Why does traditional marketing still feel so good? Because we can see it, watch it and hear it. Traditional marketing gives us the sense that we created something. We make the decision to run a print ad, then we have the opportunity to be part of the creative process. When we finally see the print ad, we feel that we have accomplished something. It’s easy and it feels good.
So, who sees your ad in the newspaper? Listens to your radio spot? How about the TV commercial you paid for? Remember, millennials are poised to overtake the majority representation in the workforce by 2015. Millennials have their own music, watch the programming they want on demand, and don’t read the newspaper. The media selling you these outbound marketing options are only offering one solution, and it probably won’t reach as many people as you expect. With that in mind, you need to maximize your marketing budget to bring in as many qualified leads as possible.
Here are 5 steps to take before you spend money on marketing:
1. Review Your current marketing and sales efforts.
It’s time to take an honest assessment of your marketing efforts as they relate to your sales goals. What do you want your marketing campaign to achieve? Be specific. It’s not simply “I want to increase sales.” You need to set goals that are realistic, measurable, and have a solid deadline attached. I would suggest developing marketing you own rather than marketing that is sold as a product.
2. Create a strategic marketing plan.
Strategic marketing plans are essential for any business, regardless of size. A marketing plan helps you identify short term opportunities and outlines a long term plan to help you reach your goals.
3. Get to know your customers.
Developing Buyer Personas, or representations of your ideal customers, is critical to identifying what your core marketing message should be and how you should reach out to your audience. Buyer Personas help you identify the desires and challenges of your audience so you can create messaging that’s specifically targeted toward them.
4. Understand how inbound marketing works.
Before you make the decision to focus your resources on traditional marketing, be sure that you understand inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is about attracting customers with engaging, targeted content, capturing leads with calls to action, and converting leads into customers through nurturing. Unlike outbound marketing techniques like commercials that you have no way of tracking, inbound marketing gives you the ability to measure the effectiveness of each campaign and adjust your message as often as you need to. Make sure that you fully understand this option before settling on your marketing plan.
5. Create a lead scoring and reporting process.
Make sure your sales and marketing efforts are aligned and that you’re focused on converting the right prospects with lead scoring. Companies that do lead scoring right have a 192% higher average lead qualification rate than those that do not, according to Aberdeen Research. You can use a point system, letter system, or term system like “hot” and “cold” to help everyone identify where prospects are in the buying process. Once you determine your lead scoring system, you’ll be able to target specific messaging to people who are in different stages of the buying cycle.
Generating real results takes time, effort and expertise. These 5 steps will help you get your marketing under control, and then it’s up to you to decide if traditional outbound strategies are still the best way to reach your customers. When you hold that print ad in your hand, traditional marketing may still feel good. But results that measurably grow your business feel a whole lot better.