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For successful Pardot integration into Salesforce, you need the correct knowledge, expertise and approach.
If you’re not sure where to begin with the platform, we’ve listed some key considerations for you to take into account for a successful implementation
align your sales and marketing teams to improve the flow of leads through the funnel
create an enhanced online customer experience
automate content to your audience through the customer journey
experience ROI and see constant improvements
increase your knowledge of the platform and marketing automation best practice
Your first question might be where do I start with all of this? Well, our Salesforce Pardot specialists have created a guide to take you through these considerations and where to begin your journey. By actioning these considerations, you can expect to see a streamlined approach to sales and marketing, resulting in increased volume and velocity across the funnel.
We also cover the key technical fundamentals you should set up to achieve success including integrating Salesforce to Pardot, adding a tracking code on your website and importing data and segmenting. Once you have actioned the fundamentals, you can start to track your audience and move on to the bigger picture and the real strategic action plan.
To begin your path to better Pardot implementation, download our guide written by our Salesforce Pardot specialists and consultants who have many years of experience delivering marketing automation solutions.
My name is Merinda Peppard. I am the marketing lead for the Salesforce Pardot business. Today I’m going to talk through how I use marketing automation to run my business. But let’s jump straight in.
I joined Salesforce recently after working in B2B marketing for around 15 years. It was quite interesting: during the interview process I didn’t actually know how to pronounce the Pardot brand name. Was it Pardot? Is it Pardeaux, like in the French? It made for a slightly awkward first few minutes of the interview, but it’s actually pronounce Par-dot. And the reason why I’m telling you this is because it’s Latvian and the word in Latvian means to market or sell. I think this background is important because it’s really fundamental to the aim of our company as a part of business, but also it’s fundamental as a key objective for many B2B marketers out there. You know, we’re so closely aligned to sales that it becomes ingrained in our key objectives.
I think we can just look at the marketing automation. So, we’ll take a step back and really look at a high level for a second on what B2B marketing automation is. Essentially, what B2B marketing automation does is allow you to take your leads from your campaigns and really get them across to sales. That’s our key objective here. Sales are always wanting those highly-qualified, hot leads to follow up on and that’s the concept. So, the campaign, we create these wonderful marketing campaigns, we put them into a magic marketing automation box and good leads come out at the other end – that’s what we’re hoping for and that’s the concept.
But what I’m finding more and more is that marketers understand the value and they understand why they need a marketing automation solution, but they’re not really quite sure how to actually do it. So, this is what I’m going to go through today and I’m going to go through some of the steps that I do when I’m setting up a campaign myself for my B2B business using Pardot, the Salesforce marketing automation solution.
The first thing my team does is we sit down and we figure out what kind of campaign and content strategy we’re going to run – the two are very closely aligned. I’m going to talk about an actual campaign today that we did about six months ago. We decided that we wanted to focus the campaign on high-growth start-up businesses. That target in particular was really hot for us about six months ago and we wanted to focus on it in our marketing initiatives and really get that target group to understand the value of Pardot and our business. So, I’m going to walk through that campaign and what we did on a step-by-step basis.
Best Practice #1. We took a couple of inputs into our decision-making process to not only come up with who we were targeting put also the message and the content that we were going to use to target these people with. The first thing that we did was really look at the data. What we’re seeing time and time again at Pardot is that entrepreneurial businesses in particular were buying Pardot in record numbers, so we wanted to build a campaign around that. Then we needed to decide what we should focus the content on. With Pardot, one of our key USPs is that it’s a really easy-to-use platform. That was one of the key themes that we wanted this audience to take away: that Pardot is easy; it’s easy to get started and there’s a lot of value for high-growth businesses and small marketing teams.
The second thing we do is we listen to our customers. Within my role, we’re always on the road. We’re at lots of events, we have a very strong events strategy within Pardot, and we’re always in the field, out talking to customers – and we get a lot of feedback about how our customers use our product, etc. When we talked to some of these high-growth companies that recently bought Pardot, one thing that became apparent when we spoke to them was that they didn’t know initially that they need marketing automation – they didn’t even know what marketing automation was. That was interesting for us because we thought, “Wow – we really need to go to the drawing board and we need to educate this audience, right at the very beginning, on what marketing automation is.” We had a product that was valuable to these people, but they didn’t initially know that they needed it, so there were some lightbulbs that weren’t there. So, that was interesting to figure out our content strategy for this campaign.
