101 Ideas to Kick-Start a Marketing Campaign

Brian Evans, founder of Lexington-based BT Web Group, has been a professional marketer since 2004. In 2015 he was awarded the title “Marketer of the Year” by a prestigious group of more than 100 international marketing peers. He also recently published an impressive compendium of marketing ideas called “The Marketing Strategies Book: 101 Awesome Marketing Strategies You Can Use To Grow Your Business!” It’s a cleverly written guide that examines just about every marketing problem or situation you might encounter. We spoke

with Evans about the book.

How is this book different?

There are many books on marketing, however most books focus solely on a particular type of marketing strategy rather than a complete list of options for businesses to choose from. There is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy for businesses. The key is to recognize what the best marketing strategies are for your business, by testing and measuring results and then continuing to run the marketing strategies that provide the best ROI.

This book is not meant to be a how-to but rather a resource for business people to keep in the “marketing section” of their bookshelf and refer back to it when they need some inspiration.

You begin by talking about online marketing—why?

 I start with online marketing because it is the most important of all marketing strategies, and frankly, it begins with your website. Your website is your No. 1 online asset, because it’s typically the first impression new customers have with you, and the saying “you only get one shot to make a first impression” is truer than ever. Make no doubt about it, your website is your storefront to the world. It tells your story; it educates your customers and distinguishes you from your competitors. Fact is, 81 percent of customers go online and do research before they make a buying decision, and 77 percent of people read online reviews about a company to determine its trustworthiness.

You write, “Marketing is absolutely everything to a business.” Can you expound?

Statistics prove that most businesses go out of business within the first two to five years. The primary reason for this is because potential customers don’t know they exist. They may have a better product or service, but if no one knows about it, then it doesn’t matter. CEOs must recognize that their most important role is to generate new customers and clients, and this is directly accomplished with better marketing.

What marketing strategy is your favorite to work on?

Without a doubt, my favorite marketing strategy is Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This is a method of running online advertisements with search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Consumers will often use a search engine to identify and compare purchasing options immediately before making a purchasing decision. The opportunity to present these consumers with advertisements tailored exactly to their immediate buying interests is very powerful, profitable and scalable.

Give an example of a marketing strategy that did not work.

A recent failed attempt would have to be movie theater advertising. Perhaps I was more excited about seeing my company on the “silver screen” than anything. Either way it was a good test but didn’t yield the ROI we hoped for. Good thing we track everything to know for sure.

Describe how you create a marketing plan for a particular type of company.

When we create a marketing plan for a client, we first identify exactly who their ideal customer/client is by discovering patterns in their existing clientele, such as gender, age, location, interests, income, employment, etc. Second, we work to understand what the business offers to consumers. Not just their product and services, but their story, their beliefs and the customer value delivered within the services provided. Then we look at market competition and identify things their competition may be doing right and wrong, and we recommend marketing strategies that have the greatest chances for success in both the short term and long term. Finally, we build marketing funnels that lead consumers through progressive steps we’d like them to take on their journey. Every marketing funnel is broken down as follows: traffic > lead > prospect > customer > client > raving fan.

Explain the term “measurable profits.”

Measurable profits are the ability to track exactly how much revenue a new customer generates for you compared to how much it costs you to acquire that customer. Assuming you have the proper upsell and follow-up marketing systems in place, your goal should always be to maximize the lifetime value of that client well past his or her first purchase. This means for every dollar you invest in your marketing, your sales must be measurably greater than that original investment in order for it to be self-sustaining. Bottom line: Measurable profits are all about money in versus money out. The numbers tell the story, and they don’t lie.

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