By Francois Gau, Levy Industrial
“We have too many unqualified leads from our marketing campaigns.” “We don’t rank very high in search engines, but we spend a lot of money on digital marketing. Why is that?” “We have no idea how much any campaign actually generates in orders and profits. Lots of great reports, but we can’t seem to correlate effort to payback.”
Those statements summarize the frustrations that leaders of tech and other B2B companies have expressed to me during conversations about how to improve marketing ROI.
The most efficient way to make your marketing dollars count is to systematize the process for growing or maintaining market share, and for entering new markets. Progress occurs by using an innovative six-stage process, which consists of Market Mapping (Figure 1 — defining a clear path for growth by identifying end market, geography, product/service and channel), Goal Setting & Research (based on real world information), Marketing Plan (scope of, and schedule for, activities), Marketing Automation (nurture touch points for reaching target audiences), Content Generation (establish and grow social media engagement) and Measure & Adjust (monitor and evaluate results).
Market Mapping: Where to Play & How to Win
By following those steps, a company can seamlessly create awareness (Marketing), generate leads and convert prospects into customers (Sales), as well as course-correct in real time, to generate $9 or more in top-line growth for every dollar invested in B2B marketing programs.
B2C Paves Way for B2B
Some B2C marketing tools and processes are now becoming available for B2B at competitive price points, and with features that make them suitable to use in multi-persona, multi-channel complex selling environments. Ideally, marketing strategies should be centered around a modern website and an Integrated Business Development platform (CRM and Marketing Engine – Figure 2).
Integrated Business Development Platform
Using this process, Inbound Marketing efforts (Figure 3 — creating a “pull” through social and engaged networks) and Outbound Marketing activities (“pushing” content through traditional outlets) are now merged into a single interconnected, automated platform that seamlessly integrates with Sales using CRM.
Marketing Automation: The Glue That Holds It All Together
By defining markets and target audiences to ensure that every sales and marketing activity is focused on reaching and converting strategic buyers (i.e., Make your marketing count.), by giving prospects the tools and content they need to educate themselves (i.e., Make your marketing relevant.) and by measuring, in real-time, the effectiveness of discrete activities and course-correcting as necessary (i.e., Make your marketing agile.), you’ll bridge the gap between sales and marketing.
Francois Gau is President and CEO of Levy Industrial, a Pittsburgh-based full-service marketing firm. He is a former senior executive at Kennametal, and a former director of marketing & strategy at Honeywell Aerospace.