Shauna Armitage on How to Create a Relationship Marketing Funnel | MP 67

Episode 67: Shauna Armitage on How to Create a Relationship Marketing Funnel | Marketing Your Practice | Practice of the Practice Podcast
Do you use a relationship marketing funnel or the traditional inbound funnel? Why should you consider making the switch to a relationship marketing funnel in the time of social media? How can conducting competitive analyses help you understand your own business better?
In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks with Shauna Armitage about How to Create a Relationship Marketing Funnel.

Meet Shauna Armitage

Shauna Armitage on How to Create a Relationship Marketing Funnel | Podcast | Marketing a Practice Podcast | Practice of the Practice | MArketing FunnelAfter obtaining two Bachelor’s degrees in four years, Shauna struggled to find work in the ailing economy of 2011 and turned to freelance writing. It didn’t take long for her to discover that her abilities as a writer were highly valued by marketers and only a year later, Shauna had taken a position as Director of Digital Content for an agency.

Wanting to create a more effective marketing solution for startups than the agency model, Shauna began stepping into the fractional marketing director role. Through her intensive approach, Shauna has helped her clients achieve results such as a 400% increase in website conversions and a 220% growth in sales.

She is the host of the Startup Renegades podcast, a raw conversation with founders about their business journeys and the growth strategies they’ve used to successfully scale their brands

Visit her website or Startup Renegades podcast and connect on Instagram.

Email at shauna@makingmoxie.com

In This Podcast

Summary

  • How the relationship marketing funnel differs from the traditional inbound funnel
  • The relationship marketing funnel is more active than passive
  • The funnel and the campaign
  • How to complete a strong competitive analysis
  • Some marketing mistakes business owners are making
  • Shauna’s advice to private practitioners

How the relationship marketing funnel differs from the traditional inbound funnel

I think inbound is really tough these days just for the sheer fact that all the industries are saturated, so we could be putting the most valuable content out there and SEOing to our heart’s content, but that ends up being more passive than active. (Shauna)
With social media at the forefront of our connection systems, and the fact that people are going into physical stores less and are mostly searching for products online, relationship funnels are becoming more vital because people are making purchases based on connections and convenience.
A lot of consumers are more discerning with how they make purchases these days, so they’re really looking for brands that share their values. (Shauna)
When a brand or company can connect with potential customers over a value or principle that they share, that is what the relationship marketing funnel is about.

The relationship marketing funnel is more active than passive

Where the traditional inbound funnel has you attracting customers passively through blanket advertising and specials, the relationship marketing funnel is more active because you are focused on lead generation and brand awareness:
  • Whether you are doing strategic partnerships to get in front of somebody else’s audience, or
  • You are running ads to get in front of people,
  • You are working on getting that brand awareness done, instead of waiting for customers to find you.
Through the relationship marketing funnel, your conversion is not solely the sale but the lead capture which means: what is your offer?
What can you do that is valuable, so that your lead – the potential customer – gives you their contact information, and creates a relationship with you?

The funnel and the campaign

The funnel is how we communicate with them, how we get them into the ecosystem and how we [are] converting them into a paid customer, but then for the campaign: a campaign might touch on certain parts of the funnel but campaigns have all different goals: you can have a campaign that is purely for brand awareness and a campaign that is about sales. (Shauna)
A successful marketing campaign therefore will attract a potential customer one way or the other. It will continue that conversation and relationship with that customer after the initial purchase or connection.
The key to run any successful campaign is to make sure that you build goals for it, and that your marketing practices work around achieving that goal. These goals could be:
  • Brand awareness
  • To generate leads
  • To generate sales

How to complete a strong competitive analysis

Do a deep dive into their website:
  • What offers do they have?
  • Do you need to have a similar offer?
  • What kind of language are they using?
  • Who is the customer that they are talking to?
  • Identify what they are doing well and what they are doing poorly: this will give you a list of things to avoid and things you can take inspiration from.
Complete a competitive analysis at least twice a year. Often through a full competitive analysis, you learn that actually this person who you thought was working in your field, who may be offering a similar product, is actually marketing it to an entirely different audience. Therefore, you aren’t even competing at all.
In this way, you can also learn which audience is being marketed to and which one is being left out, or does not have a service provider for their needs. You can take this information into your own campaign and expand it to include these groups of people.

Some marketing mistakes business owners are making

1 – They wait to market until they feel ready.
2 – Not investing in marketing properly.
3 – Not being willing to go out there and find your people.