The third thing we did here was we read research. I think we’re lucky as a B2B marketing organisation; at Salesforce we have a lot of resources, we’re lucky enough to have access to focus groups and stuff like that. But if you’re a smaller B2B organisation, there’s obviously other research that you can look at. There’s tons of stuff on eMarketer, there are Forrester reports – there’s lots of different types of research that you can use to validate where your head is at and where you want your campaign to go and in what direction.
And of course, the last thing we did is what I call our marketing magic. I think this is a little bit of why we all become marketers and certainly why I became a marketer – it’s because I love the mixture of the art and science. I really love that creativity side of marketing. So, how do we take that concept and how do we make it compelling and interesting, really make people want to buy our products at the end of the day? When we did all this research, we listened to our customers, we looked at the data, our two main findings were really that there was:
a lack of awareness in marketing automation; and
that with this target group, their key priority was that they wanted to grow fast.
So, we took these two findings and we combined it into a campaign theme which we called Small Teams, Big Dreams. That’s how we came about figuring out the campaign and the content strategy, and then we built all of our content assets around that.
So what did we do then? After we decided what our campaign theme was, we needed the content to support that campaign. Content is really at the heart of a lot of marketing automation campaigns: you need to have that content to keep people continuously engaged, and what we’ve learned at Pardot is that we need different content for different stages of the funnel.
Most of you have likely seen this funnel before. Let’s start at the top of the funnel. I think if we ignore the funnel and we just use one piece of content for all of our prospects it’s not going to be that easily digestible and consumed by people as they change their journey through the funnel. At different stages of that journey they definitely want different things. I think the top of the funnel, really, is about building the awareness; it’s that educating people on a problem that your business will solve and the value that your business has to offer. For us, the top of the funnel was something… We didn’t even really want to talk about Pardot, our company; we didn’t want that content to be product-focused at all, because at that stage of the buyer’s journey people are just trying to understand what marketing automation is. We’re trying to educate them on that problem and we didn’t want to introduce our product too early because that’s not what the prospect is looking for.
What we did here, for this particular campaign targeting high-growth companies, we designed a really cute infographic where people could scroll down and see the many different hats that marketing professionals wear in those businesses. We all know that B2B marketers, especially in smaller teams and high-growth businesses, wear a lot of hats, so we had a joke with that and created this lovely infographic saying, “B2B marketers are always trying to do a lot of stuff – here are all the hats they wear,” and really educate them on how marketing automation can help – but definitely not pushing our product content at all at this stage, because people just aren’t ready for that.
Then, as we move from the top of the funnel, we move then to mid-funnel content. As we move down that funnel, the second piece of content that we decided to show here was showing people the value in terms of the actual strategies they can use with marketing automation. So, the first piece at the top of the funnel was why you need it; the second piece was, “Okay, now how do I actually use marketing automation to grow my business?” Now we have a little bit of product content here, but we’re still trying really hard to educate people on the value of marketing automation. So we introduce a little bit of product content, because of course, eventually we want people to buy, but it’s not the primary focus of this piece of content.
The third piece of content that we develop really has to be product-focused and this is really where people have seen the problem, they’re starting to understand the solution and how they can use it. And this is where we really want to introduce the product, down at the bottom stage of the funnel.
So, by the time the prospect or customer has flowed through this journey, they’re really ready now to understand what you do as a business and the product, and what products you have on offer. They’ve been educated and they’re ready to see, “Okay, this is the product that’s going to help me do everything I need to do.” And so for this piece of content, we actually had some of our customers tell their story, because I think sometimes getting your customers to tell your product story is a really nice way and a softer way to sell your product. We took it up and we packaged this in a bottom-stage funnel piece, and the product content here is really showing the value to the customer about why they’re reading it. I think the great piece around bottom-of-funnel content is that you can give this in addition to using it in your marketing efforts; you can also give this to your sales teams because, at this stage, they’re really having one-on-one interactions with your customers as well, and if there’s bottom-of-funnel content such as case studies, etc., they can also use these in their meetings.
