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2 The 4 Most Important Drivers of Marketing Success

Marketing podcast with Jay Baer – author of Youtility.

Integration and convergence are the two concepts I’ve been drilling on most for the past few years. Quite frankly, marketing has always worked better when integration is considered, but today’s markets, buyers, humans want and expect more than consistent messaging across platforms.

What’s driving the market today?

  • People want and expect content that is educational, useful and personalized.
  • People want and expect marketing that provides utility and purpose
  • People want and expect to interact and engage with brands on many fronts
  • People want and expect to join and participate in community in addition to completing transactions.

Organizations that get this, that foster this and that build marketing strategies and campaigns that take full advantage of this, will build customer loyalty and word of mouth lead generation in ways that cannot be matched by competitors trading on lower price.

More is not the answer – better integration is. You don’t need more content, more followers, more engagement, more marketing – you need all of these things to work together more effectively to create a more useful experience for customers and prospects.

Below are a handful of key questions and suggestions related to each of the four drivers leading the marketing challenge today.

Content – The best path to increased long tail SEO and customer loyalty – Key Question – How can you use existing and new content to create engagement and opportunity?

  • Content based autoresponder series – series of videos on how to do X.
  • Dynamically displayed content based on search term.
  • Invitation to content series based on a series of questions
  • YouTube Video channel selector
  • Geo location-based content
  • Turn Q and A into knowledge base
  • Figure out what visitors can’t you find and create it

Utility – Using marketing to be more useful – Key Question – How can you make your marketing so useful people would pay for it?

  • Personalized video responses to questions
  • Create a Q and A platform (Quora)
  • Geo-location self-serve information

YoutilityThis is the point where I need to tell you that this week’s guest on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert and author of Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype. Baer’s book is chock full of ideas and campaigns from brands that get this idea in a big way. Youtility is a quick read and a must read if you want to start adopting a mindset of usefulness and true integration. If you want to explore this important driver in-depth you must pick up this book.

Social – Increase sharing and decrease search engine dependency – Key Question – How can you use social media to increase friend reach and create new customers?

  • Google+ Hangouts to YouTube
  • YourBrandSuggests – Monitor Twitter to make industry related recommendations (great example of this in Youtility)
  • Visualize industry related data – most popular X on Twitter, aggregate industry related tweets
  • Facebook lead capture
  • Facebook contest by market segment
  • Surprise upgrade program
  • Facebook advertising content series
  • Message of the day promote across staff social networks

Community – Leverage referability to build trust and awareness – Key Question – How can you turn your customer base into a vibrant community?

  • Market segment hosted communities
  • Proactive referral programs
  • Crowdsourced database or app
  • Membership programs with customer led content or moderation

And the biggest question of all – How can you create more integration and convergence?

7 What If How You Sold Was as Important as What You Sold?

So, for starters, the title to this post poses a bit of a trick question because significant research suggests it is in fact a fact.

photo credit: dragonanswers via photopin cc

photo credit: dragonanswers via photopin cc

Buyers have become so adept at doing initial purchase research that they no longer need or have the patience for a sales presentation on the benefits of your widget. Ironically, this applies doubly for B2B, big ticket items where you might think a little face time would be a good thing.

A CEB study of more than 1,400 B2B customers across industries revealed that 57% of a typical purchase decision is made before a customer even talks to a supplier.

So, what does this spell for the typical sales and marketing professional? You better find a way to make your marketing as useful as your products. That’s right, sales and marketing is no longer about being found and providing educational information – those are still important, but today you better have prospects looking to you as an adviser, teacher, time saver, problem solver and guide on life’s journey or what’s the point.

I repeat – it’s not just your product or service that must perform – it’s your actual sales and marketing process that must provide these things as well.

This same CEB study also found that 53% of those surveyed claimed that the sales experience itself was one of the greatest contributing factors in continued loyalty to the brand.

The feeling is that most products, services, brands and even pricing are about the same, but the sales experience, or value, ease and insight delivered during the actual process of buying, was what tipped the scale.

Two recent books hit this theme pretty hard. Mitch Joel’s CTRL+ALT+DEL (Check out interview with Mitch Joel here) and Jay Baer’s Youtility (Ships June 27th – look for an upcoming interview Jay.) And of course CEB’s book derived from the extensive sales research cited in this post called The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson. (Check out interview with Matthew Dixon here)

So, how do you make your sales process more useful?

Let’s say you were shopping for some running shoes. You search around and find a few sites that seem to specialize in the selection you are looking for and a couple even provide lots of information and reviews from other runners. But, you’re not sure which $150 pair of shoes are right and that’s enough money that you want to get it right.

So, you fire off a couple questions to sites that seem the most informational. One sends you back some specs from the manufacture and then Patton Gleason from OptimalRun.com sends you a personal video showing you all 3 shoes you were considering and telling you why, based on your needs, which one he suggests.

Now, you tell me – is that sales process useful?

And, the beauty of this kind of sales process is that it actually favors the little guy.

Here’s what some of his customers had to say – sounds like they found his sales process useful!

“It was amazing and so helpful and kind: I finally felt like someone was actually listening to me instead of just trying to rush me into making a purchase.”

“You’re too great – this is awesome that you answer with a personal video.”

“Thanks again so much for your help, it especially helps to be able to see the shoes other than just in photos.”

Ladies and gentlemen, that’s the bar today. Creating marketing and sales insight that’s so useful people would be willing to pay to receive it.

So, what can you to create a much better buying experience in your business? What have you seen others do that you would like to share?