Aligning Your Marketing KPIs and Sales Targets

A killer marketing strategy that drives return on investment can only truly thrive when it has buy-in from both your sales and your marketing team. It’s crucial that marketing KPIs and sales targets are aligned with the results you’re looking to achieve.

We often see a disconnect between the sales and marketing teams within companies that looks a little like this:

Marketing: We’re creative and strongly believe you can’t put a price on building a brand. We’re storytellers and we know our customers love our approach. Data? Well, we’re not analysts. We deal with data and campaign lists but really sales should handle it. Don’t you think? They’re the ones who need to be all over their accounts and tell us what they need. We’re not mind readers you know.”

Sales: It’s all fluff, we don’t use what marketing provide. We make our own deals because the leads they give us never go anywhere. We don’t spend much time upselling or growing accounts, that’s just a time thing though. You know how it is, sometimes you just have to move on to the next big-ticket deal. You’ve got to work smart and go after the big fish and low-hanging fruit.”

When the sales and marketing teams aren’t working together in harmony it’s typically because they exist in silos and whilst they may think they both have the same goal – there’s no strategy that unites both their efforts in place. Not only does this result in frustrations from both teams but it also holds back your business.

How?

  • Leads aren’t delivered using any given or proven strategy: Even if your campaigns are generating leads, having no clear funnel or strategy in place makes it hard to quantify where they came from and what’s working best.
  • Existing relationships and success aren’t being leveraged: Marketing and sales aren’t working together to nurture existing accounts, client relationships or building upon past success, limiting further growth opportunities.
  • Channels aren’t optimised: Ownership and accountability of the channels you use to market to prospects and nurture leads within both teams are murky at best and end up not being optimised for each stage of the customer journey. I.e., your marketing team thinks that sales should look after existing customers entirely, but your sales team needs marketing materials to help this process.

What’s the solution?

Whether it’s your overarching marketing strategy for the whole company or on a campaign-by-campaign basis – the key to uniting your sales and marketing team involves setting clearly defined goals and both teams using their expertise to outline how they plan to reach them together.

How to align your marketing KPIs and sales targets:

  • Define the end goal for the campaign or overall marketing strategy first. I.e., ‘generate X amount of revenue’ or ‘get X new leads’
  • Have a meeting between the two teams to optimise every point in the customer journey. Discuss who you’ll be targeting, what channels are best to do this, and which teams or individuals will take ownership for creating any material needed for each stage.
  • It can also be helpful to set targets at the start of the campaign for each team. I.e., ‘marketing is responsible for delivering X number of qualified leads by this date, and the sales team are responsible for following them up using these channels’.
  • Have regular check-ins between the teams to track progress, feedback and make any adjustments needed to optimise each team’s efforts in the face of the common goal
  • Celebrate your wins together – whether it’s an ad campaign that has generated lots of leads or a host of existing accounts have been successfully upsold, recognise the team effort and delight in it together!
  • Similarly, if a campaign hasn’t had the desired effect, rather than playing the blame game, think about what you can learn as a collective from the data and how you can improve for next time

Your marketing KPIs and sales targets should go hand-in-hand and ultimately be fixated on achieving return on investment. A killer marketing strategy provides the blueprint of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it and involves analysing your business as well as getting SMART with your targets and not taking any prisoners.

Find out more about how to set your company up for success by downloading our free guide ‘Why a Killer Marketing Strategy is Non-Negotiable’ here.

Looking for a trusted marketing partner to help you reach your goals? We can work in harmony with both your sales and marketing teams to align them in the pursuit of your goals seamlessly – simply get in touch to discuss your needs today.

Gated vs non-gated content and how to use it for lead generation

What exactly is gated content?

Gated content is any form of content that users can only access after entering some personal details – usually including at a minimum their name and email address. The user then gains access to the content and the company, in return, gets those all-important contact details for future campaigns. So far, straightforward. Right? Well, there’s a lot more to consider so let’s have a look at how to ace gated content.

Pros and cons of gated content

Pros

The pros are obvious – you’ll gain valuable information from individuals who are willing to provide their details. This will almost certainly be their name and email address but possibly a lot more depending on your gated content form. These individuals can then be added to your CRM system and if they are the right fit for your ideal client profile (ICP) could be added into a nurture follow-up campaign. If you read last month’s blog, The Know, Like, Trust Funnel, you know you’ve successfully moved the prospect down the funnel from the know stage to the like/trust stage. Excellent! Depending on the initial form, you may also find out useful demographic information about your potential customers such as location, age, job title etc which can then be used for segmentation.

Cons

Not everyone who lands on your gated content page will complete the form and download the content. Many will just move on. Would these individuals have gone on to become prospects/customers if the content hadn’t been gated? We’ll never know for sure. Making sure you ask for the minimum amount of information you need to nurture a lead is a good way to ensure you’re capturing the most leads possible.

