Reality checks can be painful. Take for example this conversation I recently had with a frustrated Marketing Director.
“Patty, I don’t understand why I’m not getting more new prospects or customers. In fact I’m really tired of people telling me I didn’t come up in search engines. I’ve tried various traditional and digital marketing tactics, yet nothing really seems to stick. I’m investing money in different tactical avenues; however, my CEO is questioning the ROI. What’s the answer?”
The reality is there is not one specific answer. I have found there tends to be many reasons why a client may not be getting the outcome they want from the marketing tactics they are using. Let’s explore several that I most commonly find:
Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results From Your Marketing Tactics
- Marketing Myopia. Marketing myopia is the inability for marketers or anyone else in your company to see beyond the familiar things. It’s the business equivalent of ‘we’ve always done it that way and it works.’
Interestingly enough, I recently had a conversation with the VP of Sales for a large international company that stated the company’s marketing strategies were very conservative and they had always been successful following the same formula. When I asked what opportunities they may be missing to grow even more if they did incorporate some new strategic marketing elements, he was silent.
It was obvious he had never looked at growth opportunity in this manner. This mentality is certain death in fast-paced, forward-looking B2B or B2C markets. Technology will continue to drive forward changes, never backward. Repeating yesterday’s solutions won’t solve today nor tomorrow’s problems.
- Denial. Today’s consumers are more diverse, more inter-connected and more demanding than ever before. The internet has played a significant role in this change. Customer expectations continue to rise while their loyalty barely exist. The reality is, your customers are in the driver’s seat. You no longer have control over them, and you can’t deny it.
This begs the question: “Are you observing your potential or existing customers behavior and being relevant at exactly the point in time they need you?”
As an example, while talking with a potential new client, they told me they only wanted to post information on their Facebook page about their company. Does anyone else see a problem with this? It was clear they didn’t understand how to strategically analyze the behavior of their customer and ensure the right content was delivered in the right channel at the right time. Frankly, it’s really not about what you want as a CEO, CMO, Marketing Director or business owner. What’s important is to understand your customers’ wants and needs.
I really love how Google frames these customer behavioral insights around “micro-moments.”
Lisa Gevelber, Vice President, Marketing at Google, shares, “We all have so many new opportunities today to be relevant and useful as consumers turn to the closest device for answers to their wants and needs. And consumer expectations are higher than ever: they expect to get what they want, when they want it. At Google, we refer to those intent-rich moments — when someone is looking to learn something, go somewhere, do something, or buy something — as “micro-moments.”
To win hearts and minds (and dollars), marketers must be able to identify those micro-moments and act on them smartly. They need data and analytic strategies that will show them both what consumers want in these moments and how to drive new and better micro-moment experiences for customers. You need to understand what makes them tick.
Your consumers are observing, sharing and influencing others … about your products, services and your brand. They are, in fact, deciding with every interaction whether or not they want to be your loyal customer - your customer for life.
- Quick Fixes. Everyone wants an immediate return for as little an investment as possible for their marketing efforts. If that rings a bell, there definitely is a reason why your digital marketing efforts are not working.
When done well, digital marketing enables customers to find you, filter you from the noise and foster a relationship with you. Taking the on-again, off-again approach simply is a waste of your marketing budget. Customers today want to manage their relationship with you and want to be in control -- because they can.
Let’s take a step back and take a look at how the internet has changed how your customer makes decisions. About 10 years ago, if a customer wanted to learn about your products and services, they would walk into your office or store or call your sales reps. Basically, the sales rep had the product/service knowledge and the customer was a sponge.
Fast forward to today. If a customer wants to learn about your products or services, the first thing they do is start Googling, look at your website, look at your competitors’ websites, observe conversation in social channels or review sites, subscribe to related industry blogs, etc.
The reality is your potential new customer today doesn’t want to talk to you until they’re ready, and when they do, they know almost as much about the product or service as you do. Relationship building takes time. There is no such thing as an immediate or “cheap” quick fix in digital marketing.
- Goal-Aligned ROI. The one thing every Marketing Director would agree with is that historically traditional marketing has been difficult to measure the ROI. That’s why I love digital inbound marketing! We can measure every tactic we implement to determine its overall effectiveness on the strategy.
The very first three questions you should be able to answer when initiating your digital marketing strategy is:
- “What are your goals?”
- “How will you measure them? (What will success look like to you?)”
- “How will you manage the leads generated from the program?”
Let’s take a look at this situation to see why managing smart is critically important to your ROI. The customer’s goals were to increase their online brand awareness and generate leads for a specific product line. Tactics were in place and the outcome was significant brand growth consistently over a 12-month period and an average of 40 sales qualified leads being generated.
Realize that closing one of the sales qualified leads would have resulted in a return on investment over the life of the customer of approximately $500,000. However, within the company, no one was managing the sales qualified leads that were coming in. The executive didn’t feel they were getting a positive ROI.
My point in sharing this with you is that it’s critical to focus on true goals and understand the measurement and ROI of digital inbound marketing. And even more importantly, if leads are the outcome, then a sales team needs to be ready to manage sales qualified leads.
Regardless of whether you are a healthcare provider, aging service provider, industrial or a professional services provider, your customer will ultimately determine your success.
Remember to “think customer first.” Understand what triggers them to need your products and services and how do they make their decisions. Companies that shine go beyond marketing tactics; they use analytics and measurement to build customer behavior insights they can use to get better digital marketing results.
Data drives what digital inbound strategies you should be using so you are there when consumers are looking for you online, so you are helpful in ways your less analytics-savvy competitors simply can’t replicate. In a world of ever-changing and growing online channels and higher than ever consumer knowledge and expectations, digital inbound marketing is an approach that will surely continue to pay major dividends.So what is it about inbound marketing that actually builds leads? Download 4 Ways Inbound Marketing Builds Leads and find out for yourself!