My Marketing Budget Has Been Cut, Now What? Jennifer Culbertson The Partner Marketing Group September 22, 2009 Agenda • What’s happening today • What’s working, what’s not as effective • Online and traditional marketing that can help you make the most of your budget • Open discussion Your Feedback • What are you experiencing in your market? – Cutbacks? How much? – Shift in budgets? – Implementing other types of tactics? What’s Happening Where are marketers spending budgets? • Marketers are investing more in online tactics (14% increase) than traditional methods (3% increase) – Less expensive – Easier to measure ROI Online Spending Focus • Spending more on online tactics including: – Social networking – Emailing – PPC Some Recovery • More budget cuts seen earlier in 2009 with some starting to see budget increases now • Marketing budget reductions are getting smaller – Fewer respondents were planning cuts greater than 20% – More marketers said they anticipated lesser cuts, especially reductions of 1% to 5% Budget Cuts Source: eMarketer Inc., www.emarketer.com When Will Things Improve? • Most marketers – in small and large businesses – look at first half of 2010 as the year the recession begins fading away and we see significant growth • Based on history, average length of a recession is 8 - 16 months Recommended Focus • Mix of online marketing and traditional tactics: – Online/Inbound marketing • Website • SEO • Blogging • Social networking – Nurture marketing – Referral marketing (referral sources and existing customers) Online Marketing Online/Inbound Marketing • Inbound marketing defined – attracting people to your business – Focus on your website – SEO – Blog – Social networking – Content is key Inbound Marketing • “Inbound” marketing (using the web to help drive qualified prospects) can be much more cost effective • Attracting prospects who are interested in your products/services, offers/content, and company • Higher number of leads are going to be qualified because they are seeking you out • Average cost-per-lead is significantly less than what it would cost for leads generated through traditional outbound marketing techniques Website • Content: – Content on website consumed differently than on paper: • 79% of users scan the page instead of reading word-for-word • Reading from computer screens is 25% slower than from paper • Web content should have 50% of the word count of its paper equivalent – Clear, concise, easy to view—and repeated in several ways, on several pages— and easily searched – Put yourself in shoes of the visitor - Include content that your visitors are interested in • Offers and Calls to action: – Have compelling offers (white papers, events, podcasts, case studies, articles, demos, etc.) – Use Action Words - “Learn more.” “Find out why.” “Buy.” “Contact Us.” Visitors appreciate it when you clearly tell them what to do. And why. For example, “Click here to get your free six-step guide to hiring your next IT consultant.” Website • Landing pages: – Build dedicated landing pages – Don’t send prospects to your home page – make it easy for visitors to obtain information – Dedicated web landing pages can nearly double the conversion rates of potential prospects responding to your marketing programs and offers • Benchmark: – Website Grader (www.websitegrader.com) that measures and scores the marketing effectiveness of a website – Looks at website traffic, SEO, social popularity and other technical factors and provides some basic advice on how you can improve your website from a marketing perspective Search Engine Optimization • Optimizing your site so search engines can find you • SEO is one of the least expensive forms of marketing with strong ROI • According to a Gartner and Forbes study, – 86% of C-level executives use search engines to find information on products and services • According to HubSpot: – 25% of SEO is on the actual pages of site (content, titles, headers, keywords) – 75% of SEO is off page – outside of your site (how people are finding you) Search Engine Optimization • On page – Building a foundation – Page text, Page titles, URL, Tags - • Check out the Microsoft Partner Network - Marketing Pointers https://partner.microsoft.com/US/salesmarketingsection/smcampaign s/rtgpointers – Keywords - finding the best keywords through research tools • www.goodkeywords.com • www.wordtracker.com • Google keyword tool - https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal • Off page – Links that point to site and search engines pick up – The more incoming links, the higher your page will rank – You can easily pull up a list of sites that link to yours. In Google's search box, simply type Link:yoursitename – Get the links by creating great content through blogging, podcasts, videos, press releases, etc. Why Blog? • In Google, Fresher Content = Better Website Sites that get crawled more often have more frequent updates and more authority. Blogging consistently ensures there will be fresh content on your site. • Every Blog Article is an SEO Opportunity - You can’t realistically optimize your site for every search term, but you can certainly write blog posts targeting niche keyword phrases that are likely to draw highly qualified prospects. • Blogs Are Link Bait – Blogging can be powerful from a linking standpoint. People welcome linking in blogs so more links back to your site, means better search engine rankings. • Gain Visibility as a Thought Leader - demonstration of your thought leadership, and professional insights. • Engage Prospects in a Dialogue – Folks who comment on your blog may be sales leads or just general visitors interested in your information. Either way, getting people engaged and interested is a good thing. Source: HubSpot - http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/1676/6-Reasons-Every-Small-Business-Should-Be-Blogging Are-You-Missing-the-Boat.aspx Getting Started with Blogs Search out and begin commenting on other people’s