Bear in mind, however that quantity of leads does not necessarily mean quality. Although you may be driving targeted direct traffic to this download, if it is on your website it’s also visible to all users so the individual may not be your ideal customer profile. This may mean that some lead details will need to be stored but flagged as not priority individuals for your marketing & sales team to contact.

To gate or not to gate? That is the question

So, this brings us on to the question of whether you should gate a particular piece of content or not. Luckily there are some ‘rules of thumb’ that you can follow when deciding whether or not to gate content. Firstly, consider the type and length of content that you’ve produced. Certain types lend themselves better to gating – longer form content such as e-books are perfect, whereas standard blogs for example should almost never be gated. Think too about the stage of the customer journey, the further down the funnel they are, the more likely it is that they will be happy to enter their personal details. Gating content early in the marketing funnel can scare away prospects so having un-gated content at this stage can improve your brand’s visibility and enhance your credibility. Make sure your gated content is relevant for prospects who are near the buying stage; this may mean the content is more in-depth or specialist.

What types of content should be gated?

If it could be considered as ‘premium content’ then it could be gated. A perfect example would be an e-book or guide. This will be a longer length, seen by the prospect as valuable, and offer an in-depth answer to the question they want answered. E-books will also give you brand authority and build up trust with your audience. Similarly, whitepapers will help your brand become a trusted ‘industry expert’ on a topic.

Don’t just stick to the tried and tested though. You could gate templates, in-depth how-to guides, webinars, a free trial of your product, checklists, free consultations, analytical reports into your industry. Get creative to come up with something original for your particular industry.

Gated content best practises 

Make sure your gated content ticks these boxes and you won’t go far wrong.

  • Create a strong headline to ensure that prospects don’t click away. Never over promise! It’s no good offering an in-depth guide if they download it to find out it is two pages long.
  • Make sure the title explains exactly what they are going to get. A spammy title will lead to disappointment and a lack of trust in your brand.
  • Ensure the content is valuable and relevant to your audience.
  • Decide what sort of customer information should be collected. Only ask for data that will be meaningful to you for future segmentation so you don’t deter people from completing the form.
  • Finally, build a strong landing page to host the offer. Make sure you create a strong headline, write compelling copy, and generate an easy to complete form.

How to use the details captured 

You’ve created the gated content, it’s getting noticed, and the email addresses are piling up. What next? Make sure you segment your email lists, using any demographics you captured. Follow up campaigns can then be targeted via demographics or be based on your existing customer personas. As with any marketing strategy, measuring your success is extremely important. This data will help you understand your audience better and improve your content strategy.

What’s next 

Gating content is a critical aspect of a content marketing strategy used to generate the leads that your business needs to grow. When done well, gating content can benefit both the individual and the business, and the key for successful gating is to produce high quality content for which your ideal prospect is willing to trade their personal information. How often you produce gated content and how much of your content should be gated very much depends on your industry and the size of your business but often less is more. If you’re new to gated content, we recommend that you start with quarterly downloads. Saving gated content for just a few carefully chosen and well-targeted and correctly positioned pieces will mean you’re soon capturing valuable leads that ultimately convert into happy customers.

Want some help with using gated content for your lead generation campaigns? Get in touch. Give us a call on 01392 796 702.

Outsourced Marketing And Sales: How Roots And Air Succeed In The Know-Like-Trust-Buy Funnel

In the simplest possible terms, the know-like-trust-buy funnel is a reference to each stage involved in a person’s journey towards buying a product or service. Each segment represents a fundamental factor that ultimately combines and leads to a successful sale.

The first step, know, is all about discovery and brand awareness—someone getting to know your business for the first time. No matter which industry you operate within, initial impressions are often make-or-break, so developing a strong and memorable marketing strategy is an absolute must.

For people to begin progressing through the funnel, your impact must be both instant and meaningful—without this, you run the risk of simply fading into the noise.

Next is like. You’ve caught the eye of a potential customer, now you need to give them a reason to stick around. This is where having a clearly-defined story and ethos for your brand proves invaluable.

Why should this person choose you over one of your competitors? The consumer needs to hold some kind of affinity towards not just your product, but to your organisation and what you stand for.

The third stage is trust—it’s here you need to form a meaningful connection with the person which means authenticity becomes key. It’s also at this point you must be able to clearly convey that you’re an expert within your field, and that your knowledge or offering is superior to those around you.

Finally, we reach the stage of the funnel where the consumer is ready to buy—even at this last stage, there is still much to be done. Given the work that’s already gone in by this point, it can be easy to overlook and see this final hurdle as a given.

The buying process should be as straightforward as possible—you’ve brought them this far and the last thing you want is for a complicated checkout or signing-off process to throw a spanner in the works at the very last minute.

How Roots to Market and sister company, Air Marketing, streamline the customer journey

Right throughout the journey we see essential touchpoints contribute to the process from both a marketing and sales perspective. When both of these elements are properly aligned, the customer journey becomes significantly smoother, which in-turn will naturally benefit your business in terms of both resource and ultimately, revenue.

