New business starts with leads. And the new marketing reality is all about lead generation, lead nurturing, lead closing and measurement.
The most common complaint about marketing has always been that 50% of marketing spend is successful – but which 50%? As the science of marketing has started to develop, thanks to the digital era, marketing is becoming more and more measurable. For those people that embrace the digital environment, they will start being able to answer that question, and will then be positioned to change the % of marketing that is working by adapting their marketing efforts and removing from their plan those items that they KNOW are not working (or not working as well).
The development of specific marketing automation software has become one of the more important marketing initiatives in the last few years, and more and more people are embracing this as part of their marketing efforts. The challenge however, is to ensure that this marketing automation software is adopted as part of a planned process, because without it the software could become a “white elephant”.
Why? Marketing automation software does not automate marketing itself. What is does do, however is to help the organization execute pre-determined steps in response to specific actions that a potential customer takes. Based on those potential customer actions, the organization will need to determine their response and the software can help them to implement the process automatically without having a live person respond personally.
The interesting thing (and the beauty of this new system) is that the organization’s responses do not have to be digital (emails or autoresponders via a website), but can be more traditional – mail, fax, voice messages or even personal calls. This ensures that the organization can still remain true to the marketing concept of “touching” a potential customer using multiple tactics that can then be measured in order to evaluate the success of each and every response.
Marketing Tip…from Neville Pokroy
The preparation and planning of an automated marketing approach should be carefully thought out as part of their overall marketing effort. It does not replace marketing. What is does is ensure that marketing responses become more organized, thus making the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing effort more meaningful and measurable.
I have been looking at a number of software vendors that supply this kind of solution and it is mind-boggling what is possible. With solutions starting from a few hundred dollars a month up to packages that start from $50,000 up, the choices are many and varied. This choice in itself becomes a challenge because you really need to understand your needs before you can make a smart choice. And choosing the software is only the beginning. Knowing what it takes to implement is an even bigger and more complex issue – hence the need for the decision to be part of your marketing plan.
So, marketers have to become smarter. There are too many new things that are changing (and quickly) for organizations to sit back and live in the old reality. The new reality is where smart marketers are making inroads and helping their organizations gain market share. Gain news customers by focusing on lead generation activities that are measurable.
SMART marketing is the starting point because it is built on the premise of affordability and measurability. It assumes that each organization has different needs and what is appropriate for one company in a specific market is not always appropriate for another company in the same market. Each company has different needs and constraints and they should be considered when building a plan.
So what is SMART marketing and how can it help me?
SMART Marketing S – Specific: all marketing must be definitive and appropriate, and must have pre-defined outcomes for success. By having the end result in mind you will be able to create something that can also be measured. While at times it may be a stretch, it should always be perceived that it is realistic and reachable. Appropriate may mean different things to different people, so make sure that you understand your audience in this regard. M – Measurable: measuring success or failure is key to understanding whether the investment has been worthwhile. If at all possible, marketing efforts should be built with tools that have measurement in mind. A – Affordable: it is no good developing marketing that a company cannot afford. Creating the appropriate mix that delivers affordability and results is the key to success. Know your budget and what needs to be delivered. And stick to finding the right solution given these budgetary constraints. R – RaMotional (Rational and Emotional combination): a combination of rational and emotional will create the most meaningful and impactful communications. While most decisions are emotional, they are supported by rational justifications. Addressing both will maximize your effectiveness. T – Targeted: know exactly who your target audience is. Make sure that your message is developed to resonate with the defined audience. General messages will not accomplish anything but mediocre results.
SMART marketing will allow you to clearly identify what tactics do not fit with your strategy, and what tactics do. If you review the options open to you and weigh various options against each other using the SMART criteria, many decisions become natural. The challenge often is: what are the various tactics do I need to weigh against each other? This list is sometimes quite extensive and very often business people do not take the time to evaluate various options against each other. That’s where marketing help can be of assistance.
Don’t take the shortcut automatically. It is often the easy way out but not necessarily the SMART way. It could cost you much more than you need to spend. Get some help if you need to. It’s the SMART way to go.
If you require more information on how to apply these concepts for growth and to undertake SMART marketing please contact Neville Pokroy, Principal, 905-886-2235 or email@example.com
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