4 Keys to Marketing Success

Marketing, like art, is hard to define. Unlike art, good marketing must be engineered just like a good product or service offering. The simple truth is that marketing is not rocket science, it just requires a structured approach and a lot of hard work. After 25 years performing a variety of marketing roles, I have boiled down the seemingly endless array of marketing strategies, tactics, challenges and outcomes into 4 critical keys to success and then forged them into a single Marketing MasterPlan that can be used by any technology business.
Here are my 4 keys to marketing success …

First, align your marketing messages

Align-wheel-3Nothing is more critical to the success of your marketing efforts than your value proposition. It encompasses everything you stand for, what makes you unique and why customers should do business with you. Your value proposition must be compelling and easy to understand.

This is not an easy task and many business owners and entrepreneurs make the tragic mistake of assuming they have a winning value proposition when in fact, they don’t. In fact, crafting a value proposition that completely and correctly aligns your products, services, innovations and solutions with target buyers, pain points and business benefits is a major undertaking.

It requires a structured approach that builds consensus among team members and defines the content marketing strategy so essential for an effective inbound marketing engine.  Learn more…

Next, build an inbound marketing engine

Build-gears

After you have fully defined your marketing messages, you are ready to build an inbound marketing engine to communicate them.  An efficient inbound marketing engine behaves like a well oiled machine that generates leads for your sales pipeline. Your online presence – principally your website, blog and social media channels – represent a powerful combination of marketing assets you should be leveraging in every possible way to drive your business forward.

Be honest. Don’t simply “check the boxes” and say to yourself:  “My company has a pretty good website, a blog and a twitter account, so I must be all set.” Evaluate them critically and clinically with metrics. What is the monthly volume and rate of growth for your website visitors, landing page conversions and actionable sales leads? What percentage of your sales funnel is driven by web leads? Are you happy with these numbers? If not, your engine may need some tuning up.  Learn more…

Then, create compelling content

Create-contentContent marketing is the science of providing useful, relevant and authoritative content to potential buyers that helps them better understand their problems and how to make the best purchasing decision when selecting a solution. Content marketing represents a different way of looking at how to sell products and services. It assumes that sellers don’t sell, they educate, inform and empower buyers to sell themselves. Think of content as the fuel for your inbound marketing engine.

Your content should be organized into categories based on three buying cycle stages:  Creating buyer awareness of a problem or a need (pain points), establishing consideration for your solution to those pain points and recommending the criteria for making a purchase decision.  Does your content fit into these categories? Does it directly address the problems and solutions your buyers are facing and researching?  How effective is your content at generating leads for your business?  Learn more…

Now, drive customer acquisition

Drive-chartIf your marketing efforts fully address the first three keys to success, then you are in position to realize results from them … well almost.  Successful marketing requires solid execution in the form of targeted, focused and measurable campaigns. Marketing campaigns should be targeted at a specific buyer profile, they should be focused on a primary marketing objective and they must be measurable with appropriate metrics. The right mix of campaigns will drive highly scalable customer acquisition.

You may want to attract more visitors that have a certain buyer profile. Or perhaps you want to nurture first-time inquiries into qualified leads to accelerate the sales cycle. Or you may want to target a specific market segment where one aspect of your solution has demonstrated compelling business value. Campaigns without well-defined targets, objectives and success metrics are rarely successful. Campaigns with them can also fail, but the right metrics will tell you how to improve.  Learn more…