An online marketing design is a powerful tool for consultants and coaches who want to learn how to get more clients. When you build a better understanding of your target audience, you can create highly proactive and effective messages that attract your ideal clients or customers.

In my consulting work, businesses often ask me how to get more clients and expect me to tell them about some clever new marketing tactic. However, that’s rarely what’s required. Because for any marketing method to work, you need to base it on a clear marketing design that starts with your ideal client profile.

The Power of Online Marketing Design

An online marketing design is essentially a pattern that represents your ideal client’s demographic and psychographic profile.

Put simply, an online marketing design is a specific description of your ideal client alongside pathways for how you engage with him or her and how you would like them to engage with you, your business, your product or your services.

The concept of an online marketing design is distinct from a digital marketing strategy or marketing method. An online marketing design is primarily concerned with the prospective client and their experience as they move through your sales process, and secondarily with the actual tools and systems used to sign up a client.

An online marketing design is an important part of the solution for how to get more clients. It’s the precursor to the creation of an effective ‘sales funnel’. It provides the blueprint for highly targeted messaging matched to your clients’ specific problems and needs and the pathway for effective engagement.

If you want to learn how to get more clients, focus on clarifying the message to market match. Think about how your product or service delivers the emotional end benefits your ideal client desires.

Mirroring Online Learning Design

Online marketing design borrows from approaches to online learning design and what educationalists call the “learner journey”. This represents the most effective learning pathway, including the best route to achieve the intended outcome or “learning pathway”.

Similarly, online marketing design should mirror your “client journey”. It should represent the objectives: where the client is right now and where they want to get to; and the roadmap: the interactions and experience you use to help them navigate the path.

For business and marketing purposes, this is useful terminology as it helps you plot a course based on your client’s desired objectives.

However, clients may be at slightly different starting points in their journey towards these objectives, so your design needs a degree of flexibility and agility.

Online marketing designs, therefore, work best when they can be mapped to different contexts, needs and situations.

Improving Your Audience’s Online Experience

Few of these ideas are new to education, or indeed to marketing, but matching user needs and behaviours through “client journey mapping” can be extremely useful when applied to online marketing.

Your ideal client profile will help determine your content and channel strategy – and inform all of your copywriting, website branding, blog article keywords, social media plan, and so forth.

Using digital tools, you can engage and interact in quite a personalised manner with your audience. For example, offering alternative entry points via your website means you can segment your audience and deliver relevant content, opt-in offers and follow up accordingly. This increases the likelihood of their engagement with you, which leads to more clients.

Such seamless “digital dialogue” improves the experience for prospective clients moving through your sales and marketing process. From their response to an advert or website quiz to your email follow up or phone conversation with them, you are showing that you understand their specific situation rather than addressing them as one broad group.

Designing Your Business Architecture

Your online marketing design is the architecture of your business strategy, including both your content and systems design. This is so important, I devote a whole section to Leveraged Marketing in my book Leveraged Consulting.

The content side builds on what you know about your target audience, their interest in your particular type of product or service. The systems side builds on what kinds of activities they engage in across the digital marketing environment – reading, watching, listening, clicking, sharing and so on.

Specifying how these different components fit together and are mutually reinforcing is one way I help my clients with strategic marketing for business growth.

This is a fruitful area to explore. It helps you maximise the flow and congruence of your marketing, which in turn increases the conversion of clicks to clients.