Ensuring both elements are optimised to truly complement each other is something we have found a lot of businesses struggle with. Whether it be due to a lack of resource or knowhow, many organisations we’ve encountered have had notable gaps where their sales strategy should intertwine with their marketing strategy.

That is why, in 2018, we launched Roots to Market. Working alongside our sister company, Air Marketing, who are experts in outsourced sales, we’re able to create high-value campaigns that harmoniously blend both marketing and sales.

The benefits of outsourcing your whole sales funnel to one supplier

When it comes to the know-like-trust-buy funnel, Roots to Market specialises and flourishes in the initial know and like stages. Our approach to marketing hones in on creating genuine ROI, meaning we begin building the foundations for eventual sales right from the very beginning.

We craft creative campaigns that help grow brand awareness, reputation and demand, meaning by the time the consumer reaches the latter stages of the funnel—trust and buy—a huge chunk of the work has already been done, and we can easily hand things over to the Air Marketing team, who are able to use their in-depth knowledge of sales generation to consistently convert and deliver genuine results.

That ‘handing over’ portion of the funnel is so often where customers are lost. Even if you have the best marketing strategy in the world, that work can be undone in an instant if a separate sales team isn’t on exactly the same page—or vice versa.

A slight miscommunication or misunderstanding as the consumer enters the final stages of the journey can be detrimental. Unsurprisingly, those errors occur far more frequently if different parts of the funnel sit with different suppliers who have minimal knowledge of one another’s operation.

The results we’ve seen

This collaborative approach was something we utilised in a recent campaign for one of our clients within the SaaS industry. Specialising in helping UK businesses apply for Series A funding and prepare for periods of growth through intense, expertly-led training programmes, they had found it difficult to market and sell their services.

Alongside Air Marketing, we formulated and implemented a full marketing and sales strategy, which combined SDR outreach, email marketing, social media marketing and user journey consultancy.

We ensured all messaging was consistent across social and digital channels, generating high-value leads through an education-focused email campaign, targeted content marketing and HubSpot integration. The results of these efforts were then immediately fed back to the Air Marketing team, whose specialist expertise in sales meant we were able to capitalise and convert the necessary numbers that meant our client could run their next cohort.

These results included:

  • 40% average email open rate
  • +14 marketing qualified leads
  • 58,000 reach on Twitter
  • 300% increase in website traffic from email
  • 20% increase in direct website traffic
  • 95% increase in website traffic from social
  • 5% minutes on average spent watching video content on Twitter

Want to learn more about how we work side-by-side with Air Marketing to optimise the customer journey? We’d love to chat. Give us a call on 01392 796 702.

The 5 key marketing metrics you should be measuring

Marketing isn’t all about writing snappy subject lines, designing eye-catching graphics and crafting compelling copy. Underlying the creative, you need to have solid foundations to measure its effectiveness. 

There’s no point having a clever campaign that doesn’t deliver results. We focus our marketing efforts on demand generation. We apply a sales attitude to our marketing in order to generate results. 

So for us, it’s imperative to gather and understand key data for our clients. Knowledge is power, and the right metrics can provide essential details to boost business and increase ROI. That data can arm us and our clients with powerful insights to inform business decisions. 

We don’t use fluffy metrics. We won’t try to wow you with amazing charts that look good but are rather meaningless. We focus on information that is actionable. We realise how important it is to track and learn from the data that can enable your business to reach its goals. 

The three key metrics that every business should focus on: 

  • Leads 
  • Opportunities 
  • Conversions 

Identifying the importance of these factors and how to generate them is fundamental for business success. But how? 

Our 5 recommended key marketing metrics: 

1. Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) 

“A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a lead that the marketing team has deemed more likely to become a customer compared to others” according to HubSpot. 

That qualified piece of data (the MQL) is really valuable to a business. The marketing team can determine how and where the person has engaged with the business’ content. Be it a particular webpage they’ve visited, email they’ve opened, social post they’ve shared, video they’ve watched, event they’ve attended or campaign they’ve clicked on. 

The marketing team can work out which leads make the best quality prospects by interpreting their data. Say the business has specified that their ideal clients meet specific demographic criteria, or have particular problems or pain points to solve. Those factors can be identified by a lead’s interactions. That information is extremely valuable for sales teams to act upon and nurture.

2. Email marketing 

Emails provide a great way to build relationships with customers and potential customers. Discovering how your customer has reacted to the email they’ve received is very telling. Did they open it, delete it, read it, click on a link within it or unsubscribe from the list? Delving deep into email analytics will help you to test and make calculated adjustments to engage your audience better. 

3. Digital content 

Publishing digital content is a two-way street. It’s not enough to just set it live. You need content that grabs people’s attention and prompts them to act. That action could be sharing your content to help others find it (yes please!), commenting on it, downloading it, watching it or reading it, for example. 

