Marketing has kind of a bad wrap.
When organizational leaders think of where their revenue is coming from and who is bringing value to the company, marketing rarely seems to be top of mind. And this feeling isn’t always unfounded. Despite significant evidence that buyer behaviors have changed, many organizations still hold on to dated beliefs about what marketing is and how it can contribute (or not) to driving new business. As a result, many marketing departments are unable to tie their efforts to revenue or showcase their value beyond “ticking-the-marketing-boxes”. So what are the most common marketing myths?
- Marketing is just for awareness.
- Digital marketing is a cost of doing business, not a source of revenue
- If I build it, they will come (in other words, all I need is a website)
- Word of mouth is all we need to make sales.
Do any of these sound familiar?
These statements, on their own, aren’t entirely untrue. However, by connecting the dots and creating a holistic marketing strategy that ties these elements together, you can weave a masterful strategy aligned to specific data points and metrics and take your marketing efforts from myth to legend.
For the purpose of breaking this down we’re going to align these “myths” to the stages of the buyer’s journey; awareness, consideration and decision, but first, let’s clarify the main point…
Marketing is more than awareness…
…It’s for every stage of the funnel. By developing strategic content and leveraging marketing automation, you can feed timely, relevant, and contextual information to your prospective buyers and guide them from first contact all the way through their decision making process to purchase. Think about the questions a prospective buyer would ask themselves as they identify the problem/need your business solves, as they consider your product, and lastly, as they make the decision to buy your product. With the right content, delivered on the right channels, at the right time, you can answer every question your prospective buyer has, building a trusted relationship every step of the way. To do this effectively, each level of effort must be coordinated to guide a prospect from first visit through to close.
Digital marketing isn’t just a “nice-to-have”.
It’s a necessity. Your competitors are on social media (have a look) and they’re taking the opportunity to engage with their customers on a more personal level (and maybe even yours!) But don’t worry, you haven’t missed the boat. Developing a comprehensive and strategic digital marketing strategy for your brand is easier than you might think. With a little bit of insight into who your customers are, some thought about where they’re most likely to spend their time, and a few tests to validate (or invalidate) your assumptions you’ll know exactly which social media channels are best for your business. Once you’ve established which channels to focus on, start building your audience by providing helpful, relevant, and consistent information. Take the time to engage with your community and humanize your company and your brand. Most importantly, share your brand’s original content to showcase your personality, industry expertise and thought leadership, and create authentic opportunities to promote new products, services, promotions, and drive visits to your website. Done right, this approach will build affinity with your existing fans, all while organically attracting new ones.
Websites aren’t a one-and-done.
If your website looks dated, is hard to use, or isn’t mobile responsive, you’re going to lose your potential customers before they’ve even gotten started. With most users making their decision about a website within 3 seconds, a first impression really matters. A clean design and intuitive user experience are critical to keeping users on your page. A good user experience means creating a clear path for your users so they know what action to take and where to go next. Use calls to action and clear, simple language to keep your prospects and customers engaged on your site while seamlessly guiding them to the information they need to come to a decision.
Although there is a significant shift towards “humanless” customer interactions, person to person selling is still the final step for many businesses.
However, regardless of whether your business uses self-service or an account managed process, selling is becoming easier. By creating a contextualized buyer’s journey for prospects, businesses are, in turn, also creating a more efficient sales processes. Key pieces of information about a buyer can be captured at every level of the journey and leveraged to seamlessly nurture from consideration through to close. Using a comprehensive marketing tool, like HubSpot, allows marketers and sales teams to share critical data points to support the sales cycle, gaining insights into where prospects are coming from and what types of materials they’re interacting with throughout their journey. Identifying these key interaction and data points can help marketing teams refine marketing tactics to optimize demand generation and pre-qualify leads. Establishing a lead qualification process means that salespeople can spend their time working the right prospects, as opposed to those who might be too early in the process or who aren’t a good fit for the product.
Be a legend
When pulled together as part of a broader and integrated marketing and sales strategy, these four “myths” become a coordinated, measurable process to drive new business and sales that can transform your marketing team. Ready to become a marketing legend but need help getting started? Give us a shout.