The 5 Pillars of Marketing: What Every Business Needs to Know

There are so many different types of marketing out there, it can be difficult for a private practice owner or for a business owner to even know where to start. 

As a business owner, once you’ve established your goals for your company’s growth and once you know your target audience (your primary prospect, or the focus demographic that you’re going after), then you have to build your sales funnel.

The only problem with building a sales funnel is that, in order to build it, you have to be familiar with modern marketing. You have to know enough about the basics so that you know how to effectively reach people. There are a ton of different ideas out there, and frankly, small business owners just don’t have time to study it all.

What we want to do here is cut through all the noise and tell you, “Hey, this is the type of marketing a small business should be doing.”

What Does a Complete Marketing System Consist Of?

Let’s consider that small business marketing divides into three concepts: 

  • New customer marketing 
  • Existing customer marketing 
  • Referrals

In order to have a complete marketing picture, you’re going to want to be doing marketing in all three of those areas simultaneously, not focusing on just one. This makes a cycle, and this allows you to have nice, healthy, stable growth. That’s a massive generalization, but it really does work. 

New Customer Marketing

When we’re talking about new customer marketing (or, for a private practice, new patient marketing), we’re talking about broadly reaching out and getting people to do business with you for the first time. This strategy focuses on channels that gather identities through digital advertising, SEO, even door hangers—any way to go straight to the public and get them to connect with you. That’s new customer marketing.

Existing Customer Marketing

When we’re talking about existing customer marketing, we’re talking about deepening the relationship with those people who’ve already done business with you. We’re talking about retention. We’re talking about upselling. We’re talking about extracting the lifetime value, because it’s much easier and much cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to generate a new customer. The lifetime value of a customer (a patient, a client) is way more than you’ll ever get on that initial signup or sale.

Referral Marketing

And when we’re talking about referrals, we mean word of mouth. This is the best. This is amazing. This is where people send their friends in and say, “Hey, by the way, this is the person that I go to. You should too.” And this actually includes elements of public relations, customer handling, high-quality service, etc. If you do high-quality work, you’ll naturally get referrals. That’s obvious. But by implementing referral strategies to actively seek referrals, you’ll get way more than you would if you simply waited for them to come to you.

What Are the Pillars of Digital Marketing?

How do we use these three areas of marketing in this modern, digital information age? Now that we have the basics, it’s time to dive into the five pillars of digital marketing you need to know and use in your business.

1. A Great Company Website

First, you need a really great company website. Your website is the hub for every other type of marketing that you do. It’s the showcase for your brand. It’s how people find you. Your website is your real estate, or your storefront, on the web.

Even if your marketing is not directly driving leads to your website, every type of outreach you do relies in some way on your website. We live in a virtual age, and a lot of times, one of the most significant ways people will deal with you is through your website. So your company website has to be really great.

2. Database Marketing to Existing Customers

The next step is database marketing to existing customers. When we say database, we’re talking about your existing patients, your existing clients. And when we talk about database marketing, we’re talking about things that connect in some way with your existing clients to achieve retention and deepen that relationship, like: 

  • Email
  • Content marketing
  • Video blogs on YouTube
  • Written blog articles on your website
  • Hard copy newsletters
  • Postcards

A simple way to do this that we really like is to create a blog article (or a video blog article) and put that on your website. Then send out an email to your entire database which drives people to come and look at the blog or video. Then, post that blog or video on social media to your followers, so you’re constantly sharing value. This system is a great way to share value and build relationships in a simple, powerful way. 

3. Digital Ads for New Customers

The next component of small business marketing would be digital ads for new customers. Digital ads require a really hot sales funnel and fairly aggressive follow-up in order to not waste your money, because every lead that you get costs you something. They didn’t just reach out on their own—you paid for each lead—so you want to make sure they don’t go to waste.

Running digital ads is great because it’s kind of like having a faucet: You turn it on and then the leads roll in. When used correctly, digital advertising can be an incredible source of new customers. And the two most used options are Facebook ads and Google Ads.

Facebook Ads

With Facebook, you’re displaying ads to people who are just scrolling. They’re looking at cat pictures, friends, baby pictures, or whatever, on their timeline. They’re not actively looking for your message; they’re doing something else. With a Facebook Ad, you’re actually interrupting them and getting their attention. When you do that, you get them to sign up. 

They will enter their phone number, email address and name, then answer some questions about their needs or wants. Now, you’ve got them saying, “Yes, I’d like a consult,” or “Yes, I’d like an exam,” or whatever service you’re advertising. At this point, you have to aggressively move them through the rest of your sales funnel and get them to actually come in and start—which is key for Facebook Ads. Otherwise, it’ll seem like Facebook Ads don’t work.

Google Ads

With Google search ads, the people reaching out are typically already searching for your services. They’re typing in some sort of search query such as “dentist near me,” “HVAC company,” etc. Thus, these leads are typically “hotter prospects” because they’re already looking for your services. 

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for New Customers

Next, let’s look at SEO for new clients. That’s search engine optimization. The great thing about search engine optimization is that it’s organic. It happens naturally, so to speak. People just have a need, search the web, find your business and then reach out. That’s massive. You can develop a massive flow of basically “free leads,” because you aren’t having to pay for each one—these people are just finding you because you naturally rank well.

However, search engine optimization is a bit of a long game. It might take you months or even years, depending on your industry. But considering that Google is basically the phone book these days—because that’s where people go to search for things—SEO is an incredible way of being where the traffic is (i.e., the internet).

5. Reviews and Testimonials Systems

The final component that I want to talk about for small business marketing is reviews and testimonial systems. A massive part of word of mouth these days is gathering reviews and having a five-star rating on Google or Facebook (though Google is most important). 

Building online reviews does the following:

  • Builds trust online 
  • Encourages people to reach out to you
  • Lets people see what kind of business you are
  • Shows potential clients that other people have done business with you
  • Even influences your Google rankings

The way you attract reviews is not to let it happen naturally. It’s important to have a solid digital system in place to encourage people to reach out and leave a massive volume of reviews. And a part of modern marketing on the internet is to set up some sort of system for gathering reviews.

Using Video Testimonials

Similarly, testimonials are the same overall category as reviews but from a slightly different angle. If you can get people to give video testimonials, you can put those on YouTube, you can put them on your website, and generally use them to turbocharge word of mouth and referrals. When you start getting into a situation of having a ton of reviews online and great testimonials on your website—and then you’re sending these out on email to your existing database—this encourages people to refer to you.

Reach Out to Uplift Marketing

Regardless of what kind of copywriting, positioning, or branding you use, the above are the basic types of marketing any small business should be utilizing. 

If you have any questions, just leave us a comment or reach out to us directly. We’re here to help you achieve your goals, help you answer these questions, and help you succeed in marketing.

Just give us a call at (314) 690-1575 or use the Contact Us page of our website. We’d be happy to help.