By Steve Henke, Harpeth Marketing
Developing well-founded, thoughtful marketing and sales strategies is the first and most important step in the business development process, and also the most difficult. These strategies lay the foundation and set the direction for everything to follow.
The strategies you develop could be based on any number of concepts:
- Differentiating your firm
- Go-to-market messaging
- Building awareness
- Generating & nurturing sales leads
- Determining what you’re selling
- And to whom
- Solving key problems in the marketplace
And many, many more.
But regardless of which marketing and sales strategies you decide to follow – and regardless of the size of your firm – there is one over-riding strategy that must be included in your plan: Integrated Marketing.
Integrated marketing is the idea that all of your marketing and sales efforts work together, following these two guiding principles:
- That all of your marketing efforts have a consistent look and feel. It should be obvious that all of your communication channels – website, email marketing, business cards, sales collateral, advertisements, conference exhibit and so on – are from your firm. That everything follows a consistent use of colors, fonts, logo treatment and so on.
- But more importantly, that all of your marketing tactics work together – connecting with and supporting each other – with nothing left alone in a silo.
For example, imagine if you wrote a great blog post – but because your [poor] email and social media efforts never pointed to it, no one read it.
Or that many people download your latest eBook, but because the data captured is not efficiently shared with your business development person, there is no timely or effective follow-up. Opportunity lost.
To maximize the impact of your efforts, you need to develop and coordinate a “marketing and sales ecosystem” with all tactics tied together. An example could be something like this…
Here’s how an ecosystem like this would work:
- All sales leads generated at networking events or that come from phone/email/website inquiries (1) are entered into your CRM/Database (2).
- The names in the CRM are used for your monthly email campaigns (3).
- The email campaigns can do several things: link recipients to your blog (4), the landing page of your upcoming webinar (5) or to your website (6) for general interest.
- SEO activities (7) will also drive visitors to the website (6). All visitors on the website can easily navigate to the webinar (5) and your blog (4).
- The blog post is re-published on your owner’s LinkedIn Profile (8). It is shared with his/her LinkedIn Connections and with the members of the Groups to which he/she belongs (9).
- Social media posts (10) can be used for linking readers to your latest blog post (4) or webinar (5) or just sharing posts of general interest with Connections and Groups (9).
- PPC/Remarketing advertisements (11) can also be used to promote your webinar (5).
- Anyone who registers for the webinar (5) is not only be added to the CRM (2), but is also scheduled for follow-up (12) – either by your sales team or through an automated email drip campaign… or both.
Bottom line: As 2017 starts winding down and you start thinking about how to build your 2018 marketing & sales program, remember to start by thinking strategically… and included in that, to make sure that everything you want to do works together. With integrated marketing, 1 + 1 really does = 3!