Category Archives: Sales Pipeline

Social media should be woven into the the very fabric of your database marketing

Social Media Followers Should Be a Part of Your Marketing Database

The majority of businesses whether large or small nowadays have a sales and marketing database. This database forms for many the very lifeblood of their business. It is the key to building relationships with key audiences and customers alike! But are businesses missing a vital ingredient and not incorporating social media information into their database? And from that Social Media insight and information the key information into the rest of your marketing efforts and overall strategy?

As a marketer, your strongest asset is your database of contacts: email and blog subscribers, leads, customers, and brand advocates . It’s the entire spectrum of your brand’s stakeholders. It’s the overall community of people who care about you in some form, regardless of how minuscule or extensive that care is. Your marketing database is the key component of your marketing — it’s the people you contact for every aspect of business. Interviewing fans. Converting leads. Contacting customers. Everything. And you know who has become an essential part of this list? Your social media followers. By using one unified marketing database, you can add a layer of social media insights to your existing contacts, thus gaining valuable information to target messages, nurture leads, and attract new contacts to your business. Now how do you actually do this?

Think of Your Social Media Database Like Your Email Database

Your email database consists of contacts who have subscribed to receive email communication from you. They have opted in to receive your marketing resources, announcements and promotions, and (if your email list is healthy) should be interacting with your content by opening, clicking, and forwarding these emails. Your social media database works in a similar fashion. It consists of followers and fans who want to engage with your brand online. They’re retweeting, resharing, and repinning your posts. Clearly, they have an interest in the things that you are saying and the product(s)/service(s) you have to offer.

In this context, the interests and actions of your email recipients and social followers overlap. The act of opting in to receive email updates from a company is very similar to, for instance, hitting the ‘Like’ button on a Facebook Page. The future of social media and the key to expanding the size of your marketing database is contingent upon the growth of your social media database. The more followers you attract, the larger your pool of people to turn into strong advocates of your brand. And boy does this open a whole new bucket of opportunities for your marketing as a whole!

Example Use Cases of This New Social Future

1) Share the Right Content With the Right People

The problem with followers in social media is that you cannot measure the extent to which these fans are actually engaging with your brand. You don’t know the specific people interacting with your updates. Allocate a few hours weekly to discovering these people. Look at who is retweeting and commenting on your content, and cross-reference that with your contacts database. HubSpot allows you to do this automatically. Our new Social Contacts tool allows you to click on any social message you’ve sent and see exactly who clicked and/or shared it. (You can even dig deeper and explore the number of leads and customers that resulted from that effort.)

Now, instead of sending mass email blasts, you can directly contact and nurture those leads who are actually interacting with your brand. And by interacting with them, you’re using their social media following to help extend your brand to a new audience. This constant, positive, and targeted sharing of information will ultimately help grow your pool of evangelists, which will ultimately help you in other areas of your marketing.

2) Send Product- or Service-Oriented Emails

When it comes to email marketing, your boss most likely wants you to send communication about your product or service. Meanwhile, as a marketer, you likely want to email broader lead generation content in order to boost engagement. Fear not — there is balance between the two, and it comes down to segmentation. When you monitor the people who engage with your social media content, separate them into groups and allow those interested in your product/service to receive more communication about your special deals. Of course, make sure these users have already opted in to receive email communication from your company.

One seamless way to do this is by using the HubSpot-HootSuite integration app. You can use the app to see which contacts from your database are talking on social media, and then send them customized email communications after seeing that they’re further down the marketing funnel.

3) Use Social Media Lead Intelligence in Sales Calls

Marketers are increasingly invested in social media: According to Social Media Examiner’s 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 59% of marketers report spending six hours or more on it weekly. But they’re still struggling to find a reliable way to use social to boost sales. It’s simple: use social media information to personalize calls. Examine the difference between these two phone calls:

“Hi Anum, I noticed you work in HubSpot’s marketing department and thought you might be interested in learning about how our product that helps you do better marketing. When is a good time to chat?”

vs.

“Hi Anum, Thanks for sharing our latest ebook on Twitter! We really appreciate the support. Did you enjoy the read? Do you have any questions still lingering after checking out our content, and if so, could I help clarify or provide further assistance?”