blogs: • Search for relevant Blogs – Blogsearch.Google.com – Technorati.com – Icerocket.com • Commenting – Share an example – Add a point – Add a useful link – Disagree – Ask a question Company Blogging • Writing – Topic Ideas – List of 5 ideas, trends or thoughts – Publish a list of links – Take a recent experience and share it – Answer questions you received recently – Turn a press release into a blog article • Just starting out? Here is a list of free links in blog directories that you can get for your blog with no-reciprocal link requirement: 1. www.blogarama.com 2. www.globeofblogs.com 3. www.bloggapedia.com 4. www.blogflux.com 5. www.superblogdirectory.com 6. www.bloggernity.com 7. www.bloggio.com • Monitor and measure your own blog – www.blogpulse.com – Helps analyze and report on the daily activity of your blog – Who’s responding and linking to blog – Trends in blog activity – What blogs are similar to yours Social Networking • Social networking involves 2-way communication and the conversation • Social media is a platform that gives businesses a chance to establish a more personal relationship with existing and potential customers • Forrester Research study showed 92% of B2B technology buyers consider themselves engaging in some form of social media How Marketer’s View Social Media Do you agree or disagree that Social Media will… Compliment other tactics Standard tactic Budget for it Social Networking • Getting started: – Check out www.searchwiki.com – seek out social networking sites – Get an account set-up and build profiles • LinkedIn • Face Book • Twitter – Look for Q&A and Discussions to participate in Social Networking Resources • Social Media Tips - Microsoft Partner Network - https://partner.microsoft.com/US/40113405 • Online Marketing Guide - https://partner.microsoft.com/global/salesmar ketingsection/smmarketingcenter/40073320 Nurture Marketing Nurture Marketing Defined • Terminology: – Drip marketing – Relationship marketing • Defined: – Initiating a conversation with prospects and customers over period of time – Growing relationships by sending unique and valued messages to prospects and customers on a regular basis – Leave a positive imprint in their mind until they're ready to buy! Why is Nurturing Important? • Longer sales cycles, increased competition, ever-changing business climate – need to be there when they are ready to buy • Forget about the one-off effort! According to the Direct Marketing Association, a prospect will need to see/hear your message 3 times to recognize you and a minimum of 9 times to make a sale • Nurture marketing process leads to: – Better qualified leads – Higher close ratios – Stronger sales pipeline – Shorter-than-average sales cycles Planning • Creating consistency • Messaging based on who targeting • Value-based offers • Setting the rhythm: – Plan should include: • Target List • Messaging and Content • Frequency and Execution • Measurement Target List • Understand and profile who you want to nurture: • What makes up a good customer for your company? • What are the characteristics? – Industry focus, company size, geography, revenue, etc. • What problems does my prospect need to overcome each day? • What is the prospect’s top priority right now? • Build a list of Prospects, Leads, Customers • Prospect = no formal communication or has not responded to your company in the past • Lead = Prospective customer who has responded to your communication in past and/or is someone in pipeline • Customer = existing or former customers who have done business with your company Segmenting the List • Segment your list into A, B and C prospects and customers • Deliver communication and offers applicable to each Prospects E-Newsletter Direct Mail Email Dimensional Telemarketing Sales Contact Mail Prospect A Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Prospect B Yes Yes Yes Yes Prospect C Yes Yes Yes Customers Customer A Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Customer B Yes Yes Yes Yes Customer C Yes Yes Yes Message Creation • Know your audience and ask yourself – How can we build credibility? – How can we show that our products/services will help them achieve goals? – How can we differentiate ourselves? – How can we become a trusted advisor/expert to prospects and customers? • Integrate “pains” messaging: – Getting More Organized to Save Time and Money: Do more with reduced time, people, and finances; improve teamwork and collaboration; and stay connected to the business while away from the office. – Managing Cash Flow: Make your finance, operations, and other business processes more efficient. Gain better insight into what drives revenues and expenses, so you can improve your financial position and make more informed decisions about where to best invest resources. – Finding and Retaining Customers: Find customers more cost-effectively, close deals faster, and improve customer satisfaction. – Reducing IT Costs and Risks: Stay focused on running the business—not wasting time and money dealing with network disruptions or fighting fires. Delivering the Message • We all consume media differently – Email, telemarketing, direct mail – Need to stand-out • Use a common theme to break through the clutter and get your message across – Choose a theme that’s: • Fun • Topical • Engaging • Memorable! Example: Memorable Series • Message - Focus on how CRM can help you be more productive and get ahead in your organization • Consistency – monthly communication • Offer – case study, white paper, webcast, book • Types of communication – direct mail, email, newsletter, phone Example: Direct Mail/Dimensional Mailer • Message - Focus on how we can help you improve customer satisfaction • Offer – white paper, case study, gift • Consistency – multi-touch over 4 months • Types of communication – direct mail, email, newsletter, phone Executing the Plan • Execution includes: – Following a plan – Resources and funding to keep momentum – Multiple tactics (direct mail, email, phone) – Multiple offers to move your audience along in the sales cycle Prospect Nurturing Schedule • Setting the rhythm…move prospects along Timing (every 30 days) Action Contact #1 Introductory call with follow-up email (Get permission/verify contact information) Contact #2 Email with offer educational report/article Contact #3 Direct mail with white paper offer– ROI of ERP Contact #4 Email newsletter Contact #5 Email and link to relevant case study or podcast Contact #6 Direct mail invite to webcast with follow-up phone call Contact #7 Follow-up touch base phone call - reminder Contact #8 Email newsletter Contact #9 Phone call to touch base and prospect interested in meeting with you! Monitor and Analyze • Monitor and analyze – Track each phase of plan and response – can’t improve what you don’t measure! • # of responses and qualified leads • # of closes • Number of downloads by offer • Number of appointments made • Track your web traffic • Measure ROI – Be flexible and make changes as necessary – Ensure continued support and funding to continue nurturing Nurture Marketing Checklist Think long-term – anything worthwhile takes hard work and persistence Know who you want to target and what they are interested in Build relationships that are personal and respectful Offer information that is educational Consistency and follow-up is key Measure and track Referral Marketing Scenario Does this sound familiar? "Two business owners meet at a networking event. Their businesses compliment each other so they touch base after the event and they talk about how they could refer business to one another. But, after they put the phone down, they never talk again." Feedback • What are you doing from a referral perspective? • Do you get referrals? • Do you provide referrals? • Informal? Formal program? Importance of Referrals • The act of being referred is a validation of your value and credibility • Potential customer has already been pre-sold • Have a high return-on-investment – small efforts that don’t cost a lot of $$ • Generate high quality customers and business for the company • Referrals allow you work with people you like and perform services that you enjoy Referral Sources • Concept is pretty simple – “People will do business with, and refer business to, those they know, like and trust” • So, why don’t we do it more? – Good referral sources are also elusive and can be hard to define/identify – No plan or strategy to get referrals Why Don’t We Get More Referrals? • What hurts our ability to get referrals? – Referral source is not educated on our products/services – Thinks you may be too busy – Questions your ability to deliver – Does not feel comfortable putting his/her reputation on the line – Referral source is unsure of what he/she will get out of it – Don’t actively seek and communicate with referral sources – no consistency Possible Referral Sources • Customers and their contacts • Vendors • Partners • IAMCP members • Industry association leaders/members • Centers of Influence – CPA’s – Bankers – Consultants Getting Started • Develop list of key referral sources – start small • Develop plan and calendar to make regular contact • Set yourself apart – what makes you different, focus on messaging, offers and theme Ongoing Communication “Out of sight means out of mind” • Mailings – Topical articles – Reprints – Letters – Thank you notes • Meetings – Personal, one-on-one meetings – Seminars – Receptions, dinners, events – Association activities • Email – Forward items of interest – Quick notes, etc. • Phone Monitor and Track • Number of referrals received/given • Types of referrals • Frequency of contact and type of activity • Follow-up efforts • Close ratio Distinction in Marketing Winner Referral Program CAL Business Solutions – Anya Ciecierski, Marketing Manager • Had good referrals but didn’t encourage or market to referrals • Identified Top 10 referral sources (Vendors, Centers of Influence – CPAs, other Microsoft partners) • 12-month multi-touch campaign included: • Personalized letters, emails, dimensional direct mail • Thank you letter and gift for referrals • $250 gift card for any closed business • Educational offers • Tips & Tricks • Face-to-face meetings • Integrated social networking through LinkedIn Example: Dimensional Mailer Lumpy Mailer Business letter Example: Business Letter Business letter with Gift Card White paper offer Distinction in Marketing Winner Referral Program • Tracking and Measurement : – CAL used Excel and Microsoft Dynamics CRM to track both the leads it received from referral sources and the ones CAL provided in return. • Results: √ Generated 20 leads √ Closed a half dozen sales √ Increased the percentage of closed leads it received from referrals from 42% in FY08 to 60% in FY09 √ $2,800 spent and huge ROI (50%+)! Referral Marketing Checklist Can’t afford not to be integrating referrals into your marketing efforts Start small - develop list of top possible referral sources Develop plan to communicate Offer information that is educational Consistency and follow-up is key Measure and track Final Thoughts • Keep marketing and be smart about budgets • Online marketing – make greater investment and try new tactics – Tune-up your website and SEO – Subscribe to top blogs and follow – Produce and publish content – Get Social • Traditional marketing – focus on nurture and referral marketing • Track and measure – make sure your marketing $$ are working for you The Partner Marketing Group • Marketing consulting group with expertise working with Microsoft Dynamics partner organizations to drive new marketing opportunities and results • Sign up for our e-newsletter and we’ll donate $1 to worthy cause! • Go to www.thepartnermarketinggroup.com to get copy of presentation Jennifer Culbertson: email@example.com Website: www.thepartnermarketinggroup.com 53 THANK YOU Please complete your evaluation.
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