This is what Mikko Seppä said in his speech at the Modern marketing event we organized some time ago.
So, traditional marketing doesn’t work anymore. This kind of a phrase arouses different kinds of reactions within us. Some of us totally agree. They usually know the answer to the question on how marketing should be fixed. Some don’t know the answer and they are really confused. I will share my views on how to fix the problem of traditional marketing.
”The biggest disruptions have happened in the marketer's mindset, not in the field of technology.”
Earlier marketing team and sales team have worked really apart from each other. Marketing team have done a lot of things that support sales team. Such as sales brochures, Powerpoint slides, call lists, website updates, etc. Marketing has been seen largely in the role of advertiser and it’s been hard to measure the results of marketing activities.
Marketers have tried to generate website traffic mainly by interrupting and distracting. They have hoped that somebody would click the banner and end up on a website. Some have clicked and even bought. However, lately consumers have been against advertising and companies have to spend more and more money to gain the same results as before.
Interruption marketing has led to the point that many people have started to use ad-blockers to get rid of online advertisements.
When an ad break comes on TV, people take their smart phones to check their social media channels. The role of billboards is also declining. According to researches even four of five co-drivers play with their smart phones during the drive.
At the same, time it’s been said that the buyers journey have changed radically because of digitalization. 70% of the B2B buying desicions are made digitally before even meeting with salespeople.
So what to do?
Serving the customer should be at the core of all marketing activities. It means that we need to start adding value even long before the buying decision.
”Give more earlier.”
Inbound-marketing starts with identifying buyer personas. These people that will buy your products and services. When creating buyer personas we dig in to their problems and challenges as well as goals and motivators. At the same time we’ll figure out how they seek for information. Then we just start to answer their questions. Here is a good article on how to create buyer personas by Hubspot.
After creating buyer personas we need to understand our customers buying journey. How are they used to buying services? Who is taking part in the decision making process? How much do they look for information and compare service providers before contacting the sales people? Or do they even want to see the sales person? You should understand at least these things to be able to provide valuable content to the different phases of your customer's buyer journey.
After identifying buyer personas and buying journeys we’ll start to produce relevant content to our audience in the right channels and in the right format. Some people like to read blog posts, some like to watch videos, some to read e-books or infografs, etc. The most important thing in content creation is that it is relevant to your audience. This is a very important part of your marketing.
In content creation we often think too much about ourselves and our services. It is most important to think about your buyer personas and their challenges and interests. It’s good to think if your content is so good that your audience would share it to their friends and colleagues. If your content would be about yourself or your products your readers are less likely to share it and you wouldn't reach too many people. Focus on serving your audience and you will benefit later. It’s all about valuable and relevant content. That is the thing that makes the pull to your website.
Every content you create should consist of a call-to-action. Call-to-action directs your readers for example to a landing page where they can register for a webinar, download an ebook or start a free trial. Your content can be anything as long as it is valuable to your audience and makes them to give you their contact information. When a visitor has filled out the form on your landing page he will be directed to a thank you page. There should be new relevant offer on a thank you page that moves your contact deeper in your funnel.
Marketing of your content
The marketing part of your content plays a very important role in your marketing success. If you would compare content marketing to a vacuum cleaner you’ll understand that the vacuum cleaner doesn't clean up your house in the closet.
You need to take the vacuum cleaner off the closet to the room that you want to get cleaned up. It is the same thing with your content. You should use the same amount of time to market your content that you spent creating it. Even good content will stay out of attention if it is not taken in front of people. If your audience likes the content you create, they will share it to their audience. Virality can’t still be the only way to make your content spread.
Search engine optimization plays a very important role nowadays. When you are writing a blog post or creating some other content you should take SEO into consideration. You should not create your content only for the search engine but you should optimize it as well as possible. When designing the headline you should think about what people would think when googling for the matters you are writing about. When your SEO is in a good level people end up to your website when looking for answers to their questions. These visitors are usually high potential customers.
Guest blogging is an excellent way to grow your audience. Writing articles to other companies blogs you’ll spread your name, expertise and opinions spread effectively. When it is you to write to someone’s blog they of course try to spread your blogpost. In addition to this you and your colleagues market is as well because it is you who wrote the article and the blog post directs visitors to your blog or a website if you have just added links to your site.
When your inbound-marketing is rolling well, you’ll get a lot of visitors to your website and generate huge amount of leads. Handling inbound leads is a little different to basic contact requests. When leads are generated by inbound methodology, contacting them should continue by the same way.
This is why old-fashioned outbound methodology does not work for inbound leads. Nowadays sales representatives have to be more and more professional. Sales people call a lot and find out if a lead is potential or not. When they find potential customers they have to be able to book meetings with them. Less potential contacts can be left to move forward in their buying journey. A BANT-model(budget, authority, need, time frame) is a great tool to map your lead’s potential to buy from you.
It has been researched that customers makes about 70% of their buying decisions online without having to talk to a salesman. It means that 30% of deal is still made face-to-face. This higlights the importance of face-to-face meetings more than ever. So expectations of a sales representative increase. Sales reps have to be able to bring new views and help customers to understand how they could get the best of your products and services.
Mika D. Rubanovitsch says that inbound deals should be closed during the first meeting. It is because of customers know their needs, know your product and have decided to meet you based on the information they have gone through online. During the sales meeting you just confirm their needs and offer a solution that fits them the best. This makes it important to get all the decision-makers to the meeting.
”Marketers ruin everything.”
Gary Vaynerchuck means by this phrase that when a marketer figures out a new way to get good results, others follow and in a little while it doesn't work anymore. So keep thinking new ways to stand out from the content marketing noise everybody is making!
Tuomas Haapsaari, CMO