Software Is Never The Solution If Your Process And Methodology Are Flawed
It really has nothing to do with inbound marketing. This comment applies to everything. If your sales process is bad, CRM software won’t help. If your logistics and supply chain are faulty, ERP software won’t help. If you lack the financial controls, financial software won’t help.
So, if your current marketing is not working and you don’t know why, don’t start looking at marketing automation software until you understand how to make marketing work for your company.
If software isn’t the answer, what is the reason your marketing isn’t working? The answer is usually more about strategy and tactics than it is about what software you’re using to execute. Remember, software is only a hammer. If you don’t know how to build the deck or you don’t have the right wood, nails, glue and footings, your deck is going to be a hot mess no matter how good your hammer is.
Let’s get into this in more detail.
Maybe Your Strategy Is Flawed
For many businesses, marketing strategy is actually non-existent. To check it at your company, answer a few key questions.
Do you know who your target buyer is? Do you know who your target persona is? Do you know the pains or challenges of those people that cause them to buy what you’re providing? Do you know what makes your business remarkable as compared to all of your competition? Do you know what stories people tell about your business? How about the stories your salespeople tell? Finally, do you know how to emotionally connect with prospective customers so they feel safe in selecting your company?
If the answer is no to all or even one of these questions, you need help with your marketing strategy.
Maybe Your Tactics Are Wrong
Some businesses are still using the old tactics that worked 10 years ago. But today, your prospects are looking for you in different places and wanting to be marketed to in different ways. Are you making cold calls to people who rarely answer their phone? Are you sending mail to people who throw out mail from senders they don’t know? Are you attending trade shows even though less and less people go to them? Are you advertising even though people are not noticing ads like they used to?
Buyers have changed. Technology has empowered buyers to ignore interruptive advertising, and they are now managing their own journey toward a decision. If your marketing tactics are not aligned with the way people buy today, you’re wasting a lot of money trying to reach people who are not interested in being reached by you. It might be time to consider some new tactics that allow you to earn your prospects’ attention instead of renting it.
Maybe Your Execution Is Holding You Back
It’s possible that your marketing is not working even though you have a solid strategy and the right set of tactics. That might mean your execution is wrong. You could be saying the right stories to the right people but at the wrong time or in the wrong format.
Your website might look beautiful, but it might not be designed with today’s buyer journey in mind. You might be emailing your database too frequently. You might be publishing content for only one stage of the buyer journey, or you might have bottom-of-the-funnel offers that are all about you and not about your prospects.
You can see that even if you have strategy and tactics down, you could still be blowing it during execution. By looking at the experience your prospects are having while you market to them and when they become engaged with your sales team, you get a much more holistic perspective on how to execute marketing tactics and when to do so.
Maybe It Is The Software – Here’s How You Know
You’ll know when it’s time to add software because you’ll have a process that is repeatable. You’ll be confident that your stories resonate with prospects and that your tactics are working because leads will be coming in. What happens next is scaling your lead generation. You want to find ways to do it faster and with less resources. This is where software shines.
Now you’re taking software and configuring it to fit your already effective process, not using software without any process or methodology. The results you’ll see in this scenario are exactly what you’d expect: more leads, shorter cycle time and the ability to make your marketing machine run even faster.
What you should realize here is that getting your marketing to generate leads and getting your sales team to turn those leads into revenue is not easy. It’s a multifaceted challenge that can go wrong in a variety of areas. What we want you to learn is that if your strategy is bad, your tactics are wrong or the actual execution is filled with mistakes, adding software isn’t going to make it better. It’s probably going to make it worse.
Prior to looking at marketing automation or inbound optimization software, make sure your marketing strategy makes your business stand out. Make sure your tactics are the right ones for your target prospects and that the execution is running flawlessly before you add software to the mix.
Once you know how to generate leads and close them, software helps you take that highly effective marketing methodology and execute faster and more effectively, potentially doubling, tripling or quadrupling your leads and revenue. Now that’s a marketing and sales system that works.
Square 2 Marketing – The purpose of this article is to help you make a good decision about when to buy marketing software. If you think you have solid strategy, you’re sure that your tactics are the right ones and you have a team that executes flawlessly, you might be ready for software. But, if you have doubts in any of those areas, slow your move toward a purchase and get the rest of your program straightened out by working with people who know how to evaluate and implement solid marketing strategy and tactics. Then you can automate solid processes for improved results.
Square 2 Marketing – Inbound Results Start With ME!
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.