Shauna’s advice to private practitioners

Marketing is going to be an important part of growing your business no matter what your business goals are. Invest in making your brand stand out from the rest and help you to attract your ideal clients.

Useful Links:

Meet Sam Carvalho

Samantha Carvalho DesignSam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.

She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!

Follow Sam on Instagram to see some of her work. To work with Sam, head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding.

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

[SAM CARVALHO] Welcome to the Marketing a Practice podcast with me, Sam Carvalho where you’ll discover everything you need to know about marketing and branding your business. To find out more about how I can help you brand new business visit www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Samantha Carvalho Design.

Hi, thanks so much for joining me today on the Marketing a Practice podcast. Today, we have Shauna Armitage with us. After obtaining two bachelor’s degrees in four years, Shauna struggled to find work in the ailing economy of 2011 and turned to freelance writing. It didn’t take long for her to discover that her abilities as a writer were highly valued by marketers and only a year later, Shauna had taken a position as director of digital content for an agency. Wanting to create a more effective marketing solution for startups in the agency model, Shauna began stepping into the fractional marketing director role. Through her intensive approach, Shauna has helped her clients achieve results such as a 400% increase in website conversions and a 220% growth in sales. She is the host of the Startup Renegades podcast, a raw conversation with founders about their business journeys and growth strategies they’ve used to successfully scale their brands. Hi, Shauna. Thanks so much for joining me today.
[SHAUNA ARMITAGE] Hi there. Thanks so much for having me.
[SAM] So we’ve briefly touched on your story and how you got to where you are now, but can you tell us a bit more about kind of your background and how you ended up where you are today?
[SHAUNA] Yes, absolutely. So you really nailed it. I was having a hard time getting a job. I started getting writing gigs and I really loved that. And when I started working for a marketing agency, I realized that the writing work that I was doing had a much bigger purpose and was built into this much bigger strategy for a lot of brands. So as I learned more about marketing and got more experienced, I realized that the agency model wasn’t a good fit for me and when I stopped working with that agency, I wanted to do something better. I realized that there was a gap in the market between hiring a freelancer or an agency and hiring a marketer full time to really take ownership of the program and make sure that all the pieces play nicely together and specifically for startup companies. So I decided that’s what I was going to do. And the rest is history.
[SAM] That’s awesome. And I’m sure it’s much more rewarding in a way that you kind of get to work with startups and see such change rather than when you worked in an agency and you kind of only got to sort of see a piece of it.
[SHAUNA] Yes, absolutely. There’s definitely a different kind of ownership and just really being able to run the marketing departments in a way that I know has integrity and is going to be impactful. I think that’s so important.
[SAM] That’s awesome. So something you speak about a lot is relationship marketing funnel. So can you speak a bit into that and how it’s different from the traditional inbound funnel?
[SHAUNA] Yes, absolutely. I think inbound is really tough these days, just for the sheer fact that all industries are saturated. So we could be putting the most valuable content out there and SEO until our heart’s content, but that ends up being more passive than active. Today with social media, being at the forefront of digital marketing, the way our consumer habits have changed, and even the pandemic has changed this, we don’t often go into a store looking for something. Now we usually find it online. You know, it just presents itself to us or we’re seeing what our friends are doing online and that’s just another form of word of mouth marketing. So we make purchases based on connection and convenience.

Things like Amazon, they have the market on convenience. You can get anything anytime, anywhere in the globe from Amazon, but connection, a lot of consumers are more discerning with how they make purchases these days. So they’re really looking for brands that share their values, whether that’s women led eco-conscious, a certain kind of philosophy when it comes to your practice, those are all things that really resonate and make brands stand apart. And when you create that connection with the consumer, that’s what the relationship marketing funnel is about.
[SAM] That’s actually so interesting because even if I look at my own kind of consumer behavior over the last year or two, as you say with COVID, I have, my Instagram shopping has increased tremendously. And it’s also because it’s a lot of local businesses that I would prefer to support over and above kind of the massive corporations.
[SHAUNA] Yes, absolutely. So where the traditional inbound funnel has you trying to attract people, the relationship marketing funnel is active. It’s not passive. You’re really at the top, you’re focused about that lead generation, that brand awareness, whether you’re doing strategic partnerships to get in front of somebody else’s audience or you’re running ads to get in front of people, you’re getting that brand awareness piece done and not just waiting for people to find you. The next piece is the conversion piece, which for me is not an actual sale, but it is the lead capture. So what is your offer? Is it a free consult? Is it a 20% discount? What can you do that’s valuable, that makes the lead give you their contact information so you can continue the conversation? This is a big piece that so many businesses, especially service-based businesses really forget to put into place, or they don’t put an effective one and attractive one into place.

