This post marks the sixth and final article in a series on sharing insights across marketing channels and focusing on the benefit of combining paid digital media with other channels in your marketing plan. Check out Part 1: Social, Part 2: Offline & Online, Part 3: Email & Paid Campaigns, Part 4: PPC & SEO, Part 5: PPC & CRO, Brand, Design.
Whether you are generating leads or driving e-commerce transactions, all businesses share at least one thing in common: new customers. If not to increase your customer base and sales, then why are you in business? Getting new customers and reaching sales goals is never easy. All of the topics we’ve discussed throughout this multi-channel series assist by getting people into your sales funnel – be that as a lead or merely a visitor who has a tracking cookie. Both have value and give you leverage to drive those people deeper into the sales funnel towards becoming a customer.
Beyond merely generating new customers, your efforts to look at sales and marketing holistically will generate business intelligence that has impact on everything your business does: marketing, sales, product / service development and even customer service. Sounds great right? It is. But how can you complete the circle through all of these layers of your business?
Tools of the Trade
Bringing digital advertising, sales and business intelligence together requires data accumulation and application of said data through a varied tool set. Beyond the physical tools, intangibles within your business play a factor, too.
- People: Having the right people (including vendors) within your c-level, sales, marketing and product teams is of utmost importance. These people must be able to communicate and collaborate together to achieve any level of success.
- Processes: Bureaucracy is not always fun, but any business functioning in anarchy is doomed. Processes important to business growth include (but are certainly not limited to) dictating communication flow, determining when and how specific tools or tactics are applied and understanding how all of the necessary data/information is tracked.
- KPIs: Yes. Your performance goals are a tool.
- Channels and Software:
- Marketing Automation / CRM
- BI Software (business intelligence)
- Email Marketing
- Search Marketing (PPC & SEO)
- Social Media Marketing (paid & organic)
- Display Advertising
- Retargeting (display, search & social)
- Custom Audiences (via retargeting pixel, email and/or phone database)
Application: Engage with Known Entities
Your advertising generated leads, but how do you get them to buy? People bought your stuff, but is there a way to get them to buy more? Head to the tool shed and get to work.
- Lead Nurturing: What are the stages of your sales cycle? How are you reaching these people? Marketing automation, email, retargeting and custom audiences all should be set to segment your leads and/or site visitors based on behavioral and demographic information. Then deliver the appropriate message to convert them to the next stage of the sales cycle through to customer.
- Promotions: This can be a part of lead nurturing. It can be part of customer engagement. Up-sell. Cross-sell. Promote a new version, edition or product. Whatever the need, use your tools to drive customer and sales growth with promotions.
- Customer Loyalty: How are you communicating with your current customers to keep them around? Perhaps more importantly, how are you (gently) pushing them to be brand advocates in the marketplace?
- Customer Referrals: Your brand advocates are a powerful method of driving new business. Incentive your customers to refer new business – it works.
Application: Business and Marketing Development
You’ve got the leads. You’ve got the sales and customers. More importantly, you know a lot about these people. What do you do with this information? That’s where business intelligence (BI) comes into play. How can you utilize this knowledge to facilitate growth in your company?
- Business Growth Forecasting: This one is pretty obvious, right? What is your rate of sales growth and where does that put you weeks, months or years in the future? This data translates to decisions made in human resources, facilities management, IT and marketing needs/budgets.
- Persona & Audience Development: Hopefully much of this work was completed ahead of time (otherwise how did you target your marketing campaigns?), but the physical customer data allows you to prove or disprove the accuracy of your personas. Then you can rework them and narrow focus to enhance the success of future marketing campaigns.
- Product or Service Development: What products are selling or not selling? Which component of your software are customers using or making frequent complaints about? This data leads to decisions around NEW products/services to offer or changes to the existing versions. Heck – maybe you’re just in the wrong business! (just kidding)
- Hone Your Message: Personas and product development both touch on a very important piece of the marketing puzzle: messaging. As BI provides learning, your brand, product or service messaging should change to match the realities of your customer base.
- Customer Service: How do you communicate to your customers? Complaints AND praise should be recorded and become a part of the BI puzzle. Maybe this information leads to training for your customer service department. Maybe it leads to website/software FAQ or help section information. As mentioned, it also will lead to refining of your product/service and marketing message.
Application: Generate New Leads and Customers
…and then we come full circle. You increased sales and grew your customer base. You learned a lot along the way. How do you apply that information to get even more?!?!
- Lookalike Audience: Leverage your lead, prospect and customer data to generate lookalike audiences in Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads and (some) display networks.
- Persona & Audience Data: Repeat, I know. But all of that juicy data and updates to your personas will lead to new targeting and messaging ideas in search, display, social and content marketing. You can even gain audience insights from your custom audiences in Facebook (pretty awesome, right?).
- Testing & Channel Expansion: The more you know about your customers, the more ideas you will have for testing ads, landing pages and targeting criteria. You will also have a better understanding of WHERE your potential customers live online which will lead to new channels.
Rinse. Recycle. Repeat. Sales, marketing and business growth are all one big machine – cogs in a wheel, if you will. One piece does not work without the other. The interactions of all of the sales and marketing elements have a proactive and reactive effect on your digital advertising. The success of your PPC, display and social ad campaigns is without a doubt dependent on the success of your sales and marketing team and processes.
Thanks for reading!