There are five costly marketing mistakes that you’re probably making.
Once you know what they are, you can begin to take action and change course so you’re hitting revenue goals and getting the results you need.
Let’s take a deep dive into these marketing mistakes and get some insight on how you can avoid them in the future.
When it comes to marketing and sales your entire organization should be working toward one very simple goal: to be profitable.
It's all about numbers. Or a mathematical equation. That's what marketing and sales are all about.
So it's vital that, as a B2B business, you understand the process.
For example, if you have a sales team that has to get on the phone with people, you need to understand how many calls it takes for a salesperson to close somebody into a customer.
You also need to know your call show-up rate. If 10 people booked calls, do all 10 of them show up? Probably not.
If you’re calculating a 25% close ratio for your sales team and you book 10 calls, 2.5 people will become customers.
But if only six show up or eight leads show up (your show-up rate) out of 10 calls booked, that will affect your close rate.
If you're an e-commerce business, the important question to ask might be “What's your Key Performance Indicators” (or KPIs)? Which means what is the cost-per-purchase you need to achieve in order to be winning when you calculate in your costs of goods sold, etc.?
Not knowing your numbers or KPIs is a huge marketing mistake. You won’t know if you're winning in a campaign – or if you're failing and you need to make adjustments.
Now, when I’m talking about “numbers,” I don't mean going into your Google analytics and tracking every single piece of data in your CRM.
I advise that you take 5-10 key metrics that are crucial to your business and keep track of those.
You can easily track these numbers by creating something that I call a smarketing (sales + marketing) scorecard.
This is typically a spreadsheet to keep track of what's happening in your marketing and sales efforts week after week.
Just looking at the last month isn’t enough, because then you're being reactive. You want to see week over week the results of your efforts and the changes you make in those top 5-10 most important numbers.
Doing this will allow you to be agile-based with the data that you're seeing.
Another mistake that's really common – especially if you own the business – is letting your emotions get the best of you.
As a business owner, you're often very closely tied to the dollars that are going out.
If you're the VP of marketing or a VP of sales or you oversee a department, you probably have certain targets that you need to achieve in order to be winning in your position.
But we're human beings. We let emotions get in the way, and it’s one of the most costly things you can do.
Trusting your gut all the time and ignoring the actual data will make it hard to predictably scale your campaigns.
We had a client in e-commerce and they were selling a product that was $110.
The cost of goods sold was about $30, so we had about $80 to work with in order to acquire a customer through a paid ad campaign – and to break even or become profitable.
When we first started paid ad campaigns, we were spending more than the client had ever spent before. These campaigns resulted in an $80 cost-per-purchase.
We ended up achieving purchases to cold traffic and cold audiences between $19 and $30 per purchase, which is off the charts.
That's a three to four times return on ad spend, which was phenomenal.
But the challenge was – because they were a startup e-commerce company – they weren't used to spending that much. The idea of doubling, tripling, or quadrupling the budget was an emotional barrier to overcome.
Luckily, we were able to educate the client and build trust, but it took three months to get there.
Most marketing and sales teams work on their own islands.
If sales is doing outbound prospecting, they build their own email templates, create their own subject lines, build their own call scripts.
They’re operating in their own world which, to a degree, is good. You want independence and you want to encourage creativity.
But there's also a challenge because the marketing team understands messaging. They understand the copy that is going to convert visitors. They understand what's resonating with people in the conversations that are happening on social media.
Try this little exercise with me.
Close your eyes, and for the next 10 seconds, imagine what your organization would look like if the sales team was prospecting and they were hearing objections from prospects and they were hearing how clients were feeling.
What would happen if they took this feedback to a regular meeting with the marketing team to discuss the campaigns, subject lines, etc. that they're running and evaluated how users and visitors respond to those campaigns
What would happen if marketing used this feedback to create a unified message for your organization? What would happen if both teams were all on the same page? If they were using subject lines that converted? They're using call scripts and terminology and phrases that marketing was seeing work, and vice versa.