The first call sounds like an average lukewarm call: when the sales rep has some information about the prospect they are calling, but not enough to start a meaningful conversation. The second call scripted in the role play is much more personalized and helpful. It shows that the salesperson isn’t just calling out of the blue. There is a clear reason, backed up by a clear action, and followed up with a clear benefit to the lead. Such is the power of social media intelligence in the sales process!

Now that you’ve learned why social following is critical in building up your marketing database and have seen some powerful examples of using social lead intelligence to follow up with leads in the sales process, it’s time to embrace the next generation of social media marketing. The social media sphere is constantly changing, and by figuring out how to effectively use social media and being on the front edge of how these channels will be used, you’ll find success on social channels before your competitors get around to finally investing time.

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Getting your social media right…

lot of people are wondering and asking if Social Media and their traditional marketing channels can or should even work hand in hand or should they to be kept apart?

Well, what do we know? Certainly social business is a different way of doing business that is for sure. It doesn’t play by the same rules as say advertising and it has the potential to affect the entire organization, from stakeholder to customer. But that isn’t a reason to run to the hills. In fact it might the reason to raise to the challenge and develop a Social Marketing campaign.

Potentially all those stakeholders now have easy access to platforms that can amplify their voices. It’s important to empower stakeholders so their voices will contribute to the success of your business and make them / utilise them as Brand Advocates . However, if you fail to understand and act accordingl you can make serious mistakes.

  • Facts & Figures:51% of Facebook users and 64% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from the brands they follow. (Source: Social Media Examiner) Consequences of this magnitude ought to be enough motivation to be serious about avoiding the common pitfalls

    So how can you make sure that you are utilising social media properly and don’t make those huge mistakes.

1. Lack of a Strategy or Plan

Most of the time social is introduced into marketing as a tactic. Usually an executive will either ask a question “Why aren’t we on Twiiter  Or “We need to be on ?,“ when most likely the underlying motive is really “we need to be on this platform because our competition is or everyone else is”. This reminds me of the mid 90’s and the phase where a lot of small / medium sized businesses ploughed head first into website and e-commence without one moment of thought or planning. Ask yourself; WHY – WHOM – WHEN – WHERE. 

It’s getting bigger and more diverse with each day.

Not having a plan / strategy is going to cost you in a variety of ways: Tactical approach suggests that social is simply another channel to be exploited; it’s often viewed as free marketing and handed over to the office junior. In fact only recently one of my most respected marketing colleges said the same… or updates and posts are added as a can not most do. Instead of well-planned and coordinated messages, customers are assaulted with a barrage of disjointed messages that don’t dovetail into the sales pipeline and the businesses over-arching strategy.

So apply some old fashion logic and “think before you speak,” jumping on the bandwagon “because everyone’s doing it,” can get you into trouble if you’re not intentional about having a plan first. & Importantly Two ears, one mouth. 

What I mean is read and take note of the conversations taking place about your business both good and bad and react properly, timely and thoughtfully. 

2. Broadcasting – Too much talking not enough listening

The traditional advertising model, sending messages to create brand awareness, hasn’t worked in the social marketing arena.  You need to engage and interest your audience in this arena; Recent statics reveal the 3 most important reasons small businesses leverage social media are:

  • Connecting with customers
  • Visibility
  • Self-promotion

It’s important that businesses focus on connecting with customers, make them feel special and wanted by you. Because if you can connect with prospects / customers by offering helpful solutions / advice  / insights you will be able to WIN SHARE OF MIND and that leads to SHARE OF WALLET. 

3. No one’s home

No posts, no responses, no activity whatsoever. An obvious risk is consumers will dismiss your brand as irrelevant and seek a competitor; equally concerning, this kind of presence leaves a company vulnerable to negative comments or customer’s expecting answers and being frustrated.

Take why the social marketing strategy has to be thought out and implemented properly. Don’t leave it to the junior in the office to post on her way home! Make integral to your sales and marketing plan and see where each post / blog fits along the sales pipeline.

Almost 60% of people worldwide say they expect brands to respond to social media comments regarding service at least most of the time, according to a new report. (Source: Mashable)

All it all it might seem too much, too difficult but with a little understanding and patience, Social Media marketing can make a massive difference to your bottom Line. 

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Are the 4P’s still relevant in today’s digital marketing mix

Are the 4 P’s still working today in digital marketing today?

I still remember my first week at Ten10 Communications in London, thinking I had arrived in the big, bright world of advertising and marketing and how I was bound to become one of those creative ad men who would create something truly unique or be overseeing wonderful commercials being shot in the sun.