Knowing what people have done with your content is incredibly useful. It can inform future content decisions and it can identify potential customers. It tells you the key areas in which to invest time and money for the best ROI. 

4. Social interactions 

As we mentioned earlier, we don’t do fluffy metrics. The number of likes and follows on your social channels are not the be all and end all. You want content that makes people stop scrolling when they see your post and engage with it. 

A share from a follower is a form of endorsement. A comment means that your content motivated somebody to write something about it. Similarly, submitting a rating or review has taken up somebody’s time. That’s time that they’ve spent interacting with your brand. Knowing which social posts have garnered those reactions is powerful information. 

5. Website analytics 

Tracking website data with Google Analytics or other packages is imperative. We gain valuable insights from understanding who is visiting the site, where they’re coming from and what they’re looking at. For us, time spent on site is a key metric. If customers are spending time looking at a range of website content, we know that we’re providing relevant information that is valuable for the audience. 

Bounce rates can highlight areas that need attention. If people are clicking away from a page without interacting with its content, changes need to be made. 

The importance of measuring marketing ROI 

Data takes the guesswork out of marketing. It shows you which aspects are delivering results. That information proves which areas of spend are providing good ROI. 

Tracking and collating marketing metrics doesn’t have to be laborious. We’re a HubSpot Gold Partner, so we recommend using this powerful tool to monitor marketing metrics. There’s a variety of reports that can be set up easily to provide amazing insights. You can attribute leads, deals and revenue to social posts for example. You’ll get a clear view of all marketing activity in one place. 

If you don’t use HubSpot, we advise tracking data in a spreadsheet, or using another great tool on the market. Monitor stats regularly to understand patterns of behaviour, set benchmarks and reflect on performance. That knowledge is extremely powerful for businesses and can make the difference between reaching your revenue goals or not 

Want to know more about marketing metrics and setting-up performance tracking? We’re here to help Call us today on 01392 796 702. 

The benefits of working with a HubSpot Solutions partner: getting the maximum value out of your HubSpot investment!

HubSpot is a powerful platform that delivers valuable results, but it takes expertise to get to grips with it – like anything complex and feature-rich. For organisations that want to explore their options before jumping in feet first, free HubSpot is a great way to kick things off and allows you to try out some of the platform’s features with no upfront cost. And maybe that’s more than you need right now, but if you want the full functionality and the full benefits HubSpot has to offer, you’ll need to invest in a paid subscription. 

If you decide to go down the route of a paid subscription, there are many CRM options available: each with a different feature set, cost, and level of expertise required to implement them. HubSpot split this functionality into Marketing, Sales, Service, CMS and Operations.  

For example, HubSpot’s Sales Hub is designed specifically for sales teams looking to drive more revenue from existing customers through lead nurturing campaigns that map out multiple stages of contact between buyer and seller. The Sales Activity Hub provides a centralised view of all sales activity across your team with detailed reports on opportunities and pipelines. The result is enhanced insight and a closer understanding of your customers. 

So if I can buy directly from HubSpot, why would I work with a partner? 

Money will buy all the functionality you need, but without the knowledge and experience to properly manage it, you won’t get the most out of your investment. Working with a HubSpot Solutions Partner is the best way to improve your marketing engagement and ultimately increase conversion rates. An experienced partner will create custom solutions that will help you get more leads, convert those leads into customers, and turn them into long-term clients. 

All the support you need, from implementation and strategy to live campaigns 

A HubSpot Solutions partner can offer you that additional level of expertise and assistance when implementing your marketing strategy. That means looking at all the teams that need access to HubSpot and rolling out onboarding and training that ensures everyone is engaged and understands the processes for getting the most out of it. They will have experience in the change management aspects of implementing a new system and can work with you however you want – whether that’s providing advice, strategic direction, or creating and delivering the strategy for you. That means you get professional assistance with content, strategy, and implementation, ensuring your team uses HubSpot successfully. 

Save time and empower your sales and marketing teams! 

Working directly with a HubSpot Solutions provider can also save valuable time for your in-house development teams to focus on what they do best, while bringing excitement back into work by being more creative about their approach to marketing campaigns. This is hugely empowering for teams and is the perfect starting point for marketing and sales alignment. Because HubSpot’s reports and analytics provide such a detailed and accurate picture of what works well (and what doesn’t), you can see where you need to optimise at any stage of the funnel. 

Access a depth of experience and get up and running right away 

A solution partner’s additional (reassuring benefit) is that they will typically have an existing customer base across multiple sectors and draw on their depth of experience in helping customers fast track getting started. Meaning you can get up and running efficiently without the need to build extensive knowledge from scratch. 

In a recent episode of ON AIR: With Owen hosted by our Sister Company Air Marketing‘s Founder & CEO, Owen Richards, we were are joined by Caleb Buscher – Senior Channel Account Manager (EMEA Region) at HubSpot, to discuss how to make the most out of HubSpot as a revenue growth business tool. 

