At no point in the recent past has marketing played such a vital role in a company’s survival as it does today. Everything in a company depends on marketing. Take marketing with you and how to generate leads for sales. Take sales away and your business is done. Your marketing ROI has never been more important.
As Mark Cuban said; “No sales. No company.”
According to the latest CMO report: Covid-19 and the State of Marketing, nearly 66% of marketers say their role in their company has grown in importance during this pandemic. This makes perfect sense as we are looking for the need to increase sales, often through lead generation activities such as increasing brand visibility and marketing messaging that highlight your unique value position.
The challenge is that every resource your company has is likely to be busy right now. If you’re currently like many companies, your marketing resources are pretty tight. A recent article published in Forbes stated that this pandemic has lost an average of 9.2% of marketing positions. This is a pretty significant loss at a time when marketing departments can least afford to lose resources.
The fact is, however, that you need to change your marketing to keep up with market changes.
Digital is the answer
Your customers’ behavior has changed in the last few months and in many ways they are not going back to what they were and are digital at the core of those changes. Again, we don’t need to look any further for the latest CMO report to find that 61% of marketers say they have reallocated resources to improve their digital endeavors and characteristics.
Digital has the ability to address your marketing target groups with laser-like precision, can be set on the fly, and digital provides you with the metrics you need for ROI. The challenge with digital, however, is the vast landscape of all available digital marketing channels. Knowing where to put your marketing dollars is difficult, and often companies try to be everywhere, which dramatically affects their marketing efforts and ROI.
There is a lot of talk about the benefits of multi-channel marketing and it is all true. Using multiple channels is extremely beneficial, especially today as customer behavior online is changing rapidly. 52% of marketers use 3 to 4 channels (source). However, using a multi-channel marketing strategy doesn’t mean using all the channels that are available to you.
Multi-channel marketing, as the name suggests, uses multiple channels to market and communicate with your customers and prospects. To successfully implement a multi-channel strategy, you must first determine where your customers and prospects are most likely to see your marketing messages.
For example, social media is a marketing channel that consists of many different platforms. Platforms from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and so on. If you don’t focus your social marketing on the appropriate platform (s), you will end up diluting your marketing dollars and your ROI will be tiny. As an an example; As a B2B company, Facebook is a channel that most likely won’t bring you a high ROI, while LinkedIn may be the ultimate social media platform for your business.
To successfully employ multi-channel marketing in your digital marketing strategy, there are a few steps you need to take to maximize your marketing investment.
- Identify your target audience:Almost every B2B customer we’ve worked with has multiple target audience segments. Sometimes these audiences are defined by the types of products they buy, the types of services they need, or even the industries they belong to. By identifying your segments, you can drill down and find out which channels are best to put your marketing message in front of them.
- Identify your channels: Pick the channels that are most likely to send your marketing messages to your audience segment, then measure the results you’re getting from each channel. When you start marketing on a channel, don’t add channels or change channels without using your marketing data to make a change decision. Changing or adding channels at random is a safe bet for losing marketing dollars.
- Relevant news for the segment: Make sure to modify your marketing messages so that they are relevant to each audience segment that you are marketing for. For example, this blog post is specifically aimed at B2B companies. If I were to talk about how to increase the number of consumers who come to your retail store you would stop reading it right away and the investment I have in this post would be completely wasted.
- Relevant news for the channel: Every marketing channel has strengths and weaknesses. An educational or informative article on Instagram won’t work. Conversely, only images do not work on LinkedIn. Use the right motif for the channel you’re using to attract your audience.
- Make the experience the same: Your buyers are on a number of channels every day. For example, suppose you are sending a promotional email to a buyer about a new product. Later that same day, that same buyer sees one of your display ads on a website they visited. The next day, during a search, they see one of your paid ads on Google. Each of these experiences should be consistent.
To get more out of your marketing dollars, you should clearly define your goals for each and every campaign you run. Without clear marketing goals, you are sure to be wasting money. Marketing is all about goals. The number of hits your website has, the number of downloads of your latest training work, and the number of leads you get for your sales team. All of these goals are vital to any business. Without a clear definition of these types of goals, you cannot measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. If you can’t measure effectiveness, you are wasting money.
The best way to plan your marketing goals is to first write down your goals. 61% of marketers have a documented strategy, and those who have a documented strategy are 313% more successful (source). Pretty compelling reason to document your marketing goals.
The next step in creating solid marketing goals is to use CLEVER Method for identifying and documenting these goals
- S.specific: your goal must be specific. The goal of increasing traffic to your website is not specific. It is specific to increase traffic to your website by 15%.
- M.simple: you absolutely need to have a way to measure each goal. If it can’t be measured, you never know the ROI on the activity.
- Achievable: Is this goal actually achievable? In other words, do you think you can do it? If you don’t believe that it is possible, neither will anyone else and it will ultimately fail.
- R.Elevant: Is the marketing goal you are setting relevant to your company, your team and your current situation? Is this the right time for this goal? Does this goal coincide with everything that’s going on in the company?
- T.ime-bound: Have you set a schedule for the approval and completion of the goal? Increasing the traffic to your website by 10% is not timed. The 10% increase in web traffic by the end of the 2nd quarter is time-bound.
As a B2B company, there is no better marketing / sales strategy that will maximize your ROI than Account Based Marketing. ABM is a highly focused B2B marketing strategy that brings the actions of your marketing and sales departments together and gets them moving in line with your company’s goals and direction.
An overview ABM strategy will focus your marketing efforts, and therefore your marketing dollars, on the companies that best suit your business. It drastically cuts down on the old strategies of spending your marketing dollars to attract potential customers who breathe just to filter them out at the sales stage or worse, sell them to them and realize that they are a bad match for you . Your company will never be profitable if you do business with these poorly fitting companies.
We recently hosted a webinar on the benefits of an ABM strategy for B2B companies. You can watch the recording of this webinar by following this link.
As mentioned at the beginning, marketing has never been more important than in today’s environment, while at the same time resources are under heavy strain. You can still do marketing, but it is better if you use a much more focused strategy as it gives you more control over the buyers you want to do business with most.