I travel home each night eager to learn something new exciting and that first week it was the 4 P’s of marketing. Price, Product, Promotion, Placement.

My Account Manager give my their CIM workbook. Over the next twelve months it became my foundation stone all my campaign logic was based on those principles.

Nearly twenty years later though the question has to be asked? Do they still form the foundation of today’s marketing mix?

So let’s quickly review what they meant;

Product
What product is offered by British Telecom? It is certainly much more than the cables and telephone hand- sets which they provide. It is communication, reassurance when you call an elderly relative, happiness when you receive a call from somebody you love, excitement when you hear good news and sadness when you hear bad, and relief when he says he will come round at 10.00pm on Sunday night. Similarly a hotel is much more than a place to stay to sleep and eat. It may be a surrogate home when you are away on business, a haven of refuge when you are stranded, or a prison if you find yourself caught up in, say, the Gulf conflict. It may be a place to relax, to work, to entertain or be entertained, to confer or just to lie around in the sun. Deciding what business you are in, what your product is, is one of the key issues of marketing and to decide, you need information from your customers.

Promotion
Promotion is about telling people what you have to offer. It is not entirely separate from the product because what is said and how it is said influences how the product is seen. You sell ‘the sizzle not the sausages’, you certainly do not sell ‘carbonated water with vegetable extracts’, you sell Coke with all the images of sun, youth, vitality, and world-wide harmony.
Promotion includes advertising but also includes direct mail, public relations, printed brochures, presence at travel trade shows, and participation in joint marketing schemes. Promotion can be very expensive and it is often difficult to decide whether or not it is successful.

Price
Price is the one element in the marketing mix, which is what the 4 Ps are called, which provides revenue. The other three involve cost, which may explain why marketing is less popular than it might be. Price is often determined by the cost, with a margin being added to yield a profit or return on the investment. Marketing, however, would recommend using price strategically to help to achieve the goals of the business, varying the price according to the level of demand and the willingness of the market to pay the price. Marketing is about giving each product or business its ‘unique selling proposition’ so that it is different from all competitive products and can command a premium price.
Price is also an indicator of quality, particularly for the first time buyer, and while it remains so, subsequent purchases are much more concerned with judgement of value for money.

Placement
Place really means distribution. You can buy a packet of tissues almost anywhere but the places where you can buy tourism are relatively few. Nor is tourism very well packaged in the domestic market: It is much easier to buy an all-inclusive holiday abroad than to buy one in the UK.

Definition provided by Stuart Riley -Marketing Dept of Lancaster University.

So what as changed if anything?

Well for starter one of my hero’s, Philip Kotler started to talk about the 4C’s. Place has become Convenience to our end users. Customers are now truly king, with the ability to where and when they purchase. Retailing is now all about click and mortar, online is now driven by social media pages. Social media phenomenons like Groupon are changign the face of localised placement.

But there is still placement. You still need to place you product / service somewhere but it’s now dictated by the customer. They are choosing where and how to buy your products and you need to reactive positively to that interaction.

Price has become the in so ways the COST to the consumer. Traditionally it was the revenue making element of the 4 P’s. However, now you have to consider how that perceived cost would affect the purchasers decision making process. What is meant by this is, if they hadn’t brought your product what could they brought instead.

A brand new car for instance give the would be purchaser a great deal of alternative choices. Holiday / Luxury goods etc. So the Price / Cost has to be measured in line with the alternatives and opportunities that exist.

Promotion is Communication. If anything little as changed here, you still need to promote your product / service to your target audience. Though what is changing is how we do that and the rise of brand advocates in that communication process.

It’s no longer all about push communications but more importantly pull communications that our target audience generate themselves through their own activities and peer communications. I have been talking about ALL MEDIA CUSTOMER ENGINEERING for over ten years. Is there true consistency of brand / core differentials / messaging etc across all your brands touch points?

If the answer is no, then that where mis-communication takes place and create confusion because you are not controlling the messages.

Finally, Product became Needs and Wants for the customer. The mentality has changed, it’s no longer about ‘if you build it, they will come”. You have to understand what your target audience wants and desires.

So in summary, the 4 P’s are still there and form must strategic marketing but they’ve changed. The reason, we’ve changed and are continuing to change too.