Rocket Fuel’s mission is to provide New Zealand business owners with marketing solutions that are an investment, not a cost. To know how the company does that, the main challenges to face and common mistakes that small businesses make when creating an online presence, check out this interview with the Creative Director, Lainey Te Whatu, for Website Planet
Rocket Fuel focuses on small business marketing. How do you have to adapt concepts, ideas, and your final product for that specific type of business?
We put a lot of our focus on the client’s target customers. When we first define who it is we are talking to, we can then work out where they “hang out” to determine our distribution channels and then what problems we are solving for them. Everything needs to come back to them.
Another component we go into is core messaging, what are the key messages we know would resonate with the customer? We determine this by actually talking to the customers themselves and getting their thoughts on the business directly. This is such a valuable process as there is so much strategy to be derived from hearing their thoughts about the business, in their own words.
In your experience, what are the main challenges for small businesses to create and maintain a digital marketing strategy?
My first instinct on this is to say lack of time, but in most cases, I believe this to be a lack of guidance and support. We are continuously seeking more ways we can support our clients and get them involved with their marketing strategies. Not only does this make it easier for us, but the business also then gets so much more return on their investment.
Do you believe there’s a template for a small business to follow – like creating a website, investing in Facebook Ads and you see results in X months – or each case requires a different formula?
Most small businesses have a base set of needs when it comes to marketing. It’s important to get the foundation elements in place before moving on to more complex marketing strategies. You can have all the money in the world to spend on paid ads but if your website isn’t set up to convert you’re potentially throwing it all away.
We work with business owners to map out a strategy first and then define our growth priorities going forward. Our services are constantly changing to meet the needs of the client depending on where they are in their marketing journey.
Rather than a set template, I would say we have a road map and sometimes there is more than one way to get where you need to go.
Do you have a specific success story that you want to share with us?
I had a client leave us this review recently,
“I highly recommend Lainey and the Rocket Fuel team for your social media marketing. Lainey has generated over 200 new leads for me in a little over a week, no mean feat in the overcrowded Facebook environment. And always a pleasure to work with.”
We ended up generating close to 500 leads for this client over the month of the campaign. As an educator, this filled her course intake for the current semester and she was taking interest for next year.
What common mistakes do you observe when checking small businesses websites and social media profiles that should be avoided at all costs?
There are a few different things I see pop up a lot of the time, but one that stands out is when the business doesn’t understand the customer journey.
Relationship marketing is such a big part of what we do now. It’s important to give your audience a chance to get to know you and build some trust in your brand before you go for the “hard sell”.
With every decision, think of the customer first and how are you adding value for them, do that, and the rest will follow.