Putting the “Micro” in Your Marketing Efforts
March 5, 2015
Marketing managers today have thousands of choices in tools that your team could utilize to generate demand, automate marketing campaigns, sync leads with your CRM system, provide scoring on website visitors, etc. The amount of “marketing solutions” currently available is overwhelming. Before you start to automate your marketing process, pause and review your content engine and micro-marketing activities.
Regular, fresh content is essential! This is a dilemma for typical business marketing departments – to generate fresh and meaningful content on a regular basis that will motivate your customers to take action. What about content to support sales? To keep alignment between sales and marketing, sales teams need new and relevant content also. Why? So they can support and stretch marketing’s reach with micro-marketing activities.
These are the activities sellers and many customer-facing employees need to engage in to support generating demand in the marketplace. Activities may include social media messages, email and voice messaging, and other content they can share with their professional networks. Your team needs to be able to systematically equip frontline sellers with a stream of relevant content. Depending on the needs of your customers and business, a daily, weekly or monthly process and cadence should be developed.
In addition to producing content and serving it up to your extended sales team, marketing should also support sellers in a prescriptive approach to their micro-marketing activities.
For example, a particular solution or topic should include:
- Week 1 – Send a note out to your LinkedIn network – a teaser message to stimulate a conversation or ask a question.
- Week 2 – Send out an email/InMail message with a link to a white paper – then monitor who clicks on it or shows interest in the conversation.
- Week 3 - Follow up with the people who showed interest by sharing additional content that speaks to solving a problem your network may be facing.
- Week 4 – Make calls to connect and schedule meetings with people who are on the “Week 3 List” – Set appointments and nurture activities to further the potential sales opportunity.
This kind of micro-marketing prescription will generate results and help qualify genuine interest in your solutions during this process.
A critical part of engagement also includes telling stories your potential buyers can relate to. With each series of messages and content shares, build a story around how your solutions are creating positive outcomes with customers; draw your network in by sharing real examples of the problems and solutions your buyers care about. The people who show interest and engage in conversations are obvious choices for eventually closing business.
So, before you automate anything in your marketing engine, please think through these items:
- Content engine creation strategy – how often can your team put out relevant articles?
- Micro-marketing prescriptive guidance to sales team for two quarters in advance, at least.
- A nurture campaign ready to support “soft demand” responses – (see article “B2B Nurture and Follow-up Strategies” by Steve Wagner).
Finally, from a recent blot post by Tom Popomaronis, “Using Content Marketing for Enterprise Sales”, he suggests this nice marketing gem… “[My marketing director] regularly sits in on sales calls (on mute) to see what kinds of questions potential clients ask. This is invaluable, as she then works the answers into our current copy or future articles.”
- Listen to your customers to better understand your client’s most pressing questions and develop content, prescriptions and stories to engage conversations and drive sales.
Simple and brilliant!