I give this presentation a lot and so many customers come up to me and say, “We understand that. We understand marketing automation and we understand that we need content. But the thought of developing all this content is absolutely terrifying.” You know, if you’re a small marketing team and if you’ve ever developed content, you know it can be very time-consuming and it’s not easy. “Are there any strategies,” they ask, “to do this in a structured way?”
That leads me on to Best Practice #3, which is to create an anchor piece of content. It’s really about creating an anchor piece of content and then developing your marketing automation strategy around that. Now, your one anchor piece of content will be time-consuming – there’s no way around that. It will be your most time-intensive piece of content and you’ll probably spend a good amount of time and resource building it. But once you’ve got that anchor piece of content, you can really merchandise it, use it again and again, and I’m going to show you how you slice it up and repackage it and dice it in a whole different bunch of ways – so you’re really only doing that heavy lifting once upfront. We do this for two reasons:
One, it really helps us maximise our time and investment, and we get the most mileage out of the content that we’re spending so much time putting together.
And the second is that people like to consume content in different ways. I will probably consume content in a very different way to how you personally do. I, for example, don’t like to read white papers, but I would click through a five-slide slide-share on some of the stats from a white paper, for example.
So, taking this one piece of anchor content and using it multiple times is a really, really good strategy, especially if you’re resource-constrained.
So, we’ve got our campaign theme, we’ve developed our content. Now, that doesn’t really mean anything back to the objective of us in B2B marketing of helping our sales achieve their goals. It doesn’t really mean anything until we start capturing leads. We need to capture leads; we need to get the into that magic marketing automation factory I showed you on my first slide so that we can start scoring them and grading them and getting them across to sales.
Here are some of the tips that I’ve learned on how we can maximise lead capture at Pardot. We want to get our offers out by different content channels; we want to see what’s interesting, how different call to actions work better on different channels. It seems a bit straightforward, but you’d be surprised. On the blog, for example, the call to action there, what we really want people to do is read the blog; we don’t want them to download anything – the word “download” is a bit scary when you’re on a blog because it’s very top-of-the-funnel, you’re just wanting to read content. But for a webinar ad, the call to action there is definitely to register – register for the webinar. So, it’s really important to look at those calls to action and to understand the key metric and goal for each of these content channels.
Once you’ve got your content and you’ve sliced and diced it in all these different ways, we need to figure out, of course, how much of that content do we gate and how much do we leave un-gated. Have a think about when you’re consuming content. We’re just trying to see… You know, how do you react to gating? Let’s just go through and think about the different ways of gating for different content.
I think I would personally rarely gate infographics or short video content or a single customer story, because I really want people to read these things. This is part of the top of the funnel and the education process, and it’s really important to make it as easy as possible for people to download. You really want to get that into the hands of everyone. When you start to talk about something that’s much more time-intensive to produce, such as an eBook or a white paper or a longer-form video, that’s when we start to really gate people and get that lead capture, as we’re moving down the funnel as well. People understand the credibility of your business, they’ve bought in to the fact they will receive great content from you, and they’re more willing, then, to give up their contact details for some interesting content.
At these sorts of micro-decisions your customer is having across their journey, when they see an ad they take a few seconds to decide whether they’re going to click on that ad or not; then they go to your landing page and there are more micro-decisions then. They might decide in five to ten seconds whether they’re actually going to fill in the landing page. These sorts of micro-decisions you need to think about as they’re completing their journey. When will you gate and when should you allow that free flow of information?
That leads us on to…People are obsessed with clicks from ads and that makes sense. Right? You pay money for ad space and people want to click on your ad. But what people don’t realise is it’s actually not that hard to get clicks. I’ll show you why. I’m actually a sucker for dog videos on Facebook; this is a kitten video, but I’ll click on anything that has a funny dog video. That’s an extreme example, but actually it does show that anyone can get clicks – it really doesn’t mean that that click is valuable. You have to think about what happens to that person after they’ve clicked on the ad. They’ve made a decision to click on your ad and now they’re on your landing page and you’ve got five or ten seconds to get them to actually fill out that landing page – so there really needs to be some cohesiveness between the two, cohesiveness between the ad and it needs to map back to your landing page and the specific content that you’re trying to deliver to that person. If you can have as dynamic content as possible, then that is definitely going to increase the conversion of your leads coming through. If you say in your ad that someone is going to receive a white paper, then it sounds obvious, but they need to receive a white paper, not a short, two-page handout.
