While you’re working hard to hit your 4th Quarter numbers and close out 2017 on a strong note, it’s a great time to think about your marketing strategy for next year. Imagine how your business development team might perform in 2018, if they don’t have to deal with the same nagging sales and growth challenges for another four quarters.
Need more leads in the top of your sales funnel? Want to attract better quality leads? Looking for ways to tell the world about your new product or service offering? Enough with the willy-nilly, one-off marketing tactics. Whatever your challenge, take the time to define a powerful creative direction and set a strategic marketing plan that’s smart.
At Yalo, we think the buyer journey from ‘Prospect’ to ‘Customer’ is like the 100-yard path down a football field. Some teams perform very well in the Red Zone (closing deals in the last 30 yards with actively engaged buyers), but struggle to move prospects through the more passive 70 percent of the buyer journey. Business development professionals clamor for more active leads, and tend to work harder when they get them. If you are not effectively creating more active leads, then you are putting an incredible strain on your sales team to be even more efficient than they already are. And we all know that there is a cap to how efficient that can ultimately be. So, start your 2018 planning by considering the full length of the buyer journey, and ranking your organization’s opportunities for improving lead creation with an integrated marketing approach in your up-field funnel.
Maybe your biggest challenge is maintaining top-of-mind brand awareness. Buyers know who you are, but it’s difficult to actively stay on their radar so they call you when the timing is right. Your target buyers are overwhelmed with content, and it’s difficult to break through the clutter. If you are positioned as a ‘solution provider’ (just like your competitors, and your suppliers, and your customers, and everyone else), then a more differentiated creative direction could help. The creative direction will create a consistent, persistent storyline that will become a lightning rod for your yet-to-be-known prospects to identify with and pay attention to.
Give your team a marketing playbook they will rally around, with memorable messages and tactics that will march your prospects down the field to your sales team so they can carry those prospects from the red zone into the end zone.