As a company President or CEO, there are many things that demand your attention. Each day you need to focus on sufficient cash flow, profits, and the overall financial health of your organization. As the leader of your organization, you are responsible for the strategy and direction of your company, and it is up to you to effectively communicate and implement that strategy. You have organizational and staff development issues to contend with, as well as team chemistry and company culture. Do you have the right people in the right position? Do you need to add or reduce headcount in a specific area? Is my staff capable to do the job they have been hired for, both now and in the future? And how do you balance all the Operational issues you face daily and still maintain a solid relationship with your customers and leadership team? These are just a few of the items that demand your time and attention. So how do you do all this and still have the right Sales and Marketing strategy in place that will fill the pipeline and achieve the necessary growth to stay in business?
Business Distractions can Hinder Sales & Marketing
Chances are that in your position you excel in certain aspects like Operations, Engineering or Finance. And we all tend to fall back to our comfort zones and focus our efforts and attention to the areas we feel the most confident and enjoyable. Many small to medium-sized companies don’t have the ability to employ a dedicated resource to focus on Marketing, Customer Engagement and, Retention or Content Development. Another challenge is understanding the ROI that investing in a Marketing Strategy will yield.
In your position, there are constantly new industry buzzwords or terms that bombard you, and marketing is no exception. If you search the web you can find many lists, including the 100 terms outlined in HubSpot’s “The Ultimate Dictionary of Marketing Terms You Should Know”. But for the sake of brevity, here are the Top Ten that every Small to Medium-Sized organization should be familiar with.
A depiction of your ideal customer target which has been developed based on your current customer base. It can be used to better understand what motivates and drives your target audience and develop marketing and sales tools to address their needs and pain points. A representative image that can be utilized by both your business development and marketing team.
Deciding whether or not you want to receive content, be included in an email distribution list or subscribe to blogs or marketing content. Typically, every consumer is given this choice when they purchase a product online or at point of sale terminals in retail environments; e.g. agree to receive updates on sales,limited time offers or is added on a mailing list. If you attend a trade show and a vendor scans your badge at their booth, this is a form of opt-in.
Note: Every business should familiarize themselves with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)
3. Expressed Consent
This refers to a contact who has given you explicit permission to contact them electronically. Just because a customer has bought from you in the past or used your services does not mean you have Expressed Consent. This also applies to customers who have entered into a written or electronic contact with you within the last two years. Those situations are Implied Consent, and not Expressed. Before you email every contact in your CRM you would be wise to investigate if they have given your organization Expressed Consent.
4. Email Deliverability
The ability to deliver emails to the inboxes of subscribers who have Opted In and given you Expressed Consent. This is used to measure the success rate of your campaign and verify that a sender’s email is making it to the targeted email inbox. Gauging the effectiveness of your email campaign starts with first verifying that the email address is still valid, and you have created a contact list that has given Expressed Consent.
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience—and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” This can include videos, blogs, Case Studies, White Papers, and social media posts.
6. Thought Leadership
Your Content Marketing objective is to position your organization as the subject matter expert in your industry. Your Marketing, Engineering, Operations, and Business Development team should seek to differentiate you from the competition and position your organization as the recognized authority in a specific capability, technology or solution.
7. Lead Nurturing
Your leads are the people or organizations that have expressed an interest in your company or in the products and services you have provided. Once they have expressed this interest, you have received their Expressed Consent, created your contact list and developed your Content Marketing materials, you are now ready to electronically communicate with them over various platforms. This is also referred to as a “Drip Campaign”. The goal is to nurture the interest your Lead has expressed to move them into the Sales Funnel.
8. Marketing Automation
Typically, this is a platform or software program that combines the data housed in your CRM, segmented contact lists, and other leads generated and provide you with reports and analytics to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and strategies. Are the emails being delivered? Are they being opened? What is the click rate? When is the best day or time to reach your leads? There are various tools available that can either be free or paid subscriptions depending on the features and tools your business requires.
9. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
This metric relates to customer satisfaction and the degree to which your clients would recommend your companies to their co-workers and industry peers. This focuses on brand and service loyalty. Listening to the Voice of the Customer (VOC) is critical in both customer capture, but also in long-term customer retention. By regularly tracking this metric, companies can identify pockets of organization excellence that can be leveraged elsewhere, as well as opportunities to address areas that need to be shored up.
10. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO continues to change and morph so staying on top of these changes can be challenging. According to HubSpot it;“…refers to techniques that help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This makes your website more visible to people who are looking for solutions that your brand,product or service can provide.” Ultimately every company needs to develop an SEO plan that will drive more visitors to your website when they use a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Have you identified the keywords that define your product or service and determined how you can leverage these to increase your brand awareness?
Why These 10?
Admittedly, your list may include key terms that you deem critical, but for the small to the medium-sized company you need to focus on the ones that are most critical to your success, and that will fill the pipeline. The order of these ten was no tby chance, but each one builds or feeds off the other to allow you to develop a solid marketing strategy that produces, engages and nurtures leads that enter the sales funnel and leads to Accelerated Tangible Growth.
Some sales consultants and business coaches will likely tell you that your pipeline will grow by hitting a target of weekly phone calls. Others will say that electronic marketing is the best solution. But truth be told, it is having a solid strategy for both. Brand recognition thought leadership and providing valuable and relevant content increases the likelihood of your targets answering the phone, and recognizing your company name when the business development manager announces who they represent. A warm lead will trump a cold lead every time.
As a successful business owner, executive or leader you cannot be good at everything. Contact ATG today and let us partner with you to develop a strategy and plan to address these key areas to drive your accelerated tangible growth.