And you’re losing so many leads because of it. So after the conversion, then we nurture them and we start to have that conversation, whether it’s SMS marketing or email marketing. But now we have the contact information so we can follow up and continue that conversation. After nurturing comes the sale and then of course, retention. We always want our customers coming back. That’s where the profit really lies and then brand advocacy, what you do to turn those customers into such happy customers that they are going out and they’re doing the selling for you because they’re sharing their experience with others.
[SAM] So is that kind of your process or definition of a successful marketing campaign?
[SHAUNA] Well, that’s the funnel. The campaign is that’d be a little different. So the funnel is kind of how we communicate with them, how we get them into the ecosystem and end up converting them into a paid customer. But then for a campaign, a campaign might touch on certain parts of the funnel, but campaigns have all different goals. You can have a campaign that’s purely for brand awareness. You can have a campaign that is about sales and a successful marketing campaign for me is going to get the attention of your target market one way or the other. And it’s going to continue that conversation. So we know that a campaign has been successful when we’ve hit those goals that we’ve set for ourselves. I think it’s really easy right now to be so focused on content and putting out content that we’re not always really sure why we’re doing it. We’re just trying to create value, but we’re not doing it towards the end of actually meeting a marketing goal.

So the goal could be getting X amount of leads into the funnel. It could have been getting a certain number in sales. I have a CPG brand that I’m working with right now, where we have monthly campaigns, whether it’s a strategic partnership with another brand to try do some cross promotion, or it could be a sale that’s going on, where we try to drive up revenues by offering a discount or a free shipping special. But another thing that we do is the influencer marketing, and that’s harder to quantify the results, but we can’t quantify it in terms of making a lot of money on sales necessarily, but we do see other things jump up where we’ve got more mentions on social media. All of a sudden we have more followers on social media. We’ve got more people signing up for our coupon code offer on our website because it’s that brand awareness piece that we wouldn’t have been able to do without their influence. So campaigns definitely go across a wide spectrum but the key thing with any campaign that you’re running is to choose a goal for it and make sure that you build your marketing practices, your marketing initiatives, around achieving that specific goal.
[SAM] So can you touch on, you’ve mentioned obviously that campaigns can have different purposes, can you mention maybe just a handful of what those purposes could be or what those goals could be?
[SHAUNA] I think for any campaign, it’s usually three main goals. It could either be brand awareness, it could be to generate leads, or it could be to generate sales. And most people are so stuck on generating sales that they forget that they should be focusing campaigns on the other two as well. If you don’t have a big audience, it’s hard to get sales. So if you’re doing a 20 minute consult, but you’re only able to share it with 10 people, that’s not really enough to get conversions. You have to bring more people into your ecosystem. So for a brand awareness campaign, it could, your KPI or your key performance indicator could be that you’re seeing a spike in website traffic, or in the amount of followers that you’re getting on Instagram. You’re getting more eyes on your content. You’re getting more awareness of your brand.

For the lead conversion, that is where we’re getting their contact information. So if we’re specifically saying this is the coupon code, or sign up here for free consult and they have to put in their email address, now you have more leads than you had before. So the difference is if you were driving traffic and your goal was a lead, you’d want to get that contact information because if they don’t book that first time, and then they go away and out of sight, out of mind, you’ve lost the opportunity to create that sale. So lead campaigns are so important because the people who are purchasing from us, aren’t always in the mindset to buy at the time that they visit our site or social media or whatever it is. So the lead generation campaigns give us the opportunity to then do the nurturing so we can bring them back around to the sale.

Then of course the last one is the sale and that is a kind of campaign that’s best to do with people who are already familiar with your brand, they’ve warmed up to your brand, maybe have some kind of relationship with it. And that’s where the sales campaigns are particularly effective.
[SAM] So I know that another kind of big part of marketing, and when you’re kind of figuring out your marketing strategy is also completing a competitive analysis. So can you speak into how to conduct a strong competitive analysis that actually helps you get a leg up on your competition?
[SHAUNA] Yes, absolutely. I see, especially in the startup space where we do competitive analysis and it’s very surface level, like here are their features, here are our features. Here are their benefits, here are our benefits. And when they’re doing the actual analysis, you’ll see it in startup pitch decks where they’ve got that access that used to plot things on a math class. And they’d say, “Well they’re not so good here and they’re not so good here, but we’re great in these two things.” You can make any company look good if you decide what the metrics are. When you’re talking about really understanding how your competitor stacks up against you or how you can do better, you have to look at the other things.