Think about this. Because if you’re not already doing it, it’s a very, very costly marketing mistake.
When your marketing and your sales teams are operating on their own islands, they're not unified. Your branding is hurting from that, but you’re also not closing and converting as many customers as you could be if both teams were working together.
Your sales team relies on leads.
But it's not just on marketing and it's not just on sales to come up with them. Marketing succeeds when sales is closing deals, and sales succeeds when marketing is gathering leads for them to pursue.
Ultimately, there has to be a central place where leads are coming. And it involves efforts from both sides of the team.
The three primary sales buckets are:
There are four sales buckets that I recommend and they involve both sales and marketing.
This is a database of leads that are cold, but they fit your criteria. With the information they need, like phone number, email, title and position, name, etc. your sales team can begin cold prospecting.
You also need inbound leads.
Your business should always be running some kind of inbound marketing campaign to generate leads.
Whether that's a lead magnet such as a free ebook or a free training, you need to be generating some degree of inbound leads that get queued up in your CRM and divvied out to the salespeople to follow up with.
And the last one is the most neglected bucket out of all of them: Behavior.
Most CRMs will allow you to actually queue up leads that are already in your CRM database, and who are visiting certain pages on your website, opening certain emails or watching certain videos.
By creating a bucket for behavioral leads, you’re actually creating a bucket that’s full of “warm leads.” These leads came from either inbound or your paid for database or paid ads, but all they're doing is now taking action – not buying yet.
Because of this activity, the sales team now has a reason to touch base.
Recently, our sales team was meeting, and we ran a list of people in our CRM who, in the last 24 hours, had opened an email or visited our website.
Our CRM populated a list with 206 leads. At that point, we have a robust list of 206 people we can call or send sales emails to. Essentially, we can begin prospecting to them.
Your goal as an integrated sales and marketing team needs to be to fill these four buckets for your sales team, to the point where they are so busy they don’t know what to do next.
Content takes on many different forms. In fact, what you're consuming right now is a form of content. So are videos, ebooks, social media and emails.
Content creates memorable conversations. Transactional emails or a quick phone call don't do that.
Ignoring content is costly, which is clear if you compare the efforts and money it takes to build a content library or use a paid ads approach.
If I was trying to grow our blog traffic (we get between 15,000 and 20,000 organic visitors a month to our blog) by paying for that traffic, it would cost millions of dollars a year for those clicks.
Last year we broke 200,000 in organic visitors, just to our blog, because we were creating content.
The other component of content, and why most people ignore it, is that it's often intangible and it's hard to get excited about intangible.
It's difficult to rally the troops around something that you can't completely track down to the sale.
It's a challenge to create content knowing that it won't have a massive, dramatic, positive impact on our organization for another 6-12 months.
We want it now. We want to make this call, get this appointment, close this deal, run this ad, get to the purchase, add to cart, close the purchase.
We work on these transactional strategies, but the reality is, intangible content is valuable to creating authority and positioning yourself as a powerhouse brand because people remember brands – they don't remember companies.
I have a half-gallon Hydro Flask water bottle. I have no idea who manufactured that bottle. I'm sure Hydro Flask does and what company did it, but I know the Hydro Flask brand. So, when I see the bottle, I say it's a Hydro Flask. I don't say what company made it. Hydro Flask has built a brand behind what they do.
If you look at the content that they create, it's actually pretty incredible.
When you think of Coca-Cola, you think about happiness or being refreshed. You think of ice cold. That’s how Coca-Cola created memorable content and that's what I want to challenge you to do.
When considering these five costly marketing mistakes, this one is the most common – and the most important.
Ignoring content impacts your bottom line. It's going to be more expensive because you're forcing other marketing efforts that are much more transactional.
How do you stack up when it comes to these five biggest marketing mistakes?
Make sure that you know what’s happening with your numbers and KPIs, and don’t let emotion steamroll your efforts. Integrate marketing and sales, have enough sales lead buckets, and never ignore content.
Avoiding these mistakes will give you solid footing and help you get the revenue you need and the results you crave.