“Successful business strategy doesn’t begin with a product; it begins with a customer—a living, breathing person
with unique interests, quirks, pain points, and needs. Wise companies put their customers’ goals ahead of their
own by creating products, services and content that specifically fulfill and appeal to their customers’ needs and
~ Angie Schottmuller, Forbes Top 10 Online Marketer
The better online marketers:
1. Develop a unique value proposition: You have to start with the “why.” If you don’t know what this means,
you’re not yet ready to market.
2. Interview clients to create personas: Effective marketers are obsessed with understanding their
customer’s pains, needs, and challenges.
3. Understand the voice of the customer: Social media is the greatest marketing research tool ever. Listen
and learn what troubles buyers.
4. Conduct customer and reader surveys: You’ll get the answers you need by asking the right people the
5. Address the customer journey: Marketers need to understand the various touch points prospects
encounter and prepare assets to meet their specific needs in context.
6. Read competitors blogs: Size-up the competitors you’re losing opportunities to. They may be good, but
they’re not perfect.
7. Read and comment on industry authority blogs: Someone in your market is taking the lead by leading the
conversation. Join the conversation.
8. Read and/or subscribe to industry research: Researchers are unraveling where your competitors’
strengths and weaknesses are.
We’re at least ten years removed from the “brochure” website with a phone number and/or contact us form. If you
recognize your website is the hub of your marketing (and you better), you must then carefully develop and execute a
website designed to make it easy for visitors to find what they seek and inspire them to progress through your sales
“A bad website will hurt you even if you master everything else in marketing. Your site is your home. It’s your face.
It’s the center of all of your marketing. The website determines the conversion rate. That’s the percentage of visitors
who act, becoming subscribers and leads. All the traffic in the world won’t help if your website stinks.”