This is a guest post from Jake Moffett at RevenueZen. Jake received his degree in Biotechnology from Brown, studied Scandinavian Textile Design in Copenhagen, and has been a florist, a sales team leader, and now a content and marketing manager. Jake writes about the way marketing is involving, why creating the right content at the right time is no easy task, and why enneagram 3s make the best entrepreneurs.
Today, it can feel like there are a million different mediums to get your message across. But how do you know where to invest your time and resources to have the greatest impact? We’ve outlined some helpful tips to help you identify the right audience and hone your marketing materials to produce the results you’re seeking.
Marketing materials refers to any item or content your brand creates to help attract, educate, and nurture leads. Those materials can be digital assets (such as e-books, Google Ads, blog posts, product videos, Gifs, infographics, and guides) or physical items (such as banners, direct mail products, stickers, flyers, billboards, business cards).
If you’re looking for a “magic bullet” (or magic marketing sticker), we have some bad news — there is no secret formula or item that will work 100 percent of the time on 100 percent of your target audience. The marketing materials that capture the attention of one audience are not guaranteed to work on another.
That said, you can’t achieve sustainable business growth by operating on instinct or blind optimism. Although there are no perfect formulas, follow these five simple rules to ensure you’re making smart investments with your time and resources:
In marketing, success is a relative term. Campaigns can be measured in terms of dollars, impressions, likes, followers, subscribers, downloads, and endless other criteria. Before you create marketing collateral, it’s important to think about what your end goal is and choose what metrics and marketing data you’ll use to evaluate your efforts.
If your goal is to boost quarterly revenue, define what percentage increase you’re aiming for and how much you’re willing to spend upfront in order to reach that goal. If your goal is somewhat abstract (e.g. boost brand perception and influence), figure out what concrete metrics you can use to tie it to reality. For instance, if you’re attempting to “boost brand perception,” you may want to take a customer survey before and after the campaign and evaluate the percent change in your Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Whatever metrics you choose, make sure you have a baseline for comparison and use previous campaigns and industry benchmarks to set realistic expectations. Doing so will create accountability and make it easier to capitalize on your success. It will also help you narrow-down what marketing materials you’ll need. For instance, if your key metric is Facebook “Likes,” you should focus your attention on digital marketing materials (e.g. videos, ads) that tend to garner the most engagement on this channel.
Before you throw down on brand t-shirts and travel mugs, it’s important to understand the people you’re trying to reach. In this sense, choosing the right marketing materials is a lot like choosing the right gift for a friend or relative.
The best marketing materials, like the best gifts, are often a mix of something useful, relevant, and delightful. In addition to knowing your audience’s preferences and behaviors, it helps to understand their lifestyle, values, favorite products, challenges, and current needs.
Once you have the full picture, it’s easier to anticipate what quality they’ll value most at a particular moment in time. For instance, your aunt may love coffee, but what if she recently switched to decaf to cut down on caffeine? If you buy her an espresso blend she used to like, you risk coming off as insensitive. In marketing, operating on too little information can cause similar blunders. Doing your due diligence will help you hone your marketing materials to resonate with your audience and ensure your message lands the way you intended.
Understanding your typical buyer’s journey will help you determine what type of marketing materials to create. For instance, let’s imagine that your typical buyer’s journey starts in Google search, moves to social media, and ends with an online purchase. It would make sense for you to focus your efforts on digital marketing materials rather than say, print brochures. That’s especially true with regard to online B2B sales, which typically have a longer sales cycle than their B2C counterparts and require much more digital content to nurture them through the process.
As you brainstorm what marketing materials to create, think about the juncture in your buyer’s journey you could use the most help. For instance, if you have no trouble attracting quality leads, but don’t convert enough of them into customers, your marketing pipeline could benefit from bottom-of-funnel content assets such as case studies and product guides. If, on the other hand, your typical buyer’s journey starts on social media, consider creating marketing materials that are tailored to your most active channels.
In addition to thinking about the buyer’s journey, context can give you meaningful clues about the type of marketing materials that will be most effective for your purposes. For instance, if you’re trying to boost attendance at an upcoming webinar, you should focus your attention on digital assets that can be shared on social channels and via email. On the other hand, if your greatest lead source is in-person tradeshows, you may want to create an array of print materials to hand out to contacts at booths.
Before you create marketing collateral for a specific audience segment, remember that not all leads are created equally. Finding the perfect lead is a lot like finding the perfect partner on a dating app — you’re looking for someone who is a good match and is also equally interested in you.
Luckily, in marketing, there are a lot of concrete clues to let you know how someone compares to the rest of the crowd. For example, you can use engagement data, page views, content consumed, CTA clicks, email opens, e-book downloads, and past purchases to gain a more objective understanding of how your leads stack up. You can also easily prioritize leads with MadKudu’s predictive engine, which leverages machine learning to develop a custom lead scoring model and predictive lead value model for your business. If you’ve already mapped your website content to different stages of the buyer’s journey, it’s much easy to use individual content assets or conversions as interest “signals.”
Low Fit, Low Interest:
It’s never a good idea to pursue leads that aren’t a good fit for your company and aren’t interested in your product. It’s best to ignore leads that fall into this category. At the very least, don’t waste time creating campaigns or marketing materials intended to win over these outliers.
High Fit, High Interest:
This is your match made in heaven. These leads have indicated (through page views, downloads, sales outreach, and other buyer intent cues) that they’re very interested in your product AND they fit your ideal customer profile (ICP). If you’re looking to have an immediate impact on sales, this is the best segment to target because they often require less nurturing to close.
High Fit, Low Interest:
High fit, low interest leads are a good potential fit for your product — in other words, they fit your ICP, but they haven’t shown they’re interested. If you’re looking to build out your sales pipeline for an upcoming quarter or want to try expanding into new markets, this is the place to start.
Low Fit, High Interest:
These leads don’t fit your ideal buyer persona but they have expressed interested in your product. Aggressively targeting this group isn’t a good long-term strategy — oftentimes, the reason they’re not a good fit is because they don’t have very good lifetime value potential. In many cases, low fit, high interest leads are one-time buyers. While you may not want to spend marketing resources pursuing these leads, that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. If they’re ready to buy, sales should fulfil their order requests. If they need a bit more time, cultivate a positive, low-touch relationship in the event that they become a better fit down the road.
Need some help creating effective marketing materials? You’ve come to the right place. Contact RevenueZen if you could use a marketing partner that makes you look great.