Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive
Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive — just well thought out. New businesses and start-ups can now compete on a large scale at a fraction of the cost. Technology allows anyone to market and be heard. It sounds easy enough, but there are a million little things that need to take place for marketing to be effective.
Business owners and managers have the right to ask for the following from their internal corporate marketing department, and outside experts.
What To Expect From Your Marketing Department
The marketing team must have first-hand knowledge of your target audience and a full understanding of their daily pains and pressure points. They need to research your prospective clients to identify their pain points. Marketing needs to know what types of questions members of the target audience ask, and where they go to find solutions to their problems. Don’t overlook this step just because you’ve been selling to this audience for years. A good marketer will demonstrate unique ways of uncovering critical, emotional, needs of your buyers.
Your marketing department is responsible for generating content. Sometimes that means they create the content, sometimes they help extract content from others internally (you or other staff) or externally (from customers). Your marketing department needs to have an intimate knowledge of your product and service offerings. Without it, they’ll have a difficult time creating content.
Each piece of content should:
- Target a specific buyer
- Have a purpose
- Drive behavior
It’s best when everyone is involved in content development. You never know where the best insights will come from. Many will read this and think “then why do we need a marketing person/department at all?”
Why do you need marketing?
Your marketing department is responsible for distributing your information and making it available through a variety of channels appropriate for its intended audience.
Your marketing department should provide you with an editorial calendar outlining its plans for delivery of content. The calendar does not have to be a 12-month detail – in fact you may be better off not committing to the long term unless you already have data to substantiate it. An effective marketing calendar includes topics, dates, offerings, intended recipients and where those buyers are in their journey to becoming a customer, along with assigned responsibilities for accomplishing each task.
The marketing department should be fully engaged with:
- Product development — somebody must be responsible for providing input from potential users. This is often an overlooked opportunity for getting early buy-in,pre-release sales and generating “buzz” around a new product launch.
- Sales — handing off well-qualified leads, identifying needs and information gaps.
- Customer service — seeking feedback and testimonials from clients.
Yes, they should be creative, too. In addition to the ability to see your products and services from the perspective of your customers, marketing should be willing and able to see your offerings in a creative light. Often this new perspective helps differentiate your offerings from your competition.
Your marketing should involve some form of automation. From email to podcasts, today’s technology makes it easier for marketers to automate their processes and reach more people with greater efficiency. Automation often includes systems for customer relationship management, content management (including social media), lead generation and web reporting.
What technology cannot do is replace your personality. Make sure that no matter how automated your systems are, people know there is a human behind your brand.
A two-way street
It is your responsibility to communicate your goals to the marketing department. As the Roman philosopher Seneca said, “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.
Your marketing department should demonstrate a ROI and report on their progress and the effectiveness of each campaign on a regular basis. Your marketing department is closely tied to your customer experience — isolating marketing from these responsibilities does not work in your favor.
With these guidelines anyone can maximize their marketing efforts.
What steps have you taken to communicate with those responsible for marketing?
If you run a marketing department, are you communicating your needs and results to management on a regular basis?
Let us know in the Comments section below. A real person reads and responds to all comments.
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At Crest, we help companies:
- Create content that separates them from their competition
- Become subject matter experts in their field
- Measure the effectiveness of their marketing $$
- Generate a consistent pipeline of high-quality leads for less
- Turn clients into evangelists