Which marketing metrics are you measured on? Traffic? Followers? Leads? Opportunities? New customers generated through marketing activity? These are all very common and reasonable metrics to report on, but are they what you should necessarily be focusing on?
Don't get me wrong, marketing need to be accountable and have targets, but given the volume of marketing content online saturating our efforts, is it about time we shift our focus?
Can we shift to a true 'quality over quantity' approach where the numbers don't actually matter, so long as the end goal is still achieved? It sounds like a no brainer, but I'm sure many of you will agree, it's never as simple as it sounds! (Try telling your boss that you're going to half your lead targets in the hope you can double conversion...with no proof whether it'll work.)
Narrow the top of the funnel
Marketing myth 1: Generate as much interest as you can at the top of the funnel to account for your current conversion rates.
It's getting more and more challenging to attract and convert the right prospects at the top of the funnel. Quantity might get you visits and unqualified leads, but what you're offering needs to be incredibly timely and relevant to convert even a small fraction of prospects through the funnel to close.
The Solution: Narrow your targeting, refine your messaging and go super niche with content & channels - sure you won't catch everyone and you might get less leads, but the ones you do will be infinitely more qualified, boosting your ROI and shrinking your cost of customer acquisition.
Marketing myth 2: A tried and tested format is worth replicating
Spot the difference...
Sometimes this might be the case that a proven format is worth replicating, but don't let your tools and tactics get too stale. It's likely your competitors will be looking at what you're producing and taking note...don't get complacent and stick with a safe bet - be innovative, test and experiment and your audience will thank you for it.
Remember, attention spans are diminishing, so it's never been more important to stand out and make an instant impact.
The Solution: Do your research and spend more time researching and brainstorming collaboratively before settling on an idea & approach. Why not try something a bit different? Could your next product demo at an exhibition be enhanced by investing in VR technology to bring it to life for example? Could you create an animated video instead of a product brochure? Could your next case study be presented as an infographic?
If you don't have the data to back up your decision to invest loads of time and budget on a new unproven idea, start with a small sample to prove the concept, then build up.
Nurture, nurture, nurture
Marketing myth 3:Leads are a marketing metric, opportunities are for sales to worry about
It's so easy to focus too much on the top of the funnel and generating lots of traffic and leads. Where the marketing magic really happens is converting those to opportunities and sales. Don't accept your current conversion rates are the norm (unless they're amazing of course) - you should be investing as much, if not more time into conversion than awareness.
Marketing automation is too heavily relied upon for 'taking care of the conversion part'. How many automated emails do you think your prospects get every single day whilst wishing "PLEASE, no more!"
Whilst they may not bat you away with their claws and steal your gloves, they won't necessarily engage either...because it's not relevant.
The Solution: Get personal with your nurturing, you can still use automation, but focus on shorter, more targeted sequences to more segmented data sets. Also, take the time to invest more in your consideration and decision stage offers to entice and convert prospects that are already in your funnel.
A sophisticated marketing tool, a well organised and segmented CRM and some well planned, multi-channel marketing campaigns are essential for success here.
Don't lose motivation
Be aware that you might not see results straight away - a new approach can take time to work and depending on your sales cycle, you might not see the fruits of your labour immediately.
Stick with it and keep monitoring and adjusting as you see patterns and trends emerging. Pretty soon you'll have some solid data & insight on what's working for your audience and whether your new 'quality over quantity' approach is paying off.
Ready to change your marketing fortunes for 2017? We've got tips, resources and ideas to help you take your marketing to the next level. Head on over to our microsite and start ruffling some feathers...