The ‘sales increase’ meme is as old as the era of digital marketing. The common refrain is that the purchase of a product or service will trigger an uptick in interest, and thus, leads and sales. The general tenor is that with each new customer, comes a pipeline of new business opportunities.
But what if that isn’t the case?
Consider a scenario where a business, purely to test the efficacy of a digital marketing campaign, codes a fake’sales increase’ in the form of a magical algorithm that produces real-life customers without requiring any human interaction.
In this case, the pipeline of new business opportunities ends at the gate. There is no follow-up. The customer is served, the algorithm does its job, and that’s it. Now what?
In a nutshell, this is how you code a Sic for online marketing.
To be clear, this is not a vulnerability that impacts every single online marketer. After all, not every business requires the same level of sophistication or requires the same amount of effort to generate an online marketing impact.
For those that do, this is a powerful tool that, once mastered, will serve as a springboard to generate leads and build a revenue base.
The opportunity here is colossal. According to HubSpot Blogs, there are around 1.64 billion monthly active users on mobile devices worldwide as of December 2019. That’s 80% of the entire populationof the planet. In the United States, 79% of adults use mobile phones, and 66% of American businesses use mobile apps. So while the opportunity is staggering worldwide, it’s even moreso in the U.S.
On the other side of the coin, not every business is quite so fortunate. For those that are, however, this is a fascinating opportunity to improve their game without having to resort to complex automation or sophisticated AI.
The challenge, then, is to develop a rapport with customers that is natural and human-centered. To put it another way, the goal is to create the illusion of an interaction that is organic and therefore, feels more genuine.
This, of course, is easier said than done. With so many platforms and protocols powering online marketing, the sheer volume of information can feel overwhelming, and the sophistication of hackers and spammers is evolving too. As a result, digital marketing is becoming more of a minefield than a playground.
To combat this, businesses must take a step back and re-examine their strategy. What are they trying to achieve? What are they trying to project? And perhaps most importantly, who are they trying to reach?
To return to our example above, if the goal is to produce an algorithmic sale, what is the business trying to project? Genuine interest in the well-being of the customer? A desire to provide the best possible service? An understanding that communication is vital to building a healthy business relationship?
In the case of our fictitious algorithm, the goal is to produce an artificial sales spike, and the business is trying to project that they are a luxury goods brand that understands the importance of quality and service.
In an ideal world, the solution would be as straightforward as possible: a genuine desire to provide good value for a customer. In a less ideal world, it’s a challenge to sift through hundreds of signals to find those few good deeds.
Luckily, as we’ve established, this is not an ideal world. So it is to the advantage of the business that we code a sic to achieve their desired results.
How to Code a Sic
With that in mind, let’s look at how to code a sic to achieve our goal of producing an artificial sales spike.
Step One: Set The Hook
The very first step is to set the hook. You do this by engaging with the audience, generally speaking, through interesting content that will keep them coming back for more. In our case, the content is king, but it doesn’t have to be. Whatever strategy you are using, interesting content is key to keeping people interested in what you have to say.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the tools and tactics you can use to attract and engage with potential customers. These tools can help you understand what your audience is trying to hear, so you can better formulate your strategy.
Create compelling content
Simply put, compelling content is anything that causes the reader to take action. In our case, that’s encouraging the user to either buy a product or service or to click a link that takes them to a landing page where they can make a purchase. Creating compelling content is one of the most basic but most effective tools at your disposal. As we’ve established, not every business will succeed in pulling this off, but if you can, it will serve you well in the long run.
Step Two: Determine The Problem
Determining the problem is, at a glance, one of the most fundamental tasks of a marketer or business owner. In our case, we’re going to assume that the reader already has an inkling that they are having trouble selling luxury goods online. Thus, our first port of call is to find out what that problem is. This is usually a simple process of elimination. Once you’ve isolated the source of the sales drain, you can move to the next phase.
Step Three: Identify The Need
Once you’ve determined the problem, you can turn to the next phase and identify the needs of your prospective customers. This, again, is usually an easy process of elimination. If we were going to solve the problem of our fictitious algorithm, for example, we would begin by considering what the customer might not want or need. In our case, we’re going to assume that they want to be able to purchase luxury goods online, and we’ll begin by considering the various tools they might not have discovered yet that would help them achieve that goal.
Step Four: Prototype A Solution
Now that you have a clear idea of the problem you’re trying to solve, you can begin to put a solution into practice. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. In theory, the goal is to create something that is going to make the customer happier and more convenient, or, at the very least, not cause them any unnecessary frustration. And in our case, for ease of creation, we’re going to go with convenience.
Step Five: Test The Solution
Testing is an important part of the process. This is where you determine whether or not what you’ve created is indeed effective. To return to our example, we’ve already established that our goal is to create an artificial sales spike, so the very first test is whether or not what we’ve produced is in fact artificial. To do this, we’ll need to rely on metrics and data. If we assume our solution is working as intended, this is a good sign that we should increase our output, otherwise, it’s a bad sign and we’ll need to go back to the drawing board.
Step Six: Measure The Results
Finally, we arrive at the most important step. This is where you measure the results of your efforts. In our case, we want to measure how much business we’ve generated, so this is where we’ll input the algorithmic sale into the software and track how many orders we’ve gotten. In other words, this is where you put the cherry on top of the sundae. Or, in our case, the chocolate on top of the coffee. Whichever comes first.
Now that you’re equipped with the basics, let’s get to work. If you’re looking to implement a marketing automation platform, try HubSpot. With HubSpot, you can create campaigns, tracks, and tasks that will enable you to follow the steps above, easily and efficiently. Whether you’re looking to code a sic for online marketing or simply want to optimize your marketing strategy, HubSpot has you covered.