Marketing is much more complicated today. The number of channels and customer touch points is growing. The mobile Internet, social media, and the ease of online shopping are changing how consumers decide to buy. Your next customer is on a decision journey that is unprecedented in terms of buyer intelligence and transparency of brand offerings.
Consumers are doing their homework before purchasing. A report by the E-Commerce Foundation shows 88 percent of consumers, pre-research products of interest on the Internet before making a purchase.
It is no surprise the majority of online experiences with a brand begin with a search engine. In fact, a quarter of American adults say they are “almost constantly” online, according to Pew Research.
Making things more complicated for marketers is the recent proclamation: “the traditional sales funnel is dead.” Buyers can easily jump in and out of channels, do comparison shopping on their mobile apps, read product reviews, and even be influenced in the store aisle by a sales associate, product packaging, or an in-store promotion. Continue reading
I recently came across an interesting post by Vince Koehler of Sales Benchmark Index, a Georgia-based sales and marketing consultancy focused on sales effectiveness. I recommend subscribing to their blog. The topic of Marketing automation is growing in popularity because of the increased pressure on marketers to show Marketing ROI. Marketing has become more complex with the need for faster sales velocity, better insight into campaigns, and the flexibility to adjust marketing budgets on the fly.
I know, why is a PR Pro like myself writing about marketing automation? In a former life, I did a stint as a marketing operations manager. But more importantly, PR and all marketing activities must foster engagement with identifiable communities and generate leads. I take a holistic viewpoint in my PR practice and recognize the need for process integration and metrics. We must always define and measure success. Continue reading
Learn how process automation and other techniques address the popular analogy: “Marketing is from Venus, and Sales is from Mars”
One of the most pressing issues for marketing and sales executives is how to align their Marketing and Sales departments. Winning companies are experiencing top line revenue growth and faster sales velocity within their pipelines – deals are closing faster. According to a 2011 research study by the Aberdeen Group, “best-in-class” companies exhibiting Marketing and Sales alignment showed an astounding 31.6% average year-over-year annual revenue growth versus a 6.7% average decrease in revenues for “laggard” organizations. Top companies display a number of key attributes: process and message alignment, common lead definitions, marketing-to-sales cycle unity, and shared Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
For the vast majority of companies there is a long-standing departmental disconnect commonly described as: “Marketing is from Venus, and Sales is from Mars.” What are the reasons for this? For one, Marketing sees the world with broader brush strokes, generally at the market segment level. Sales want to focus on the individual customer value proposition. Branding and awareness building campaigns are customary functions for Marketers and have longer time horizons, compared to the short-term quarterly quotas of Sales. Continue reading