Return on investment. From the capital we allocate to the expenses we incur, a material ROI is our goal. For example, the new piece of equipment that reduces energy and consumable costs is easy to quantify. But, the brochure to promote your new product, not so much. Nevertheless, effective marketing programs can generate a return on investment.
Effective Marketing Programs
Not sure what effective marketing programs can do for you? Or, you don't believe that you can quantify their impact? Then take a look at the programs five companies implemented in 2018 and the results that came from their efforts.
1 Using Blog Posts To Increase Site Traffic And Leads
I was on a flight last week and decided to read an actual book instead of opting for the wifi. So, after a 90 minute hiatus, I took my phone off airplane mode, reconnected to wireless and...
27 new emails appeared.
In fact, website content is like your phone on and off airplane mode. No updated or new information causes customers and prospects to lose your signal. But, when you post frequent updates that target audience needs, your service hits five bars.
Furthermore, prospects, customers and search engines all value fresh content. And, blog posts are an effective way to generate regular information the target audience needs. To illustrate, a LinkedIn study of 5470 professionals that had some part in the purchasing process identified blog posts as their preferred type of content. And for an organization that sells to hospitals, it served as the perfect vehicle to educate their audience, build brand equity and generate new business opportunities.
Blog Program Recap
- 46 total blog posts published In 2018
- Topics ranged from reporting on compliance and patient safety changes to specific recommendations on how operations could run more effectively
- Website visits increased 287% from 2017
- Lead form submissions increased by 410% from 2017
- Blog subscribers doubled
- Newsletter subscribers increased by 18%
- Organic search visits increased by 710%
2 Newsletters That Inform Current Customers And Attract Prospects
Many years ago I experienced my first “uh oh” moment as a new sales rep. My new sales manager was in town and we were making calls together for the first time. We met with a buyer and had a good conversation until…
Sales manager to customer, “Did John mention our new capabilities and the value they can provide you?”
Customer to sales manager, “Why no, I wasn’t aware of them.”
John muttering to himself, “I told you about them last month and we discussed how they might benefit you.”
Sales manager shoots John an icy glare.
It was my first lesson on customer information retention, or lack thereof.
The fact is you, me and our customers often don’t remember useful information. The large amount of data we consume daily compounds the "in one ear and out the other" syndrome. Siri and Alexa make it worse. We need information when we need it and that’s often on demand.
That’s why a thoughtful, informative, useful newsletter is so valuable. It keeps your brand top of mind, makes subscribers aware of your services and the value they provide. Plus, it can serve as a lead generation vehicle.
Here’s the impact a newsletter had for a company in the packaging business.
- 20 newsletters distributed in 2018 targeting two different market segments
- 650 subscribers
- 32% average open rate
- 5.8% average click-through rate
- 47 lead opportunities with a mid-six-figure dollar value potential
3 White Papers Educate, Inform And Attract Prospects
If you are a business applying for building permits in the city of Chicago, one politician might influence how you purchase legal services. But, your prospects typically conduct purchasing research in a different way. They frequently look online to self educate and formulate purchasing decisions.
So what type of information can you provide to help guide them through that process?
A Harvard Business Review study found that a proactive, prescriptive approach that guides customers through decision making increases the likeliness of purchase ease and decreases the likeliness of purchase regret.
Developing white papers that inform, educate and simplify the purchasing process have a direct impact on sales.
A company in the commercial printing industry used white papers to educate prospects on how to personalize printed materials and direct mail. It contained:
- Examples of personalization
- Results from other programs
- Internal hurdles they could expect when implementing a program
- Steps they could use to implement a similar program
Plus, this white paper serves as evergreen content. Although it may require minor updates, the information will stay relevant and continue to attract their target prospects.
White Paper Program
- White paper distributed through their website, blog, social media and email
- New prospects received the white paper in exchange for providing their email address
- White paper downloaded 97 times
- 13 sales ready leads generated
- One closed order and four deals pending
In third grade one of my classmates rubbed dirt in the face of a girl at recess which made all the boys laugh. And, it caused my teacher, Miss Likens, to end recess early and herd all the boys back into the classroom for a stern lecture, because, she insisted on telling all of us together to ensure we understood the severity of our actions.
There's something about delivering information to a group that impacts learning. Webinars aren't stern lectures but when your audience doesn't understand or even misunderstands the benefits of your services, a webinar can elevate their understanding and create new opportunities.
When the sales team discovered that customers didn't understand the value of their new mailing services, they used webinars to answer questions and convey their value proposition.
- Two webinars
- Promoted webinar to newsletter subscribers and prospect list
- 73 Total attendees - which included the live event and those that viewed the recorded version
- Eight new newsletter subscribers
- Six sales ready leads
- One closed order
5 Content Distribution Expands Your Audience
If you took a marketing class in college you learned about the four Ps. Selling a product successfully required an effective marketing mix that included the price, promotion and place (aka distribution). For example, if you have a great product at a fair price, that consumers are aware of and interested in, but they can’t get it easily, your sales will suffer.
Content incorporates similar attributes. Well written, useful information that addresses your audience needs, but is hard to find, has minimal impact. That’s why content distribution is so important. Whether it’s your blog, newsletter, social media or guest posts for other publishers, broader distribution means that more prospects will see and potentially act upon your content..
A digital printing company used a content distribution strategy to gain article placement in publications that covered retail, their target audience.
Content Distribution Program
- 2018 - six articles published
- Articles appeared in print and digital editions
- The print articles contained a brief company description along with their website and phone number
- The digital articles contained their contact info and website link
- Website traffic increased after each article was published
- Received numerous inbound phone calls from prospects referencing the articles