Just like saving money for retirement, the best time to start improving your business was yesterday. The second-best time to start is today. However, when it comes to marketing your company, there is no quick-fix solution. You need a multi-layered plan with specific goals and a timeline to get you there.
In the final days leading up to 2019, Marketopia launched a 12-part video miniseries on setting your business up for success through marketing. Below is an overview of each topic and video link, so that you can incorporate these components into your marketing plan.
Set Up Your Organization for Success
Before you can improve your business, your whole team needs to be working from one operating system. Marketopia used EOS®, short for the Entrepreneurial Operating System, to help bring focus, discipline and accountability across all departments. EOS helps businesses strengthen the six key components of any business:
Once everyone is working from the same playbook, it will be easier to set smarter goals.
The Power of Setting a Clear Goal
Not all goals are created equal. For example, losing weight is a great goal, but exactly how many pounds do you want to drop, and which diet plan will you follow? Just like resolutions, your business needs to set clear goals. One of the best ways to do this is by setting SMART goals, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. A SMART goal incorporates all these elements to keep you focused and increase your chances of achieving your goal.
For example, a SMART goal isn’t saying, “I want more leads” or “I want to make higher profits.” Put a number to it. Exactly how many leads do you want? Is that number a realistic number of leads to get? When is the deadline you need to hit that lead count?
Aligning Your Marketing and Sales
Once you set up your organization’s operating system and establish clear goals, you’ll be able to align your marketing and sales departments better. According to The Payoffs of Improved Sales & Marketing Alignment, U.S. businesses lose $1 trillion per year because of misalignment. Poor communication, flawed processes and inconsistent follow-up procedures are common causes for misalignment.
According to the Aberdeen Group, a successfully aligned sales and marketing strategy can generate 32 percent higher revenue, retain 36 percent more customers and achieve a 38 percent higher win rate.
Targeting the Right Audience and Adding Real Value
One way to increase your number of customers and wins is by finding the right audience to target. By strategically breaking down large markets into smaller customer groups based on key characteristics, you can focus on the types of people or businesses that resemble your ideal lead. Four of the main types of market segmentation include:
- Demographic (age, gender, education, marital status, etc.)
- Psychographic (values, beliefs, interests, personality, lifestyle, etc.)
- Behavioral (brand interactions, spending habits, etc.)
- Geographic (neighborhood, area code, city, region, country, etc.)
In addition to finding your ideal lead, target marketing can deliver real value to your audience by providing resolutions to their unique pain points through content marketing and develop a connection by speaking in terms they understand.
Systems to Support Your Marketing Plan
As you’re aligning your marketing strategy, it can feel overwhelming trying to keep up with all your projects. One way to keep everything organized is by using a project management system to keep track of timelines, workflows and internal communications. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, 97 percent of respondents agreed that project management is critical to business performance and organizational success. Project management solutions can help keep your sales and marketing teams on the same page so that you can surprise and delight customers. In fact, according to a Capterra study, 44 percent of businesses say that project management solutions helped improved the quality of the final product.
Celebrating Your Wins
During your journey of improving your business, don’t forget to take inventory of your accomplishments. Many business owners are continuously looking for new ways to improve their companies, which makes it easy to overlook what they’ve already done. Take a second to look around and appreciate what you do have. It’ll make what you gain in the future more special.
The 4 Areas of a Marketing Plan
For businesses that have never had a true marketing plan, knowing elements to include can feel overwhelming. Your plan needs to touch on these four areas to be successful:
- Awareness – Get your name in front of consumers to differentiate your company from the competition. Also, keep in mind that 63 percent of consumers requesting info on your company today will not purchase for at least three months.
- Demand Generation – Targeted marketing programs can drive interest in your products or services. Set SMART goals to increase the success rate of your demand gen goals.
- Events – Attend industry events or host your own events to get face-to-face with your customers. According to Endless Events, 95 percent of marketers agree that live events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form in-person connections in a digital business world.
- Incentives – Don’t rely solely on word of mouth marketing. Give your current customers a reason to send new business your way by offering discounts or gifts. According to the Neilsen Company, 92 percent of people trust recommendations from friends and family over other types of advertising. These elements will help increase your visibility within the industry and generate more qualified leads.
Building Out Your Inbound Marketing Plan
One of the critical components of your marketing strategy is creating ways for potential leads to find your business online. This strategy is called inbound marketing, and it focuses on creating quality content that pulls prospects into your business and brand. Create content for prospects who are already searching for answers online, researching your industry, checking out competitors and trying to decide if they need your service. You can get their attention by creating whitepapers, blogs and videos. If they get something of value from your content, they’ll trust you more and view you as a leader in the space.
Building Out Your Outbound Marketing Plan
In addition to inbound marketing, your marketing plan should also include a way to reach prospects who have a problem but aren’t actively searching for a solution. This strategy is called outbound marketing, and it can provide immediate results when done right. Outbound marketing includes direct mailers, telemarketing, TV ads and more. Remember, you can’t lean on only inbound or outbound marketing, you need a combination of both. Only 12 percent of outbound marketers reported that their outbound marketing efforts gave a higher ROI over inbound marketing. To make outbound work, you need to be strategic and have measurable goals.
Putting Your Marketing Plan into Action
Now that you know what elements you need for a successful marketing plan, it’s time to put the plan into motion. However, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit study, 61 percent of respondents struggle to bridge the gap between formulating a strategy and its day-to-day implementation. To fix this, you need a written process to tackle your strategy. Set milestone goals and deadlines in advanced, so your teams know how to prioritize duties and tasks. According to Broadview, 70 percent of organizations that used a formal process to manage their strategy outperformed their peers.
Leading and Motivating Your Team to Success
As your company marches forward with its new marketing plan, it’s your duty as a business owner to take charge. Being a leader is more than issuing orders. You must lead by example, be transparent with your progress, promote teamwork, specifically acknowledge team achievements and more. With open and honest communication in an encouraging work environment, your team is more likely to stay committed to meeting and exceeding your goals.
Take What You Measured and Make it Better
As you develop and implement your marketing plan throughout the year, it’s essential to collect data on how well your marketing deliverables are performing. Without this performance data, it’ll be difficult to analyze how effective your marketing was at accomplishing your goals. Use Google Analytics or other analytics tools built into various programs to keep track of metrics. With a clear view of your analytics, you’ll be able to make adjustments that help increase your leads, sales and profit.
How Marketopia Can Help
By implementing these 12 components, your marketing strategy will have all the pieces it needs for an incredible 2020. However, it’s going to take a lot of time and energy to deploy all elements of a marketing plan. If you’re not sure you can do it all, don’t worry. You don’t have to do it alone. Marketopia has the knowledge and tools to help you succeed in this ever-changing landscape. We have roots in the channel, and our team of experts will help you achieve your goals. Contact us today to get started.
So, what does it take to be an evolved channel manager? Let’s take a look at what makes these channel managers...
Between victories, pain points, changes and trends, 2019 has been quite a year. A lot has gone on in the IT industry...
Look across the IT channel. What do you see? A lot of the same, most likely. If you removed the logo from your brand...