In the book Spin Selling by Neil Rackman, sales methodology is explored and documented. One of the findings, supported by research, is that in large sales, the selling process is often pushed through the sales funnel by personnel internal to the buyer of the product or service, due to the number of influencers and decision makers that must approve large capital expenditures. During this extended sales cycle, it would be almost impossible for the sales rep to be present for every meeting and address every objection or question that might arise. For that reason, the value of a strong brand reputation plays a critical role in the sales process. Continue reading →
Developing an online revenue cycle requires a structured approach in which marketing and sales work together. Marketo, in their Marketing Metrics & Analytic Guide, describes their revenue cycle and offers a pictorial example of their sales funnel. Below is my interpretation of their revenue cycle for small to mid-sized B-to-B brands that would like to apply ROI metrics to their inbound marketing efforts.
Speak with almost any CEO of a small to mid-sized brand, and they will tell you that inbound marketing is an important communication component in creating and maintaining brand preference. However, ask them what resources or processes are in place dedicated to inbound marketing content, and the answer will tell you that this is usually more wishful thinking than reality.
Why is this? Small and mid-sized brands are resource-challenged. Their employees have a wealth of knowledge to share but usually there is no process in place to capture content.
The promise of Marketing Automation Platforms is to integrate and automate marketing functions
Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) are receiving lots of attention in the B-to-B marketing sphere. Most of these platforms are targeted toward companies with large database records that execute the majority of their marketing efforts online. For originations that fit the aforementioned criteria, MAPs promise greater marketing efficiency, integration with sales CRM software, reduced external resource expenditures, and ROI tracking for each marketing event.
Inbound marketing can help identify your best prospects
I’m reading a lot these days about the disconnect between marketing and sales. The story goes something like this: Marketing generates leads and hands them over to sales. Sales says the leads are worthless because the prospect has not been qualified as to purchasing intent and does not have an immediate need.
The goal for People-to-People marketing is to engage decision makers and influence their purchasing decision
If you feel a little out of touch with the whole marketing ecosystem today, don’t feel alone. There has been a seismic explosion in the channels and tools marketers are using to influence purchasing decisions. Now, effective marketing is a mash-up of traditional B-to-B and digital P-to-P strategies with tactical execution determined by company size and where the buyer to be reached spends the most time.
Analytics review can help sharpen brand messaging and identify your best prospects.
Email marketing can be a quick and efficient way to deliver your inbound marketing content to select groups and prospects. However, many times marketers do not fully review the email analytics to understand viewer email habits, engagement with content, and how the success of the inbound marketing efforts is affected.
Learning HTML code is about attitude, not aptitude.
Digital ad spending in North America is projected to top $51 billion in 2014. This figure does not take into account the additional spending for digital inbound marketing for websites, emails, landing pages, and newsletters. Now, almost every marketing channel relies on HTML code (Hyper Text Markup Language) to deliver the marketing message.
Why then do so many marketing practitioners shy away from learning the language of HTML code?
The ad revenue model is blurring the lines between social media and advertising
In the early days of social media it was hailed as the replacement for advertising. The interruption model of advertising was so twentieth century and the permission model of social media was the darling of the new millennium.
How to keep share-of-voice and maintain industry presence
Cost reduction is nothing new. The great recession accelerated the learning curve on how to reduce marketing expenditures by cutting personnel and marketing investment. However, as we fast forward to a new year and a recovering economy, when asked to reduce marketing expenditures one must take into account the value of marketing and the influence it has on the behavior of your customers and competitors.