There are a myriad of self-help books out there talking about the seven habits of highly effective people/teens/dogs. So I have jumped on the bandwagon and have created a 7-step guide to marketing effectiveness.
Now I don’t promise miracles, but I’ve noticed that the most successful marketers have got into these seven great habits. So I’m pretty sure if you develop them too, you will see an improvement in your email marketing and lead generation results.
Step 1 – Always make a plan
This may sound like telling you to suck eggs. But you’d be amazed how many B2B marketers don’t make any plans but just send out email campaigns with no real goals or targeting. Imagine!
So as well as working to the overall marketing strategy and plan for the year, each activity you do should have its own plan, goals and measurements in place. According to the Oxford College of Marketing the benefits of marketing planning are plentiful. You will:
- Help identify sources of competitive advantage
- Force an organised approach
- Ensure consistent relationships
- Inform and gain commitment
- Get resources and support
What you can measure, you can improve – without targets, how do you know if you’ve been successful? But take heed of the advice in this article by awesome b2b marketing agency Earnest and don’t be tempted to exaggerate the success rates you think you can achieve.
Step 2 – Get the data right
This is perhaps the most important step of all, once you’ve got your plan in place. There are two key elements to data: your contact database and the data you get from your activities.
Marketing data – For any of the following five steps, to deliver the kind of results you want you need to start with clean, segmented and current lists. You obviously have your in-house lists of customers and prospects but for some campaigns buying in a list of the segment you want to target can deliver better marketing ROI. Make sure you use the right list provider though. You will need up-to-date, targeted and Data Protection Act-compliant details that can help your email marketing and lead generation activities deliver more value.
Activity data – Just in case you hadn’t heard already, we are living in the ‘Big Data’ world. As the world has moved online, the amount of data being created is terrifyingly large; as this infographic about what happens in an internet minute shows. For example, in one internet minute:
- 204 million emails are sent
- 30 hours of video are uploaded
- 100,000 new tweets are tweeted.
So it’s important to understand how to separate the wheat from the chaff when analysing data. This article from MarketingProfs shows how you can start to make sense of it and gain the insights you need without getting lost in the mountains of information now available.
Step 3 – Use the right words
Content is key to success in marketing today. Everyone’s online looking for it all the time (200,000+ Google searches every minute). In the B2B world your targets are doing their research on products and services as they try to drive time and cost efficiencies in all areas of their organizations. So making sure the copy you provide for them is effective is of paramount importance.
Using effective writing in your emails, blogs, landing pages and web content can turn browsers into buyers and position your company as a thought leader in its field.
Step 4 – Work social media
The use of social media in the B2B world has had a rocky start with some businesses getting it straight away, some just jumping in without really knowing why and others flat out refusing to have anything to do with it. No matter what your organization’s current view of it, it really can’t be ignored. It can grow your brand value and reputation, help you engage with prospects you might not otherwise have access to and, if used correctly, can be a great addition to your lead generation arsenal.
You can find out how to make the most of social media for lead generation with these great resources:
Step 5 – Use your lead nurturing instincts
Just like children, leads need nurturing. If you ignore them, they get upset and go away and don’t come back. But if you take notice of them, they blossom. Is it worth it? Oh yes it is, as research has shown that:
- Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost
- Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
The best way to nurture leads is with great content, using marketing automation software to deliver it based on the actions they take.
Step 6 – Use analytics software to measure success
While the digital revolution has given marketers great new ways to be creative, it has also demanded that they become more statistical and analytical in order to prove ROI, which has proved difficult in the past. But help is at hand!
No more do you have to rely on spreadsheet formulae and information pulled from disparate systems to measure campaign success. The advances in marketing analytics mean that your email campaigns, social media activity and website can all be brought together in one place, giving you a holistic view of a customer’s engagement and the time and route it took to convert them.
Follow these Six Tips for Creating an Analytics-Driven Marketing Culture.
Step 7 – Make continual improvements
Highly successful marketers continually assess and analyse the results of everything they do and then do it again slightly differently. In the long-term, this builds up in-depth insight into an audience and lets you know the best way to engage with them to get the results you want. Follow the steps in this SlideShare for ways to continually improve across the entire marketing mix.
Is This The End?
No I’m afraid it’s not, and reading this article won’t transform your business overnight, however, if you do follow what I’ve said, you can generate new business through marketing.
- Always make a plan
- Get the right data
- Use the right words
- Work social media
- Use your lead nurturing instincts
- Use analytics software to measure success
- Make continual improvements