The other thing we do here at Pardot – and this is one of my favourite features of Pardot – is that we A/B test every single landing page. It’s really easy to do, first of all. I don’t need to be an HTML developer – and I’m definitely not – or a coder or anything like that; we can do it directly in the system. And you can A/B test a million things, of course, so where do you start? You can test colours, you can test pictures, you can test words. But we’ve found, time and time again, that the number one thing that will make the most impact to your A/B test really is the headline. So, when you’re sitting with your team and you’re looking at this and you’re thinking, “What shall we A/B test and where do we start?” I would definitely recommend the headline, because that’s really where you’re going to see the biggest return.
So, you’ve added the landing page, your prospect is looking at the form that they need to fill in and they’re trying to decide whether or not they’re going to fill in that form. That’s the next step in that journey, that marketing automation journey, that you need to consider then for your customer.
Sales will want you to ask everything on the form, of course. If they could get their prospects’ blood type, they would have it. The more information that the sales team has and the more well-informed they are, the better for them – and the less work it is for them, of course, to get that information at the time of sale. But as a marketer and as someone who fills in form myself, I really just want the email address, because I know that through the power of marketing automation, once I’ve got that email address into my system I can then really develop these campaigns and develop and nurture the tracks to get more information from people on a piece-by-piece basis. This is what we call progressive profiling and this is what really helps increase the conversion from piece to piece, as you’re collecting contact details about your customer.
Progressive profiling is one of my favourite features. It really allows you to have a conversation with the prospect and not overwhelm them by asking for too much information. Usually, if you have a Pardot form, I’m going to ask you for email address, because I definitely need your email address upfront so I can keep corresponding with you; and then probably just your name. Then what I’ll do is I’ll keep showing you other pieces of content to get you more engaged and give you more information about my business, whether it’s an educational product or customer content. There are two reasons why I’m giving you more content:
One, it’s going to help me get more information to my sales team, because as I serve you more content you will give me more of your contact information;
Then, as we go through scoring and grading – which I’ll talk about in a minute – for each piece of content I will give you a score and grade, which also helps inform my sales team as well.
It really makes me, as a marketer, build a great profile on you as the customer. I can target content based on what I know and based on what I think you’ll like – so it’s really a better experience for the customer as well.
But how do we do this? How do we get people to continually give us information? One way is to put content in front of them, but the other thing I learned at Pardot is that the best way to start that progressive profiling journey is with an autoresponder. So, let’s talk now about the autoresponder.
Have a think about how many times you’ve filled in a form and how many times the first email you get after you’ve filled that form in is a “Thank you, someone will contact you shortly” – that’s the exact wording sometimes that you get. But actually, what you want is another opportunity to get them more engaged. They’ve gone through the journey, they’ve clicked on your ad, they’ve decided to fill out the landing page. And then they’ve filled it in and this is where they’re interested in your brand, in your product, in your services or whatever it is you’re selling. But then what you need to get is another piece of content in front of them. They’re really ripe for learning at this point and they want to consume the content – so that’s the opportunity to get more of your content upfront while they’re on their journey.
Within my marketing team, we actually spend a lot of time thinking about our autoresponder strategy and we really make sure that we’re putting content that’s relevant to the journey that they just went on. So, if they click on something they become more engaged, but also we’ve got that progressive profiling going. I can ask then more detailed questions on the forms; I can ask about their company size; I can ask where they’re located in the form so that I can start sending them content based on their country, for example, if I’m responsible for Europe. And then all of this dynamic activity is really tailored to the interaction that they’ve had previously, so you’re giving them that personalised journey as they’re really going across.
We all do a lot of work on our websites. It’s interesting: websites are so visible within organisations. You’ve probably experienced the same as me where you’ve had one of the senior executives interrogate you about something that you’ve written on your website. The point is that so many people view your website and your website is really the face of your brand, and it’s so highly visible; it’s the manifestation also of your message. But it’s so easy to just forget about. Once you’ve created your fantastic website, you create it and then forget about it and start focusing on your lead generating campaigns instead. And you think, “Well, it looks good,” you’ve optimised your SEO, but then you’re not really focused on it.
