often a misconception in the B2B space that marketing is secondary to sales. In
reality, the two need to work hand in hand in order to fire up the lead gen
engine. Azadeh Williams takes a look at ways in which sales and marketing can
work together better to generate real, tangible results.
you think of marketing as ‘secondary’ to sales, that’s where you start having
problems. When you instil a culture of seeing the two as complementary,
everyone’s mindset shifts towards being more collaborative. After all, there is
a lot of dependency, especially in B2B, that marketing has on sales and vice
versa. The whole idea of alignment is understanding what those key dependencies
are. Then align roles and responsibilities so everybody has a clear-eyed view
of what the future looks like.
of the first ways to align is by creating a common language. As an example,
what a ‘lead’ means for your marketing department (MQL or marketing qualified
lead), may be completely different to what it means to the sales team (SQL). A
marketing team could say, ‘I’ve generated 27,000 MQLs’, but zero of these have
turned into revenue. That’s a terrible disconnection. A common framework or a
common language and clear expectations is a starting point for any of this to
way to align is to look at performance metrics, and evaluate revenue goals and
budgeting together. It is critical to formulate targets in this way so you’re
sharing a common goal – regardless of how you budget, your account-based
marketing plan or even your inbound lead gen strategy. It’s important to find a
Various businesses all over the globe were hopeful in
the first half of 2021, with COVID-19 vaccination rollouts accelerated by
governments. These efforts were seen as a key to drive herd immunity against
the dreaded disease to expedite the resumption of normal economic activities.
However, the emergence of new variants of the novel
coronavirus poses another challenge across countries. Businesses are again
faced with the responsibility of adjusting to these changes, ensuring they can
safely operate while generating enough profit to keep their company afloat.
Additionally, with the COVID-19 global health crisis
still ongoing, there continues a rise in the demand for remote services. In the
past year, consumers have been relying on eCommerce sites to purchase the goods
and services they need. As a result, businesses shifted their marketing efforts
to maximize the internet in getting their brand known by customers. Many
marketing strategies in the pre-pandemic era might no longer be effective in
the new normal.
These digital marketing trends include leveraging
platforms like Google My Business and shoring up search engine optimization or
SEO efforts. Visual elements like pictures and videos are also increasing in
popularity as part of online marketing campaigns because of their appeal to
users. Plenty of customers prefer videos since it eliminates the need to read
Furthermore, with customer experience as one of the
top priorities in many business operations, there is an anticipated increase in
the adoption of Chatbots to provide a 24/7 customer service facility. More and
more consumers lean towards this artificial intelligence (AI)-based technology
because they are more convenient and hassle-free than waiting for live agents
to answer queries.
years ago, sales leaders around the world were sold on the promise of a new,
cloud-based CRM that would replace the moribund legacy applications that ruled
the roost. Fast forward to today and those same sales leaders — and many who
came after them — are still waiting on a tool that delivers on those promises.
notion of salesforce automation has been lost. CRM has become a system of
record that reduces salespeople to administrators, rather than a system of
recommendation that proactively helps them succeed at their job. With B2B sales
becoming increasingly digital, we need better.
how short has CRM fallen?
current generation of CRM applications simply don’t help marketers market or
sellers sell. They do a poor job of aggregating data from sources outside their
respective systems of record. They don’t proactively make suggestions that help
marketers identify the right targets, or the right content, or even the right
channel — let alone launch targeted ad campaigns.
gotten so bad that marketers and sellers abhor their CRMs to a shocking extent.
In a recent piece for Harvard Business Review, Denis Pombriant, managing
principal at Beagle Research, shared the following half-joking yet highly
telling survey results — two-thirds of sellers would rather do the following
tasks rather than update their CRM:
Customer relationship management is the process and
tools through which your company grows and maintains a long-term relationship
with its clients and customers. Since it is a process and there are several
tools on the market, it’s important to craft an intentional CRM strategy,
taking into account your unique business needs. Moreover, creating a CRM
strategy should be a cross-functional endeavor that involves IT in the
How to Choose CRM Software
B2B vs B2C
CRM in B2B vs. B2C are both complex in their own ways.
