Assets in a business are items controlled by the business that generate revenue. Liabilities are debts and financial obligations owed by the business to third parties. So then:

Equity = Assets – Liabilities

credit: Derek Sewell

You can evaluate marketing in a similar way… part of marketing is generating revenue while the rest of it is either breaking even or worse, a liability. The question is how to invest in marketing that creates revenue and becomes an asset rather than a liability.

One client involved in local marketing sold well over $1.2M in projects last year that came from various lead sources:

  • Active client referred 58%
  • Online marketing 17%
  • Referral 17%
  • Mobile sign 3%
  • Other 2%
  • Newspaper 1%
  • Sales person 1%
  • Mailing 1%

The majority of their business comes from referrals which is the ideal marketing situation, and like many competitive small businesses they spend a decent amount on marketing. Outside of referrals, the only lead source that proved to be an asset was online marketing, the others were, umm… marketing liabilities.

Most businesses are painfully aware of marketing liabilities, so here are some characteristics of a marketing asset:

  • It gets the attention and interest of ideal prospects, because…
  • It gets shared or reviewed by those who like it, because…
  • It helps people make a better decision, solve a problem, gain access to expertise and/or it’s entertaining or delightful, because…
  • It was created to address the real issues going on with the ideal prospect from her perspective rather than another attempt to sell stuff, and…
  • It achieves the goal by generating quality leads, product sales, foot traffic and brand name awareness

There are plenty of examples of online marketing assets, you’ve likely seen them but may not know what’s going on behind the scenes. These three marketing asset strategies have been used by both large and small businesses to push them into the black for the year.

Amass a large following

by posting or curating interesting content in social media, running contests (not always in social media), interviewing industry leaders and startups.

amass a following
Chipotle’s facebook page is always full of fun, interesting stuff relevant to their burritos or brand and their following keeps sharing, commenting and growing! How would you like to dip an offer into that ravenous frenzy every now and again?

Offer access to valuable content for contact details

for example utilize free consultations, whitepapers/ebooks, step-by-step guides, research, troubleshooting tutorials, free trials, competitive comparisons, etc.

Troubleshooting tech support lead page
A&M Vending Machine Sales consistently strikes up conversations with ideal prospects using this tool, often “stealing” customers away from competitors.

Harness the power of satisfied customers

by creating a system, or using my platform that collects reviews, ratings, testimonials in the proper review sites and strategically places them for conversions within your site.
Google Maps Reviews
Can you guess which landscaping contractor gets the most calls from these Google Map results?

Each online marketing asset has its own metrics in addition to those I outlined above – the details that make it perform well. Most businesses have one or two marketing assets, but may not realize where the gaps are in their marketing funnel.

Start Here

Here’s where you should start or aspire to be ASAP – create a marketing asset that enables your satisfied customers to tell their story. When you have a number of genuine testimonials your marketing can go to the next level.

Because a business is focused on earning genuine positive reviews, it reveals issues and question marks that prospects/customers feel, iron these out and it makes the business even more appealing – the seeds of word of mouth marketing.

The Next Level

Most businesses can engage ideal prospects at three different stages in their buying process or in the marketing funnel:

  1. Top of funnel assets – interesting surface level content that amasses a following
  2. Decision making assets – help people make a better decision about what’s on their mind and designed to generate good leads
  3. Purchase assets – attractive offers designed to convert skeptical prospects into customers

[bctt tweet=”Gain more new business from referrals by creating online assets and optimize them to perform.”]
On your journey to gain more new business from referrals (like the example client above), create more online marketing assets, monitor and optimize them to perform.

Contact us to get a free evaluation of your marketing funnel

Tom Shivers
Tom Shivers

I'm a ecommerce SEO consultant and President of Capture Commerce. I've managed digital marketing campaigns for scores of clients since 2000 and found that every business is unique with its own challenges and opportunities. When I see that I have contributed to the success of a business by helping them grow, it makes me feel awesome! That’s the coolest thing and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to do this.