The Japanese business concept of Kaizen resonates with us in our work at Amy Who? Digital in the context of SEO and digital marketing, and we will explain why in this article.
Paying a digital marketing group or SEO professional to work on your business’ website or online ads is a great step, the flip-side is that your website and marketing should always be a work in progress.
The ‘work in progress’ aspect of digital strategies that sell and convert connects clearly with this idea of Kaizen in business.
What is Kaizen and why do we like it?
Translated Kaizen is a combination of two Japanese words “good change” and “improvement”.
Kaizen is a productivity and management method used in Japanese manufacturing after World War 2 . It is a process of continuous and whole-team orientated improvement that was adopted by Toyota and became a powerful tool in industry.
Kaizen’s approach creates continuous improvement based on the idea that small, ongoing positive changes can reap significant benefits.
The difference with Kaizen is that it includes the ongoing cooperation of the entire team in problem solving and not just top-down directives for changing things. This egalitarian approach suits us at Amy Who? Digital as we have talked in this blog about our leadership styles.
An example of Kaizen in action in business
A great example of Kaizen in action is a company who found that their small product was arriving with occasional unfilled boxes at distributors and their customers were upset.
Management invited the whole team to discuss and find a solution and a line worker discovered that a simple fan blowing towards the production line blew away the empty boxes at the packing point preventing the problem from moving down the distribution line.
A cheap and effective solution arrived at by including all your people in the Kaizen process of improvement.
How does Kaizen relate to websites, SEO and digital marketing?
Less waste is one of the key concepts of Kaizen.
If you have a marketing budget you know that ‘less waste’ sounds great right?
SEO, online ads, websites and social media all cost money or time to implement.
To make your website convert ( get customers buying or engaging ) there are continuous improvements that can and need to be made. As a member of your whole team we will always be looking for ways to improve your digital strategy.
An example we may find amongst the presenting data might be that your site is ranking well for a particular product or service but people may not be committing to call, enquire or buy.
Your website and digital marketing is ‘not converting’ in that particular area.
If we were looking at this issue from a Kaizen perspective we might say that this could be one of a few issues. Kaizen seeks to improve in three main areas, Process, Product or People.
What do you think it might be that is preventing your digital marketing from converting leads into customers?
Reasons why your website might not be converting leads into customers.
‘Process’ issues in the context of your website or digital marketing might look at issues around your digital marketing or your website that are preventing customers from connecting with your product and committing to buy or engage. We would see these issues in a digital strategy as waste and hope to improve them to see long term success.
To be honest no one has this down pat and perfect so we can always be streamlining and improving our business websites and online ads (us included, we still work on making our website helpful to business every week, with things like this blog)
Process issues your digital marketing might face
Your customer feels misled by your ad or website - if information is conflicting.
Your pricing or product offerings are confusing.
It’s hard for customers to find all the information they need about the product or service.
The pages of your website don't have a single clear goal to convert.
Your content isn't useful enough to your customers.
There is competing information from your brand on the internet about your product.
The benefits of your product aren't clear on the website.
Your Calls to action aren't clear and upfront.
Broken links, or static elements that look like they should be links
Your site isn't optimised for mobile
Your website is poorly designed for user experience
Your website has expired or old content.
Your website loads slowly
Your ads are broken, inaccurate, not optimised or lack compelling content
You don’t have any video ( let’s face it, it’s a powerhouse selling tool)
Product issues your digital marketing might face
So you’ve got a great product or at least a great work in progress and you are trying to convince your customers of its value and benefit to them. There are key things that have been proven to influence people’s decision making around purchases or commitments and they should all be continuously improving in your digital marketing.
Problems you might face are fairly well researched and we’ve listed some product issues below. You will understand your own specific customer facing product issues more than we do of course.
You have negative reviews on your product on Google or other review sites that haven't been appropriately addressed.
Your product or service is in direct and expensive advertising competition with other companies
You aren't super clear and tailoring content to who your customers are for a product or service
Your descriptions or photography are not good enough to compel people.
