Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon are all names you've probably heard. No matter where you are in the world, chances are that you've heard of these companies.
Have you heard of Centene, AmerisourceBergen or Centene Danaher, Fortive, Archer Daniels Midland, AmerisourceBergen and AmerisourceBergen?
I'm sure you haven’t heard of any of these companies.
These companies aren’t small. Here's how much revenue each one generates in a given year.
- Danaher – $29.45 billion
- Fortive $5.25 Billion
- AmerisourceBergen $213 billion
- Centene $118 billion
- Archer Daniels Midland $85.25 Billion
That's quite a bit of revenue. These companies weren't born. They still make a lot of money, even though they may not be as glamorous as Apple or Nike.
My ad agency doesn't work with all of the brands I mentioned, but we do work alongside some of them and dozens of billion-dollar companies that you may not have heard of.
Although our primary goal is to assist our clients (which we do; Inc Magazine awarded us agency of the Year and 21st fastest-growing company), we also learn a lot from consulting with more than 100 publicly traded companies.
These are the marketing insights you might not be thinking about when it comes to billion-dollar companies that leverage them.
First lesson: The riches do not reside in the niches
Marketers talk about the importance of finding niches and how easier it is to market within them.
This is completely wrong. A niche market is difficult.
It's easy to see it this way: rank number 1 in the search term "credit cards" and "heatmap analytics software".
It is much easier to rank terms such as "heatmap analytics software", which is, ironically, what my former company does.
What if few people search terms such as heatmap analytics? It's possible to claim that high rankings will make it easier for you to market your product. But, if you don't get any traffic or sales from the term does that really matter?
See, rankings don't mean much. What really matters is whether your marketing efforts are paying off.
Let's keep it simple: Are your marketing efforts generating profitably?
Even though niche industries are less competitive, it's still harder to generate traffic or sales. It's easier to get traffic if you are broadening your search and targeting industries that are universally applicable, like health insurance.
Although you won't get as much traffic as your competition, even if you do get 1/10th the traffic, you can still build a large business.
This is why niches are not my focus. I pursue massive TAMs (Total Addressable market).
Although health insurance is not sexy, United Health Care, which most people don’t know, generates $287 million in revenue annually.
The larger the market, the more customers you will have and the easier it will be to make money. It will be more difficult for you to win the market and be the best in it, but you don't need to win to make enough money to be happy.
One of my best friends had a website selling speeches that he used to sell to best man speeches. His site was the most visited in the space, and he could not figure out how to make more than $200,000 per year.
He still earned a good income, but when he invested the same effort in education, he wasn't nearly as popular. People even took him for granted… but he was still generating millions of dollars per year in profit.
Rich Barton, founder of Expedia and Zillow, once stated that it takes the same effort as hitting a single or double to swing a homerun. You might as well swing for fences every time.
Lesson #2 – It's easier to market multiple products
As in lesson 1, the market size continues to grow as you introduce new products.
Many products are offered by the big, well-known brands you already know.
Amazon offers ecommerce, streaming and cloud computing as well as grocery stores.
Google search, android, self driving cars, Nest and other services are available from Google.
Apple has phones, laptops, iPads, computers, headphones, etc.
It's not just well-known brands with multiple products.
Take a look at the number of business units Danaher owns. Similar to Fortive, they also have tons of business units.
I don't know of a multi-billion-dollar company that doesn't offer multiple products and services.
If you can think of one, I'm sure they will have multiple products. It is only a matter of when. This is how successful businesses grow. There is no other choice than to grow.
If you are looking to increase your sales or traffic, consider what products you could offer that would appeal to your customers.
Cross-selling can be done, which will increase revenue. You can also increase your marketing. Think about the paid media and SEO campaigns that you can launch once you have more products.
This is one of the easiest ways to scale up your growth.
Lesson 3: Word-of-mouth Marketing is the best form of marketing.
When I was first starting out in marketing, I learned SEO. I have since become proficient at it.
Then I got into social media marketing using Digg. It doesn't exist anymore, but it drove 20,000+ visitors to your site every day if you were on the homepage.
Then, I began to study conversion optimization, email marketing and paid ads.
Marketing is a key component in building big businesses. You need to be omnichannel in your marketing efforts.
It's not the way to grow a billion-dollar company, even though it can help.
Working with multi-billion-dollar companies has allowed me to get to know both the CEOs and CMOs.
Do you all know the number one channel they use to market?
It is word-of mouth marketing, or variations thereof. It's basically people telling others about you, your product, or your service . This is how you win.
Then I asked them how they generate word-of mouth marketing. After collecting all their responses, I compiled the data and here are the top three ways to get more word of mouth.
- Keep your business in business for the long-term. Word-of-mouth marketing takes time. No matter what product you sell, and no matter how good it is. It takes time and patience for word-of-mouth marketing to kick in fully.
- You should have a great product or service. Word-of-mouth marketing will be more effective if your product is outstanding. If your product is bad, there will be little or no word-of mouth marketing. Or worse, people will talk negatively about you.
- Have thousands of people working for you. You can have your company listed on LinkedIn by people or your employees sharing information about your company with others. This is a great way for your brand to be known.
Lesson #4 – Ugly is sexy
Are you in dire need of a new pair? While it would be nice to own the latest Jordan shoes , do you really need them?
Are you going to buy the new iPhone? It would be great to have the new iPhone, but your current iPhone can still order food, send texts, and check your email well enough.
