Traditionally, marketing’s job was to promote your company’s brand and to generate leads for your sales force to follow-up on. Today, its role is much more complex. The marketing department must single-handedly attract, educate and nurture prospects – and make a measurable impact on your company’s revenue. But how can you grow the marketing function to achieve this level of impact?
Scaling your marketing and your revenue requires a fundamental shift in your thinking. But you must also avoid two common practices that can hold you back.
Mistake #1: Short-term thinking about funnels
Most marketers create a marketing campaign and send out one set of messages to their in-house list for a period of 30 to 60 days. Then, they do nothing.
Their momentum is gone.
Zip. Zero. Nada.
Six months later, they start all over again with a new set of creative materials and the same list.
The results, not surprisingly, are disappointing.
To make a bigger impact on sales and revenue, you need to adopt a more strategic approach to marketing. It’s based on attracting and moving a steady stream of people who look just like your ideal prospect through an EXISTING, well-optimized marketing funnel.
This approach is easier and more effective because it’s a numbers game: For every 100 people in your target market that you move through your marketing funnel, you know that 10 will turn into prospects and one will buy. If you can drive even more people through your existing funnel, while continuing to optimize it, you will do less work but get more sales.
Where can you find more prospects to attract to your marketing funnel? Here are some ideas:
- Post regular updates on social media that drive prospects to download an eGuide, report or another high-value piece of content,
- Invest in sponsored posts on LinkedIn to attract a highly-targeted group of the right people,
- Write articles or sponsored posts for leading websites in your industry,
- Offer free training (it has a high perceived value compared to an eGuide),
- Hold a series of events and webinars that are designed to appeal your ideal prospects,
- Purchase a mailing list of prospects. Send them a direct mail piece that drives them to a landing page to download a valuable piece of content.
- Partner with key trade magazines and online publishers to devise creative campaigns that attract their readers to engage with your content – such as sponsored emails, contests, primary research, webinars and special events. Any time you can co-market with a complementary organization that already serves your target audience, it’s a win.
Here’s another opportunity: A growing number of online services, including Google and LinkedIn, enable you to do “audience matching” (aka Look-a-like modeling). In other words, if you upload your list to them, they can locate other prospects with similar demographics and behavioral characteristics. It’s a powerful, highly-focused way to expand your reach to uncover new prospects.
Mistake #2: A lack of commitment to using multi-channel communications
Most marketers give up too easily.
They send an email or two to their prospects. If they don’t answer, the marketer stops communicating with them.
For best results, they need to offer multiple communication channels to reach and engage prospects. In other words, if a group of prospects didn’t respond to their first several emails, there must be a next step in the communication process. Why not move those non-responders to a new list and then hit them with a new flight of messages with a different value proposition and call to action? Consider using A/B testing to help you zero in on messages and calls to action that resonate the best with them. Use the data you collect to improve the effectiveness of these follow-up communications.
It’s your job to hit them with a different message that will resonate with them. If they’re not responding to emails, why not send them an attention-getting direct mail piece, a dimensional mailer or an exclusive invitation to a special event?
Mix it up. Get creative!
Remember: Your job is to engage them. Not ignore them.
One more thing to keep in mind
This approach takes more content than anything you’ve ever done before. You must plan and create content for every scenario in your buyer’s journey – not just the people who responded to your offer and downloaded your report or eGuide.
Yes, it takes more work.
But that’s exactly why it can differentiate your company and your brand – because most of your competitors are too lazy to be this ruthlessly efficient.