Well, it's that time of year again when we do annual plans. This time around I'd like to clearly lay out the mission statement for my team so our role and contribution is super clear to all stakeholders [including my team].
Toward that end, I'd like your thoughts and suggestions on my first draft.
To create marketing programs, content and tools so engaging/educational/useful that “Premium SMBs” want to do business with us [leads], our Sales teams have an easier time turning prospects into clients, and we keep clients for a longer time.
What do you think? Is it clear? What is missing?
Our goal is to make marketing so useful that people not only seek it out but stick around once they visit. Toward that end I'm proud to announce our latest effort aimed at helpfing businesses solve the deplorable problem of lead leaks. What the heck are lead leaks? Essentially they are the places in your sales and marketing process where you are losing potential customers to competitors because your marketing, website, or follow-up isn’t up to par. Or stated another way, the places where you are throwing away customers and revenue.
Two quick examples of lead leaks:
These are just a couple of common lead leaks, but there are so many more.
Anyway, it was driving us crazy to see so many businesses waste so many of the leads they’re working so hard to get – without even knowing it. So, we created an entire website dedicated to educating the world about lead leaks and helping businesses get more customers from their marketing.
Check out the site at www.dontleakleads.com for helpful info like:
More fun with funnels. Our best infographic yet. Make sure you aren't leaking leads at each step of the buying journey customers take to discover, contact and choose your business.
See more on the ReachLocal Learning Center
Every marketer leaks leads from their sales funnel so we created an ebook to help them plug the holes and get more customers.
As I sit here writing performance reviews for my team it begs the question of who to reward and who I should encourage to move on. That led me to this really interesting presentation by Reed Hastings of Netflx.
While his approach might too agressive for most companies I really like the fact that they take their culture of performance seriously. And they continously refine the team by hiring all-stars and cutting not just the under performers but those who are adequate.
The "Bad" - allowing employees to build their own brand at the expense of the company brand
The leading analyst firm Forrester announced last week that their analysts can no longer have stand-alone "off-site" blogs but rather need to blog on Forrester's official blogs. There is a lot of chatter about this decision and Josh Bernoff provided a semi-official response on the popular Groundswell blog. In summary, as an intellectual property company, Forrester believes blogging is an extension of their product which is intellectual property, and which they pay the analysts to create. Therefore it is sub-optimal to have popular analysts build their own brand which they can then easily take with them should they decide to quit Forrester.
I am facing the exact same situation in my company and am struggling with the decision. Should I allow all our field personnel to create their own blogs and market themselves under their own names? Or should I get them to blog on our platform under the company brand? There are pros and cons of each approach but I think I'm coming to the same conclusion as Forrester. These folks are under our employment and as such are paid to promote the company and differentiate us from the competition. The little brand benefit we get from all of their individual promotion is offset by confusion created in the market by 500 different brand voices.
I need to explore a solution in more depth but my initial thought is that we need to create a standard company branded platform from which the field representatives can market themselves. This is the approach that many real estate and financial services firms take. I'm not saying it is perfect but the pros appear to outweigh the cons. Let me know how you dealt with this issue.
The "Good" - collecting and assembling hundreds of marketing best practices and lessons learned, then sharing them for free
The good folks at MarketingSherpa just released their 7th annual edition of the 'Wisdom Report'. Quoting their intro, "...this report compiles the shiniest gems of wisdom chosen by Sherpa's editorial team from hundreds of submissions by your colleagues. Many of these words of wisdom are not big-sky ideas. Many are simple and straightforward tips you can plug into your marketing plans right now."
I am honored that they selected one of my submissions on building a simple, inexpensive dashboard to measure PR and Media Relations effectiveness (page 70). I originally wrote about our homegrown dashboard in this post last year. It has been a very useful tool that I would be happy to share so shoot me an email if you'd like a copy.