According to the Annuities Group, businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified sales leads.
Wow - amazing number. So how come may of my clients engaging in an inbound marketing strategy have had disappointments with their results?
As best as I can observe, its because many companies have not taken a deep dive into planning their inbound effort's tactic-by-tactic approach.
Anyone who plays football knows that you have to draw up a play to gain yards and move the ball down the field. A winning football team needs a playbook so that each move is choreographed to achieve the objective -- scoring a touchdown.
A lot of companies engage in inbound without a plan. According to the Hubspot certification training that I am taking right now, only 44% of all B2B marketers have a content strategy. Only 39% of B2C marketers have a content strategy. People are not creating a series of plays to put in their playbook.
It seems that marketers believe that they can “score” without a playbook. Make sure you take an effort to create a topline strategy that feed into a plan or playbook that dictates specific activities and how those activities will be put into play.
Every marketing methodology starts with a plan – Corporate Visions, CEB, Bob Bloom, the list goes on forever. They all start with a plan.
Take time to figure out whom you are targeting and their needs. Understand the problem they are seeking a solution for. Then educate them with your inbound program. The stages of the strategy should focus on establishing your objectives, planning content that moves prospects through the buying cycle of understanding their own problem, understanding potential solutions and finally their effort to decide on which proprietary solution to use.
As you plan the tactics that your sales and marketing team will use to capture customers, make sure that you think like the head coach at half time. He reviews the team’s performance and adjusts the game plan based on the realities the team is going through on the field. If you are the “head coach,” plan to review performance on a number of levels and then adjust the plan/tactics accordingly. If review and resetting your bearings and tactics is part of your plan, then you will have built counter marketing against underperformance into your efforts. In this way, your marketing plan and efforts become a living, well-thought-out effort where change is built in to adjust to the moving mutations of the market.
If you have a good plan, you'll score a lot more touchdowns. Make your plan, work your plan!