful examples of Sales through marketing/promotion:

  • There is a software company we work with, they have good product, amazing product, they have amazing clients, recognition for all areas. They spend over $25,000 a month on Google adwords, they generate enough leads for their sales team and they sell over $200k worth product every month. (a 10% sales cost). You also need to have a good margin.
  • We have another client in the pre-school education sector, they spend few thousand dollars on Facebook ads and they generate enough leads to generate few hundred thousand sales. When they do it, they divide the sales across different cities and countries as there is a dependency on demo. Again, their product is great.
  • Even, Techshu is a great at PPC, when we spend $1000 we generate $10000 worth of business (monthly costing). Even our focus is PPC at this stage.

Few unsuccessful examples of Sales through marketing/promotion:

  • T-Shirt company: Paid Ads worked for them but it was at a higher cost, their repeat sales were less so they were not able to sustain the PPC (What we did for them, we shifted them to affiliates with top ecommerce, now the cost per acquisition is fixed, their ,margins are fixed, they have a steady income). This company can’t grow big without repeat buy/search engine ranking/referral (Some organic channels has to work for them)
  • Just another ecommerce company: We worked for another ecommerce company, they are large and can spend good money but still can’t spend the way giant ecommerce companies are spending. Before coming to us they had already spent good money on ads without much success. They gave us a good budget for ads. We did not utilize the ads for selling, we utilized just 25% of that for branding and community building, now they have close to 75,000 fans, they have user guides and other sections which can help them grow organic.

Few successful organic growth:

  • The first company where our founders worked, they hardly spent any money on ads, it was all organic. They had early movers advantage, they build communities and its growing organically. 
  • Techshu is also an example of organic growth, we have not spent any money on ads till Jan 2013, we grew with references, references from our clients, from people who knew us and have heard us (VERY proud of this, as this is very hard to come by). Even today most of our clients come back after trying some companies (as Digital field is new and there seems to be expectation mismatch) and no matter what happens they recommend us to their friends.
  • Koimoi – They knew they had to succeed organically. They have good repeat visitors, they have good search engine ranking and now they are hitting close to a million hits (and growing). We helped them get the initial push they needed, we helped them with the architecture. 

Few unsuccessful organic growth:

  • The ecommerce company we talked about, we spent close to 6 to 9 months on the SEO, Social Media initially, it was tough to grow them organically as the offering was as good or bad as other ecommerce company, not additional USPs to bring in attention. Thats when we decided to focus on user guides and then converting it into multi languages. 
  • Product company we mentioned above, we tried to help them with SEO but somehow they were not in need and they did not wanted to add sections for search engine. They now got an internal team to try SEO still not making a mark with SEO as still they have not got the importance of it.

Now as a company, you need keep building your profit blocks and keep improving it. Initially you should focus on sales and later you should focus on bringing the cost of acquisition down. If you go through this presentation which Aji gave at IIMC, it describes different phase of business and different digital mix

Let us know your need and we will able to guide you from there, its not important whether you choose us or not, what’s more important is that you will respect us for our contribution and will come back and refer your friends. Please let us know your requirement.