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Marketing Strategy Impacts Bottom-Of-The-Funnel Inbound Marketing Leads

Not Getting Enough Sales-Ready Leads? Check Your Story, Messaging And Differentiation First

If you’ve just wrapped up reviewing your second quarter and were disappointed with the amount of sales-qualified leads, sales opportunities or customers coming directly from marketing efforts, then look no further than your marketing strategy.

A lot of marketers and CEOs might look at the mechanics of the program first, but nine times out of 10 your landing pages, website or blog are not to blame. Instead, your results are disappointing because you’re not telling a compelling, engaging, emotional and disruptive enough story in all of your marketing.

This is sometimes difficult for businesspeople to see. Your perspective on your own company’s messaging isn’t objective. Your website is not for you; it’s for your prospects. Here’s a quick checklist to see if your messaging and stories might be missing the mark and limiting the amount of inbound marketing leads generated for your sales team.

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How To Align Marketing Delivery With Your Company's Marketing Strategy

What To Work On, When To Work On It And What Are The Expected Results? It Can Be Confusing

When you think about everything you can do to drive inbound marketing leads for your business, the collection of tactics is overwhelming. What makes this even more challenging is that you should be executing on these tactics every day, every week and all month long. It never stops.

But most companies can’t do everything all of the time. Either budgets constrain what tactics you deploy or (I guess this is related) you don’t have the hands to execute everything. Your limited team just doesn’t have enough time in the day to do everything. You must prioritize and you need a delivery methodology that supports your strategy and your constraints.

Your team should be focused on what’s going to drive the biggest impact for the least amount of effort. By cycling through this prioritization exercise as frequently as possible (we recommend every 30 days), you align the delivery with your marketing strategy every single month.

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Siloed Marketing Could Be Why Your Inbound Marketing Underperforms

Inbound Marketing Results Require Orchestration, And That Means Breaking Down Silos

If you’ve been working on inbound marketing and the results seem a little underwhelming, it could be because you’re still looking at marketing in silos. Marketing has been siloed for a lot of years.

That usually manifests itself in the form of individuals or even agencies that are working on one single tactic. You have an SEO expert on staff or you have an SEO agency working with you. That’s siloed marketing.

Inbound marketing requires connectors across ALL of the tactics in the program, including web, content, email, social, conversions, search and nurture. Doing any of these tactics in a vacuum without context from the other tactics produces downward pressure on results in almost every scenario.

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Storytelling: The Lost Art In The Science Of Inbound Marketing

            Poor Results? It Might Not Be Your Tactics; It Might Be Your Message

Marketing can feel very militaristic with campaigns, targets and email as air cover and sales as the ground attack, but the reality is you’re attempting to talk to people. Thinking about your potential prospects as people and not targets is likely to produce a different result. Once you realize marketing strategies need to be a human-to-human effort, you might rethink what you’re saying to them.

For example, if you’re talking about yourself, people might not care as much. Instead, try to craft a message that’s more about them. If you’re talking about the features and benefits of what you do, it’s likely your prospects won’t remember many of these details. It’s not that those details aren’t wonderful, it’s just that our brains aren’t wired to remember stuff like that.

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Why Templates Won't Help You Improve Inbound Marketing Lead Generation

Marketing Strategy Can’t Be Packaged Into A Web Form Template

Everyone is looking for shortcuts. Be careful, because you might get what you’re asking for. Today, a wide variety of worksheets, templates and preloaded, automated strategy tools are designed to make the planning aspect of inbound marketing easier.

Even the marketing automation tools are starting to include modules that help you think out your content, nurturing and search strategy. There’s only one problem: I’m not sure these are going to help you produce results. They’re going to help you check off the action item. Strategy? Check! But that’s about it. In our experience, strategy is a lot more complicated than filling out a template.

Continue reading to learn why prepackaged strategy tools might not be the right path for your inbound marketing strategy.

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Is Inbound Marketing Quickly Going 'Out Of Style'?

Has Inbound Marketing Lost Ground To Demand Generation And Other Approaches To Marketing?

Has inbound marketing run its course? Has it been run over by more traditional approaches to marketing like all-out advertising, mass emails and demand generation tactics? If it has, why? What should you be doing about it (if anything)? But more importantly, are external factors putting extra pressure on inbound marketing?

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If Your Inbound Marketing Agency Doesn't Ask About Your Story, Find A New Agency

Marketing Strategy Must Include A Conversation About Your Stories, Or Else Your Lead Generation Is Dead On Arrival

Here I am talking about marketing strategy again. But do yourself a big favor and read this article, because you’re not going to want to miss it. I’m talking about strategy again because it continues to be the key to successful lead generation and the most overlooked, under-delivered part of every inbound marketing engagement.

Think about your own inbound marketing program. How much time did you or your inbound marketing agency spend on strategy? A couple of hours in an initial meeting? A day or two? Maybe a week? I know, you did personas, which took you a couple of days or maybe a week to create. Then what else did you do? Did you map out each personas buyer journey?

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What Is Marketing Strategy When You're Talking Demand Generation?

Is It Different Than Marketing Strategies For Other Types Of Marketing, Like Inbound Marketing?

You’ve sat down with your management team to assess your current market, competition, target prospects and business goals. You’ve discussed your options, which include inbound marketing, account-based marketing and demand generation. You’ve decided that demand generation is right for you and your team agrees.

Now what? Are you ready to jump in and start with the paid advertising, email outreach, website redesign and sales calls? I’m going to suggest that there’s one important step before you hit the street with your marketing. Regardless of the approach you want to take with your marketing, putting the time, energy and investment into your marketing strategy is going to produce a 10x improvement in whatever results you end up generating.

Instead of 10 leads a month, you could be looking at 100 leads a month. That should be enough incentive to slow down, read the article and consider applying some of the thinking here.

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Why Today I'm Embarrassed To Be In Marketing

And Why We, As Advisors And Consultants, Might Have Failed Our Clients

WARNING: There’s a rant coming in this blog article.

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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.

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