A business is like a child — when it is young, it keeps growing no matter what. More and more money is flowing in, until one day you discover that new challenges have emerged. There are competitors, laws and restrictions. The room for extensive growth is thinning out.
Something has to change, says a little voice in your head. You have to seek new paths, says another. Eventually you obey, only to discover what a stunningly diverse world you have been missing out on this whole time.
Here is what marketers can do when their sales are sluggish, and old tools get dull and ineffective. This is a hymn to diversity.
Diversify traffic (cost optimisation)
There is a probability that your business has not yet reached its maximum potential, rather exhausted its organic growth. For years, you took your regular clients and channels for granted and sought no business development. But as the industry evolves, new platforms are needed to push your brand forward.
Seek for websites you have never advertised on – it may mean access to the new buyers. Social media, targeting ads, newspaper articles. Any new sources will do. Are you already using Facebook targeting? Google.Ads? Youtube integrations?
But be mindful: diversifying media channels comes at a price. As the market grows, your usual sources of traffic will cost more and more. To keep сustomer acquisition сost (CAC) from skyrocketing, marketers turn to newer, affordable channels. You might not be able to support all the traffic sources single-handedly, but it is possible on CPA (cost-per-acquisition) basis.
Diversify audiences (Discover more clients)
As your outreach grows, you have to segment the audiences in order to get a better understanding of their needs and wants. Who is your average customer? Their sex and age? Income? Hobbies and values? What sites do they visit?
All this data can be used to divide potential clients into several core groups and lure them into purchasing by advertising where you believe they surf on the web. Many marketers focus on one customer portrait and ignore the rest. Never underestimate the importance of smaller audiences — especially if you know exactly where to locate them.
The problem is, laying hands on such data is getting harder by the year. With GDPR weighing tracking algorithms down and browsers blocking cookies, brands collect less data and have slightly less legal ways to provide a customized user experience.
Diversify catalogue (retain attention)
In the era of marketplaces, consumers are spoiled with the comfort of ordering everything on a single platform. You might not be able to provide the same service as e-commerce giants, but there is one thing you can do. Stop being boring.
Retaining your customers’ attention is worth more than regaining it if once they are disappointed. Every day they scroll through miles of social media feeds and they have a taste for content. They soak in the diversity, and you can thrive on it. Give your customers something to look at — new products to crave, new prices to consider, new pictures to browse. Everything is content if you are brave enough.
Changing prices is a good way to avoid stagnation, as it tends to attract extra attention from sale hunters and aggregators. Also, it is a great opportunity to get rid of the warehouse leftovers.
Drawing attention to your brand can and should be creative, inventive, ingenious. Organize events and collaborate with other businesses, hold contests and sales to keep the hyping up.
Diversify approach (lower risks)
For millions of years, diversity has been the cornerstone of evolution. We mutated and adapted, and mutated again. So why stop now? Be flexible and adapt. As e-commerce changes, so should you. Keep an eye on the trends: omnichannel, multi-attribution, browser extensions — there are tons of opportunities to explore.
What makes diversity so special and profitable? Nothing. All by itself bending your business to the market needs does not guarantee success. But it does decrease the risk of stagnation.
If you feel like being stuck in a maze, try going where you haven’t been before. Test new hypotheses, new tools and products. If you want to win a lottery, at least be so kind as to buy a ticket.