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Web Marketing

web marketing tips for small businesses in WisconsinCTR.  Conversion rates.  Ad impressions.  SEO.  Bouncing.  Cloaking.  FTP.  RSS.  The lists of technical vocabulary and processes as to how to properly market a business on the internet is expansive, time consuming, and a bit daunting.  This is compounded by the ever changing nature of the internet and cultural trends, as well as numerous marketing experts and varying opinions as to how social media outlets such as LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, etc. should be used to publicize a company.  With almost two billion people online and over $200 billion of internet sales[1] with a strong double digit growth into the foreseeable future, an effective online marketing strategy for your business becomes more important every day.  

This resource presents how to navigate the web marketing landscape and evaluate the effectiveness of your business.  For the Giersch Group, all marketing must drive revenue to the business.  The internet provides another tool for marketing and generating sales. The Giersch Group refers to this part of marketing as web marketing.

Strategically Driving Revenue to Your Business

Found in the resource section of its website, the Giersch Group outlines the best practices of creating an appropriate marketing plan for a small business.  Notable items include:

  1. Creating a marketing plan should begin with the company’s mission or vision statement. The mission statement should present the company’s unique place in the market. 
  2. Utilize the financial analysis showing the most profitable customer groups and market share to market to the most profitable customers.
  3.  Utilize the financial analysis showing the most profitable products/services and market share to sell the most profitable products. 
  4. Strategies to address the competition, both in product differentiation and pricing. Remember that pricing is always that last point of competition, although too often we start at price.
  5. Incorporate an internal marketing plan to better equip employees to promote the company and enjoin to the company’s mission, culture, values and collective goals.
  6. Incorporate other strategic goals of the company, particularly those centered on future market positioning.
  7. Develop a budget that works for the expected revenue and profit targets.
  8. Allocate the budget to the alternative marketing tools, such as web-marketing to maximize the return potential.
  9. Consider the review points during the year for making adjustments based upon actual results and market conditions.  Generally these will be in advance of major sales cycles and need to be early enough for buying purposes.

Regardless of the marketing tools used, the business owner must understand that any decision must be made with the goal of increasing sales and driving revenue to your business.  If it does not drive revenue to the business, it is not worth the time and effort. The Giersch Group recommends the 10 percent rule of best practice marketing:  for every dollar spent on marketing, the business should generate $10 in revenue.

Web Marketingillustrated example of web surfing behavior leading to business website

The current muddle represented by today’s web-marketing landscape is demonstrated by the many differing and conflicting tools to be used. The Giersch Group believes proper web-marketing creates a unique road-map for a company to navigate the muddle and create a sales-generating plan as illustrated to the right.

Thousands of options are available online for companies to market their products and services.  A new service is developed each day accompanied by a new expert. The trend of which service may be most effective is ever changing. The business owner must navigate through these options and determine which web-platform is most suitable for their company’s products or services. The owner then has the larger challenge of learning each new technology and dedicating the time to incorporate and maintain it.  As a result, business owners either become too zealous, spending a large amount time and money on the services with little return, or ambivalent, not spending time or money. 

Unfortunate for participants in web-marketing mediums, increasing sales is not a central factor for the medium’s proponents.  Web-tools tend to start as a social tool.  The business community then incorporates it into a marketing tool.  To adopt the web-tool properly, the business must understand how its customers buys and determine whether the web-tool will increase the buying activity.  An example is Facebook.  Facebook is a social tool.  Because of the high level of social participation some businesses are trying out Facebook advertising and stores.  However, most businesses would still find Facebook an ineffective place for generating sales. Another tool is LinkedIn.  A number of businesses are finding it generates real leads. As with traditional marketing, leads must be systematically followed up with in order to turn into sales.

Web Managing is Part of Marketing

Web-marketing is one part of an overall strategic marketing plan designed to increase revenue.  The following illustration demonstrates this: 

illustrated example of an online marketing strategy for a small Milwaukee business

As in all marketing, the first step to successful web-marketing is to determine the intended targeted audience.  Web marketing tools should be investigated and evaluated as to the effectiveness of reaching this target audience. Because web marketing tools allow for good tracking of effectiveness, a cost benefit analysis of the web-marketing tool can determine if the cost of both time and money.  The return on investment is measured in the increase of sales, remembering the Giersch Group's 10% of sales marketing rule. The Giersch Group suggests beginning with no more than three web-marketing tools to have appropriate focus on achieving results.