Well, I think that’s a mistake and I think it’s what a lot of marketers do. They run their website as a project and then they forget about it. But it’s not really a set-and-forget asset. It’s really hard to continually update your website, but this is where really dynamic content and B2B marketing automation really helps you, because you can use the tool to set people dynamic content based on what you know about them – and this will absolutely improve your lead generation effectiveness.
Let’s take a look at this as an example. This is an example from the Pardot website and you can see here that there are two different types of people that come to our website as a business. If someone comes to my website and I don’t know yet what the CRM tool is that they use, I probably won’t directly talk to them about Salesforce, because they might use Salesforce or they might not – I don’t know. But I don’t want to put Salesforce in front of them because I’m not sure if they’re interested in it yet. I know they’ve filled out a form and they’ve come to my website, but I’m not quite sure if targeting them with Salesforce..
The better you know your customers, the easier it is to market to them. Of course, it’s one of the first things you learn as a marketer. But how well are you putting it into practice? To really succeed at content marketing, you need to know their needs, inside out. Only then will you be able to create a customer journey that will turn them from prospects to loyal clients.
Do you practice Customer Experience Management?
According to Bernd Schmitt, Customer Experience Management is “the process of strategically managing a customer’s entire experience with a product or company.” So how important is it to manage every customer interaction as they pass down the sales funnel? It’s something that enterprise companies, employing more than 2,500, are significantly more likely to adopt as part of their overall strategy—56 percent of them have done so. This compares to just 33 percent of mid-sized companies and 27 percent of small businesses. Obviously, this reflects the resources and expertise required to manage such a strategy, but it also reflects a greater concern on the part of enterprise companies to nurture their customers. Only 29 percent of enterprise companies rate themselves as very effective at creating a cohesive customer journey, compared with 40 percent of small businesses.
The five stages of the customer journey
Building your customer interactions around a five-stage model will result in a managed customer journey. The stages we use are listed below, but you can tailor them to suit your own proposition. However, you need to constantly build up brand trust along the journey and make sure the experience is consistent.
Research—customers are getting to know your brand, products and services and relating them to problems they have. This is where you can take the chance to educate them about problems they might not have even realised they have.
Consideration—now your prospects are evaluating and comparing you with alternative suppliers. They’ll be consuming more content and focusing on features and details that are valuable to them. You need to approach them appropriately or you won’t make it onto their shortlist.
Acquisition—as they move into the acquisition stage, their interaction with you will become more personal. One-to-one meetings and demos can be used to build a personal relationship.
Conversion—you’ll need to provide a compelling reason for them to make the purchase. At this point you’ll be talking to the decision maker rather than just influencers.
Retention—making the purchase shouldn’t be the end of the customer journey. Nurture first-time buyers post sale to turn them into advocates and loyalists moving forward. To achieve this, make sure onboarding runs smoothly and give them all the guidance and information they need early on.
For further insight into how you can address your customers’ needs, blockers and touchpoints along the customer journey, register for our new webinar:
Apple does. And Innocent does. But what about you? Among the thousands of products out there vying for the attention of your target market, is your message distinct enough to differentiate you from your competitors? And do you need a unique tone and voice in the B2B market? The answer to that is a resounding ‘yes’. Having a recognisable brand tone helps you tell a consistent story across a variety of media—and this is important. Marketing isn’t just about selling your product or service. It’s about your customer’s story and where your company fits into it.
The rudiments of communication
Tone and language are everything when it comes to creating compelling copy. According to Professor Albert Mehrabian’s communication model, 55 percent of a message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is derived from the speaker’s facial expression. Naturally, with copy that important element is taken out of the equation. 38 percent of the message is carried paralinguistically—in the pitch, volume and intonation of the voice—while only 7 percent of a message’s effective communication is down to the words that are spoken. But naturally, in written communication your choice of words is everything, so you need to develop the tone you use to make up for what’s missing in body language. Complementing your message with strong images will help, but if the words don’t adequately convey what you need to put across, your content will fail. So you need to understand thoroughly what you’re talking about, who you’re talking to and where their interests lie.
