A healthy marketing program is much like a healthy exercise regimen. If you let it go to the wayside, you’ll lose strength and flexibility over time – and your marketing strategy will get pudgy around the middle.
Marketing fitness requires an ongoing commitment to evaluating your results, checking your engagement strategies, and being smart about how you start conversations with your audience.
Today, like a free-trial personal trainer, I’m going to give you an overview of how to evaluate the status-quo B2B marketing strategy and see what a healthier strategy could look like.
Has your marketing growth hit a plateau?
When you eat the same things every day, and you do the same exercises every day, eventually your fitness progress comes to a full stop. You can’t do the same things over and over, and expect different results. Didn’t Einstein say that was the definition of insanity?
Coming to a point in your fitness journey where you aren’t seeing results anymore is called a plateau. It can leave you feeling like you’re spinning your wheels – and if left unchecked, it can hurt your overall health.
The same thing can happen with your marketing program.
Getting caught in the hamster-wheel of status-quo marketing campaigns can lead you straight to that plateau in your marketing program.
What do I mean by status-quo? I mean the same stuff you’ve been doing for years – and the same stuff everyone else is still doing, like …
- Reliance on standard lead-gated PDFs
- Little attention to landing page design/ experience
- Repetitive CTAs
- Too much focus on the what you think is important about the product instead of what the buyer needs
- Offering a limited variety of content formats
- Treating buyers as companies instead of individual people
If you’re lucky, status-quo marketing campaigns may get you the same results you’ve always gotten. Most marketers aren’t that lucky. Buyers change. Technologies change. Marketers need to change. It’s more likely that you’ll see diminishing returns over time if you stick to status-quo marketing.
To grow, you’ve got to bust through that plateau. And that doesn’t mean scrapping your entire strategy. To whip your marketing into shape, a better bet is to strategically challenge yourself to stretch beyond your limits.
Don’t Just Exert More Effort – Start by Creating a Better Fitness Plan
A successful fitness regimen starts with a workout plan. This plan has to work with your existing resources – your time and money – while staying flexible to adapt your routine over time.
There are three core elements to a healthy, productive marketing fitness plan:
Core Element 1: Strength
Balance and flexibility alone will not result in better fitness. In fact, without adding strength-building exercises to the mix, you’ll end up with a body like a spaghetti noodle.
Your marketing fitness plan also requires that you strengthen your strategy.
Pull out your buyer personas and your list of content assets for this first exercise.
Connect your existing content to each of your buyer personas, at each stage of your sales funnel. That will build your core content map. From there you’ll easily see any holes in your map, and you can fill them in with new content to create a stronger strategy.
- Is your content addressing what the buyer needs (not just what product management tells you the product does best)?
- Is there a wide variety of content formats to address those needs for the different buyers at each stage of the buying journey?
Core Element 2: Balance
When working on your physical fitness, you target different parts of your body in a balanced way to improve your overall results. The end result is a firm foundation and balanced health.
To create a more balanced marketing plan, make sure you’re addressing all the right areas, and not spending too much time in one specific area. Or worse, spending time in an area that doesn’t net you results.
Look at your current lead flow. What are the key points in that flow where the best MQLs (those are marketing-qualified leads with the highest likelihood of making a purchase) are coming from?
Now build on existing content at those points.
When you prioritize the aspects of your lead flow that produce those super MQLs, you’ll quickly boost your conversion rates.
- Are your landing pages designed with the audience and your goal in mind, or are you using a standard template?
- Are your CTAs compelling, unique and – most importantly – clear?
Core Element 3: Flexibility
Can you touch your toes? That big bodybuilder you see at the gym probably can’t do it. He’s incredibly strong, no doubt. He might even have decent balance. But his flexibility is likely pretty limited… which makes his overall mobility limited.
Ensuring that your marketing strategy is flexible also ensures that it can move with the market. As your customers change, so should your marketing strategy.
Once you know where to focus your attention for a balanced approach to driving more MQLs, and you’ve strengthened your marketing strategy by filling in any holes in your content map, it’s time to stretch your limits.
Pull out your marketing playbook and add a bunch of blank pages to it. You’re going to be breaking out of the content-marketing box and putting those boring old lead-gated PDFs at the back of the playbook.
What other kinds of content can you create besides a PDF?
- How-to videos
- Product pickers
- Interactive ebooks
- Virtual tours …
… the list could go on!
You can even cover the same topic in multiple content formats to breathe life into a marketing campaign. In fact, we really encourage this approach because it also extends the reach of your campaign.
Producing content that breaks the mold helps you create conversations with your customers and prospects. So stay flexible and stretch beyond the limits of a simple PDF.
- How many content formats are you using today? How can you double or triple that number?
- What is your most popular content right now? How can you change the format of that content to be even more engaging, and move your target audience to action?
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