There might be changes in what we do and how we do it but there has always been and will be a requirement for a structure behind it. Back in the day when people just focused on event marketing – we still had a process. There is a new shift here as HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan highlighted in his recent Forbes article but no matter what – a process is necessary. You don’t just create some content and not do anything with it.
He might be right and the new shift permanent as Marketers will continue to see the value in killer content. Value to me means results. Marketers need to bear in mind that it’s not “just” about the conversions. You can have all the conversions in the world but if you can’t close a deal or if people don’t habituate on your product you’ve got nothing. Getting a prospect to take action is the first step; marketing shouldn’t give up at that point saying “job well done- now it’s a sales problem”. They need to own it and be accountable all the way through – HAVE A PROCESS.
Using marketing automation tools (Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot, Silverpop, etc…) isn’t going to help you either. It might start the process for you and provide ideas and a structure to work with but without a plan you just going to fall into that one and done routine IT’S ONLY A TOOL. We are all busy trying to keep up with everything that’s going on and when we don’t have a process we will knee jerk react to being responsive. We’ve got to get that note out to the people we’d met at the show, that landing page needs to go up for launch, that offer needs to go out. Disconnected sets of activities that get completed but that would be better off for everyone including you prospects and clients if they were connected.
I’ve found that connecting specific activity dots in a document often helps me stay on track. The same way that I organize my marketing lead flow and programs with a Playbook I create a flow of how the individual activity will go. Once you complete the first process just keep modifying it. Each activity process then fits inside the completed playbook. It doesn’t begin and end with marketing tools (a single line item) and it includes follow-up post close (customer retention). It’s always nice to start with a base and the base always get refined. Don’t worry about linking each activity to each other yet just get the first one done. Activity segmentation can be done via marketing automation and list management as perfect use for the tool.
Here are some suggested steps to creating your first process:
- Create a map including assets and programs that are currently available and underway
- Stack rank based upon historical performance (if you don’t have performance data talk to your sales reps)
- When is the best time to reach them
- What is the best way to get in contact
- What material will be most appealing
- What message will have an impact
- How will I reach them
This is an older webinar process I’ve used. Webinar example
Finally, make sure that you have clear objectives and follow (trust) the process. Yes you are going to be tactical but if you’ve written it down when it feels ad-hoc it won’t be because you’ll know what to do next. I’ve tested and learned (i.e. Succeeded and Failed) many things but always keep an open mind – things change constantly.
If you have ideas, thoughts, comments, I’m open to them – please share.