Modern Marketing: Strategies for Better Returns on Demand Generation
You’re not a stuffy corporation. You’re an exciting, new, kind of company that wants to show that you’re still relevant. You decide that you’re going to upgrade your marketing efforts by switching to automated marketing schemes. But, you need a strategy for getting a better return on your demand generation.
Use A Strategic Approach
A lot of companies use a tactical approach instead of a strategic one. Tactics are attractive. They’re concrete, and they make you feel like you’re actually doing something. Strategies are a little more abstract and idea-oriented. Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like you’re doing enough, or anything at all.
As opposed to using a particular tactic - which may or may not work in the future - use strategies that are “evergreen.” For example, a particular marketing “trick” might work today, but direct marketing will work forever. So will pay-per-click (which is really just online direct marketing).
Content marketing will always work too, as long as the Internet is the Internet.
Many businesses put the bulk of power into the hands of a few so that all of the automation happens in one single department. This is a bad model, because it cannot scale up. What happens when your marketing is really successful and you need to generate more leads? You can’t simply pump more money into the marketing, because there’s only so much those in demand generation roles can physically do - even when systems are mostly automated. There’s still maintenance of the marketing system and software that needs to be done.
Instead, what you need to do is apply a governance standard, train people who are in a demand generation position, and then use automation as a business application that drives revenue, not as an isolated department.
Most businesses think they need more content. The reality is that they already have tons of usable content. Roughly 70 to 80 percent of all content that’s created never gets used. You don’t need more content. You need better distribution systems.
You also need to beef up the quality of the content. You need to do more research, provide better resources for clients, and strategically implement key content pieces in your marketing.
For example, let’s say you just hired a writer to produce 20 pieces of content for you. You hired a video editor to piece together 10 videos, and you hired someone else to gather up statistics to create 1 or 2 infographics.
You’ve got all of this content, but maybe you didn’t pay any of the vendors very much because your accounting department found you a good deal on all of these services. As a result, the end-product is OK, but it’s not stellar. How does this help you?
Would it be better, instead, to have just 5 good written pieces, 1 video, and 1 infographic? If you’re targeting the right channels, yes.
It’s an approach favored by people like Eric Ward, but it’s not a popular approach. Most of the SEO world is focused on quantity rather than quality.
Use Workshops Intelligently
Many businesses see the need for automated marketing. However, the way they go about it is both insular and unproductive. Here’s how it all goes down: the company makes a decision about automating its marketing.
It contacts a company like PosiRank. So far, so good. Now for the bad part. The company feels it needs to set up a lead scoring model, nurture campaigns, and develop buyer personas. So, it sets up a series of workshops that involve marketing and sales, and various nurture campaigns targeted at buyer personas that fit the ideal buyer for the company.
Instead of using workshops on a truncated timetable, use them sporadically and spread out over time - and only when there’s actual data to analyze. You need actual customer and prospect data to deduce where your marketing money should be spent and how your operation should be run.
Sure, it takes time, but the results will be exponentially better.
Use IT Intelligently
IT departments have their place, and many businesses will relegate them to the basement with no hope of ever seeing the light of day. This is a mistake. IT needs to be involved in marketing, especially if your company does a lot of Internet marketing and emails.
Automation is the name of the game these days, and this is where your IT department will be an invaluable resource for you and your company. Without it, you’re dead in the water.
Andrew Johnson has a knack for innovative marketing strategies. When not pushing technology and developing plans, he often writes about his insights and experience on business and marketing blogs.