Web-marketing tools generally drive customers to the company website.  The company website becomes the focal point for the sale.  It must contain a clear presentation of products or services offered, differentiate the products from competitors, and make the purchase process products/services as easy and efficient. Increased traffic to the website does not automatically increase sales, but the message and effectiveness at developing relationships that leads consumers to purchase products or services.  Although a company’s website may have a lot of viewers each month and ranks high on popular search engines, sales do not necessarily increase.  Therefore the website must be regularly refined to respond to the changing market, message, and products.  Stale websites kill sales – keep it fresh.

Specific methods of client development in order to foster relationships are out of the scope of this document.  However, customer development for leads received from online marketing is the same as customer development through traditional marketing methods. 

Evaluating Results to Determine Effectiveness

Tools such as Google Analytics provide information as to the traffic sources on the company’s website.  This data assists business owners with evaluating whether participation in various forms of web marketing is effective to providing leads. Using this data the company can adjust the marketing tools and the message in increase leads and their effectiveness in generating sales.

Pros and cons of web marketing

Web marketing may not be for every company.  Below are the pros and cons of online marketing to aid in determining the appropriateness of this marketing tool.


  • Online marketing is relatively inexpensive
  • Companies can reach a wider geographic audience for a small fraction of traditional advertising budgets.
  • The nature of the medium allows consumers to research and purchase products and services at their own convenience.
  • Due to its immediate nature, online marketing brings results quickly.
  • Ability to spread brand recognition through viral capabilities of interactive media
  • Online marketing can be easily and inexpensively measured compared to traditional media, allowing instant changes to marketing strategy if required.
  • Internet marketing can offer a greater capacity to evaluate effectiveness of advertisers, as tracking and evaluating methods are more precise and often.[2]


  • Web marketing requires constant maintenance of both staff and money in order to provide updated information on the company’s services and products.
  • Web marketing requires owners or dedicated staffing to leverage the power of newer technologies.  These newer technologies may induce extra costs that need to be considered in a cost benefit analysis, such as the time to learn more platforms.
  • Changing nature and difficult to determine what is best choice for your company.
  • Potential customers with low-speed internet connections may not be able to view a more complicated website.[3]
  • Websites prevent consumers from truly experiencing the product as they would in a store; this may deter sales that would occur in a store.

The Giersch Group offers marketing consulting for small businesses as part of our business management consulting services.

Articles for Further Reading

  1. Baker, Stephen.  “Beware Social Media Snake Oil.”  3 December 2009.
  2. Pattison, Kermit.  Small-Business Guide:  How to Market Your Business With Facebook .  New York Times.  12 November 2009.
  3. Catone, Josh.  “How To: Use Social Media to Retain Customers.”  8 December 2009.
  4. Charlwood eMarketing.  “Webinar Hosting: 10 tips on Hosting a Successful Webinar.”
  5. Kawasaki, Guy.  “Website Marketing Turnoffs: 13 things not to do when adapting your product to an online model.” June 2009.
  6. Goodman, Gail.  “Strengthen Your Hellos and Goodbyes: Make better connections with e-mail list sign-ups and opt-outs.” 15 September 2009.
  7. Arnold, John.  “10 Online Marketing Trends for 2010: Where to invest, what to test and which deserve a rest.” 24 December 2009.

[1] Miniwatts Marketing Group.  30 September 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009.  Information according to data reported by Nielsen Online and International Telecommunications Union.

[2] Miniwatts Marketing Group.  30 September 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009.  Information according to data reported by Nielsen Online and International Telecommunications Union.

[3] Cairns, Jim.  “Searching For and Deciding on an Internet Marketing Company.”  Associated Content: Business and Finance.  03 September 2009. deciding_on_an_internet.html?cat=3.  Retrieved 31 December 2009.

For more information, please contact the Giersch Group for a free consultation. We have offices in Milwaukee, Madison, and Brookfield Wisconsin.


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