In a B2B setting, you’re juggling multiple stakeholders, and it takes time and
savvy to know whom to contact. In fact, the purchasing group at any given
company contains an average of 6-10 people, according to Gartner. Given that
there are often multiple people to please and convince, the length of time for
tracking, negotiating, and finalizing contracts in B2B is also longer than CRM
processes in the B2C environment.
The purchasing group at any given company contains an
average of 6-10 people.
At the same time, B2C has its own level of complexity.
For starters, B2C sales are often repetitive and cyclical, so analytics that
provide detailed insights into consumer purchasing patterns will be a key
feature to seek in CRM software. There are far more customers in this selling
environment, making lead management essential in your CRM software of choice.
Whether you do business in a B2B or B2C setting,
you’ll want to focus on CRM software that can handle the level of intricacy
unique to your selling environment.
a small business owner, time is elusive, and too often marketing tends to fall
to the back burner. Owners are so busy running businesses, honoring family
commitments and the million other things they need to do on a daily basis that
this vital effort gets short shrift. Yet the simple truth remains: if you’re
not marketing a business, you’re not growing it.
are some essential steps to that end.
a minute to step back and ask what you’re trying to achieve. This will help
determine where to spend marketing effort. Do you want to drive more traffic to
a website? Need a better conversion rate? Are you trying to create brand
awareness? Knowing what you’re trying to accomplish will dictate the
appropriate marketing strategy.
who you are targeting, and find unique messaging
is one of, if not the most important aspect of Search Engine Optimization.
People have a better chance of finding you if your content is relevant to them.
So, who are you targeting, and what words are they using when they hop online
and start searching for products or services? What are their interests? What
are their struggles? Where do they hang out online… perhaps LinkedIn, or
Instagram, or YouTube? How do they like to consume content? Would they rather
listen to a podcast, watch a video or read a blog post?
determine your unique brand message? What makes it different and why should
they choose your products or services? Being able to articulate this quickly
and effectively will create results. As StoryBrand CEO Donald Miller says, “If
you confuse, you’ll lose”.
It is far from surprising that
home builders might have shortcomings in understanding the intricate
complexities of modern marketing. After all, you’re busy doing what you do
best: building homes.
However, when you stop for a
moment to consider how today’s consumer shops for a good construction
contractor, you will quickly realize just how important a solid marketing plan
actually is. In particular, home builders can benefit immensely from strategic
inbound marketing efforts.
The Typical Home Building Consumer
Journey Begins Online
Inbound marketing is essential for
any home builder who wants to reach highly motivated potential clients where
they are. And where do people go when they want to investigate their home
building options and choose a home builder to make their residential dreams
come true? In overwhelming numbers, they go online to gather general home
building information, research their various options, and read individual
From SEO to tactical company
website design, there are countless ways to earn the attention of these home
building consumers and compel them to give focused consideration to the
services that you offer. The path that they take to your door is known to
marketers as the “consumer journey,” and the efforts you take to
guide them on every step of that journey is your “inbound marketing
The Inbound Marketing Funnel
When you think about online
marketing, you probably immediately imagine outbound strategies, which take the
form of pop-up ads and other conventional advertisements that may interrupt and
aggravate internet searchers. Inbound marketing, by contrast, is designed to
capture highly motivated consumers by aiding them on a journey that they are
already eager to take.
marketing is utilizing internet-based mediums to promote and advertise. Digital
marketing offers several mediums for businesses to benefit from. Digital
marketing also provides an excellent opportunity of expanding businesses
conveniently across borders. However, whether promoting the business locally or
internationally, you have to learn about the preferences and behavior of the
audience. Companies may not be able to market and meet the demands. In such a
scenario, digital marketing agencies can be a beneficial investment.
example, if you are targeting the United States, the first requirement is to
understand geography. Narrowing down your scope can offer better results. In
such a scenario, a local digital agency can be more fruitful. Hence, if you are
targeting San Francisco in the United States, the Digital marketing agency San
Francisco can help you with the right marketing techniques.