How to define your unique brand voice
As your business grows, so too will the number of employees who need to be able to communicate using a consistent tone of voice for your brand. This makes a tone handbook essential. So how do you describe the tone you want to achieve?
write like you talk—keep it conversational
tell a story
lead with the key benefit for your target audience
be straightforward and specific—include facts and figures to bolster your case
include clear calls to action
use an active voice and action verbs, and be positive
check your work—then check it again
If every communication you put out tells the same story, a single, identifiable personality will emerge for your company and your brand.
To learn more about how to communicate directly and clearly with your target audience, download our latest webinar:
How well do you know your customers? The right answer is ‘very well indeed’! Why? Because if you expect to create content that will draw them down your sales funnel, convert them from leads to customers and then retain their loyalty, you need to be speaking to them about their concerns, in their language. When we discuss B2B content marketing with our clients, we stress three important things—know your customers, know their needs and know your content. And by far the most important is know your customers.
Good content starts with knowing your clients
Customised content is important—61 percent of customers’ buying decisions are influenced by it. But the flipside of that is, according to Altimeter, that 57 percent of marketers report customised content to be their top marketing priority. In other words, the stakes are high. If you get it right, you can influence the decision to purchase, but take a wrong turn and your competitors will clean up instead.
To put it simply, having an accurate understanding of your customers and the problems they’re facing allows you to identify the right value proposition. What can you offer them as a solution? Why should they come to your site? Getting this right means a lot of research—you need to understand the problems you’re helping to solve, understand how you’ve helped clients already and work out how your employees relate to your clients’ unique challenges.
It’s time to put the customer before the organisation
Would you say that your marketing strategy is organisation centric or customer centric? Naturally, you know what the answer should be but just check yourself for these:
Do you think about what products or services you can sell to your client or do you consider what your client needs to do and how you can help them do it?
Do you think about the relationship you need with your clients or the relationship they’d like to have with you?
Do you ask how you can make money from your clients or what value you can offer them as part of the deal?
Customer centric marketing means anticipating your clients’ needs, doing what you can to make their life easier, helping them and rewarding them.
Know your customer, know their personas
Another facet to getting to know your customers is that the more information you have about them, the better equipped you are to build client personas. And if you’re in any doubt over whether personas would be useful to your marketing strategy, consider this: according to a study by Cintell, 71 percent of companies who exceed revenue and lead goals have documented personas, versus 37 percent of those who simply meet goals and only 26 percent of those falling short.
But personas are only as useful as the information you put into them. For an accurate picture of your clients, you need to base your personas on real life interviews and feedback from your sales department and the clients themselves. The better you know your clients, the better you’ll be able to talk to them—and naturally, good communication is the bedrock upon which excellent content marketing is built.
To learn more about knowing your clients, building useful personas and developing a unique voice for your brand, register for our upcoming webinar:
Do the words ‘digital marketing’ strike fear into your heart? They do for some marketers—but digital marketing is here to stay and there’s no avoiding it if you want your business to succeed. Luckily, we can help you get over this fear. It’s simple really. We’ve divided digital marketing into four distinct elements that you can tackle one at a time to create a rock solid digital marketing strategy for your business.
With the exponential growth of online marketing channels, the need for a digital marketing strategy is no longer optional. It’s essential. You need a firm foundation in the form of a strategic framework for your online marketing across content channels and technology. Our solution is to run a stakeholder workshop to discuss target audience and personas, market segmentation, content framework, channel strategy, lead nurture and scoring, and sales alignment. It’s time to build your programme infrastructure.
Traditional marketing methods are simply not adequate these days. But if you want to increase the visibility of your website and enhance your engagement through email marketing, you need to harness the power of digital to create a better customer journey. We use Smart Insight’s RACE Planning framework with our clients to build the most effective marketing campaigns for their business objectives—employing each appropriate digital channel to reach, engage and interact with the audience to generate leads.
Great content makes for great campaigns. A backbone of strong content for your digital marketing campaign can improve your reach and build brand recognition—all leading to better sales and a stronger bottom line. You’ll need a range of content pieces tailored to your specific audience—from white papers and guides to webinars and infographics, all of which will need to be supported by appropriate social media posts and email campaigns. With the underlying framework that’s part of your marketing strategy, you’ll be able to target the best content at every stage along the sales journey.
