Without the right go-to-market strategy,
marketing becomes a bridge to nowhere.
If the past twelve months have taught us nothing else, it is that change is a constant, and invention or reinvention are fundamentally connected to a firm’s ability to succeed in today’s marketplace.
“No matter how good today’s strategy is, you must always keep reinventing it.”
– Constantinos C. Markides
Marketing is not a static discipline. A winning strategy from 2019 may have little to no relevance in 2021. Businesses adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic in unexpected ways, and tactics that worked before or during the pandemic need to be continually updated to stay relevant.
When thinking about sales, the first things you might think about are cold calls, emails, getting leads. What you may not consider is how marketing supports everything your sales team does. While sales are important, it’d be lost without a sharply executed marketing strategy.
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Focusing on specifically inbound marketing drives customers to your website, converts them into marketing qualified leads (MQLs), and guides them to purchase from you.
Inbound marketing is the process of helping prospective buyers find you, then turning that engagement into leads and sales. But, if your revenue gains haven’t been meeting expectations, it could be partly about your marketing. How do you start?
Marketing strategy workshop
Think of a marketing strategy workshop as the Swiss Army knife to your overall marketing initiatives. It is a multi-faceted tool to help you to guide your customers to purchase. Creating a strategy workshop for demand generation is fairly simple.
Let’s walk through it step-by-step.
Take a marketing snapshot of your customer. Identify the top markets that you are trying to reach. Ask yourself how these markets align with your value proposition and the product that you are offering and figure out who you are trying to sell to.
A persona is a generic representation of one kind of buyer of your product or services. Creating buyer personas is critical for your inbound marketing strategy. You must know who it is that you are trying to target, help, educate, and ultimately sell to.
Creating personas will help you create content that speaks directly to your customer’s pain points and better aligns your messaging to what your customer wants and needs. This alignment helps show you as an expert in your industry – a trusted partner that people want to do business with.
It’s not enough to just know who you are marketing to. You also need to know where your prospective customer is in their decision-making process. Knowing whether your prospects are in the awareness, consideration, or decision stage of their journey will allow you to better target what content to share with them.
If someone is trying to identify the problem that they have and is researching many avenues to try to pinpoint what exactly they need, throwing your full offering brochure filled with prices and super in-depth industry information might not be the best approach for that prospect.
Instead, sharing a blog post about what you know about their problem – showing your company as an expert on their problem – will help you stand out from the competition. This must be presented from your persona’s perspective – not yours.
What does your current marketing strategy look like? A marketing strategy is a documented plan for how to reach your prospects, bring a message that will make sense to them, and ultimately shows how your solution solves the problem as they see it.
Do you have a documented strategy?
How do you drive awareness?
What does your website traffic look like compared to last year?
Knowing what you are currently doing or not doing is key to creating an impactful and solid strategy.
To define what your success looks like, you need to map it out.
What are your business objectives?
Are you trying to increase revenue? Are you trying to create greater brand awareness?
Whatever your goals are, write them down. Make them actionable, measurable, and timely. The more specific you are with your goals, the easier it will be to create a realistic path to reach them.
No marketing strategy is going to be completely perfect. And that’s okay. It is important to recognize the weak points of your strategy so you can work to fill those gaps to achieve your goals.
Identify what you need assistance with, or where your goals might be too vague.
Reevaluate your strategy and update areas to reinforce these weak spots so you can move forward.
Now that you have the groundwork done, it’s time to move on to creating your specific plan. There are several elements to consider while putting it all together.
Your website is the most important element in supporting your inbound marketing efforts. It is where you are driving your customers to learn more about your business. Make sure you are focusing on your search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO can make or break your plan. Search engines like Google or Bing rely heavily on your SEO to determine where your website ranks compared to your competitors. Making sure that you are using keywords, links, and other meta-data properly will increase your organic search ranking.
Lastly, make sure your website is sales-ready. You do not want to bring customers to your website only for them not to have a way to make their purchase or set up a meeting with your sales team.
Remember how we discussed knowing where your buyer personas fall in their buyer’s journey? This is where that comes in handy.
You must be creating content for your specific customer. What makes it more challenging is the fact that your prospects could be on any of the stages of the buyer’s journey.
Your content marketing strategy needs to take this into account. Create a wide variety of content to hit all of your many prospect’s pain points regardless of where they are in their buyer’s journey.
Make sure you are engaging with your customers wherever they may be. Not all of your customers want to interact with you solely on your website.
Utilize social media, paid search, and remarketing campaigns to reach customers who are not coming directly to your website. These outlets are important for recapturing prospects who may have come to your website but left without taking action.
Effective workflows and automation ensure alignment across roles. Make sure that you have all of the approvals needed, know your subject matter experts, and know who is responsible for every step of the process.
Your marketing strategy is the lifeblood of your sales team. Marketing and sales must align for your sales teams to target leads and close sales.
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