Tag Archives: Inbound marketing

Don’t Better Deal

Have you ever been to a business function or a cocktail party where the person with whom you’re speaking is constantly searching the room with his eyes? They’re better dealing you. They’re trying to find someone more important (or interesting) who is a better deal than you. In a business setting, it’s usually a higher-up they’d like to impress but it’s generally someone who they think can make their life better than you can. I think that sort of thing is rude. Sure, you should have a general awareness of who is in the room but I think it’s important to be “present” in any conversation you’re having. If you want to end it gracefully and move on, so be it, but don’t nod your head and mumble “uh-huh” while scanning the room.

I can hear you thinking that you’d never do that, at least not unless someone was a boring, raging drunk. As it turns out, there is evidence to suggest that many marketers are better-dealing their customers all the time instead of focusing on what the customer is saying. How do I know? This from eMarketer:

HubSpot examined marketing priorities of marketers worldwide practicing inbound strategies (next-generation techniques that foster a two-way interaction and relationship with prospects and that aim for customers to come to the brand) and outbound strategies (more traditional marketing, in which customers are sought out and reached with general, one-way messaging such as TV, print ads or cold calls). Converting contacts and leads into customers was a marketing priority for 77% of inbound marketers and 68% of outbound marketers.

Increasing revenue from current customers , on the other hand, was only a priority for 46%. This despite the fact that it’s about 5x more efficient to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one. Thinking of it another way, you would have to find five new customers to gain the same profitability as you would from retaining one. You have a 60%-70% chance of selling something to an existing customer and only a 5%-20% chance to sell to a new one. Which odds are more appealing?

You might think you’re giving yourself a better deal by focusing on the next conversation (finding new customers) but as it turns out you’re way better off devoting resources and staying focused on the current chat (your current customers). The odds are the “better deal” will still be at the party when your current conversation moves on. Make sense?

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Filed under Consulting, Reality checks

Look Through The Windshield

Today’s wake up call comes from the good folks at Hubspot.  They do a report each year on their area of expertise which is inbound marketing.  What the heck is that?  Well, you’re sort of reading some now, since the screed is not just a way for me to blow excess verbiage out of my system but also a way for people who might need some help with their business to see how I think and where I can help.  Company blogs (yes, I’m a company) are a form as are corporate social media and SEO.  Inbound marketing is just a fancy way to describe content companies put out there to attract the right customers and to generate leads.

Hubspot’s report – The 2014 State of Inbound Report reviews how companies are using this marketing form.  It contains the aforementioned wakeup call as they discuss measuring ROI – return on investment of those activities:

Given the compounding benefits of measuring ROI, you’d assume most marketers would list it as their top initiative. Surprisingly, very few marketers — even marketing leadership — are prioritizing it. Only 15% of marketers ranked “proving the ROI of our marketing activities” as their #1 marketing priority and a little over half (53%) of marketers we surveyed are measuring ROI.

Yikes.  Almost half aren’t even attempting to figure out if what they’re doing is providing them with the desired results.  Marketers should have a clear way to measure success otherwise how can they allocate resources in a manner that maximizes the benefits of their marketing efforts?

I wish I could say I’m surprised but I’m not.  The “newness” of new media seems to obfuscate the fact that part of the benefit of digital is that it is highly measurable.  It’s not just knowing for the sake of knowing either.  As the report says, marketers that measure ROI are 12X more likely to generate a greater return year-over-year than a lower return. In other words, simply the act of measuring ROI correlates with positive results. 

You wouldn’t drive a car without looking through the windshield.  Not measuring the results of, and return from, your marketing or any other business activity is doing just that.  While driverless cars may almost be here, business activities will never become that way.  If we don’t look out the windshield we’re heading for a wreck.  Thoughts?

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Filed under Consulting, digital media