Getting the right technology in place allows you to start your campaigning and transform your online marketing. You’ll need integrated technology that manages your strategy across every channel. You’ll want to consider the capabilities and features you’ll require across CRM, marketing automation and reporting and insights—all of which need to be integrated for truly remarkable results.
For each of these distinct stages, you’ll want to have a good idea of what your current capabilities are and what you’re trying to achieve. SuccessFlow has the expertise and the skill set to fill any gaps in your digital activities or to create a bespoke strategy and marketing programme for you.
We’re delighted to announce our newest recruit, Chloe Franks, has successfully passed her Pardot certification, enabling SuccessFlow to achieve our Pardot Consultancy Select partner status!
After being with the company for just three weeks, Chloe has proved to be a fantastic asset to our rapidly growing team of Salesforce and Pardot consultants.
Are you looking for Pardot or Salesforce experts?
We don’t just understand technology; we understand marketing. As a Pardot consultancy partner, we can lead you through, not only Pardot as a platform, but integrating this platform into your wider digital strategy and CRM. Including mapping assets across your customer journey, persona production or segmentation in automation platform and much more!
Want to know more about our key service areas or how we can deliver consultancy for you?
Digital marketing is here to stay. That much is a given. So why, then, do so many seasoned marketers find it a challenge or something they’d love to be able to put in a drawer and forget about? We know from our clients that a lot of you find digital marketing a daunting task, but the cost of not engaging with it is so high that no company can afford to risk being without a good strategy.
The digital marketing headache
“Demand is growing for insight into digital business, particularly among CEOs and CIOs who fear that their companies may be falling behind new business models and competitive opportunities. Their concern is justified.” Gartner, 2016
To illustrate why so many marketers fall shy of digital marketing, it’s worth considering this list of B2B digital marketing headaches, compiled by IMB CMO earlier this year:
the growth of the number of channels and device choices
shifting customer demographics
determining what content is needed for each channel at each stage of the customer journey
encouraging your target audience to take action
In fact, these are all issues that a robust digital marketing strategy can be tailored to address. Online marketing can seem overwhelming at first, but once there’s a framework in place and each member of the team knows what they need to be doing, it will suddenly seem very achievable.
The perils of failing to implement a strategy
There is a particular danger in not putting 100 percent into your digital marketing: you’ll end up falling behind your competitors and losing market share. Today’s customers are online and that’s where they expect to find you. A failure to implement a digital marketing strategy could result in any of the following:
a lack of direction in your marketing campaigns
a lack of clear insight into your customers’ needs and desires
little or no integration between online and offline marketing
a lack of internal processes
the loss of competitive advantage
a failure to align sales and marketing
poor customer experiences
a wasted marketing budget
Each of these is a substantial problem in its own right, but a combination of them could be enough to bring an ailing business down.
A new guide from SuccessFlow
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by digital marketing and don’t know how to put a strategy together, we’ve created a new guide that we think will help you. It covers the key questions that we ask are clients when we’re putting together a strategy for them:
where are you today?
where do you want to get to?
how are you going to get there?
who’s doing what, when?
how do you measure the results?
In the guide, we look at how to answer these questions in detail, and how the answers can be used to create the basis of your digital strategy, step by step. It’s really not as hard as you think.
Here’s a statistic that I found quite shocking when I read it: according to CIO UK, just 48 percent of companies have some kind of ad-hoc strategy for digital. That means that more than half don’t. But in an age when digital marketing is gaining more importance than traditional, offline marketing, and when digital strategies can have a significant impact on customer experience and brand perceptions, this seems incredible.
Why you need a digital strategy
“The impact of digital business will be undeniable: it will introduce new business models, cause industries to be ‘digitally re-mastered’ and change the way that businesses put great minds to work.” Gartner, 2016
In other words, the digital revolution is the biggest thing to hit companies since the industrial revolution 200 years ago. Over the next five years, digital marketing will account for nearly 75 percent of CMO spending and more and more sectors are coming to be dominated by the companies that are most forward thinking when it comes to digital marketing—for example, take Netflix, airbnb and Uber. Companies that don’t engage will simply get left behind.
