No Marketing Is Fool-Proof; How You Respond To Your Failures Is What Drives Revenue Growth
Wolves are at the top of the food chain in a lot of ecosystems, but did you know that they only execute successful hunts 15% of the time? Surprising, right? Marketing isn’t much different. Sales follows right behind.
You’re going to fail more times than you succeed in most cases and especially in the beginning. The key is to rally, recover and gain insight, and not to be discouraged, disparage your selected approach to marketing, quit or even fire your inbound marketing agency.
If you’ve been in marketing as long as I have, you’ve run unsuccessful campaigns. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. They key is not to prevent them from happening but to learn from them and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes again. There’s a lot to that when you talk about inbound marketing. Do you want to be making mistakes you could have avoided if you had the right experiences? Do you know how to optimize inbound marketing tactics so they produce better results month over month?
If lead generation, sales opportunities and revenue growth are your goals, then securing those skills and unique experiences so you don’t make mistakes is going to produce better results faster and generate a much higher return on your marketing investment.
Here are some of the most common mistakes we see negatively impacting inbound marketing results. Do any of these sound familiar to you?
You Go From Persona To Tactics Without Spending Time On Story Development
If in the past year you haven’t worked on your company’s story, messaging and what makes you different, this might be why your sales is underperforming. Having a persona profile is not a complete marketing strategy.
It matters what you say about your business. It matters how your marketing tells your story. It matters what your salespeople are saying during the sales process. If this isn’t interesting, emotional, disruptive, compelling and different than all of your competitors, you’re in trouble.
You need the insights to move people out of their status quo and to act. You need to help people understand that you get their pains, have solutions to those pains, have provided those solutions successfully to people just like them and that you do it differently than all of the other competitors or substitute options. This is one of the secrets to marketing that almost everyone ignores.
Your Website Didn’t Get A Dose Of 'What Do We Want People To Do, Feel And Learn On This Page?'
Your new website design looks great, but does it turn visitors into leads? The reason it might not is you didn’t take a strategic approach to the site.
You didn’t do the hard work of making sure every single page was created with a goal in mind. What do we want visitors to do on this page? What do we want them to feel? What do we want them to learn?
Once you apply that approach, you’ll change everything about your site. When you want them to convert (which you do), you’ll be thinking about offers, you’ll be thinking about stories and you’ll be thinking about insights. All of this is about your prospects, not about you. It’s a big paradigm shift that most companies don’t make. They launch their new site and it performs very similarly to the old site. The result is limited visitors, limited leads and no sales opportunities. You can do so much better.
You Don’t Know How To Prioritize The Tactics To Drive Results
We already agreed that today’s marketing and sales tactics require a much deeper set of tactics. You need to do SEO, have an ongoing website optimization effort, create content monthly, share content on social media, maintain your blog, send out regular email campaigns, work to get backlinks to your site from other friendly websites and improve the effectiveness of your company’s sales process. That’s a lot of work.
How do you know what to work on first? It can’t always be about who yells the loudest. Eventually, you’ll need some way to prioritize based on impact and results. The best approach, based on years of experimenting, is prioritizing tactics based on what’s going to have the biggest impact and take the least amount of effort. This pushes up to the top those tactics that contribute to leads early and often. It pushes down those tactics that might look good on paper but have the potential to never produce a single lead.
This methodology also eliminates the random acts of marketing we see marketing teams executing so frequently. Trying anything and everything in the hopes something sticks is not a good strategy.
You Didn’t Create Your Content With The Buyer Journey In Mind
We’ve mentioned content a lot in this article. So many types of content, formats for content and applications for content exist. That’s why content marketing is on everyone’s shopping list. Rightfully so, content marketing is at the center of most marketing programs.
But what content do you create and why? In what format? At what frequency? These are all smart questions to be asking and they’re questions that should be answered up front before you start typing your first word of your first whitepaper.
The answers to those questions, like most answers these days, come back to your prospects and their buyer journey. If we agree that today the buyer is controlling the sales process and spends 75% of the time on their own looking for educational information and then 25% of the time working with a sales rep, then we also have to agree that the content we create must map to that journey.
The best way to do that is with questions. Prospects have questions and you have answers. Identify those questions by persona and for each stage in the buyer journey. Next, start answering those questions with your content. Finally, strategically apply that content to your website pages designed for each persona and each stage of the buyer journey. By taking this approach to content, you’ll be guaranteed to get new leads, qualified leads, leads at all stages of the buyer journey and leads that can be quickly turned into sales opportunities and new customers.
You Underfunded Your Marketing, So The Results Are Less Than Expected
Big and aggressive goals require big and aggressive marketing budgets, right? It should make complete sense, yes?
If you want the high-end Mercedes, you’re expecting it to be expensive. If it’s too expensive, you settle for the Chevy. If you want the best team, and if you want the most comprehensive program that’s going to have a big and dramatic impact on your business, then you need to be prepared to invest in marketing.
The more you invest, the better the results. There is a direct correlation. You can’t invest $2,000 a month and expect 200 leads a month. For $2,000 a month you can have two leads a month. If you want or need 200 leads a month, expect to invest $15,000 a month. But this should be obvious, and I can promise you that anyone who tells you they can get you 200 leads a month for $2,000 a month is not telling you the truth.
You Can’t Close The Leads Marketing Is Generating
One of the most dramatic changes impacting marketing and sales is that the days of two departments with two leaders and two sets of objectives are quickly coming to an end. Today, business leaders don’t care about leads, they care about new customers and revenue. If sales can’t close the leads marketing is generating, then it doesn’t matter how many leads you’re getting from marketing tactics.
Today, the prospect experience extends all the way from click to close. Revenue specialists are working with companies to create the buyer experience so prospects close at a higher rate, they close more quickly and they close for higher average revenue numbers. This type of strategic work is transformational for businesses, but it requires a serious commitment to finally align sales and marketing.
Once aligned, the experience mapping work that strategic revenue-consulting firms like Square 2 execute ensures that every single tough point along the way is remarkable, tells a compelling story and positions your company as the only choice. In short, in ensures that you hit your revenue goals month over month and that your company finally has the engine necessary to grow fast and with focus.
I can’t emphasize enough how complicated marketing and sales are today. They are 10x more complicated than they were 10 years ago when you came up with the playbooks you’re probably working from today. Marketing and sales are 5x more complicated than they were even three years ago. You’re going to make mistakes and run programs that fail. The key is learning from them and doing it differently the next time.
One way to help is to work with people who know how to organize the complexity, know how to sequence and connect tactics so you get the one plus one equals three benefit, and know how to skip over the land mines so your program produces the results you need to be successful.
Square 2 Marketing – Innovating Marketing And Sales To Match Today’s Buyer Behavior!
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.