analyze the demographics, behavior, and audience demands closely which can be
used for promotions. Their understanding of culture and local nuances can
increase your brand awareness and sales. A Digital marketing agency in San
Francisco can help you derive the best strategy for marketing ensuring
To know if
you are on the right track, let’s understand the five best digital marketing
strategies for boosting your online presence:
Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential marketing strategy for increasing
your online visibility. It utilizes the search engines algorithm for ranking
your website or blogs on top of the search results.
percent of people search for products and services online today. SEO helps to
bring the audience to you, rather than you going to them. It increases your
business traffic and credibility. As you might require keywords and SEO
knowledge to perform better, a digital marketing agency San Francisco can
empower you to reach your audience locally.
Marketing helps you to reach out to your audience through captivating content
and connecting them to your business. The content isn’t an advertisement but
also a platform for increased awareness.
well-formulated content can fascinate your audience towards your brand. It
helps with increased engagement and audience attention.
media is the craziest and revolutionary platform for marketing in the present
scenario. Starting from Orkut and moving to Clubhouse, it has caused a
remarkable change in human life. Social Media offers a wide reach. The
marketing campaigns help you target your audience without any complication.
It offers the best promotion with the right
targeting metric. To be able to set the metrics right, seek guidance from a
digital marketing agency San Francisco.
pandemic, we saw a huge influx of businesses go digital. Financial
institutions, healthcare systems, apparel, fitness, even grocery stores were
all hastily forced to move online. Massive technology shifts took place without
much planning. Some businesses made the move and found themselves unprepared
for the upkeep and overall management the change required.
the technology, one thing remains constant: a human needs to be engaged in the
work to catch errors and solve the problems automation can’t. Technology might
have allowed companies to adapt to the changing landscape during the pandemic,
but without the proper human oversight, issues are inevitable.
reason many companies aren’t getting the full value out of technology and
software is they haven’t done their homework to know how to best optimize it.
Many businesses are trying to solve fast for digital first and can’t. They end
up investing in software or technology to help, but without a plan or a
strategy in place. This frustrates employees, which has a negative impact on
customer experience, which affects the employee experience… and the cycle
repeats until something gives.
need to invest in data architecture.
time to do the work. Create a solid foundation as you go digital. The number
one priority: Plan and build your company’s data architecture.
Most companies need to start with building a data architecture that is
cross-functional. This means aggregating and mining data across departments and
from all the different platforms being used, such as CRM data, email marketing
data, website analytic data, and customer service data. This data is usually
collected and stored in a data warehouse, a central repository of data that can
be analyzed to make more informed decisions.
includes your tech stack. Identifying key areas of data points that can be
leveraged across functions can help with customer journey mapping across the
business. Figuring out what data points are necessary for products as customers
use them in the first 60 days, 1 year, 2+ years. Those are the data points that
need to be actionable and need to be what drives cohort analysis overtime. The
most important part: Humans using the data to make better business decisions.
landscape is ever-changing. With new products on the market daily, new
platforms being created to market them and new trends always happening,
businesses are constantly having to adjust their digital marketing strategies
to keep up. Considering these things alone, marketing to consumers is a booming
industry. Keeping up with the trends is a job in and of itself, let alone
figuring out ways to use the trends in marketing. Needless to say, there are
several — probably an infinite amount of — marketing strategies businesses can
use. Here are just three of the many notable strategies every business should
consider if they have not already.
analytics is probably one of the most underrated and underutilized marketing
methods. It may be something that is simply overlooked largely because if
compared to keeping up with the competition, it seems less important to be
prioritizing. However, by thoroughly understanding what consumers in your
industry are doing beforehand, you will actually be ahead of the competitors
because you will know how to better market to your consumers.
marketing, based on what you’ve learned about your consumer through analytics,
will go much further than just keeping up with the trends and regurgitating a
basic marketing strategy. There’s a fine line between truly marketing to
consumers and keeping up with competitors. Keep your strategy consumer-focused
by actually learning about what they want through surveys, polls and feedback.