We explained how we’ve had first-hand experience of the difference HubSpot can make to a business: “We have had some truly inspiring conversations with clients who had zero experience of using a joined-up marketing automation CRM tool and now have a newfound love for HubSpot and what it can do for their business. Our work is about helping our customers energise the way they approach marketing, giving their business a single point of truth and empowering them to deliver better customer experiences that fuel loyalty and growth.” 

Need some help getting started?  

HubSpot is an incredibly powerful platform, but it’s not the only one out there. There are other great solutions available, and we’re happy to work with any of them and apply the same principles to deliver precisely what you need. If you want to discover how HubSpot could be a game-changer for your business, we’d be happy to guide you. Equally, if you’d like to talk about any aspect of your marketing strategy, get in touch today on 01392 796 702

Are you ready for social listening? From a brand and personal perspective.

Having regular content going out on your social media sites isn’t enough anymore – you need to be tracking, analysing and responding to conversations relevant to your company and industry. Enter social listening. By listening to your audience and target market, you can start to make changes and personalisations that really convert.

Social listening isn’t to be confused with social monitoring however. Social monitoring is used to look back over the last period, gathering information, focusing on detail and measuring success, serving as the baseline and bare minimum for any social marketing efforts, whereas social listening takes that information and digs a little deeper, allowing you to look forward and at the bigger picture. Social listening is a process that seeks to surface insights from listening data (much of the same data captured in social monitoring activities) that inform broader marketing decisions – think audience/market analysis, competitive intelligence, uncovering trends, etc.

Did you know that…

  • Customers who feel engaged by companies on social media will spend up to 40% more with them than other customers? (Sprout Social)
  • 79% of consumers expect brands to respond within a day of reaching out over social media, but average brand response rates across all industries are lower than 25%? (Sprout Social)
  • When surveying 264 marketers across the globe, nearly 40% of participants desired more knowledge about their audiences? (Socialbakers)

For B2C companies, social listening allows you to understand your direct customers. Whereas for B2B companies, it allows you to understand your client’s customers. This gives you an opportunity to lead with a broader view of what the general consumer is doing. You can then provide thought leadership pieces and posts from a perspective that a prospect or client may not have considered. This sends the message that you are investing in their customers too, and that you’re paying attention, giving you the edge over your competitors.

Using your company’s socials also isn’t enough anymore. People buy from people so it’s crucial that you engage with your target audience from a personal perspective as a face of your business, showing thought leadership and creativity.

It can be overwhelming if this isn’t something you’ve thought about before, so here are a few top tips to get you started:

  • Make sure your personal and company profiles are optimised
  • Post regularly and consistently before you start
  • Monitor your channels for mentions of your brand, competitors, products, and related keywords
  • Analyse your findings and think about how you can use it to shape your future posts – you may find that this information starts to re-shape your brand and tone of voice

Integrating MarTech (Marketing Technology)

Integrating a useful MarTech tool to help you listen to online consumer conversations not only makes the job easier, but takes up less of your resources so you can concentrate on strategy development.

3 MarTech tools to make social listening easier:

1. HubSpot’s social media marketing tool helps you prioritise your social interactions and connect with all the right people. You can build marketing campaigns, share content like blog posts and landing pages, automatically share content to various social channels, and discover the best times to post.

You can also create custom keyword monitoring streams, and trigger email alerts so your sales team knows when your prospects mention you – perfect for combining your marketing and sales efforts.

The tool also allows you to monitor your performance across all social channels and keep track of the number of visits and leads you receive.

2. Sprout Social offers a social media management software to offer solutions that will ultimately improve your social media interactions with customers and prospects. With the help of the Sprout Platform, you can access in-depth data analytics to inform strategic decisions, streamline and scale your engagement efforts, publish content and campaigns, and, most importantly, uncover trends and insights through social listening to drive strategic changes.

The platform uses real-time brand monitoring to track direct messages and brand-specific keywords. It also offers advanced social listening to help you notice emerging trends and influencers.

3. Falcon.io’s new listening addition to its platform is great for integrating social listening into your strategy. From AI smart alerts to social inbox integrations, you get access to insights from across 100 million online sources helping you become better at listening!

So, we’ve explained WHY you need to consider social listening as a key marketing tactic, now you just need to start! At Roots, we can integrate social listening into your marketing strategy and execute our suggested activity on both your company and personal social media channels, helping you to connect to your audience on a deeper level for leads that convert. If you’d like to talk more about developing your social listening strategy, get in touch today on 01392 796 702

Forget the elephant in the room, focus on the HiPPO

We’ve all sat in that meeting. Years of first-hand experience, reams of exciting ideas and campaign proposals backed up with pages of data. In enters the HiPPO. 

No, not the large semiaquatic mammal but the “HIghest Paid Person’s Opinion”. The buzz is quickly shot down with decisions based on emotion, theory or a “one-size-fits-all” solution. 

