There are many things to consider if you want to meet a marketing metric goal. One is the staffing model. It should be considered carefully and designed with the strategy and expected workload in mind.
Why? Regardless of whether you outsource or hire, many people with varying skills usually need to be involved to make your marketing efforts successful, whether your sales goal is $1M in new revenue or $20M.
Many small or startup B2Bs companies may be hesitant to hire a full staff for marketing activities because either they aren’t sure what to do or they want to test marketing’s value and contribution before committing budget.
Understandable but unless the scope of work is limited to a basic website, email, product sheets and social media posts, it is usually not realistic to expect 1-2 people to do the work necessary to stand out and to help sales teams grow their pipelines (unless they are highly multi-talented and the workload is spread out reasonably over time).
When B2Bs in growth mode decide to invest more in ‘marketing’, most want to focus on tangible, tactical things they can do right away to get results. Makes sense. But a strategy and plan are needed to shape and define that work so that it’s not just a bunch of ideas that ultimately don’t get results.
So what to do? And where do key people fit in the picture?
Step One: Think Like The Winners
Before diving into ideas, tasks and tools, step back to learn and consider best practices of high-functioning B2B marketing departments and the degree to which you will adopt said practices. At a minimum, top B2Bs usually invest time and money in these areas…
1. Rich data and strategic insights that enable the ability to:
- Align teams and ensure accountability toward sales & service metrics and a consistent plan that everyone is aware of and works toward.
- Create messaging, campaigns, and content that build connections and draw people into the brand’s value.
- Identify (and score) the best leads and help them through their decision-making process.
- Help Sales prioritize their pipeline and their day (i.e. help them focus on their best opportunities for meeting their numbers).
- Understand what’s working vs. not to affect lead engagement, movement through the sales funnel, why you win vs. lose, what your customers love most about you, etc.
2. Infrastructure and processes that ensure efficiency, integration, teamwork and measurability:
- Workflows, infrastructure, tools and data for managing leads, producing content, reaching out, plus analyzing sales opportunities and results.
- Project workload that is clear and prioritized, yet flexible to ensure teams can react and be nimble in the day-to-day (i.e. not so heavy on projects that they can’t do anything else well).
3. Product management and customer experience:
- Processes and training to ensure new products and services are integrated with the brand, sales, customer service and communications strategies in mind.
4. Diligent oversight of the brand’s purpose, message and reach:
- Strategic approach to brand positioning and content.
- Diligent focus on creating stories, messages and experiences toward a specific position the company wants to hold in people’s minds.
- Heightened creativity for content that conveys value in solving specific problems and affecting the business & emotional lives of your audience(s).
Step Two: Decide Key Strategies to Inform Marketing Activities
Example: You’ve decided that one marketing strategy is to…Become a content-generating-machine to generate high-quality leads and support the nurturing process as well as to expand the brand’s footprint.
Types of things you’ll need to make this happen:
1. Documented insights about the buying audience as well as influencers, e.g. what they care most about, their biggest business problems and various story angles likely to engage them. This sets you up for success as it relates to consistent messages and content that create emotional connections (i.e. to get them ‘thinking’ and wanting to know more).
2. Content strategy (what, why and how) and a schedule based on a content needs assessment, for example…
- Content and talking points that help ignite conversations that get sales reps in front of decision makers.
- Content that helps link a customer pain point and your value. Think through: “What do they REALLY want to be educated on and what story could really pull them in?”
- Content strategy by audience—decide processes to scale content across all audiences and determine how certain stories can be versioned or re-purposed. This will help decide the most critical things to invest in vs. a cool idea or nice-to-have piece.
- Custom analysis and information for a new prospect that sees your value, but needs sample analyses or proposals to sell it internally.
- Product information versioned in different ways—decide ahead of time the best way to showcase a product and to refine content to make it more engaging and worth someone’s time to read/watch.
3. Tools and infrastructure to manage an editorial calendar as well as resources, budget, analytics and execution for ongoing content and new ideas, for example…
- Content planning and workflow platforms like Kapost, Marketing AI and DivvyHQ.
- Customized value proposition analysis and presentations.
- Design templates for case studies, explainer videos, Slideshare presentations and educational content (eBooks, PDFs, etc.).
- Webinar infrastructure for FAQ and scenario-based education.
- Social media and social selling campaigns & tools.
- Search and media research to inform website strategy, advertising, messages, landing pages, etc.
- Analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Kissmetrics.
- Integration with website, CRM, social channels and other analytics.
4. Corporate branding, social media and communication guidelines
- Invest to do this once so that it’s available for everyone’s use. You can always evolve it over time.
Step Three: Once key strategies are decided and a preliminary budget and plan are in place, decide functional roles, tasks and real-life skill scenarios required to meet goals.
- Confirm the strategy and plan that will dictate the workload and what literally needs to get done to meet objectives—show the what why and how and the types of skills needed.
- From there build an organizational framework to show what work people should align to and be accountable for as well as what to outsource.
- Then…decide WHO will do the work and whether pieces of the plan can be shared among the same people to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
- Consider missing skills or a missing focus, as well as crossover between branding, marcom, product marketing, sales support, campaigns and content. For example; perhaps the plan and expected workload tells you that you need the following…
- Inbound/inside sales rep as 1st point-of-contact to manage inquiries as well as the front-end of the CRM (and possibly the Chat function on your website).
- Brand and communications steward to look out for the brand (not just product content) and to get media and journalist buzz by managing branding guidelines, social media policies, corporate positioning & talking points, analysis of brand sentiment, media tours, etc.
- Good writers who can translate technical details into language and examples your ideal target will relate to.
- Communications specialist to maintain your blog as well as other “maintenance-type” content including newsletters, press releases and customer service communications.
- Sales support project manager to focus on CRM optimization, data mining, tools, campaigns, tradeshows, webinars, etc. specifically designed to help sales reps get close to the folks they need to talk to as well as to relieve them of admin or project management work that slows them down.
- Data analyst who can design and oversee measurement & reporting infrastructure.
Below is a framework that you can download to see what I mean. This is just one example but it may help you consider how to decide and prioritize roles and responsibilities within the marketing function. More than likely you will see through this exercise that it often takes a village, not 1-2 people, to create marketing programs that will drive revenue.
This article originally appeared on Lydia’s Marketing Blog:
How to Meet B2B Marketing Metric Goals with Just One Person — Hint: You Can’t! [INFOGRAPHIC]
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