Additionally, analytics can tell you how consumers have responded to your ads
and can even show you which marketing methods on your website, or your brand as
a whole, have gained the most traction with consumers.
your brand is so much more than just a simple ad or a video briefing consumers
on your product. Having unique, high-quality content on your site — and
promoting it — is a great way to build brand credibility with your consumers.
You can promote your content by sharing it on platforms like LinkedIn,
Facebook, Medium, Twitter and many others. Having a business profile on some
kind of social media is not uncommon today. In fact, it’s actually more
uncommon to not have some sort of business social media presence.
So you feel like a dinosaur, and you’re not sure whether you’re proud of yourself or embarrassed. You feel proud because, as a small-business owner, you’ve stuck with the traditional marketing tactics that have always “worked” for your business. Rarely, have they let you down. On the other hand, marketers and other small-business owners can make you feel as though your methods are as prehistoric as a T-Rex and that you should join the legions of business professionals who have embraced online marketing.
There’s nothing wrong with friendly peer pressure, so if you’ve been curious about what you’re missing, read about the advantages of online marketing in a no-pressure zone of your choice. So that you don’t feel overwhelmed by all the forms of online marketing, limit your focus to the five most effective online marketing methods. They could make you howl – in approval or in derision.
Consider the General Advantages of Online Marketing
Some people refer to online marketing as internet marketing, simply because you need the internet to go online. Whatever you wish to call this type of marketing, online marketing is:
“The process of promoting a business or brand and its products or services over the internet using tools that help drive traffic, leads and sales,” Search Engine Journal states.
No matter what you’ve heard the advantages of the internet for online marketing, no one single tactic should stand alone. One tactic may be powerful, but it’s not almighty:
“Internet marketing and online advertising efforts are typically used in conjunction with traditional types of advertising such as radio, television, newspapers and magazines,” Webopedia states.
The five methods presented here – email marketing, inbound marketing, pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization and social media – are as different as television and radio. But generally, online marketing could deliver tangible benefits to your small business, assuming that the tactics are executed creatively and carefully. You could enjoy:
A growth in revenue. Reduced marketing expenses. Enhanced control over your marketing messages. Better customer service. A competitive advantage in the marketplace.* Elegant, classy – you can pick the adjective communications that set your company apart.
Consider Email Marketing
Don’t think in terms of a single email you may send to a prospective client but think about email campaignsthat drive traffic to your website via a link within the email itself. And yes, every small-business owner should have a website. It takes commitment, but many small-business owners also send monthly newsletters to inform and educate their clients about news and updates on their products and services. In this way, you can build a powerful subscriber list and entice active subscribers to invite others to join the fun.
Key advantages include:
A comparably simple method to implement. Believe it: One-page newsletter templates can make the task a snap. The ability to remain “front and center” with existing clients. The ability to target a campaign to only certain people.
A high return on your investment.
One billion people use Gmail.
Active email accounts are expected to reach 5.6 billion by 2019.* 75 percent of companies agree that email offers “excellent” to “good” ROI.
Consider Inbound Marketing
Your marketing may go in one direction: out – outbound – as in out the door with mailers, postcards, coupons, brochures and catalogs. Inbound marketing reverses this direction by bringing new customers in, with content as the lure. In fact, content anchors an inbound marketing strategy, and can include tactics such as the following:
Blog posts and articles. White papers. Case studies.
The advent of e-books.
Key advantages include:
Brings customers who are already interested in you directly to your website.
Provides upfront value by giving potential customers content for free. Converts leads to customers. Encourages customers to share content with others, thereby spreading the word about a business without any extra effort on the part of the small-business owner.
Enhances a company’s brand and reputation.
Companies that published 16 or more blog posts a month got about 4.5 times leads than companies that published from zero to four posts a month.
Content marketing gets three times the number of leads leads than paid search advertising.
47 percent of buyers view between three and five pieces of content, before speaking with a sales representative.
Consider Pay-per-Click Marketing
Pay-per-click, PPC, marketing is also known as paid-search marketing. As its name implies, advertisers pay a fee for web users to click on their ad to send these web users to the clients’ websites. The ads can take the form of display ads, shopping ads and video ads, but the consumer should know that he is clicking on an advertisement.
