I am often asked to speak at conferences, meetings and webinars, and I nearly always enjoy it as an excuse to review ideas and strategies I know well. Sometimes, though, the process of preparing for the presentation changes my outlook on something.
That happened recently as I was preparing for a webinar at work. The topic seemed simple enough: Best Practices in Distributed Marketing. It’s a subject I know a little bit about, since I edit The Distributed Marketing Blog, which is devoted to the topic, and I work at a company that provides “best practices” solutions for major corporate clients.
What surprised me as I was preparing for this webinar was the detailed map of the customer engagement process that some of our best-performing clients had put together, and the detailed strategies they put together to engage and communicate with customers and their own sales channel at each of the five stages in the customer lifecycle.
The second surprise came when I looked at acquisition cost data. I’m like most marketers. Management has given me a clear mandate to drive more revenue while lowering my cost per lead. Like everybody else, I knew that online marketing (social, email, digital, search, content) can be less expensive than traditional marketing communications channels, but I was surprised to see just how much the cost of online lead generation has gone up.
In fact, if you work in some industries — like insurance, financial services, health care, the legal profession, or high technology — the costs for the most popular keywords used in search marketing are increasing so rapidly that even big brands are feeling the squeeze. Take a look at this infographic on the most expensive keywords for more details.
We analyzed data from more than 120 of our top performing clients to see how they are meeting the challenge of driving revenue while keeping a lid on rising cost, and we identified four key strategies that are making a difference for them. The four strategies we found are:
- Empowering local producers via “glocalization”, at each stage of the customer engagement process
- Closed-loop measurement and reporting across the entire sales channel
- Harnessing technology to save time and money
- Marketing on behalf of channel partners or sales agents
Glocalization – a hot buzz word for marketers based on the Japanese idea of taking a global concept and localizing it — can mean different things in different industries. Typically, for marketers, it means supporting local branches or sales agents with marketing that is customized and personalized, while maintaining brand and regulatory compliance. Marketing automation solutions that use rules and profiles to manage compliance are a significant help to distributed marketing organizations trying to “glocalize” content, especially in regulated industries.
My co-presenter David Potter reminded attendees that while online marketing is the focus for an increasing portion of multi-channel marketing communications spending, it’s important not to overlook traditional marketing methods such as print, email, and co-op spending to support the sales channel.
In addition, the session offered new research from leading analysts, and provides links to the underlying data the top performing brands are using to succeed. The recording of the entire webinar is now online here, and the presentation deck is available for download by clicking here. (Both are free, but registration is required.)