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Why Marketing Strategy Remains A Missing Link For Killer Lead Generation

Inbound, Outbound, Account-Based And Demand Gen; Marketing Strategy Makes It All Much Less Complicated

With all these different types of marketing flying around today, it’s hard to know what the right approach is for your company. Some of you are trying inbound marketing, others are doing demand generation and then we have an entire set of companies putting all their eggs into account-based marketing.

On top of that, companies are dipping their toes into search marketing, email marketing and content marketing. In all honesty, we still hear from companies that have tried it all and haven’t seen any results.

Unfortunately, if you skip the inbound marketing strategy and jump into the tactics, you’re going to be disappointed with the results. When we diagnose a prospect’s current marketing situation, it’s almost always the root cause for lack of results. They didn’t take the time to build out the personas, define the stories and messages, create compelling differentiation and plan their marketing attack strategy. They just jumped in and started doing stuff.



Integrated Vs. Orchestrated Inbound Marketing: What's The Difference?

Orchestration Is The Key To Successful Inbound Marketing Lead Generation

Everyone knows marketing needs to be integrated, but do you know the definition of integrated marketing?

According to the DMA, "integrated marketing is an approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for consumers to interact with the brand/enterprise; it attempts to meld all aspects of marketing communication, such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing and social media, through their respective mix of tactics, methods, channels, media and activities so that all work together as a unified force. It is a process designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on the customer."

But look up orchestrated marketing and you only find a handful of articles placed sporadically over the past few years. When you overlay inbound marketing, we think integration isn’t enough to truly make inbound marketing the lead generation machine it has the potential to be and that orchestration — all inbound marketing tactics working in seamless harmony (like a symphony)  is one of the secrets to success from inbound.



Prediction #2 — Marketing Strategy Remains A Missing Element From Inbound Marketing Programs

2017 Continues With Companies Skipping Inbound Marketing Strategy And Executing Disconnected Tactics

I write about this every year hoping it will change, but it never does. Companies don’t value strategy, don’t want to pay for it, don’t want to work on it and don’t even want to talk about it. Yet its quality and presence within an inbound engagement is a direct predictor of inbound lead generation success.

So many factors contribute to this habitually absent element of almost every inbound marketing program that we’re asked to comment on. I recognize the complexity of attempting to get a company to change its messages, tell different stories and actually operate in a remarkable way. But if you want leads, it’s not an optional element — it's mandatory.



Inbound Marketing Disrupts Status Quo So You Can Break Through To Prospects

Inbound Marketing Won’t Save The Day If Your Message Is Wrong

If you don’t have anything interesting to say, don’t say anything at all.

It’s a play on the old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” They teach us that in kindergarten. Yet it seems like a lot of you might have forgotten that little saying, or maybe you thought it had nothing to do with your ability to drive revenue in your company.

If you think it’s not important or not a priority to invest money and to spend time creating compelling, emotional and disruptive messages to get people interested in your business, you're mistaken. Yes, there are people right now looking for businesses just like yours. No matter what you do, how you do it or where you do it, people are looking for you.



$3,000 Or $10,000? How To Pick The Right Level Of Inbound Marketing

You Won’t Get The Same Results For Less Money, No Matter What They Tell You

It’s confusing out there. Knowing what to invest in your inbound marketing program and knowing what you’re going to get, plus having a complete understanding of the expected results, makes setting your budget one of the more complex aspects.

But, I can tell you with complete confidence that you won’t get the same level of results from investing $3,000 a month as you would from investing $10,000.

If you think about it, this makes sense. We can do so much more to drive people to your website and turn them into leads if we have $10,000 of budget each month versus $3,000. If someone is telling you differently, they’re simply trying to sell you.

The real question you should be asking is, “What level of investment do I need in order to hit my revenue goals?”



Can You Get Results From Inbound Marketing Without Strategy?

Marketing Strategy Is Still A Requirement If You Want Leads

Over the course of 13 years, we’ve had conversation after conversation with CEOs who are resistant to the idea of marketing strategy before inbound marketing tactics. Just about everyone thinks the best approach to marketing is to start executing tactics. No one would like that to be true more than I would.

However, I’ve thought through this idea many, many times and find it extremely difficult to feel good about this approach. This is especially challenging for me when it comes to inbound marketing. Inbound requires a collection of so many tactics all executed in an orchestrated way. If one tactical input is wrong, the entire program suffers.



How To Use Pay-Per-Click In An Inbound Marketing Program

Is Pay-Per-Click Inbound Marketing? We Think So, If Applied Properly

Is pay-per-click considered inbound marketing? It’s a question we’ve been asking for a while, and honestly, our answer has changed over time. Not because we’re fickle or we’re hedging, but rather we’ve figured out how to infuse pay-per-click into our clients inbound programs. This has allowed us to answer the question as follows: Of course, pay-per-click is part of inbound marketing.

OK, but isn’t pay-per-click interruptive advertising? I guess so if you look at it logically. When you change your lens, however, and start marketing educational content with a highly personalized user experience, as well as use the micro-targeting available from social sites, you get a very effective inbound tactic that drives leads for clients.



What I Learned About Inbound Marketing During My John Deere Factory Tour

Assembly Lines Don’t Work For Inbound Marketing Engagements

We’ve been doing work for a John Deere dealer, and yesterday, I had the pleasure of being invited down to Cary, NC, to spend the morning touring the John Deere factory. The experience was extremely enlightening, as they highlighted the checks and balances, efficiency systems and safety protocols designed to help John Deere produce a consistent and quality product over and over again.

That got me thinking about how inbound marketing can sometimes take on a factory or assembly line feel, as there are many tactics to be produced over and over again. However, it's crucial to remember that these blog articles, email campaigns and website pages are all unique. We’re not trying to deliver the same product every time. So, the key learning here is that inbound requires a level of creativity, innovation and strategic thinking that must be woven into almost every aspect of the effort.



Why Your Inbound Marketing Team Has To Be Agile

Agile Marketing And Inbound Marketing Equal 10x The Business Results

The days of annual marketing planning are over. For years, I created 12-month marketing plans for the companies that hired me to be their VP of Marketing. Today, a 12-month marketing plan sounds completely ridiculous to me. Why? Because as inbound marketing experts, we use data to drive our decision-making, not a written plan that could be months old.

If real-time data is going to drive your decisions, why spend the time to create a long-term plan? Instead, create a series of 30-day plans that allow you to respond to the performance data directly from clients and prospects.

If you are, in fact, going to do shorter plans and change your tactics every 30 days, you need your marketing team to be designed for, trained on and experienced in adjusting their execution just as fast.



Marketing Strategy Is Still Holding Back Progress On Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing Requires Planning If You Want Results

We talk to so many CEOs and VPs of marketing who want to move to inbound or have tried to do so but are still challenged to see results that we started looking around to identify what might be holding them back.

While we certainly have our own theories on what the major issues are, we were surprised to find the following data from Smart Insights. This research shows that the leading factor limiting the results from digital marketing is lack of integrated strategy and planning. In fact, 27% of the respondents identified this as an issue.

In addition, 23% of them felt that their siloed teams were holding them back, so you could make a case that almost 50% of the companies running digital marketing campaigns are missing key strategy and planning components. That makes it an epidemic in our minds.