The camera may not be as sharp as the latest phones, but you won't be using your phone to do high-end photography or even just for taking selfies… the new camera is not really necessary.
What about payroll? Is it possible for a business to stop using its payroll provider?
If they stop, their employees will not be paid and their business won't exist.
Ceridian is a popular company because of this. They generate $1.02 trillion annually, which is something you have probably never heard of.
They provide payroll services. They are indispensable for businesses.
Even if Ceridian is not used for payroll, there are good chances that whoever you use will pay them for their tax infrastructure, as they are one the two companies that calculate payroll tax in the United States.
It is difficult to build a system to calculate payroll tax payments in America. Any company that makes a mistake can face severe penalties.
You must consider each state in the United States, as well as every county and city, when building this system. Each state has its own tax rules that are constantly changing.
Also, it is expensive to build ugly businesses that people actually need.
Children don't talk about software that can help with payroll taxes when they are young. Instead, they talk about building a fashion brand or being paid to be an influencer.
Lesson #5 – The United States isn't the center of the world
I love the United States of America and live here.
Yes, there are issues. But all countries have problems.
The United States is not the center of the universe. Most of the 7.7 million people on the planet don't reside in the United States. They live in other countries.
My ad agency NP Digital has people around the globe who work with me. We have offices in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Australia, and many other places.
These offices are not available for outsourcing, as many would think. These offices are available to assist people in their marketing efforts within these regions.
Why would companies such as Cisco want to market in India, for example? It is a growing market.
My CEO was also the president of a division in a publicly traded company. This division employed over 4000 people. Can you guess how much of their revenue was from the United States?
About 26%. This means that roughly 3/4 of their revenue came from outside the United States.
Globalizing your business will allow you to reach more people and is often less competitive.
This was one of the key strategies that allowed us to grow quickly at NP Digital. We expanded internationally (and are still adding new regions).
This strategy was used to accomplish this. It helped us to get traffic and leads from all over the globe.
Lesson #6 – Your marketing is only as good and effective as your team
An old startup I started called KISSmetrics, which failed years ago.
It was a web analytics firm that raised $16.4 Million from investors.
Phil Black, True Ventures' investor, was a board member. He was a great guy, and I loved being a board member.
He would always give me one piece of advice, which I still remember.
Entrepreneurs don't need to do it all. Instead, you can hire great people. You need people who have done the exact same thing you want and have done it before in your industry.
Phil was simply pushing us to find amazing people for every job.
If you're an ad agency looking to improve sales, you can hire the head salesperson from a competitor who is doing great. Although it may be more expensive, there is a greater chance they will have the right information to help you succeed.
Instead of hiring someone from an unrelated industry to be a head salesperson, they will not know the industry and what they need in order to succeed.
Phil taught me so much that I wish I had understood it when I founded the company in 2008. It would have helped me so much in my career.
We took this advice to the extreme with NP Digital. Our CEO was President of iProspect (aka a competitor), the largest performance marketing agency.
There was also our head of client services.
Dentsu's COO was responsible for all performance marketing fulfillment, which meant that she was responsible for more than $1 billion in revenue.
My co-founder, and I, continue to search for the best people. This is how you can really grow quickly.
This is what large corporations do.
This is also true for your marketing. This includes the person who runs your marketing department, as well as each individual player like your SEO or paid media manager.
Are they industry-experienced? They may not be able to perform in that industry.
Are they still getting promotions from their former jobs? They may not be as good as they claim to be if they didn't. It doesn't matter what people are like, if they don't get promoted at their previous jobs, it could mean that other people didn't consider them as valuable.
These are two things you should consider when hiring marketers or any other role. You want people who can fit in with the culture, but also people who have worked for other companies and received promotions or raises in the past. This usually indicates that they did a great job.
#7: To be successful in the long-term
What do you think is the most searched term on Google in the United States?
Take a guess at it.
It is actually "Facebook".
Guess the second most searched term?
It is the term "YouTube".
Amazon is the third most searched term. Google is the 5th most popular search term, followed by Walmart (6th), and Gmail (7th).
Do you see a trend?
Not only in the United States but worldwide, brands are the most searched terms.
Look at Nike. It is searched 6,000,000 times per month in the United States. The term shoes is searched only 1.2 million times per month. Nike is therefore more searched for than any other shoe category each month.
What do you think is the most searched term that brings traffic to your business?
It's not Neil Patel.
The second most-respected term we have is another brand… Answer to the Public.
My personal brand, Neil Patel, is the third most searched term.
A brand is essential to building a large business.
SEO can only take you so far. Paid advertising will not get you far. If you want your brand to succeed, people need to love your product or services.
It doesn't take long to build a brand. Do not expect to see the results you desire in the first three years. Your brand will take 5+ years to really start to take off.
Here's an article I wrote that will help you create a brand. And here is a video to help you.
It is wonderful to learn from companies like Apple. They are an incredible company. I am writing this blog post from a Macbook.
It's difficult for people to duplicate the magic Apple does with their marketing and business.
It's also easier to duplicate the marketing strategies of these multi-billion dollar companies because they are applicable to all types of businesses and are easy to implement.
What other strategies can you learn from companies that aren't well-known?
By: Neil Patel
Title: 7 Marketing Lessons Learned from Billion Dollar Companies You’ve Never Heard Of
Sourced From: neilpatel.com/blog/marketing-lessons-billion-dollar-companies/
Published Date: Mon, 08 Aug 2022 23:35:02 +0000