Recently, I was recruiting for a new Senior Marketing Executive and during the interviews, I asked the standard script of questions, including “why are you looking for a new job?”. I admit I was ready to hear the usual ‘career progression, more money, more opportunities’ etc. Instead, a number of candidates indicated that a “lack of marketing importance and investment” was motivating them to move to pastures new.
Really? In this day and age? With brand awareness wars, increased competition and self-educated customers, there are still companies that do not value marketing? I struggled to believe it and immediately turned to the font of all knowledge – Google!
First, I have to share the image that appeared high in my initial google search results…
…and I think most senior management would agree! So why the lack of marketing investment?
I cast my mind back to earlier marketing roles and comments such as ‘marketing: they make things look pretty’ and how marketing was perceived as an art that could not be quantified. And this got me wondering: is it this perceived lack of clarity and hit or miss performance that has driven the belief that marketing is nice to have, but not a business necessity? Probably!
Yet today, Marketers should no longer need to work on gut instinct when it comes to strategically planning themes, content required and delivery mechanisms. Instead, Marketers should turn to their Customer Relationship Management solutions to map the various content digested by a prospect before they purchased.
Next, Marketers can apply this ‘content map’ to each campaign, using Marketing Automation Software. At the start of their journey, a prospect may download a whitepaper, this action will trigger the software to send an automated email offering the prospect further marketing resources on the same topic and so on and so on, in essence ‘nurturing’ the prospect with useful and informative content, until they are sales ready.
But there is still the question on how to determine when a prospect actually is ‘sales-ready’. Again, Marketers can turn to their CRM and their content map to value different marketing resources, based on how likely a prospect is to convert on receipt of said material. For example, if a prospect was to request a 1-2-1 meeting with your sales team, it is likely they are sales ready. In contrast, if they were to download an ebook, they are clearly still researching. This is where the lead scoring functionality within Marketing Automation software can add real value: using the software, Marketers can apply an appropriate value to each piece of content, based on where the content sits on the lead nurturing journey and in doing so, as the prospect digests additional material offered, the value of the prospect increases. Finally, you will have sales-ready leads, identified by their quantified interest in your company.
Oh! And have I explained the greatest benefit to valuing marketing via lead nurturing? Sales convert more leads into business!
Joining Maximizer Software in May 2012, Anita lends her expertise to the delivery of all marketing communications and PR. With a Diploma in Direct Marketing and more than 14 years marketing and commercial experience, Anita is responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of a diverse portfolio of marketing tactics, specialising in...