As Einstein once said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result. If your sales are-flat-lining, but your still doing the same old marketing, an alarm bell should be ringing. The world has changed tremendously in the past decade or so. Digital and social are killing it. The consumer is in complete control of their buying journey, and if you want to get back in the game, you need a transformational marketing strategy.
The Changing Nature of Sales
67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally*. That means consumers are looking online for answers to their day-to-day problems. That also means that decision-making executives are also searching online for solutions to their business challenges. A significant part of the buying decision is therefore being made upstream, before engaging with your, or your competitors’, sales teams.
The All-new, Highly-Informed, Customer
So today’s customer is very informed, much more so than in the pre-digital age. They know a lot of stuff. And they can find out an awful lot of stuff – very quickly. They digest opinions from thought leaders. They read product reviews from trusted advisers and they take advice from trusted friends and social connections.
The Need For Marketing Organisations to Adapt
Paying attention to the sales and marketing funnel has never been more important. But traditional marketing organisations are often aligned to communications channels rather than to the funnel. Think Email Manager, Advertising Manager, Marcom Manager and even Social Media Manager. A modern marketing team will be laser-focused on content, inbound marketing, lead generation and lead conversion. The chosen communication channel, or medium, is important, but secondary.
The Rise of Inbound Marketing
Organisations that are not easily found in search engines, or are not active in social networks, are in trouble. In a digital world, it’s dog eat dog, a fight for survival. If you are invisible, you need to become visible – quickly. By adopting inbound marketing practices and focusing on developing highly valuable content, you can become a trusted and credible voice in your niche or industry. To be blunt, you need to adapt – or die. You need a transformational marketing strategy.
*Sirius Decisions, 2013
Change the fortunes of your company by re-aligning your marketing organisation and implementing a transformational marketing strategy.
- Understand your marketing funnel
- Identify the weaknesses in your marketing funnel
- Decide on your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Become a digital marketing powerhouse
- Align resources to your marketing funnel
- Invest in content creation and development
- Provide training on content marketing, inbound marketing & marketing automation
- Re-define marketing goals and objectives
- Make them SMART
- Focus on the funnel
- Be laser-focused on awareness: aim to build trust and credibility
- Focus on primary KPIs
- Ensure employees’ performance goals are properly mapped
- Create a rolling 13-week planning cycle
- Have someone own the planning methodology
- Map all activities to business goals
- Focus investments on maximising ROI
- Do NOT underinvest in content development
- Conduct a website audit
- Optimise core pages for search engines
- Create content with a purpose
- Amplify content with social media
- Become an authority in your industry
- Build landing pages with enticing calls-to-action
- Develop lead capture mechanisms
- Embrace marketing automation techniques
- Install a marketing automation platform e.g. Hubspot or Marketo
- Get everyone fully trained
- Run every marketing activity through the platform
- Feed every marketing lead into the platform
- Measure, review, analyse and interpret
- Undertake a content audit
- Identify gaps and plan to fill them
- Create a content planning worksheet
- Build a content creation framework
- Transpose content to your marketing calendar
- Check progress on action items in a weekly team meeting
- Invite external stakeholders as appropriate
- Present quarterly updates to wider audience
- Measure web traffic, leads and conversion rates
- Measure social engagements with prospects and customers
- Calculate cost per lead for every “source”
- Calculate cost per acquisition (i.e. for every new customer) for every source
- Calculate Return On Investment (ROI) for each marketing activity
- Compare results to goals
- Review and interpret.
- Feed conclusions into next planning cycle