1. Sell your brand, not your product
Customers can be anywhere up to 70 per cent through their sales cycle, reading many promotional assets along the way, before they engage with the sales team. Marketing materials are the first stepping stones towards the dotted line, so you need to ensure that your content is convincing. The written content on your online and offline promotional materials needs to show the reader why they should find out more about your company. At this point, you just need the person reading your materials to want to get in touch with a salesperson to learn more about what you could do for them, so don’t be off-putting with brash, ‘salesy’ jargon.
2. Be seen in the right scenes
The key to digital marketing is making sure both your company and its advocates are present where your prospects are looking. You need to be in their ‘watering holes’ by being part of their social communities, blogs and publications. Establishing your voice in these ‘watering holes’ is good; but having your happy customers singing your praises in these digital spheres is great. You have the power to make your company present where new business lies, but let your current customers know you’re willing to help them find their voice in this community as well.
3. Synergise your marketing functions
Outbound demand generation needs to be connected with the rest of marketing and sales, so integrating all facets of the marketing and sales initiative will be key to your success. This includes events, offers, thought leadership, PR and customer referencing to name a few. An integrated campaign must contain a ‘customer journey’, with consistent messaging and themes throughout. Put yourselves in the shoes of one new customer. How does the PR lead them to the customer referencing materials? How do great customer references lead them to striking a deal? Thinking like this is crucial.
4. Get to know your customers – and your potential customers
Understand exactly who you are talking to and what their buying habits are. Having a range of marketing materials on demand will really help when talking to a potential customer. For instance, if you know your top three markets are healthcare, education and retail, have customer references on hand for each of those, and make sure you have a long-lasting presence in the press they are likely to read.
5. Be a thought leader
Create interesting, thought-provoking and educational content to engage and nurture your prospective customers or clients. Use this content to show them that your company is so much more than its service or product – it has insightful spokespeople that can display a deep knowledge of the wider issues they already face.
Tim Stone is VP of Marketing, EMEA, at Polycom.
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