Suddenly the room falls quiet, tension mounts and everyone leaves the room feeling deflated (not to mention the potential damage caused to the business). 

The HiPPO theory originates from a study by the Rotterdam School of Management which found that projects led by senior managers had a lower success rate than those run by more junior employees. It transpired that staff felt more comfortable offering opinions, challenging assumptions and giving feedback based on fact in teams where senior managers were less present.  

So, what does this mean from a marketing point of view? 

The problem with letting the HiPPO take the reins is that you then end up ignoring data to back up any decisions. For example (in the most basic terms), you could be deciding how to personalise your email marketing efforts based on location. A HiPPO might say that your target audience is based in the USA, however, your Marketing Manager (armed with a map of email opens) knows that the majority of recipients are based in Germany. The HiPPO declares their assumptions and the Marketing Manager instantly feels unable to showcase the real-time data. 

This could lead to incorrect information or irrelevant news being given to your target market, who will no doubt quickly shut off. Loss of relevance? Loss of clients. 

A HiPPO is also likely to ignore the wisdom of the crowd, therefore neglecting knowledge from front-line staff. 

How do you deal with a HiPPO? 

  1. Increase awareness of the HiPPO effect and have open discussions about data based decision making 
  2. Remove the spotlight – try and encourage less senior employees to speak up and have their say! 
  3. Present data in a visual, hard to ignore way 

Are you a HiPPO? 

It’s easy to fall into the trap of “I’ve had X amount of years experience so I know best.” You’ve got to where you have for a reason – you’re good! However, listening to your team is key to ensuring you all make the best decisions for your business. Don’t let the power go to your head and learn from the people you’ve painstakingly hired and trusted to do their job. 

Need a hand with figuring out the data from the bias? We create marketing strategies that directly align with your sales numbers. If you’d like to talk more about developing your marketing strategy, get in touch today on 01392 796 702.

How fearless marketing will make you serious money. Be Brave. Sell More.

Does your marketing approach need a shake up? Tired of sending out the same old fluff and seeing the same low ROI? Then this guide is for you. 

We’ve put together 4 lessons to help you think differently about your marketing strategy, ultimately resulting in more sales and long lasting relationships with your ideal customer. 

Be brave and look closer at the numbers 

Shy away from the nitty gritty of your target numbers no more! Grab those numbers by the horns and start making the profit you deserve. 

Ask yourself these questions: 

  • How much needs to come from renewal or existing customers? 
  • Is marketing responsible for delivering a target of qualified leads? 
  • Do you know the conversion rate from a marketing qualified lead (MQL) vs a sales qualified lead (SQL)? 

Start from a place of enlightenment! Get these numbers in place. Now. 

Be brave with your content 

We’ve all heard that famous quote: ‘Content is King’. Your customers want to know about your products, your opinions and how all of it makes a difference for them and their business. 

Read these stats: 

  • 70% of consumers feel more connected to brands with CEOs that are active on social 
  • 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them 
  • 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience 

And read them again. Then have a look at what’s missing from your current content and dare we say it… idea storm! 

Be brave with your targeting 

Heard of the “sneezer effect”? Enough is enough! 

We all like to feel special. The trouble with ‘catch-all’ marketing and aiming for a broad appeal is that you actively alienate the people who need your product most and instead, focus on casting a wide-net and filling it with fairly uninterested fish. 

Start by: 

Who wants to spend all their time and effort convincing everyone to like you, when you could preach to the almost converted instead? 

Be brave with your delivery 

Marketing trends come and go, but creativity endures. It’s tough to stand out in a fast-paced attention economy. When everybody’s talking, why should they listen to you? 

Most of us carry around a super powerful computer in the palm of our hands that targets us with advertisements based on our preferences. There’s no shortage of content out there, but how often does it make you think, you know what, I want to discover more about this? 

Have a look at the way you currently deliver your content and see if you can apply these 3 small changes: 

  • People are smarter than you think – don’t over-explain 
  • Incorporate clever print into your campaigns 
  • Use your competitor’s campaigns as examples but try and analyse what could have been done better or more creatively 

It’s all in the delivery. 

So… 

Download our guide. Get brave. Sell more. 

Campaign Checklist: Getting the most out of your LinkedIn campaigns

Whether you’re new to marketing or an experienced marketeer, you need to be considering LinkedIn campaigns as a powerful tool to connect with your target audience.

We’ve created this Campaign Checklist to help you get the most out of your LinkedIn campaigns.

It covers everything from:

  • Account set up
  • Campaign set up
  • Audience
  • Bid and Budget
  • Creative
  • After the campaign launches

Learn more and read the full checklist below.

LinkedIn Campaign Checklist

If you’d like to talk more about developing your marketing strategy and developing your brand’s authenticity, get in touch today on 01392 796 702.

