How To Go From Zero To 100 (million!) In Marketing Your Business Online

I recently consulted on marketing with a medium sized e-commerce business that manufactured computer parts.

They had been in business for decades, did over $4M per year, and yet didn’t have any digital marketing plan in place.

That’s right, they worked IN the computer space since basically when the internet was invented and STILL did not have a digital marketing plan.

I say that not to chastise them in any way – I say it because it’s shocking how many good-sized businesses still have not begun marketing themselves online. It’s almost as if they’re afraid they missed the chance and don’t think it’s worth it anymore.

Well, let me dispel that myth right here and now; if you run any sized business, you have NOT missed the chance to utilize the internet to grow your bottom line.

In fact, I’d say now is the perfect time to get started!

So, going back to the e-commerce company, here’s the steps I took them through to identify their ideal digital marketing strategy for 2020.

The Setup

I was hired by this company because a cousin of mine worked as their in-house web developer.

On new years eve of 2019/2020 he, the VP of his company and I all went out to bring in the new year.

After a few (too many) drinks we somehow (*cough* I probably brought it up) got onto the topic of digital marketing and he mentioned his company tried Google Ads with no success so stopped all digital marketing efforts.

That was all I needed to hear.

For the rest of our time at that bar I talked non-stop about the different strategies he could use to grow his business.

The next week I got a call from my cousin asking if I would come in to talk them through what we had discussed on new years eve. I obliged and the following week drove out to their HQ.

The Digital Marketing Consultation

When I got there, the first thing I did was ask who was in charge of marketing. Crickets.

Rule #0 in digital marketing; digital marketing is a full time job for at least one employee.

Believe me, if done right, it will be well, well worth the hire.

So my first suggestion was for them to hire or dedicate one person to building out and managing the campaigns on a daily basis.

The next thing I did was walk them through a high level overview of digital marketing as a unified effort to ensure we were all on the same page with terms.

A Digital Marketing Overview

If you were to really dumb digital marketing down into two basic categories, those categories would be.

  1. Organic marketing
  2. Paid marketing

Organic marketing is essentially everything you do online that doesn’t cost you anything. Think posting on social media, shooting videos on YouTube, going Live on Facebook, and email marketing. All organic.

Paid marketing is, well, paid. It is the process of buying media space on one of the many major online platforms out there.

Organic is great, but it takes time and a lot of effort up front to see results. For established businesses, I always suggest starting with Paid Ads. When it comes to growing your business as fast as possible, there really is nothing that beats paid ads.

Once we covered the types of digital marketing and paid ad platforms, I went into the basics of a marketing / sales funnel.

Specifically, I talked about how digital marketing focuses on the top and middle of the funnel.

With paid traffic / conversion ads, re-marketing campaigns and a high-converting landing page you are basically guaranteed sales.

Baby Steps To Success

Up to this point the team and I were on the same page – they understood organic and paid marketing, and the channels they needed to use in paid to build real traffic.

It was when I suggested they start with JUST Facebook ads that I started to lose them.

In their mind, they needed to build out a campaign for ALL of the platforms.

However, when you spread yourself thin like that, you generally produce piss poor results. When you’re just starting out, you need to select ONE platform to run paid ads on. Get that platform down, then move on to the next.

Being a medium sized business doing $4M annually I suggested they start with Facebook Ads as they already had a lot of traffic going to their website.

…. Which meant they have a lot of DATA they can grab with their pixel to start re-marketing campaigns.

Rule #1 of digital marketing; re-marketing ads will always have a higher ROI than cold traffic ads.

The Full Campaign

After a few hours of getting them setup on ad platforms and explaining how everything works together, we parted ways with a solid plan in place and huge smiles all around.

In the end, we landed on a pretty simple plan.

  1. Start with Facebook / Instagram ads. Run re-marketing ads to entice dropped checkouts to complete their purchase and run Lookalike ads to find and attract new business to their website
  2. Continue with Google ads. Run search and shopping ads to the US only and re-marketing display ads to all website traffic
  3. Finish with LinkedIn, YouTube, and Amazon PPC ads (e-commerce). Given how much time it takes to setup and optimize campaigns, I suggested these last platforms would be a ways off, but that they should be in the long term plan once Google and Facebook are up and running.

Want More?

If you’d like to create a similar plan for your own business, you can download the full deck everyone here at GCQ built out for our client here.

Oh and if you didn’t know, I run a digital marketing company and love helping business owners reach the next level of success with their digital marketing. You can see all of the tools I use to get our company and our clients companies results on our resources page here.

If you’d like to hire us to create a comprehensive digital marketing plan for your business, or to do digital marketing FOR you, reach out to us at

To your success, fulfillment and happiness!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: