Enhanced Marketing: Plan for 2010


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What's your plan for 2010? Photograph by yusunkwon.

Photograph by yusunkwon.

Who’s in your marketing hall of fame?

In the history of direct marketing, arguably the consumer goods industry sets the bar: Who’s buying our tobacco? Who’s buying our shirts? Early on, they became expert at identifying and catering to innumerable customer segments, seemingly always asking, “Who aren’t we selling to?”

Later, the banking sector arguably most advanced the state of the art by introducing such concepts as house-holding and segmentation: Who has money in the bank? What’s our client’s value? Can we better profile clients and group them into segments to target them with more effective offers? For example, if your client is a 50-year-old baby-boomer, you want to make sure you try and sell him or her a jumbo mortgage or retirement fund, not a student loan.

Marshaling Marketing, Sales and Service

Over time, marketing success or failure has come to mean working with your sales and service counterparts to gather and track all required information to run effective campaigns and events, identify and nurture the best leads, track leads throughout the sales process, and know exactly which marketing activities resulted in sales, to quantify the marketing group’s contribution to the bottom line.

If that is the theory of—or goals behind—creating an effective marketing program, many organizations struggle to achieve this vision, or to understand “what comes next?” for improving their marketing program.

Part of the problem is that what works well for one organization may presage failure for another. For example, one of our clients, which manufactures medical supplies, had a perpetual “buy three, get one free” offer. Unfortunately, this eroded the company’s price position. Working with Innoveer, the company learned to build much more sophisticated campaigns tied to specific business strategies and customer segments. But this just illustrates that when it comes to designing an industry-busting marketing program, one size doesn’t fit all.

Where Many Organizations Go Wrong

What’s the best way to make your marketing program better? Every organization’s marketing requirements and capabilities will differ. But when it comes to identifying which parts of your marketing program need the most attention, here are five frequent problems:

  • Program ROI: The holy grail of marketing is measurement. If I create a lead, how do I connect that lead to the resulting deal, to know if a sale closes? This boils down to your ability to tie lead management to opportunity management to actual sales. Not surprisingly, many organizations struggle to do this, because it can be quite difficult to track, gather and analyze all of the required information.
  • Dead-end campaigns: Surprisingly, some companies use campaign management to generate leads, but then don’t manage those leads. Instead, marketing must treat leads as a valuable resource, perhaps even “cutting off” salespeople or partners who fail to pursue them.
  • Failing to “sell” leads: Too many marketing groups run a campaign and then just forward the leads to sales, which may or may not be interested, and just discard the lead. What a waste. Instead, marketing must sell its leads: work with sales, know what they need, deliver it, and then convince them that it’s been delivered.
  • Unqualified event leads: Just because a conference-goer drops a business card into your fishbowl for the chance to win an iPod doesn’t mean they’re interested in your products or services. How do you separate the person ready to spend $1 million from someone who’s just gunning for a tchotchke?
  • Bothering, not bolstering, salespeople: Don’t waste salespeople’s time. One common occurrence: emailing salespeople spreadsheets demanding detailed sales information, when your marketing team could retrieve the required data by running a few simple CRM reports.  

Direct Marketing: Capabilities Required?

What does it take to help your marketing group operate more effectively? Based on our numerous marketing engagements, we’ve identified the capabilities required to excel in the five components of an effective marketing program:

  • Marketing Strategy: What’s your plan for attracting customers?
  • Campaign Management: Presenting prospective buyers with a call to action
  • Lead Management: Qualify and route a prospective buyer to the sales team
  • Event Management: Generate demand by connecting with prospects at events
  • Marketing Measurement: Know if your program is on track to be successful

Benchmark, Then Focus on Pain Points

Many organizations approach us and ask, “What should we do next?” to make their marketing program better. Oftentimes, they’re asking because it’s time to submit CRM budgets for next year. When planning out your CRM improvements, then, the pertinent question is: Which parts of your program excel, and which ones need improvement?

With the benefit of our numerous client engagements, Innoveer maintains benchmarks for each of the five core capabilities of a successful marketing program, as well as their multiple components. We use these benchmarks to help organizations determine which specific CRM enhancements they should make to produce the biggest benefits for their business.

Based on our experience, you must focus on improving what you’re not good at, because otherwise it will hold you back. That’s why first addressing any aspects of your marketing program which are below average (compared with the competition) will give you the biggest return on your investment.

Learn More

Innoveer offers a brief workshop—over one, two or three days—to help companies identify the cost, time and business benefits associated with achieving new and more mature—which is to say, more effective—CRM capabilities. During the workshop, Innoveer examines the five core elements of an organization’s marketing program, identifies the optimal enhancements, and produces specific, technology-agnostic recommendations for building 2010 plans and budgets, with detailed estimates of the required project time and costs to improve specific marketing program capabilities.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


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