It’s time to humanise your marketing approach: why the H2H marketing trend is the key to better customer relationships

In the age of AI, machine learning, big data, and sophisticated automation, human-to-human marketing, or H2H, has emerged as an antidote. Recent times have been trying, to say the least, so where this new model succeeds where others previously failed is the primary focus is on nurturing human relationships and building trust.

H2H differs from B2C and B2B marketing methods. Rather than assessing audiences on data sets, it looks past these segments and focuses on building authentic connections with the people within them; after all, businesses comprise groups of real people.

Why does this matter, and aren’t most of us already doing it?

Well, yes and no, true authenticity comes from real conversations and honest relationships. So, while the individuals in a business might be strong advocates for rapport building, the brand they represent could be anything but, which isn’t exactly seamless in terms of a customer experience. Smart businesses put their people front and centre and speak to their customers with warmth, opening up an honest dialogue about their needs.

The pandemic has been something of an accelerator for H2H

You may have noticed an increase in H2H marketing on LinkedIn, we’ve certainly noticed a growing openness from brands, with many more businesses being honest about the challenges presented by lockdown and remote working, and of course, a welcome, wider conversation around mental health and employee wellbeing.

Brands that actively demonstrated their human-side during the pandemic hit the right note with customers. Pret a Manger offering NHS staff a free hot drink and 50% off other products, addressed what was going on in the world and inspired a sense of togetherness beyond a normal customer transaction. A Kantar survey of more than 35,000 consumers during the crisis revealed that 78% of consumers believed brands should help them in their daily lives, and 75% said brands should inform people of what they’re doing to help. This shows a growing expectation from brands to demonstrate their values and play their part in a compassionate and human way.

It’s also interesting two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers worldwide said that they would buy from a brand or boycott based solely on its position on a social or political issue. That’s not to say you should become an activist for issues you’re not passionate about; it’s simply demonstrating the power of alignment of beliefs and values.

Learn from the disruptors

Disruptor brands have always known the value of authenticity in marketing; speak to your customers like friends, encourage them to participate in your world and become invested in theirs. This is why some brands have enviable memorability, think Dove‘s long-running ‘Real Beauty’ campaign, it was designed for the people who actually buy the product and was based on creating a unique and relatable experience; changing the way beauty products were marked long before the Instagram and influencer marketing boom.

What do businesses need to do to embrace H2H?

Corporates need to think about the future and move from customer-centricity to human centricity not to miss the opportunity. It all starts with a conversation, so it’s important to encourage your organisation’s thought leaders to stick their head above the parapet and join the conversations that matter to your customers. If you’re not already doing it, think about how your culture and brand align. If you’re a fun and caring business behind a corporate façade, it’s time to step forward and change your image. Your customers will thank you for it.

If you’d like to talk more about developing your marketing strategy and developing your brand’s authenticity, get in touch today on 01392 796 702.

Need vs Nurture: the critical role Demand Generation has to play

Need vs Nuture

Imagine a perfect sales cycle where you could design a sales strategy furnished with known entities and completely transparent customer behaviour patterns. For example, suppose every last one of your many loyal customers made a healthy, guaranteed minimum annual spend with you every March. In that case, you could happily run your business at a predictable profit as a result. You could readily update your audience with new product information, solidifying their trust and loyalty. But even in this seemingly blissful scenario, what happens when you want to scale your business? You’ve already tapped into your organic audience; how do you then grow beyond that loyal base? There will be people who need your product who are happily buying from a competitor. There will be others who might be the perfect client, they have a clear need for what you provide, but they are new to the market and need education and convincing on even investing in the first place. 

So even in a comfortingly predictable scenario, there are limitations. The reality, of course, is starkly different but the point remains the same. Your future client base comprises prospects at various points in their journey with varying awareness levels of your products and services. Equally, your lead sources will vary from those who googled you with a specific need and proactively contacted you on your website, to others who you actively targeted as part of a campaign and followed up with a call or an email. You have no idea who will account for more of your revenue in three years. 

A successful Demand Generation strategy encompasses the whole journey from serving those with a need for your services to closing customers who are convinced and ready to buy. 

Prospects who find you: 

Even people who actively seek out what you provide need to a clear rationale to buy from you. That means your content and digital strategy needs to deliver a premium user experience, engage and educate your audience and convince them to request more information. Even at this stage, if your audience doesn’t feel like you are invested in their challenges and can’t see any direct benefit from browsing your website, then you are likely missing out on conversions. 68% of B2B customers prefer to research independently online but 90% of those searching haven’t made their minds up about a brand before starting their searchThis gives rise to a valuable opportunity, gather insights and serve the content your audience wants to see, show them why they should buy from you. 

Prospects with a defined need for your services: 

Perhaps they’re not ready to buy just yet and need to be nurtured. You need to earn trust and build confidence in your services and approach and vitally, stay in regular contact with valuable content. Marketing automation platforms like HubSpot are hugely beneficial in managing this process, giving you a clear view of your prospect database and the level of engagement within prospect accounts. Research shows that 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales and lack of proper lead nurturing techniques could be to blame. 

