If there’s one thing that we at The Brand Builders pride ourselves on it’s transparency. Take a look at any of our blog posts and you’ll see what I mean. We strongly believe in unraveling the mystery of marketing to make it approachable for anyone seeking to understand it. We are more than happy to pull back the curtain to show you the nuts and bolts, the A-Z, the ins and outs of this process.
They say that the very beginning is the very best place to start and the same applies here. What’s the very first step of beginning an inbound marketing campaign? Understanding what you need from that campaign.
There are things you should know about your business before you decide to embark on the inbound marketing journey. There are things your marketing team or agency should know about your company before they take you on that journey.
We never take on a new client before walking that prospect through a certain set of questions, whose answers will suggest a strategy that will work for them. These are the questions that will determine if inbound can produce results for them–and how. The more data we have about the efforts you’ve attempted in the past and the results that you’ve been able to generate, the more effective we’ll be in building out a smart, efficient plan for your business.
And these questions go beyond just answering whether or not you’re right for inbound. The information garnered from this exploratory session will dictate much of what is produced and put out for a given client. After all, a huge part of inbound marketing is establishing yourself as an expert in your field. It’s displaying a certain degree of thought leadership that is strong enough to encourage people to seek you out for information and answers. And how can we turn you into experts if we don’t know anything about you? We need to take a deep dive into your business so that we can generate content on a level that will best demonstrate your authority in your space.
So for many reasons, asking yourself these relevant questions is a crucial tool of your inbound marketing strategy and process. It’s certainly how we start with any prospect.
What are these magical questions, you ask?
Well, like I said, we’re all about transparency. So in that vein, I’m going to share our list of questions with you! You may find that you already know the answers to a lot of these questions. As you should–this is your company. But there’s a lot of value on being able to confidently know where your company stands in a lot of these key areas. It will not only help you narrow down what you need to address in your marketing efforts, but how to address them in the most effective way possible.
So without further ado…Key Questions to Developing Your Marketing Strategy
The Company (in the industry)
- Who are your customers?
- Who are your competitors?
- What is your ‘secret sauce’/ unique selling point?
- What is your company mission?
- How do you fit into your industry?
- What is your average sale price?
- What are your company revenue targets?
- What is your elevator pitch? If we met at a cocktail party, how would you describe what your company does in 30 seconds?
The Organization (inside the company)
- What are your department’s goals?
- What is your role?
- How do you fit into the company?
- What are some things you’ve been working on recently?
- What are the other roles in your department?
- What role does your organization play in your company?
- How many employees do you have?
- Why do you want to change your approach to marketing now?
- What are your expectations for a marketing program?
- What specific marketing have you tried in the past? What worked? What didn’t?
- How many people do you have in the Marketing department?
- What marketing activities are you engaged in now?
- What marketing activities do you have planned?
- Which ones are most successful?
- Which ones didn’t work?
- Which of your team members is responsible for marketing the company?
- How do you track the results of your marketing?
- Profile the perfect client for your company?
- How many of these perfect clients do you have?
- What problems do you solve for them?
- How many email addresses do you have in your database?
- Do you currently send emails to your database? Yes / No
- What, if anything, do you do to get new email addresses?
- Who currently writes any marketing materials you have? (copywriter, marketing director, CEO, etc.)
- What are you trying to achieve with the web site?
- Does your sales team cold call, and if so, who?
- What does the sales team think of the leads?
- Are you buying lists?
- How successful have you been with those lists?
- How many sales people are on the sales team?
- What makes a lead ‘Sales ready’ for you?
- How many leads do you need to hit your sales goals?
- How often do you reach that target lead goal?
- How much does it cost to acquire your leads/customers?
- What are doing to reduce your cost per lead?
- How do you measure what’s working?
- What is your top priority this year?
- Do you have specific company goals?
- What are your top 3 initiatives this year/quarter?
- Do you have published revenue goals for this upcoming quarter/year?
- Are there any other company goals that are important?
- Do you have personal goals that go along with these?
- When do you need to achieve these results?
- When do you need to hit your given goals?
- What is the time line to achieve your given goals?
- What is the most critical date on your calendar? Why?
- Is hitting this goal a priority right now?
- What else is a priority right now?
- Do you have bandwidth and resources to implement this plan now?
- Is it more likely that you will revise the goals, or revise the time line, if they aren’t realistic?
- What obstacles do you think will keep your plan from working?
- What’s going to get in the way of hitting your goal?
- What programs do you already have in place to achieve what we’ve talked about?
- What do you think is your biggest marketing challenge?
- Why do you think you’ll be able to eliminate these challenges now, even though you’ve tried in the past and you’re still dealing with them?
- Do you think you have the internal expertise to deal with these challenges?
- How are you addressing these challenges in your plan?
- If you realize early enough in the year that this plan isn’t fixing this challenge, how will you shift gears?