article | December 16, 2013
How to Build your 2014 Marketing Strategy
It’s critical you hit the ground running and get some quick wins. You only have one shot to start the year right.
To maximize your chances at a successful 2014, you need a good strategy. At a high level, your marketing strategy must be driven by the stated corporate goals. Once the corporate vision has been established, your marketing plan must align itself completely. Additionally, there must be 100% synergy between the sales and marketing strategies. Too often, the sales and marketing leaders work in siloes. Sit down with your sales counterpart and talk through each other’s 2014 goals. Make sure they align.
Download the Marketing Strategy Framework.
When thinking through your marketing strategy, consider four things: Process, Content, People and Technology.
Account Segmentation – The goal of Account Segmentation is twofold:
The output is a prioritized universe of prospects by segment. It focuses marketing on customers & prospects with the highest potential to grow revenues.
Campaign Planning & Execution – Having segmented and prioritized your prospect universe, you ready to campaign. The campaign process has two steps: Planning and Execution. Make sure both are well defined, documented and followed.
Lead Management – Someone who form-fills isn’t a sales-ready lead. Unfortunately, many marketing organizations act this way. They pass along prospects that are not ready to interact with sales. Best practice is implementing a lead management process. Lead management nurtures leads until they are sales-ready.
The next critical element of a successful marketing strategy involves content:
If you are going to produce world-class content, consider the following:
Buyer Personas: Great content resonates with your buyers. It’s relevant and contextual. It pulls prospects along their buying journey. To pull this off, you need Buyer Personas. Personas are modeled representations of who your buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish and what goals drive their behaviors. If you want to produce content that resonates with your buyers, invest in Buyer Personas.
Buyer Process Maps: The key to effective marketing is the ability to deliver the right message at the right time. Buying Process Maps (BPMs) facilitate this. A BPM is a tool that maps the decision making process used to purchase a product, service or solution. It captures the phases, key actions and micro decisions that make up the buyer’s journey.
Content Audit: With a BPM in hand, the best marketers audit their content. They take inventory of all forms of content and overlay them on the BPM by persona. This critical exercise reveals gaps in content. It provides a content production roadmap for the marketing team.
Content Production: You need to cultivate the ability to consistently create great content. Generally, marketing leaders struggle with whether to outsource or use internal SMEs. I recommend keeping it in-house. No one knows your buyers better than you. Make the investment and create an internal content marketing team.
Finding great talent is never easy. Half the battle is having the right people on your team. When building out your marketing department, consider these roles:
Content Creators & Curators: Successful marketing hinges on great content creation – relevant & contextual. Therefore, invest in resources dedicated to content creation and curating. These resources are responsible for buyer research and content production.
Lead Development Reps: A Lead Development Rep’s role is to increase the quantity and quality of leads provided to sales. The LDR’s job is to stay with the prospect and nurture them until they are sales ready.
Marketing Automation: Marketing Automation is the art and science of automatically managing the targeting, timing, and content of your outbound marketing messages. The technology responds to prospects’ inbound actions and online behaviors.
Today’s marketers use the technology to automate the tasks associated with lead management, lead nurturing and lead scoring. They also leverage it to create and maintain a marketing lead database. Done right, it can help marketing organizations improve their productivity and track ROMI.
CALL TO ACTION: The New Year is upon us. If you haven’t already, it’s not too late to draft your 2014 marketing strategy. A strategy is your roadmap for identifying and achieving your goals. Download the Marketing Strategy Framework here to get started.
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