Why you need a digital strategy in 2016 and beyond
…is the title of a new guide from SuccessFlow. We’ve learned from our clients that substantial numbers of marketers feel daunted by the prospect of digital marketing. There are so many channels, platforms and acronyms to contend with, and the prospect of consistently producing high quality content seems like a treadmill.
For this reason, we’ve created a guide that will take the mystery out of digital marketing and show you how to implement a great digital strategy in easy steps. The guide covers:
The challenges of digital marketing and the consequences of ignoring it
How to analyse your current digital situation to set a baseline
The necessity of setting achievable objectives to act as a roadmap for your strategy
How to plan a manageable digital strategy, broken down into stages, with KPIs, goals and tactics
The best way of determining how to deliver your digital strategy—allocating roles and responsibilities
Measuring performance and calculating the ROI of your digital marketing activity
No one can afford to underestimate the importance of putting a robust digital marketing strategy in place. The right strategy can integrate you online and offline marketing, bring coherence to your message, bring you closer to achieving your business objectives and deliver a better customer experience.
For a detailed insight into why you need a digital strategy and how to implement one, download the guide now.
As the marketing world has grown increasingly complex, marketing strategies have become revenue-focused rather than activity-focused. Marketing can make a real impact on the bottom line and it’s more essential than ever for sales and marketing to be aligned. So how are you doing in this brave new marketing world? Do you have a digital strategy in place or are you floundering?
39% of webinar attendees had no digital strategy
In other words, digital marketing is still challenging to a lot of companies. The online data explosion, the rapid growth of social media, the impact of social media and shifting customer demographics all combine to leave marketers unprepared and overwhelmed. But no one can afford to ignore digital marketing, so it’s really important to start developing a digital strategy as quickly as possible.
We’ve simplified the process into five straightforward steps—follow these to put your plan in place, start modestly and over time, you’ll develop your digital marketing into something that makes a real difference to your revenue.
Step 1: Know yourself
It’s essential to know your current position if you’re to plan where you want to get to. There are a number of processes to help with this:
Audit—what are your current digital capabilities?
Benchmark—track your progress over time.
Competitors—measure your achievements against other companies in the same sector.
Industry benchmarks—how do you rate within your industry?
Step 2: Determine what you want to achieve
Once you know yourself, it’s time to set goals.
You need to understand the market trends within your industry, your key target audience, target personas and digital marketing trends.
Fill the gaps identified by your capability assessment with training, hiring or appointing an agency. The best way to do this is to run a facilitated workshop with all your key stakeholders.
Identify requirements, goals, SMART objectives, KPIs and CSFs. What are you aiming for and what do you need to track to measure your progress?
Look for quick wins and plan longer term tactics.
Define an overarching vision for your digital marketing and selling that will explain to the wider business what you’re aiming to achieve.
Prioritise your objectives.
Step 3: Develop a plan to achieve your objectives
You’ve decided where you want to get to, so how do you go about it?
We recommend using Smart Insights’ RACE Planning framework.
Plan—what is the strategy that you are working towards?
How are you going to reach your target audience?
How are you going to interact with that audience?
How are you going to convert their interest into sales?
And how will you engage them moving forwards?
Define your tactics to meet your objectives—devise campaigns, segment your audience and map your customer journey.
Plan your digital marketing in 90-day cycles and then monitor and optimise.
Bring your skill set up to speed, either in-house or by using an agency.
Step 4: Build a plan and get it delivered
Your next challenge is to deliver your strategy.
Plan your delivery schedule and key milestones. Identify quick wins for the first 90 days, and sketch out the next six to 12 months.
Define clear roles and responsibilities within your team.
Track your programme using a project management tool and by having a visible project board to which your whole team has access. Transparency is key.
Support team collaboration by using software like Slack or Yammer.
Step 5: How do you keep improving your digital marketing?
If you don’t monitor progress you won’t know where you’re strong and where you need to improve your performance.
Document your strategy from the start and update it regularly.
Use analytics to turn your stats into insights.
For a much more detailed discussion of each of these five steps, download our digital strategy webinar, presented by Michael Dean and Steve Hoyle, who between them share about 40 years of digital experience!