B2B marketing today is a fascinating business practice, we have so much data available, channels to influence the buyer with and a constant stream of best practices and advice and perhaps, sometimes we get lost in all this and make our lives complicated.
To avoid this distraction, my advice is to split your marketing and measurement strategy into three simple goals and metrics that I call ART – Awareness, Revenue and Trust.
- Awareness – It sounds old school I know, along the lines of all super bowl ads, billboards, advertising and media packages, but of course your marketing needs to spread your reach or deepen your engagement with your audience. The important words here are your audience, this isn’t about your Mum knowing what your company does or even that some random dude at an industry event knows your name, this is about establishing awareness within the audience that matters, your buyers and the folks that influence that transaction.
- Revenue – I was always encourage marketers to tie their own metrics into those of the business, particularly those of the C suite. It’s important in the consideration of marketing investment, that any marketing activity can be tied to the business objective, but it’s really easy to get carried away with vanity metrics, like web hits and social mentions, and then let these dictate and drive your marketing behavior and content strategy. But the bottom line is, well, the bottom line, that those lovely vanity metrics can be attributed to business value.
- Trust – Both revenue and awareness are built on trust. If you are trusted, you’ll build a loyal tribe of advocates who will share your good news and of course, people buy from those who they trust. Which is, of course, why software salesmen have complained for decades about the guys from the big vendor who sell PowerPoint not product and where the often-heard lament of “nobody got fired for buying (insert dominant player du-jour here)” comes from. It’s about trust.
In addition focusing on trust is what keeps your marketing human, what stops you from doing silly and cheap instant results crap, and instead makes you think about the long term, the audience experience, and about being useful to your audience – something which we talk about a lot in content marketing.
In truth, the right order should be Trust, Awareness and Revenue – if you get the first two right, the third will come – but who wants to talk about creating TAR?
It creates a plan you can defend
Define these goals, then evaluate each activity, line item on your budget, event and even content item against these goals, creating a clear, transparent, defendable, costed marketing plan that is clearly linked to the goals of the organization that will create advocacy in the C suite.
This will also create a firm set of criteria that everyone can understand that helps you decide on what activities to do as the plan inevitably changes.
It keeps things simple
Defining these objectives for your business is a great exercise to stop overthinking, clean the whiteboard and pare it back down to not only create some clear goals and a plan,
Everything you are planning needs to encompass these three objectives. Depending on the activity, some things will lean more toward one objective or the other, but it’s critical that everything is evaluated against these three goals and contributes to them.
Keep on course
Whether an executive wants you to do a press release, create a Pinterest page, sponsor a big vanity event, or wonders why you don’t follow people around on Facebook with re-marketing (scratch that, nobody wonders that), whatever it is, you can point to ART and ensure that it’s the right bet for your limited marketing chips.
I am not suggesting that all three of these will always be of equal importance, it could be that you’re a well-funded new business and Awareness is the first priority, but like your favourite bar stool, the plan still needs the two other legs, establishing Revenue and Trust as criteria and metrics are still going to be important.
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