Entries from July 2018

Effective ways to prove B2B marketing is paying off

Do you start to sweat when your boss wants to see proof that the amount your company invested in marketing is really paying off at the bottom line?

Take it easy. It is surprisingly simple to prove that B2B marketing is contributing to your company’s results. Here’s how.

Show the relationship between your marketing and revenue

Start by looking for sales and revenue that can be linked to marketing activities. Compare new customer lists or invoices to companies or people in your marketing database and look for matches. You don’t have to find every sale that resulted from your marketing activities; sometimes all it takes is one big sale to justify a campaign.

If sales haven’t closed yet, count the number of qualified leads and use estimated conversion rates and average sales sizes to quickly determine the sales potential of those leads. Or look at the forecasted sales in the company’s CRM system and compare them to the database of prospects, inquiries or qualified leads.

Show how much you saved the company

You’ll probably come up with a list of things you’ve done to save money or time if you give it a little thought. Did you cut marketing activities that weren’t panning out? Did you automate online processes such as collecting and routing prospect inquiries? If you took print documents to electronic distribution, there’s savings on printing, postage, and handling.

List all the marketing projects your team completed

Unfortunately, people quickly forget what happened last month or last quarter. Maybe they don’t have the knowledge of the effort it takes to create an effective mailing or to redesign a website. Showing works better than telling, so put a package together that illustrates what got done with the money the company invested in marketing.

Consider this example…

After reviewing the previous year, a marketer I know was able to report to her management:

  • awareness of their company and products among target prospects more than doubled,
  • the cost per qualified lead delivered to sales by marketing dropped by nearly 40 percent,
  • 58 percent of the opportunities in the sales pipeline were found first by marketing,
  • 48 percent of these sales closed, and
  • 62 percent of the revenue during the past 12 months came from marketing-generated leads.

What senior manager wouldn’t love a response like that? Now, your situation may be different, but senior management increased her budget, gave her a bonus, and they no longer doubt marketing’s contribution to the company’s success.

 

When it comes to using B2B marketing to generate leads, Nike’s right

A B2B lead generation campaign that’s sitting on the drawing board has zero ROI.

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I could easily find myself fiddling with my marketing communications plans, campaigns or materials for months. Instead, I’ve had to teach myself, and my clients, to aim for the best results possible by a predetermined deadline… and launch.

I’ve learned that you can continue to tweak things, often without gaining any real improvement as a result.

In my Marketing for Leads and Sales™ seminars and workshops, I like to quote Nike’s slogan: “Just do it”. In other words, stop thinking about it. Get it done and get it on its way to prospects.

How about you? Do you think I’m right in recommending that you “Just do it”? I’m interested to hear your opinions… for or against.

 

B2B Marketing Automation: Crawl, walk, run, win

B2B marketing automation, if done right, is an efficient and cost-effective tactic for engaging your prospects and helping them move forward in their buying process; ultimately generating more of the qualified, sales-ready leads that your salespeople and channel partners need to meet your company’s sales, revenue and growth goals.

The bad news is that when it comes it comes to implementing marketing automation for generating, nurturing and qualifying leads, many B2B marketers are daunted by the perceived complexity.

The good news? Putting marketing automation to work doesn’t have to be an overwhelming effort. You can start simply, building the sophistication of your marketing automation campaigns as you go.

I call it the Crawl, Walk, Run, Win Approach to putting marketing automation to work.

Crawl: Focus first on building a strong foundation for your marketing automation campaigns.

Step 1: Develop Personas and Related Content

Think about your customers’ motivations, expectations and goals. Develop a core definition of who you’re targeting. Use these definitions as models for adding companies and contacts to your marketing automation database. Repurpose, refresh or create content for offers that are relevant and useful to them. Test your offers to see which work best.

Step 2: Improve Targeting and Deliverability

Take the time to clean up your prospect database. An old and/or dirty list will have many obsolete addresses. Integrate data from various sources. Eliminate duplicates. As email will be one of your marketing automation tactics, confirm your list addressees have given permission. Then be sure to test your emails to assure that they will display well in various email readers and on hand-held devices and to minimize the chance they will get caught up in spam filters.

Step 3: Capture Data More Efficiently

Learn more about your prospects. Don’t turn them off with opt-in forms containing a long list of questions. Determine the minimum amount of relevant information you need to get up front, planning to get the rest later as you build a sales-winning relationship with prospects.

WALK: Integrate Campaigning

Now, with a firm foundation, you can start your marketing automation.

Step 1: Build Multi-Touch Campaigns

Prospects require anywhere from three to 15 touches over an extended time period to nurture them from initial interest to conversion. Build a multi-touch campaign with one or more touches per buying-cycle step.

Step 2: Send at the Right Time

Space the touches out over time, so you’re neither annoying them with too much too soon, nor losing momentum by allowing too much time to pass between touches.

RUN: Automate the Dialogue and Process

Once your marketing automation is up-and-running, it is time to improve your lead-management processes to increase efficiency and tighten up any leaks in the sales funnel.

Step 1: Score Leads Using Implicit and Explicit Information

Gain agreement with Sales as to the definition of sales-ready, Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). Working with your sales team, develop a lead scoring system to rank prospects according to the level of their buying interest or readiness to buy. Use both explicit data (e.g. company size, industry segment, job title, geographic location) and implicit data (e.g. website visits, email opens, click thrus) to determine which score as MQLs, ready to be passed along to sales.

Step 2: Develop Lead-Stage Campaigns

Not all leads are at the same stage of their buying process, so develop different campaigns for long-term prospects and short-term opportunities. Match the content and cadence to each. For example – More frequent communications containing information about demos, competitive positioning and pricing might be appropriate for short-term opportunities, but longer-term leads might require less frequent communications which offer information that is more educational in nature.

Step 3: Align with Sales

If possible, integrate your marketing automation platform with your CRM system to give Sales full visibility into Marketing’s activities, and vice versa.

WIN: Analyze and Improve

Fine-tune your marketing automation-driven lead generation and lead management processes to reach even higher ROI. A wonderful by-product of marketing automation is data about activity and results that you can use as market intelligence. Feed this “closed-loop” results information back into the system, using it to make better decisions, eliminating or fixing the things that are not working and doing more of what is working best.

The bottom line?

By following the “Crawl, walk, run, win” approach outlined above, it will be easier to get started and before you know it, you’ll be running sophisticated, efficient, and automated email marketing / lead generation / lead nurturing campaigns.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

 

B2B Marketing Automation: Here’s my definition

How’s this for a definition of B2B marketing automation? 

The use of technology to generate, nurture, score and qualify leads, and drive sales, using customized, multi-touch marketing communications tailored for each contact’s profile, level of interest, behavior or place in the buying process.

Unfortunately it’s a mouthful, isn’t it?

In my view, the primary benefits of B2B marketing automation are:

  • It allows marketers to accomplish more, usually at a lower cost, than they can get done manually;
  • It facilitates continuous improvement by allowing marketers to track and measure the results of their campaigns, then make necessary adjustments, in near real-time.

What do you think?

Do you have a better definition of marketing automation?  Do you see other benefits that marketing automation delivers?

 
Need help with B2B lead generation, marketing and sales?
For more information, please call Mac McIntosh at +1-401-294-7730, send him email at or visit www.sales-lead-experts.com