If you’ve been trying to find solutions for your business, you’ve noticed the divide between sales and marketing. Some firms will tell you sales is key to success. Others will say that if you don’t hire them for their marketing solutions, you’re sunk. The sales team and the marketing firm are always at odds, and you’re stuck in the middle.
With over 3500 options to choose from, deciding on the right marketing technology is one of the most daunting parts of meeting your business goals. There are a variety of beneficial approaches to making marketing tech decisions. So how do you know which one is the right fit for you?
By now you know: when you need to get more leads, you’ve got to have a big digital footprint. Staying offline isn’t an option. That’s where the majority of your customers decide to engage with your business (or not), and where they make their repeat purchases. For some, the Internet accounts for 100% of their interaction with your business. This is particularly true for millennials, but all age groups are doing more business online now than ever before.
But where do you start, and how do you know what the most important focus areas are?
When we were bringing our business to market, we had to transform our entire marketing strategy. Why? We realized that our marketing technology solutions were only part of what companies needed to develop and implement successful marketing strategies. We knew that we had to create an Ecosystem of Marketing, Sales, and Customer Experience teams where everything works together to bring the customer to our business, keep them engaged, and keep them coming back. Our marketing transformation came about through unique 11-step process:
Recently, I was part of a team developing a marketing plan. We thought about SEO, Adwords, and more. But we almost missed a key step: creating a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a fictional persona that represents your ideal customer. If your branding tells the story of your business, they are the hero or heroine who needs your product or service (and is most likely to buy it)!
“We’ve got lower prices than the other guys”, “We can do what ____ does, at half the price”: you’ve probably seen many companies advertise by bidding on competitors brands this way. In a way, it makes perfect sense: you get brand awareness by putting your name beside theirs, it’s less competitive, and you know that you’ll get your target audience (since their customers are looking for the same product/service).
As you may already know designing a website for your company and its products and services requires more than HTML Coding and a few cleverly placed Stock Photos. A new Website forces you to self assess how you present your value to an increasingly transparent marketplace. Your online presence is chocked full of subliminal messages good and bad. If your Blog was last updated four years ago or your listing for “upcoming tradeshows” is from two years ago, it says a lot to a first-time visitor about your Organization and in turn the Customer Experience you present.
As I write these first words of my very first Thoughts on Strategy blog for HELP w/ Marketing Technology LLC, I am setting out on a quest that I know I have a lot of passionate about… Marketing is no longer just a department, it is now the entire organization's responsibility. If you believe in your company’s mission, products and services you must now think like Marketer, even if your business card title says, accounting, manufacturing or operations. Why? Because Marketing has become much more than just generating Sales Leads through Advertising Campaigns. Marketers must look and listen to understand and translate thousands, if not millions, points of inflection into actionable strategy and tactics to form a company’s customer experience and brand value.