Inbound marketing is a different mindset to push marketing and it will take some time for the team to adjust. Once complete you will be able to see where prospects are in the sales funnel and forecast how many leads you expect to provide sales each month. The bigger the organisation, the more difficult it is to freely access data, create strategies, content and deploy software that requires integration with legacy software. By sidestepping the internal problems and creating an independent inbound marketing ecosystem, you will be well placed to test and learn.
Adding Inbound Marketing Insights
Inbound marketing is the process of attracting and nurturing prospects to a level where they are ready to buy. Inbound marketing enables the business to build trust with prospects, thus creating a far stronger likelihood of conversion.
Typically the sales team has been expected to retain relationships, making regular calls and constantly trying to convert prospects over time. But in reality, this simply doesn’t happen. Either the sales person looses touch or interest, or the constant bombardment erodes the trust.
Inbound marketing provides a way of attracting prospects and nurturing them as they move along the buyer journey until they are ready to convert to your sales team.
Significance of Inbound Marketing
Implementing inbound marketing is complex and requires a significant investment of money and time as well as adopting a fresh mindset. A light touch test can prove out your thinking and be used to convince the board, demonstrate the value to sales teams and realize where the gaps are.
Prospects no longer need to engage with sales executives or showrooms to learn about a product or service. They can find all the information they need from websites, content, reviews, peer-to-peer references, and social media networks or by engaging with other buyers.
Nurturing prospects with helpful, relevant content will move potential buyers through each stage of the journey at a natural pace until they are qualified and ready to be passed on to sales. Nurturing is the safety net for every stage of the buying cycle, helping ensure that no revenue opportunity is missed.
What is growth hacking?
Growth hacking is doing, learning and adjusting whilst others are pondering and delaying. It’s not for everyone or every business as it requires a different mindset from the normal way of approaching problems in the corporate environment.
From a marketing perspective, you may be pushing against colleagues that can’t see the true benefit and still believe that B2B sales teams should just keep bashing the phones. By running a controlled, small, cost-effective test you can show the results and make a stronger case to invest. You can argue that doing it twice is wasted effort and that a sensible marketer should do it once and do it right.
Well, the good news is that most of what you do with your growth hacking method will not be wasted as it will cross over nicely when you are ready to implement a full strategy. The strategy has been tested and tweaked, the content has been created and tested so it can continue to be used and the learnings you and your team have gained will be, as we all know it is, priceless.
Four Elements of Inbound Marketing
- Data intelligence is a vital component for the effective implementation of inbound marketing. You will need a coherent and clear process for managing data including capturing, recording and moving data across your organisation. Deploying the right data strategy and creating a clear data eco-system from the outset is essential.
- Secondly, you need to fully understand your prospects to create the right inbound strategy. This includes the various buyer stages they go through and what content will be most useful at each stage. Marketers need to consider the psychology of buyers, in particular, their specific internal narratives in relation to the purchase process.
- Without relevant and informative content it’s not possible to attract and nurture prospects for your sales pipeline. However, not all content is equal so it’s important that your content resonates with them and is engaging.
- Finally, you need to deploy, implement and integrate with your CRM the right marketing automation technology. With so many cloud-base tools available it’s a challenge to select the right combination for your current and future needs.
Data silo’s, policy, governance and poor data are sadly the norms of every organisation. When it comes to hacking out a simple inbound strategy, the strategy will only contain the bare bones information required to move a prospect through the funnel, or in this case along with a buyer journey. You add a simple strategy that moves a prospect from attracting, through to nurture, and ends with the conversion. Now it comes to communication with the target audience through interactive and relevant content. A quality and right content really do matter and you will need to treat each piece of content as a part of the bigger prospect journey. To better understand what content is right to try to view the buying process through the eyes of your prospects wants and needs.
Finally, marketing automation technology requires a massive investment in time to ensure that it will integrate successfully with your CRM and Data Management Platform. To growth hack your way to managing the email side of your inbound campaign you need to select a simple tool to use email solution like MailChimp.
Using MailChimp, you will be able to quickly learn what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your content and strategy. MailChimp boasts a simple user interface and intuitive reporting, allowing you to quickly hack your approach until the results you are looking for beginning to appear.
Run your campaign and supporting activity (such as social media, if applicable), keeping an eye on the engagement (opens, clicks, unsubscribes etc). If you notice a sudden spike in activity, positive or negative, take note and try and determine the source; did you have a different call-to-action style, design/layout or send time? Once identified, use this information on your next campaign to either avoid a weak performance or ensure a stronger one.
Repeating this process and experimenting with new content will ultimately provide you with a complete overview of the most effective material and approach for your email campaigns, allowing you to progress to more advanced automation software.
To sum up, Data, strategy, content and software are the four pillars of inbound marketing. Your growth hacking efforts will give you exposure to them all in some small but meaningful way. The future is buyer-driven and it’s up to marketing to bring the solution to the table. Although implementing a formal inbound marketing strategy and following best practices may seem the most logical thing to do, you may find that colleagues do not appreciate your reasoning and to achieve progress you need to demonstrate the possibilities with a little bit of hacking.
- Salesmanago Case Study: https://goo.gl/dsvsdi