The one thing that is constant in business is change.
This is particularly true when it comes to Marketing as the tempo of change there is constantly on the fast lane and this leaves the chief executive with a baffling dilemma. Change is expensive and continues to get costlier per day but on the other hand not changing will cost you more.
Another thing that must be kept in mind is that companies cannot change willy-nilly. Their marketing effort must reflect their inner constancy of purpose while maintaining their external consistency of image.
This is when it becomes imperative to create a framework for internal effectiveness and who better to take guidance from than Stephen R. Covey, the author of the #1 bestseller ‘7 Habits Of Highly Effective People.’
There is a need to shift focus from getting customers to ‘Hear What You Want To Say’ and changing it to ‘Say What They Want To Hear’.
There are 3 main things that a marketing strategy needs in order to experience a successful lead generation process.
With these in mind, the sales funnel can be broken down into 3 main stages – inspired by Stephen Covey’s book.
1. Dependence Stage – At this stage, the prospective customer is relying on others to be taken care of and during this time, the marketer can use various tools to understand the customer’s needs and pain points and then disseminates information accordingly.
2. Independence Stage – Due to the easily accessible data on the internet, customers begin their research. It is the duty of the marketers to ensure that the right content is available at the right time and to answer the questions of the prospect.
3. Interdependence Stage – Once the prospect becomes aware that your company can solve their problem and fulfill their needs; both the marketer and the customer then become interdependent. Now the marketer must sustain the attention of the customer and guide them till they make the final purchase.
Paraphrasing Stephen Covey, our marketing strategy is a collection of the habits of the marketer. These habits have a powerful role in brand success. These habits need to have the 3 essential things we pointed out earlier; knowledge, skill, and desire.
As you must be well aware of the highly popular 7 habits, we will break them down to you based on the 3 different aforementioned stages.
Dependence & Independence Stage
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Inbound marketing yields great results but before implementation, it is imperative to have a few things in place first:
- Develop clear buyer personas
Inbound marketing is fueled by content and if this content doesn’t resonate with your target audience then the effectiveness of your strategy drastically declines. This is when it becomes imperative to create a buyer persona that will help shape your content. Once this data is compiled, it works as a starting point.
- Get Leadership teams on board
This is the chief executive’s biggest hurdle. So as to make progress, it is important to make them understand how inbound marketing is worth the investment in technology, content, and people.
- Create sales and marketing alignment
There is almost always a disconnect between sales and marketing and in many organizations, they operate in silos in place of working together towards the same goal. Only if they work together can success be achieved. A clearly defined SLA or service level agreement can aid in alignment of both the teams.
Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind
Marketing goals. Defining them is among the most difficult tasks that all marketers face when they decide to embark on a marketing strategy. When delivering strategic marketing and creating marketing goals, it is important that marketers keep in mind the business goals of their enterprise.
This is due to the simple fact that everything the marketer does is to pave the way for the company to experience success and attain their business goals. A strategic marketing plan needs SMART goals; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Once the goal is set, the marketer can then begin to create content, offers, & discounts to address previously identified problems and to keep the marketing strategy on track towards achieving their goals. During this time, the marketer should also set aside methods by which they will measure the results of the marketing strategy.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Categorize each piece of content according to different milestones in a prospect’s purchase journey so as to address various pain points. This will help in grabbing the attention and then guiding the prospect through the sales funnel.
So as to keep your conversion rate high, customer experience optimum and generate a high campaign ROI, it is imperative that the lead routing process gets looked into. The right lead needs to be able to reach the right sales rep without getting lost or ignored for too long.
After lead routing, lead management needs to become a priority. A sales lead management system has the sole purpose of focusing on lead management strategies which have a greater impact on short-term revenue.
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
When implementing inbound marketing strategies, your brand makes available to consumers content that is valuable to them and the kind of information they are researching the internet. The brand, in turn, has forms on their site that capture the consumer preferences and data as an exchange for the valuable content that is being provided.
Through this strategy of marketing for the benefit of consumers, you also invest in your brand success. Inbound marketing meets the needs of both parties; the brand and the consumer. So it is the marketer’s job to strategically think about what data customers would covet and appreciate and what content can be provided to them from your side.
Habit 5: Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood
It is not enough to constantly produce content like a factory. The belief that the more content you create will result in more people being attracted to it and leading to a higher conversion rate is foolhardy. For a highly effective marketing strategy and to ensure that almost every piece of content hits home, it is important to listen.
It is vital that listen and monitor the effectiveness of your content in social media. Looking beyond numbers and keywords, a company needs to be able to discover the kind of conversations customers are having about the company and the solutions offered. This can be done through social listening.
Another method that can be used to get a better understanding of your target audience, gain marketing insights and develop better marketing strategies is through the use of surveys. You can deploy these surveys through your website, in person or as a mix of these.
Habit 6: Synergize
More leads can be closed and businesses have grown through the combined efforts of sales and marketing. Successful businesses are aware that to drive healthy growth there must be synergy between sales and marketing. A synergized team experience increased ROI, productivity and growth as a result of sales and marketing becoming united in their goals. According to a study conducted by the Aberdeen group, an average of 32% revenue growth is achiever year-over-year when a company has synergized teams. So through open communication, teamwork and collaboration this can all be achieved.
Habit 7: Sharpen The Saw
After following the above habits, you probably now have a great marketing strategy but to truly experience success it is important to not get comfortable with the development of the solution you are providing. As you carry out your marketing strategy, you would have also collected a lot of information from your customers in the form of feedback (if not, procuring feedback is extremely important and should definitely be a part of your to-do list).
A key to success is customer development. With the data you have collected, you now have a good idea of what your customer needs and wants, then and only then should you make changes to your product or solution. A good product works hand-in-hand with good marketing so as to help the company reach success.
Whether you are a Fortune 500 Company or a small business owner, in order to be successful, you must have a great marketing strategy and implement it consistently. Keeping in mind these 7 habits, you can develop an inbound marketing strategy that forms a solid foundation for all your promotional efforts. For help with your inbound marketing, contact us. Let Valasys help you experience the marketing success you are looking for.