Professor John Henrik Clark once said, “A good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson.” As marketers and business people, we’re teaching lessons every day - using our web content to educate and inform our visitors until they see the value of our products and services. But before we enter these “teaching moments” with our prospects, we have to somehow attract their attention. Almost every marketing person I talk to shares one common goal: increase brand awareness. I’ve started to notice that different people mean different things when they mention this goal. Some are hoping to expand their reach to new networks of people. Others want people to start looking around on their website or blog, sharing their social posts, or watching their YouTube videos. Whether your definition is more about entering prospects’ consciousness or getting them to take initial action, your goal is the same as Professor Clark’s...get your audience’s attention. Once you’ve figured out a few ways to attract attention and generate “brand awareness,” the only way to improve and grow is to set measurable goals and then work to achieve them. Most goal-savvy business people know how to track conversion rates and sales, but how do you track something as general and “fluffy” as awareness? In the traditional days of marketing and advertising, you just didn’t. There was no way to know how many people paid attention to companies’ radio ads, billboards, and press releases. Unless customers called up sales and mentioned these channels, there was no way to track ROI. These days, things are different. With abundant digital channels, everything is trackable...even brand awareness. Here, I’ve laid out the top five most compelling metrics your team can use to set SMART goals and start increasing brand awareness.
Everyone knows about the marketing/sales divide. There's a lot of talk about it. A lot of solutions that claim to solve it. A lot of "thought leaders" who say they know the secrets to fixing it.
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What is Revenue Marketing? For many years, business leaders have thought of their marketing departments as cost centers. Marketing people buy ad space, generate creative, engage on social media, etc. - all activities that generate awareness and are usually never tracked to sales. Sure, they generate leads that become sales, but most companies don’t track marketing dollars out/sales dollars in - at least not well. Revenue Marketing, a term coined by the Pedowitz Group in their book, The Revenue Driven Marketer, is the idea that marketers should be held accountable for more than awareness and leads. It's a way to turn your marketing cost center into a profit center. They define revenue marketing as: “The combined set of strategies, processes, people, technologies, content and results that: Drop sales ready leads into the top of the funnel Accelerate sales opportunities through the sales pipeline Measure marketing based on repeatable, predictable and scalable contribution to pipeline and revenue Improve the ROI of the sales and marketing continuum” With the availability of marketing automation tools like HubSpot’s attribution reporting, it’s now easier than ever for marketers to prove their value by demonstrating how their efforts contribute to revenue. It’s now possible for marketers to measure what touchpoints move leads down the funnel so they can optimize their efforts and accelerate sales.
Marketers are busy creating collateral for their sales teams every day. How many times have you heard “I can only close this big deal if you give me a 125 page market report”? Okay, I might be exaggerating a little bit, but most marketers have experienced “hamster wheel syndrome” - you’re so busy creating new collateral your sales team says will close deals that your brand awareness and lead generation strategies falter. It can be tough to argue with your sales team since revenue is much easier to measure than brand awareness, but these days, it’s just as important. If your business isn’t found online when prospects go looking for answers to their problems, chances are you won’t ever get the sale.
“I don’t like being measured and I don’t like being told what to do. I’m in sales!” Sound familiar? No? How about, “Who cares if this tactic leads to actual sales, it got great buzz!”? If neither of these perspectives sounds familiar to you, your marketing and sales teams are probably perfectly aligned with little to no issues nurturing leads and closing deals. More likely, your company is like most - you struggle getting marketing and sales to work together toward one common goal - revenue. You don’t need any additional obstacles on your road to achieving your goals, so we’ve put together a series of resources you can use to create better marketing and sales alignment: How to Align Your Marketing & Sales Teams [Quick Tip] How to Use Content Marketing to Close More Deals Marketing vs Sales: Two Worlds, One Mission [Funny Video] Inside the Successful Entrepreneur’s Little black Book: HubSpot CRM Should Marketing Teams Be Accountable for Revenue? We also created a free checklist you can print off and fill out to assess the current state of your sales and marketing alignment. What we haven’t talked too much about yet are the tools you need to make alignment possible. Here are three tools we’ve found indispensable. Please leave us a comment and let us know what tools you’ve found particularly useful.
You've seen the research. You know that the buying process has changed and buyers respond to interruptive marketing worse than ever. You know that the majority of the sales cycle is complete before prospects even speak to sales. You know that inbound leads cost at least 67% less than outbound ones. In short, you know the traditional marketing playbook is broken. So now what do you do? If your leadership team is sold and you're ready to get started, check out our inbound marketing resource pack. If you know you want to transition to more inbound marketing, but aren't sure how to convince your budget-focused boss to invest in the necessary tools, this post is for you.
Everyone knows you have to spend money to make money, but how much is too much to be spending on marketing? How do you develop a budget that yields maximum returns and revenue growth? The answer is in the metrics. There are several key metrics you should calculate in order to understand how your marketing and sales costs affect revenue, and how you can create budgets that optimize returns. The first one will help you in calculating the others: Cost of Customer Acquisition (CAC).
A lot of companies start creating content and find their investment is like throwing money into a black hole. They create and create and create and nothing happens. So what’s the difference between these companies and the companies that are really successful? Two things: They understand their target audience, or buyer personas, to a maniacal extent They map the content they create to their buyer persona’s journey to purchase So, if you’re just getting started with content marketing and want to do it really well, you should start by doing some in-depth buyer persona research. Figure out who your personas are and then pick one to focus on. By dialing in on one persona’s interests, challenges, and behaviors, you can create more targeted content faster and generate results far more quickly and inexpensively than if you try to reach all your personas.
Ok, so I'm not sure about your specific competitors, but if you're not yet creating consistent, quality content on your website and sharing it across the web, you're undoubtedly falling behind your competition. Look, I get it, blogging is hard. It requires a smart overarching strategy, a lot of time, decent writing skills, and the right technology. Yet at the end of the day, there are other things your business could be doing to generate more traffic, leads, and sales faster. That's why many business owners and high-level managers opt to skip the content creation (whether it's blogging, video production, graphic design, etc.) and put their time and money into easier marketing and sales campaigns that produce better results faster.