A small-business owner should be able to master the art and science of PPC marketing with time and practice, but this should be regarded as an eventuality. Initially, an experienced marketing professional should be consulted, because guiding the process to a profitable conclusion requires skill and precision. As Social SEO explains so well:
“Most of PPC marketing is conducted via Google AdWords, which makes up about 85 percent of search traffic comes through Google. AdWords is basically a giant, worldwide auction. When you start a paid search campaign, the first thing you do is determine a list of keywords that you believe are relevant to your business that people are likely to be searching for on the internet. Then you bid on those keywords and hope that your ad wins the auction, i.e. , it shows up at the top of the search results page.”
One of the quickest ways to generate web traffic. The ability to target ads by type of customer or location with speed and accuracy. If you want, you can even target people who are are searching on their smartphones. Results are relatively simple to measure.* PPC campaigns can be changed and updated quickly.
Nearly 65 percent of people click on Google ads when they are looking to buy an item online.
The average conversion rate in AdWords across all industries is 2.7 percent on the search network and 0.89 percent on the display network.
The average cost-per-click in AdWords across all industries is $2.32 on the search network and 58 cents on the display network.
Consider Search Engine Optimization
As you probably know, you have to do more than create a stunning website; you have to regularly optimize it, too. Search engine optimization includes all the techniques that improve a business’ visibility and rankings in search engine result pages, also known as SERPs. The higher a business appears in the rankings, the more website traffic, and hopefully revenue, it’s able to attract. Most people, after all, rarely scroll beyond the second page of a search.
Smart SEO techniques can, and do, fill books, which is why it’s equally smart for a small-business owner to place this important function in the hands of an SEO expert. In time, you may feel comfortable using SEO tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Moz and Bing Webmaster Tools. An SEO expert will ensure that your website is organized and designed so that it is “rewarded” with higher rankings. And he will review all your website content carefully so that one keyword per page is used in blogs, headlines and subheads. When Bill Gates declared in 1996 that “content is king,” little did he know that inbound marketing would wear the crown.
It’s flexible and capable of customization, especially when you create a tight union between inbound marketing and SEO. It’s relatively precise, even though some of the metrics behind search engine rankings will probably always be a mystery. You can track your rankings and scrutinize your audience.
72 percent of consumers who do local searches visit a store within five miles. Local searches spur half of mobile users to visit stores within one day. More than half of smartphone users discover a new company or product while conducting a search on their smartphone.
Consider Social Media Marketing
The advantages of online marketing may be tugging at your instincts, but it’s possible that social media marketing may be giving you the greatest pause. It is the youngest form of online marketing and the one favored by the younger, hipper generation.
It may help to know that many small businesses have done more than build their brand and reputation on social media; they have successfully – and sometimes exclusively – relied on it to launch a business. While there are literally hundreds of social media platforms, the most popular ones are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter. If it’s any consolation, it may not be wise for you to create a presence on all these platforms. Like any form of marketing, it’s best to align your business with the ones your customers gravitate to – i.e., target your messages carefully.
It’s free to create and post messages. It’s conducive to multiple strategies, including engaging and attracting attention, promoting, selling and developing customer loyalty. It’s capable of reaching a large and diverse audience. It encourages sharing, which can further extend the reach of a small business. It gives you the ability to respond quickly to customers and potential customers.
79 percent of all people online use Facebook. 76 percent of people rely on Facebook to find interesting content. The consumption of content on Facebook has increased by 57 percent in the last two years – statistics that should make any dinosaur stand up and take notice.
With over 20 years of business, sales, and consulting experience SMS is capable of serving many market sectors. We provide the field level support needed to generate results and grow your business. Other companies may provide appointment setting services; whereas SMS will partner with you to grow revenue.
There’s often a misconception in the B2B space that marketing is secondary to sales. In reality, the two need to work hand in hand in order to fire up the lead gen engine. Azadeh Williams takes a lo...
Various businesses all over the globe were hopeful in the first half of 2021, with COVID-19 vaccination rollouts accelerated by governments. These efforts were seen as a key to drive herd immunity aga...