The beginning of a new year is the perfect time for reflection. What worked for your business’s bottom line last year? How can you pivot to boost your revenue or product offering this year?
After working with dozens of brands in 2017, I noticed three common threads with online businesses. If you’re looking for strategies to grow your digital revenue in 2018, these three areas are likely places where your business could stand to improve. Leverage these ideas to diversify your income, prepare for impending changes in digital advertising, and make the most of the data in your dashboard.
1. Product Management
Product management is the full ownership of a product or service through its entire lifecycle. It starts the first moment you get an inkling of something new you want to offer your audience and ends—or rather never ends—with the constant tracking and improvement of the final product. It includes development, launch, marketing, and everything in between.
For most brands, there is an opportunity to have stronger product management discipline. Perhaps you are great at marketing a fresh product, but a few weeks after launch you simply “set it and forget it.” Or perhaps you develop new products based on hunches of what you think your audience might like, rather than consumer research. Or worse, it’s possible new product development isn’t even on your radar. (Don’t fret! It’s never too late to make a change.)
Whether at the beginning or end of the lifecycle, there is assuredly room for improvement with your management tactics.
Are you clear about who you are targeting, what problem you are solving for them, and how you deliver on the promise better than anyone else? How are you tracking your efforts to ensure bottom line profitability for each of your products? Take our ten-question product management challenge to see where your product management efforts already shine and where your brand needs to plug some holes.
2. Conversion Orientation
Let’s be frank. Most media websites look like they are from the 1990s with a hodgepodge of links, pop-ups, ads, and videos. Not only is this sort of design an eyesore, shoehorning visitors into accidental clicks and engagements with a confusing layout may be good for satisfying egos, but it’s an insufficient strategy for creating a sustainable business online. (In fact, when Google turns on its native ad blocker in Chrome in February, your bottom line might take a direct hit.)
Instead of focusing on vanity metrics, in 2017 Sterling Woods helped clients use behavioral economics, experimentation, and personalization to drive hard sales online. Stop inundating your audience with disruptive experiences or using your website to try to be all things to all people.
Focus on providing your audience with the clear and concise information you know they are looking for. Then funnel them to a single call-to-action that will drive results for them (and you).
Be strategic about the business objective of each webpage; you’ll ensure a smooth customer experience leads to money in your bank.
3. Keep the Data Simple
Big Data can be overwhelming—most content creators are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data they have access to. They think that by spending six or seven figures on fancy technology, the numbers will suddenly make sense! All their problems will be solved! But here, we call it “Little Big Data”. We don’t usually recommend clients go out and spend millions creating a data warehouse or custom CRM. (Not right away, at least.) We like to help clients cut through the noise and make sense of what they already have in place.
You can obtain almost all the information you need to make smart business decisions with data you currently have or can obtain for free (or close to free). Yes, all the expensive technologies do deliver ROI if used properly, but we recommend a “crawl, walk, run” approach rather than expecting organizations with limited advanced analytics experience to become the next Google overnight.
Not sure how to get started with segmentation? Start by segmenting “first-time visitors” from “returning visitors.” Not sure what to put on your KPI dashboard? Start with the classic funnel metrics: visitors, email capture, conversion, renewal. From here, you’ll have the first building blocks you need to target your audience accordingly.
By reflecting back on 2017 and making simple changes to your business model, you can set yourself up for even greater success in 2018. These trends are just a few examples from last year—with an end-to-end approach to content monetization, you’ll find endless tactics you can use to take your digital revenues to new heights. Ready to get started? We can help! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 30-minute consultation.
How Sterling Woods Can Help
The Sterling Woods Group teaches clients our five forces to methodically make more money online. The goal: make sure you lock in double-digit growth year after year using the power of digital media. Many companies have experienced over 50% growth using our system. Beyond the financial benefits, clients tell us that – for the first time in years – they feel truly focused.
We offer workshops, coaching, and keynote speeches. Sterling Woods is also an agency that launches new digital initiatives, so clients don’t have to add overhead. Our agency business model is unique in that most of our fees are based on performance.