Marketing is often met with hostility and a lack of sincerity. That’s because a lot of waste happens in this department.
When done effectively, marketing can have a profound impact on helping sales close more deals. However, if not approached strategically and not measured properly, you will, in fact, just waste your money.
This is what’s wrong with marketing today, and how to combat these broken commandments.
1. Marketing should directly support sales
Too often we see these two departments operating with separate agendas. Even if you’re not big enough to have separate departments, we still see these efforts separate from one another.
Whether you’re considering website content, a pay-per-click campaign, creating a video, sending out emails, etc., you should filter it through the ultimate question: how does this guide our buyer toward our sales team?
Marketing’s goal should be the same as sales: get more customers. Though day to day activities will differ, the two disciplines need to align on their roles in the same process of acquiring new customers.
2. Your strategy informs the tool, not the other way around
We often see companies that have purchased a marketing automation tool (i.e. HubSpot, Pardot, Marketo, Dynamics, etc.) in a wave of excitement, based on the capabilities the tool has. Don’t get us wrong, these tools work great.
But do you know how to spin all these capabilities up for your organization? One thing many buyers of such tools don’t immediately realize is that the full capabilities have to be backed up with a strategy.
An automated workflow of content, seamlessly guiding the customer from an ad to your website to download content and through email sequences, doesn’t happen on its own. YOU have to determine what each of these steps are, what content goes where, and ultimately what your customer journey really looks like.
These tools will not perform these preliminary strategic steps on their own. However, once you have mapped out your buyer journey, they become very powerful tools to help you execute and measure like a pro.
3. Design your program around the customer, not convenience
A lot of people hesitate to adjust website content or start to create content because they’re not sure what to say. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: a content strategy starts with nothing more than you answering your customers’ questions.
Whenever you have a question about marketing or sales content, ask yourself, “are we helping the customer understand something they didn’t before?” Many companies will blast out messages to huge email lists because that’s easier than segmenting the list into groups that probably have different priorities.
Or, they neglect to share key insights that would certainly help their customers because they don’t want to give away proprietary information. But the truth of the matter is, 70% of buyers have already made up their mind by the time they contact you.
So, if you don’t share that information early, you’re probably not going to get the opportunity to speak with them at all.
We approach all new partners with the same question: What is your customer trying to accomplish? You help them achieve what’s not possible otherwise. All your marketing and sales materials should center around how you help them achieve what they’ve previously been unable to do, and not what’s easiest for the team.
4. Measure outcomes, not activities
We’ve heard it all before, email open rates are going up! Website visitors are up! We sent out 4,000 emails last month! Our ads made 100,000 impressions!
But what’s that actually doing for your business? While trending up in any of these areas is a positive outcome, on their own they’re meaningless.
Marketing is not a one single activity - it’s a process. You have to turn these small wins by ensuring that these prospects who are opening emails or visiting your website convert to the next step.
Ultimately, you’re spending money with us, or any other firm, because you want to grow. So, let’s start there: we’re trying to get X number of new customers this year. This gives us a goal to help organize all our activities around. Nothing’s going to work on its own. It requires multiple activities working together to yield business results.