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To ensure that you successfully meet and exceed your objectives, consider these seven tips to improve your marketing effectiveness:
1. Audience Segmentation – analyze your current target audience(s) to determine if additional refinements are needed. For example, you may need to expand your audience into ancillary markets if you're currently targeting a limited, finite audience and you require additional opportunities to fill the pipeline. Conversely, you may need to shift markets altogether if results have been less than optimal and you're in danger of not achieving your goals. For example, if you operate in a B2B environment, ensure that the target industry and functional titles that you've identified are appropriate. You may also need to consider refining your target segmentation either by firm size or revenue, product or service preferences, location and other criteria that align with and support your marketing strategies. Regardless of whether you operate in a B2B or B2C environment, don't forget to include current customers as part of our overall audience. Cross sell or upsell opportunities not only drive real revenue, but as we pointed out in the May 2012 post, "
2. Outbound Marketing Channels – consider options for outbound marketing. Your target audience could be attending particular conferences or trade shows. They could subscribe to particular publications or e-newsletters. Your targets may also participate in local business meetings or learning events. Explore the channels available to "proactively" market to your specific audience.
3. Inbound Marketing Channels – being in the right place at the right time is essential to your marketing strategy. To leverage your inbound marketing to its fullest capabilities, make sure that your online presence is prominent, be sure to design your messages to attract the right audience, and ensure that your targets stay on your site and take the desired action. Maximizing your online presence includes your web site content, online blogs, social media posts, online white papers and more. Take your routine search engine optimization (SEO) tuning to a deeper level during this exercise to make sure you are leveraging the most effective keywords and phrases, as well as making sure your most powerful online influencers are aligned to your strategy. Keywords should not only align with basic descriptors about your products and services, but also with your business location or service areas, customer relationship approach, and how your business solves an issue that strikes a chord with your target audience.
4. Lead Management and Process Flow – properly qualifying leads can be a complicated process. Often it is more than just determining if the prospect is in the right territory. Establishing a solid and reliable lead management process will help you to not only identify and qualify true leads before they're passed to Sales, but it also ensures that no leads "fall through the cracks" and/or are ignored. Creating lead-to-opportunity conversion rate analysis and industry benchmarks can help you to identify and qualify leads thereby improving marketing effectiveness.
5. Reporting and Analytics – Almost any system can generate a mountain of reports to pore through. But are those reports providing true insight about your marketing initiatives? Are there industry standards that are unique to your business and can provide valuable insights into trends? Are you using the right metric criteria to determine a marketing initiative’s success or failure? How visible are your reports within your organization, and do key resources understand how to read and interpret them?
6. New Technologies and Tools – Evaluate the latest marketing analytics tools and
7. Proficient Partners – do you have the right marketing partners in place to enhance your internal effectiveness? Do these partners understand emerging trends and can they assist in pushing your strategies to new levels of performance?
Since Marketing is part science, part art, and part intuition, to be truly effective we have to continuously evaluate our approach, monitor trends, and analyze results objectively to determine whether changes need to be made in order to achieve our goals.