So I’m going to do a deep dive into their website. Is it what kind of offer do they have? Do we need to have an offer similar to that? What kind of language are they using? Who is the customer that they’re talking to? Sometimes they’ll do a competitive analysis of someone you thought was your competitor and you realize they may offer something similar to you, but they’re offering it to a completely different audience. So you’re really not competing for that audience. So figuring out what are the key points in their messaging, who are they trying to attract and then doing an analysis of their website, their offer, their social media profiles, and you identify what they’re doing well and what they’re doing poorly. So now you have a list of things that you can avoid and things that you can use as inspiration to do even better.
[SAM] That’s really good because I think it definitely is something that is often overlooked, especially if people are kind of working on their own marketing strategy. They’re not necessarily going to spend a lot of time looking at their competitors.
[SHAUNA] Yes. And it’s something that should be done at least two times a year, if not quarterly. You may discover that you no longer compete with a different brand because they’ve got often a unique direction, or you could find that you’ve gotten new competitors in the space that you need to consider when doing all of this. So I definitely think competitive analysis is so important, but it’s really important that we come at competitive analysis with the idea of not comparing and contrasting our brand to somebody else’s, but using it as a way to grow and improve based on what other people are doing in our space.
[SAM] That’s really good. So what are some of the biggest marketing mistakes in your opinion that business owners are making right now?
[SHAUNA] I think the biggest marketing mistake that business owners make across the board and startups or service-based businesses is that they wait to market until they feel ready. That is the worst time to start marketing something. I’ve heard people say, well, like, “The product’s not ready yet. I haven’t completely fleshed it out.” But you could throw up a wait list. Like there’s ways to start marketing and if you’re going to wait until you feel comfortable, you’re never going to do it because whatever you’re building is never going to be a hundred percent. It can always be improved. So companies that are waiting to market or just not investing in it properly, it takes time. It takes energy, it takes money and just the like “build it and they will come mindset” hurts a lot of companies because they think if they build something amazing that people are going to find them. And it just doesn’t work that way. And that comes back to the active versus passive marketing. You have to be willing to go out there and find your people and bring them back into the ecosystem of your brand.
[SAM] Yes, that’s really good. are there any other marketing mistakes that people are making? What would you say that’s kind of the biggest?
[SHAUNA] I think those were the biggest two, being too afraid to market and holding back and waiting for the perfect time. And then just not understanding that marketing is something that you need to invest in. And again, that could be a financial investment, it could be a time investment, but it’s something that you have to invest in to build properly because the business, the leads aren’t going to just come to. You have to have a strategy around how to bring them in. And a lot of companies are really passive when it comes to that. So having a more active and aggressive strategy in terms of getting the brand awareness out there, bringing in the leads and having systems for converting them into a sale is going to be really important for every brand.
[SAM] That’s really good. Thanks for sharing those. So I believe that you have a free community available for our listeners. Can you share a bit more about that?
[SHAUNA] Yes. So a few months ago I launched the Startup Renegades podcast where I’m talking to founders who have successfully and profitably built their brands. And it’s great to have this raw conversation, but I feel like there’s so many business models out there where you get coached, or you have to buy a course, and there’s not enough community where we’re actually having conversation around these things and that’s how we learn and grow. So it’s a free community around my podcast, get to interact with the founders on my podcast and have an opportunity to connect with other business owners who are experiencing the same challenges that you are for advice, for camaraderie, so that we can support and uplift one another as we grow our brands.
[SAM] That’s awesome. And we’ll definitely have the link to that in the show notes, for those of you who are interested. Shauna, if people wanted to get in touch with you, what is the best way for them to do that?
[SHAUNA] The best place to find me is on Instagram @Shauna.Armitage.
[SAM] Awesome. And if every private practice owner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?
[SHAUNA] I would want them to know that marketing is going to be just a really important part of growing their business no matter what their business goals are. So they shouldn’t be afraid to do it. They should invest in mentorship or support and really focus on making their brand stand out from the rest.
[SAM] Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing all that valuable information and for being on the Marketing a Practice podcast.

Thanks for listening to the Marketing a Practice podcast. If you need help with branding your business, whether it be a new logo, rebrand, or you simply want some print flyer designed head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Samantha Carvalho Design. Finally, please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast on iTunes if you like what you’ve heard. Talk to you soon.

Marketing a Practice podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice podcast network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like Beta Male Revolution, Empowered and Unapologetic, Imperfect Thriving, or Faith in Practice, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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