“Marketing is no longer about shouting in a crowded marketplace. It is about participating in a dialogue with fellow travelers. Marketing is no longer about generating transactions. It is about building relationships. Marketing is no longer about exploiting a market for your own benefit. It is about serving those who share your passion—for your mutual benefit.” -- Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy Word, Michael Hyatt 2012.
Marketing today is about building relationships.
The new world of marketing requires coordination that many marketers may find uncomfortable – one must demonstrate a unity of message and authenticity to ensure that strategy, messaging, and engagement connect with people who need your technology to keep the the sales funnel brimming with sufficient new relationships to meet your targets. Nirvana is the opposite of being uncomfortable and this post is about how to build such a state of marketing enlightenment to grow your business.
Lead generation marketing today requires many new, and often daunting elements to bring about alignment of methodology, technology, content and expertise into a single process that spans from attracting new prospects to delighting customers:
The coordination of messaging, media, promotion and people to make all this happen requires balance. While your Inbound Marketing efforts may offer up compelling content and community engagement, are you still left wanting for a dose of exposure from traditional outbound marketing to bring new prospects to the table and reinforce your calls to action, and importantly, are your deals on offer being supported by an engaged sales force?
It is important to jumpstart new Inbound marketing programs with outbound “traffic augmentation,” or advertising and promotional events to build traffic and make ROI occur sooner.
We sometimes see companies put too much emphasis on one approach or the other – all social media and no events, or all email blasts and no telemarketing to convert a prospect from simply a name to an opportunity. Focusing too heavily on any one component creates inefficiencies that leave potential sales on the table. Relying solely on your blog and social media channels may be attracting attention but will it generating sales fast enough? Preferable would be achieving a balanced approach, which we refer to as “marketing nirvana,” -- our goal in working with clients. Nirvana is within reach when you align your efforts in the three key areas: Inbound marketing, outbound marketing, and sales force engagement.
We often wonder why other B2B marketers do not see the world in such an integrated fashion, including fully involving your sales team in the mix. After all, your sales team is the last and most important point of contact with people on their way to becoming your customers. It all has to work together.
One of our other fundamental observations about making everything work together, for example, is that it is important to jumpstart new Inbound marketing programs with outbound “traffic augmentation,” or advertising and promotional events, to build traffic and make ROI occur sooner. Another thing we've seen is that with Social Media, relevence and context matters. In both cases timing is a crucial element and as such “good timing” is infinately more possible when we intentionally manage content publishing, social engagement and lead management as a single business process, not a series of disconnected events. Marketing automation tools, like HubSpot with CRM integration, help you achieve this.
To succeed, we must find that proper balance of effort and investment -- and develop a coordinated plan -- in order to fully employ and integrate all of our marketing capabilities and achieve marketing nirvana.
So how does one go about managing the right mix of activities, as simply splitting your efforts into thirds is likely not the right approach? The answer is; it depends. It depends on the your competitive position, the characteristics of your audience / your market, your objectives and budget, and, long term, you can only find the right mix by starting with a hypothesis, experimenting, measuring, adjusting, and trying again. We typically help our clients assess their situation by asking these simple questions:
- Who is your audience? Primary? Who else are we engaging?
- What are their specific personas?
- What are your objectives?
- What resonates with our audience? Why? (Let’s talk to some customers)
- How will search engines connect you with your audience?
- What resources (money, people, content, brand) are available to commit to the mission?
- What is your timeframe?
- How will we measure success?
With the answers to these questions, we can build a customized blueprint -- complete with a ROI model -- for us to measure your building relationships against. We can build a program with Nirvana-like balance of Inbound Marketing, outbound marketing, and sales force engagement for sustainable, and successful lead generation program to cost effectively meet your goals.
If you would like to find marketing nirvana for your company, we would be pleased to provide you an Inbound Marketing Assessment (IMA), or a one-day strategy design workshop, to get the ball rolling. Our custom diagnostic within the IMA will demonstrate for you the audience economics you need to achieve with your Website based on your unique sales funnel. The IMA also offers a competitor review, benchmarks against best practices and a recommended program to fill your pipeline. It is a valuable tool and we invite you to give it a try. One-day workshops are great for all these reasons, and are customized to get your entire team on the same page from the outset. Tell us your needs and we’ll design a business-building, make that relationship-building, program for you.
Sound like a plan? Let’s get started!