Results in the form of more traffic, more leads, more sales, and more revenue is what every CMO dreams of. In fact, according to Focus Research, 76% of CMOs list high-quality lead generation as their greatest challenge—yet, 64% of CMOs have either an informal or no process to manage their marketing automation.
Let’s get real—we all know that results just don’t happen overnight; after all, it takes time and resources to build trust with potential leads. Yet how quickly does your CEO expect results from your inbound digital marketing program?
Realistic Inbound Marketing Expectations Year One
CEOs expect immediate results. They really don’t care about the tactics and actions involved to get the results—that’s the job of the CMO or VP of Marketing. However with inbound digital marketing, you can have an open and honest dialogue around what to expect because data drives the strategy.
Of course the starting point for every company is different due to existing equity they may have with the search engines from previous digital strategies. However on average, within 3 months of implementing the foundation of the program, you should expect an increase in traffic to your website. Within 6-7 months, chances are good you will start to see some lead growth, and within 12 months your sales funnel should be flowing.
Producing quality leads does not happen overnight; it takes at least 10 – 12 months which is considered the building year. Success in this endeavor requires commitment, time and effort on the part of the inbound digital marketing partner and the client. An inbound digital marketing program requires daily, weekly, monthly execution consistently.
Data Drives Business Decisions
Most CEO’s and executives like numbers. They are heavily focused on effectiveness and optimization of the business - as shown by data - and inbound digital marketing can provide some of the best analytics and marketing information anywhere. It’s actionable: How many people are visiting your website? How many people are clicking your calls to action? How many people are leaving without responding to a CTA? What are they reading? What are they sharing? Answers to these questions will help shape the direction of your inbound marketing strategy.
The Annuitas Group showed that companies that leverage a marketing automation solution to nurture customers gain a 451% growth in qualified leads. These numbers make it obvious that having a marketing automation process is crucial to achieving favorable results—something your CEO will get excited about.
Are You Ready for Marketing Automation?
How do you know when the time is right for your organization to consider automated marketing? There’s no explicit answer for this; however a few indications that we have found with organizations like yours include:
- You’re generating leads but only focus on the ones ready to buy (this is called lost opportunity–those leads will buy from someone eventually!)
- Your sales team complains that you don’t give them sales ready leads.
- You do not segment any of your email lists and everyone receives the same message.
- You’re collecting valuable lead information, but don’t have a system in place to nurture them to sales ready leads.
- You’re not targeting your offers and messaging based on your leads’ needs.
Digital Marketing Micro Strategy
To gain traction around realistic expectations with your CEO around your inbound digital marketing program, involve them at the onset of developing your inbound digital strategy. Since data drives sustainable results for your company, utilizing an automated marketing platform like HubSpot to leverage the data, save time and simplify complexity is essential. With the data generated from your inbound digital marketing program, you can feel confident in discussions with your CEO around realistic results.