Prospects who are happy with their current service with another provider: 

Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the provider that responds first, which is a compelling statistic for two reasons: firstly, it demonstrates just how responsive you need to be to win out over the competition. Secondly, it highlights that perhaps your competitor was merely responsive and you could offer a more personal service, far better product/service features or you’re culturally more aligned. There’s only one way to find out, actively target and nurture prospects consistently. If they’re happy with their current provision, respond with engaging and timely content that shows you understand their challenges and their industry. This way, when their contract is up for renewal, or you check-in with a call, they’ll have far greater brand recognition, which is the perfect platform for building rapport. 

If you would like more insight and guidance on putting together a demand generation strategy that actively nurtures prospects through your funnel, get in touch today on 01392 796 702. 

Looking for marketing inspiration during lockdown? Here’s our pick of the best resources to give you a fresh perspective in 2021

We’re all familiar with the hallmarks of lockdown life, it’s our third time around after all! And we also know, from our recent experience, that it’s tough to keep the momentum going and motivations high when the next day resembles the last. So where do you look for marketing inspiration at times like these? We’re not saying your daily walk or view from your kitchen window can’t be the source of great ideas, and nobody can argue with the merits of Tik Tok or your Instagram feed for some much-needed entertainment. But where can you find quality B2B content that really hits the mark?

We’ve curated this short guide to give you our pick of the best, just to get you started.

Free training and courses

Don’t be put off by the gratis nature of these valuable courses:

Google Digital Garage is helping people of all skill levels brush up on their digital marketing skills, absolutely free of charge. There’s 40 hours of learning available with accredited courses covering everything from online advertising to understanding your customers’ online behaviours, and helping you build your online presence. There’s content for everyone from total newbies, to seasoned marketing pros – it’sdefinitely worth a lunch hour browsing session.

For the sheer breadth of courses available, you cannot beat HubSpot Academy for both content and topic coverage. Their courses can help you build a winning social strategy, hone your content marketing skills and empower with the knowledge to execute your plan. Even if you’re not using their platform.

Global leader in the digital learning community, Udemy, have some gems available in their library of free content, courses that cover everything from entry-level programming to how to improve your day to day learning and creativity, there’s also some great personal development courses on creative leadership and agile thinking, if you want to shake up your approach to the day-to-day tasks.

The best of the rest

LinkedIn Learning and Facebook Blueprint have easy to consume, free content that can help you become a social media pro. So, if you’re looking to do more paid-for advertising, or simply want to extend your influence on their platforms, there’s plenty of resources to get you up and running.

Easy listening – marketing podcasts that will inform and inspire

Marketing over Coffee is a weekly podcast that covers the full marketing mix and even some throwbacks to classic campaigns, whether you’re interested in email marketing insights or you’re looking for copywriting tips, this podcast covers it all, including the latest thinking from academics. It’s also more interactive than the standard podcast as the hosts field listener questions and really get into topics.

Marketing Week (MW)an established and trusted voice in the marketing industry, MW’s podcast is exactly what you’d expect, engaging thought leadership from key marketing influencers. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date with the latest news and thinking, including insights from businesses on how they’ve pivoted their marketing strategies in the pandemic.

Salesforce: The Marketing Cloudcast – this weekly marketing and tech podcast delves into Account-Based Marketing and how to futureproof your team to create authentic customer ‘moments’ and experiences.

Not Another Marketing Podcast – a marketing and small business podcast that features big industry topics and interviews with leading digital marketing experts, this podcast is packed with practical advice on how to tackle marketing challenges as specific as ‘How to do personal branding on LinkedIn without shouting’, in an entertaining and candid style.

Resources and tools

The Chartered Institute of Marketing content hub is home to a wealth of articles, podcasts and webinars that challenge the boundaries of marketing ideologies and spark new ways of thinking, there’s plenty of macro thinking as well as quick reads that are useful for marketers in any industry.

HubSpot is a powerful marketing and sales automation tool, it’s also a CRM and can even be your CMS and social scheduler. If you’re looking for free marketing software that has everything you need to start managing your customer experience and building content all under one roof, it’s a great choice that grows symbiotically with your marketing plans. If you’re new to the world of marketing software, HubSpot’s knowledge base provides accessible guides for all common FAQs and some niche ones too.

Hotjar – if you’re looking for ways to improve your website user experience, or you’d like to see some more meaningful analytics on your visitors’ behaviour, Hotjar can offer some clues. You can view heat maps and recordings of sessions to give you a clear view of why users might not be engaging with your content.

This list is just a fraction of the great resources out there. If you’d like to talk more about how we can help you leverage these tools (and others) for success, or work with you to find inspiration for your marketing plans in 2021, get in touch today on 01392 796 702.