To: Ava Shije, Owner of Zenbox Marketing
From: Dan Ross, Erin Decker, Dannie, Dave Shije (Ava Alter Ego), Marketing Consultants
Subject: Zenbox Marketing: Focusing on Strengths for Profitability and Scalability
We appreciate your time and consideration during this transition period of your business. After careful review of your current business strategy we believe that we have identified areas of new opportunity that could be the focal point of your pivot. Our goals during this Marketing & Business Strategy Audit are to identify what is currently working for your business, what is not, and establish a new direction for the business that focuses on profitability and scalability. Over the past six months we have analyzed the Zenbox Marketing business model and reviewed your current pain points as we see them:
Current Zenbox Marketing Pain Points
- Targeting small businesses with small marketing budgets
- Small budgets are spread thin across a broad range of marketing activities
- Business model’s bottleneck is the Marketing Director’s time
We reviewed the past and current customers of Zenbox Marketing and mapped out a customer persona that we believe encompasses the essence of your current average customer. We have named this persona “Pete” and it can be found by clicking here.
The consensus on this end is that Zenbox Marketing promotes itself as an outsourced marketing team for businesses that have zero marketing staff. This means that Zenbox Marketing is responsible for a very large range of services for these businesses and there is very little consistency in services offered between different customers. Additionally, we discovered that many of your customers are very small businesses with a small number of employees and small marketing budgets due to limited revenue. This current business direction is labor-intensive, growth is limited by your time, and ultimately it is not profitable enough.
- Establishing local presence
- Well-positioned against local competitors
- Remote business model
Zenbox has recently begun receiving more attention locally through its work with Santa Fean magazine and the University of New Mexico. Our local competitor analysis shows that Zenbox is already competing well against other New Mexican digital marketing agencies. Since COVID-19, all business interactions have moved to Zoom, meaning that Zenbox is able to meet more frequently with Albuquerque businesses without the driving time. Many New Mexico businesses have verbally expressed their preference to work with a local company and disappointment with the selection of digital agencies. This is Zenbox’s most immediate opportunity to expand, from both an SEO and a networking perspective. We recommend targeting New Mexico’s largest businesses first and then expanding outward geographically.
The New Direction
We propose transitioning your business’s value proposition in a manner that will allow for scalability while keeping your overhead costs minimal. By specializing and relying more on expertise and software to provide value, you’ll be able to move away from an hour-based model.
We identified strengths within the current Zenbox Marketing service offering and referenced those strengths with overall profitability. We strongly feel that by narrowing your offered services You will be able to take on more clients, increase your business stability, and significantly increase revenue. The core of Zenbox Marketing consists of Ava Shije, Lucas Shije, and subcontractor partnerships. Zenbox excels in making websites, creating website content, and translating brand messaging into web material. Through your subcontractor partners, you also provide managed website hosting, web maintenance and SEO services.
New Core Service Mix
- Web Design & Development
- Website Management
- Content Creation
- Digital Branding
With these services combined, Zenbox Marketing has the ability to take responsibility for clients’ websites, while allowing clients to keep one hand on the wheel. Their website is the only place they own on the Internet, and since COVID-19, websites are increasingly becoming the main public-facing presence for some industries. Having an SEO-driven strategy, full implementation, and relevant metrics matching Zenbox’s tasks to website conversion rates will provide obvious benefit and value to the customer.
Web design, development, hosting, and maintenance form a solid service offering, but it is a largely project-based model with little recurring revenue from each client. The web design industry outlook is steady with projected 7% growth rate. SEO is projected to grow at only 3% over the next 5 years. Content marketing as an industry is projected to grow at 14%, and we believe that an innovation in this industry is Zenbox’s biggest opportunity to scale.
The innovation we propose is: showing a client their web content’s effect on their website’s success and attribute that to revenue growth. This outlook will form a convincing reason for executives to invest in retainer-based content marketing.
New Mexico search traffic has not shown a strong interest in content marketing, meaning that your local messaging needs to speak strongly to website development & SEO while you build out your messaging around content marketing and position Zenbox to compete nationally as a content marketing agency. This new direction for Zenbox Marketing also necessitates the need to redefine the target customer. As identified earlier in this memo, “Petes” are not a realistic target for growth.
Through data analysis we have realized that Zenbox Marketing must target medium sized businesses with marketing directors/VPs of marketing or marketing minded CEOs. We recommend targeting companies that fall in the $2.5- $5 million in annual revenue range. We also identified that ideal targeted companies have at least one Marketing Employee. For some insight into who we recommend we put together a few customer personas. We have provided a few personas for some behind the scenes insight into what we considered during our research. We originally planned on going after Business owners directly, as seen with the personas Audrey and Chaz however after additional research and conversations with industry experts, we refined our position and identified Kevin as the prime target customer of Zenbox Marketing’s new service offerings.
Marketing directors are likely spread thin, and being able to outsource their website and its content creation will be a relief. Showing conversions tied to Zenbox’s work will be a huge selling point when marketers are pitching the new agency to upper management. Zenbox should no longer be willing to fill all the marketing roles that may arise for a client, this means that an internal Marketing Manager, Director, or VP of Marketing is ideal. They must wear many hats in the organizations that fall in this revenue range, and Zenbox Marketing is there to manage and lead their website efforts.
Utilizing Digital Innovations
Zenbox’s Marketing will utilize digital innovation to differentiate itself from competition in this proposed space. This innovation will be a robust customer portal that will accomplish many collaborative and analytical reporting goals. Our plan is to utilize existing data sets available through Google Search Console and pair them alongside other paid data sets from SEO softwares. Essentially our goal with this innovation is to provide the client with a single source of truth for analyzing their website’s effectiveness. These feeds from different softwares will integrate into one simple dashboard through API, allowing clients to see different types of data related to the same topic side by side. This is matched with client ability to comment, approve content, upload content, schedule consultation meetings, view what Zenbox is working on and request new services. This will be the digital war room for website strategy, and the client will have a hand on the helm.
Zenbox will use a topic-based approach to organic SEO to both inform content strategy and show the client why blog posts are valuable. Google’s search algorithm has become good at identifying topic groups to understand content contextually. Within the main “topics” of a company, which could be a service or a product category, supporting content will be created to pull in search traffic and direct visitors to a conversion. Making all of this information available through a live analytics portal will provide value for the client and encourage collaboration in line with Zenbox’s efforts. From a client acquisition perspective, the portal will be a powerful tool to draw in marketers.
Driving Traffic Through Content
Zenbox can use a variety of marketing channels to draw in prospective clients. True to its core service offerings, Zenbox must foremost excel in creating content on its website that will drive traffic and conversions. We also recommend posting paid advertising and outreach on social platforms Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to create awareness and engagement with Zenbox’s content.
Hosting workshops around the services Zenbox offers will provide the opportunity to get in front of and pitch to hot leads. For example, a workshop on matching conversion data with your content marketing could end in a demo showing what Zenbox built to achieve this goal. Attendees will be given the opportunity to hire Zenbox to set up their own portal, hosted on Zenbox’s website and maintained with a reasonable monthly fee. Once they are portal users, they will have the opportunity in-portal to subscribe to Zenbox’s tiered services plans.
The new value proposition is a simplified, data-driven approach to content marketing that will resonate with marketing professionals. It implements Zenbox’s message of focusing resources and being intentional with marketing efforts. Zenbox’s full service offering can serve as the core of marketing directors’ entire digital marketing strategy.