What do a marketer and a world-class athlete have in common? The quest for performance, of course. During this Olympic year that will see Rio celebrate the planet’s finest athletes next summer, it’s tempting to borrow the Olympic motto “citius, altius, fortius” (“faster, higher, stronger”) to associate it with the overall benefits of modern marketing. Because, if we think about it, the buyer’s journey of a BtoB customer is no different from an obstacle course you need to decode in order to optimise your company’s performance.@@ Marketing content, a central link in your strategy @@
In sports, we recognise a champion by his or her ability to be on top of their game on the big day of a meet. At a time of increasingly complex marketing, and buyers who sometimes know more about the company’s products and services than the sales team itself, being able to send your customers the right topic, via the right channel, at the right time in their decision-making process is just as determinant.
That is the issue in content marketing, in other words, the creation and distribution of consistent, relevant, valuable content to attract and retain a clearly defined target and engage him in the sales relationship. In order to be efficient, this approach should be part of an integrated narrative structure that covers all of the resources available to you for delivering your messages.
The approach may seem basic, but today up to 66% of the digital content produced is still not aligned with the buyer’s journey. This means as many pieces of content thrown away unread. For marketers, the loss is tremendous in terms of time, resources, and consequently, lost allocated budget.
Control over data thanks to smart data
This observation highlights the challenge of controlling data. At a time when data is upsetting the guidelines on how we communicate, it’s vital to never venture into unknown territory without an efficient communication strategy or else risk getting lost in the crowd. Modern marketing gives priority to smart data over big data. It’s a considered approach that aims to monitor, measure, analyse and manage your data efficiently to help you better understand the needs of your prospects and customers, to cultivate them with more relevant content and, at term, prepare them for dialogue with your sales team.
The contribution of marketing automation platforms
To optimise your lead qualification in a context of increasing volume, marketing automation platforms (or MAP) let you manage the data you need to monitor the buyer’s journey and transform it into useful perspectives for your action plans. These platforms facilitate a variety of modern marketing practices like database segmentation, prospect evaluation, lead management, Web analytics, resource management, etc. They are an essential driver for accelerating and rationalising your marketing operations. As Kuno Creative co-manager John McTigue says, « Without automated marketing, you’re only guessing, just hoping that people will take the bait and be ready to buy your products. Statistics show that buyers don’t do that. They want to learn at their own pace and be contacted when they need more information or are ready to buy. A well-built marketing automation strategy makes that a reality. »@@ Putting marketing at the heart of your strategy thanks to sales assistance tools @@
While a company’s sales process should be perfectly aligned with its customers’ buying process, sales teams must still be given the resources to maintain this principle. That is what sales enablement does, otherwise known as a “sales activation programme”. It groups the initiatives, processes, tools and methodologies for helping sales teams improve their productivity and efficiency. This kind of programme requires coordinating all of the company’s organisations – Marketing, Human Resources, Sales, etc. – to propose an optimal sales process supported by relevant, appropriate on-going training, overseen by strong, involved management, and all of this aligned on a message that gives customers value.
Optimising return on investment measurement
As they are constantly confronted with performance objectives, marketers must now be able to prove that each euro spent generates leads and income. The necessity of documenting results and justifying marketing expenditure is now a key part of their mission and fuels the debate between tactics and strategy. This requirement raises the issue of which tools, technology and methodologies to use to measure the performance of a tactic like lead scoring.
It’s a key component in any demand generation strategy and essential for marketing automation; its sole purpose being to enable a business to gain in productivity by focusing on the most relevant leads that help facilitate sales engagement by avoiding waste of precious time on people who will never be converted to customers.
With the changes in the marketing environment, internal change management can be painful. The fact is that many marketers say they are concerned by the amount and range of missions they are given. The silo organisation of many companies often keeps them from approaching their missions in a spirit of collaboration and coordination. These concerns can then turn into reticence, a script that no company wants to see played out. Strategic thought on conducting change must therefore be conducted, just like the implementation of management to support employees in order to anticipate and then fight resistance to change. A good way to start is by conducting a diagnostic based on determined questions and criteria that can help you evaluate your team and improve its skills.
Happy Marketing !