There is no time pressure on people buying your product or service.
Your customer hasn't seen your product or service enough times yet.
You don't have enough real product or service testimonials to influence your customer
Features your customer base has requested are slow to be or not implemented
People issues your digital marketing might face
While we all might hope that once a prospective customer calls or emails us they will immediately buy or engage with our businesses. However we know in our own everyday experiences that enquiries that don’t necessarily commit are common. We might call a business to get a “vibe” before we buy or just need the reassurance of a human connection in our purchase, especially with high ticket items.
So surprisingly your people and culture are also very important to your digital marketing strategy. If in person or online conversations are being had with customers in the process of a conversion it’s super important that your customer facing team are engaged with the entire business's goals and ready to respond.
After the lead has made the call to your company they don't feel clarity or warmth
The customer is not invited to buy (seriously this can happen)
Phone calls or emails are not returned in a timely manner
Phone calls or emails are not clear and concise
The responses to reviews are not polite and professional
Responses to social media comments are not polite, professional, respectful
Your business is not collecting appropriate data to make decisions about targeted marketing
How can I apply Kaizen strategies to my digital marketing?
Importantly the ideas within Kaizen encourage us to aim for continuous improvement and small steps. As you may have identified in the issues listed above there are often many factors that need to be continuously researched, created and implemented in digital strategies. A digital strategy can never just be set in stone; it needs to be continuously tweaked and polished.
Brainstorming ideas for digital strategies with a team
Sometimes despite all the best data online your team are the people likely to understand customer needs and requirements in clear ways. Brainstorming with a subset or your whole team can be a great way to come up with customer needs and issues that can be directly addressed in your digital marketing.
For example an administrator is noticing that callers ask a particular question regularly and they have established a great way to respond. This is terrific customer targeting information and can be made into blogs, ad copy or targeted social media posts.
You don't have to implement every idea that the team comes up with but it can be a great way to identify ‘real life’ issues that your customer faces that your company can solve.
Testing ideas for digital strategies
Part of a digital marketing strategy always includes testing. Ads and content are a great way to test your audience or potential customers and respond to their needs with targeted content.
By utilising tools like Google Analytics, Semrush and Databox Amy Who? Digital dives deep into your business’ data to find what is working and what isn’t.
However anyone can test and respond to what's happening in their digital marketing with customer focused strategies. Testing or trying out ideas moves your strategy forward whether in cooperation with a digital marketing team or within a small business.
What has worked in the past? Do you know why? Do you have any indicators from other businesses in your market of strategies that work? These are great questions to test on your audience.
What does feedback or reporting on a digital marketing campaign do?
Set and forget is the sad reality for many Google or Meta ad campaigns or website builds out there. However it rarely returns the results that a nimble, thoroughly analysed and up to date campaign will reap.
If you know what your most popular website pages are for example and how long people spend reading them and whether they click through to contact you, this can be powerful feedback.
After implementing and testing ideas feedback and reporting can identify which strategies are hitting home with customers and which need to be improved or scrapped.
Create less waste in your digital marketing strategy with Kaizen
The waste in digital marketing is things like vanity metrics ( e.g impressions that never convert to clicks ) and data that is not acted upon within the strategy.
By continuously improving "Kaizening" any and all areas of your digital strategy consistently you will reap long term benefits in your websites SEO, your ad performance and your social media engagement.
It may seem not immediately obvious but this is the ongoing work of a digital marketing team. That’s why we love this Kaizen idea. We are constantly looking for ways we can improve our clients visibility and conversion rates. We want to see through the eyes of your customers and understand why and how they engage with your company online.
Less waste means better results and more time, money and effort being directed to strategies that really work and convert.
Amy Who? Digital specialises in creating audits and marketing data analysis on websites as well as implementing the techniques needed to improve their reach and conversion rate. If you would like to chat to us about your website click here >>