In our last house, we had a small problem. Mice!
It was mainly during the colder months, but it was still a problem. We had something they wanted: warmth and food. Our garage became a temporary safe haven and their instincts told them it was safe and inviting. My wife Kim is a bird person and we spent more money per month feeding birds & squirrels than we did our 70-pound dog.
Needless to say, Kim is an animal rescue person. All our dogs have been rescued. So she was torn between wanting to save the poor mice and the sheer terror of walking to her car or to feeding the birds and having a mouse run up her leg. The fear would subside for a while. Then, one would scurry right in front of her and she reluctantly agreed to let me handle it.
I tried everything I could to prevent them from getting into the house. But the garage doors could not be sealed to prevent them from wiggling past the weather stripping. The only way to deal with the issue was to introduce them to their last meal – the mousetrap.
Now I know there are more humane ways of dealing with it, but the supply of hungry freeloaders exceeded our patience. I could not control how, when, or if they took the bait, but I could choose what happened next. Kim was 100% opposed to getting them stuffed and displaying them. I thought that would be a good deterrent to others (just kidding).
But alas, I decided to let nature run its course.
Your Marketing Mousetrap
If you think about it, your business is like my garage. Specifically, your website. It has food for thought and attracts creatures who sneak in and out. You may be able to see them scurry, but it's hard to trap them (and you certainly don't want to kill them off). You want to be able to capture their attention (or at least capture their data).
Top 3 Marketing Mousetrap Mistakes
Businesses are constantly playing a cat-and-mouse game with visitors to their websites. In the business-to-business space, it's hard enough to get people to visit more than once, but more importantly, it's even harder to get them to take the bait (take some action).
Here are the three biggest mistakes I have seen businesses make (especially in the B2b space).
- Not Having A Website
- Not Creating Consistent Content
- Not Capturing Data
Not Having A Website
“We don't need a website… we use social media” – There are a couple of caveats here. First, B2b customers don't use social media as much as you may think. On average, the most used social media platform for B2b business is LinkedIn. The average person spends less than 17 minutes per week (as opposed to 22 minutes per day on Facebook).
Second, you don't own or control it. When people get to your website, you can help point them to content, with banners or placements on your home page. On social media platforms, AI bots determine what your clients and prospects see. Unless you are advertising (paying for views) less than 2-5% of your total connections or followers will ever see your posts. And, if you break any (quickly changing and evolving) rules, they can shut you down with little to no recourse.
I had a client who had a vendor shut down their page for branding issues, even though they are a reseller, and were using their page to promote THAT BRAND!
Not Creating Consistent Content
“ChatGPT and AI will change the course of content” – I have used it and it's a cool tool and a nice toy. It will help you start a piece of content, but it has many inherent flaws. First, it replicates content that is widely available and formats it based on the questions you ask or tell it to do. What's missing is your unique circumstances and context. Thought leadership will not be found via AI (just yet).
Second, your sales team knows what's on the minds of your clients, and that's changing constantly. Generic concepts are not going to gain attention unless it directly correlates to what your client is thinking at that moment. If your website is sprinkled with COVID info, or supply chain woes, that may be so yesterday in some cases. You need to consistently capture the pulse of what is on your customers' minds at the exact time they see your content.
Finally, content is what drives people from email and social media to your website. If you can't get them off social media, the chances of them taking action are minimal at best!
Not Capturing Data
“Cookies cause consternation” – Yes, you should let people know you are capturing data, but if your content is worth clicking on in the first place, they already understand that data is being captured before they ever get to your website.
The ultimate goal is to get people to exchange their contact info for quality content like an eBook, training videos, and such. You will only get a small number of website visitors who are willing to do that. It may take two, three, or more visits to your website before they are willing to engage in that way. It makes sense to try and track use with cookies, so when they scurry into your form or email, you have the opportunity to trace their path (understand how they got there in the first place).
There are multiple ways to do this, and we will explore them in the next post, but the sooner you start, the more valuable the data becomes.
Data tracking is much more prevalent on e-commerce sites like Amazon, but it's not so straightforward for small to mid-sized business websites. Sure, you can use Google Analytics, or tracking pixels from third-party websites, but they are harder to correlate with off-the-shelf themes and plug-ins in WordPress (which most websites are built with).
In the next post, I will outline how this can be accomplished. It may get a little geeky for most, but I will share the journey we are taking to make it relevant and profitable for businesses like yours. It takes some time, commitment, and investment, but if you can convert website visitors into paying clients at a higher rate, it's better than doing nothing (or making the three mistakes outlined above).
Unlike the mice in our garage, you don't want to get rid of them, you want to create conversations that keep them coming back. But you still have to feed them and track their path, or journey to your cheese while keeping your content safe and inviting!
P.S. With those mice, I used peanut butter which lasted longer and was stickier.
“Maybe stories are just data with a soul.”
– Brene Brown
Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about capturing user data. Do you have a data capture plan in place? Is that data being acted upon or just hanging out eating cheese? What could you do with knowing a user's journey through your marketing to the sales process?
To learn more about this and other topics on B2b Sales & Marketing, visit our podcast website at The Bacon Podcast