Performance Marketing Blog

Setting marketing goals for 2014- be sure they are SMART

Posted by Natalie Young

Dec 16, 2013 12:09:00 PM

smart goals in marketingWith 2013 winding to a close, it’s time to get a jump start on next year and begin setting marketing goals for 2014. While it may seem like a simple task, you need to take time to identify your professional ambitions and pinpoint specific methods that you’ll use to accomplish your objectives. As you sit down to brainstorm about your marketing approach for 2014, keep in mind some “SMART” ideas to make the process easier.

  • SPECIFIC - Be very detailed in setting marketing goals for 2014. Instead of just vowing to turn a higher profit as compared to 2013, lay out the steps you’ll take to increase your sales. For example, pledge to make ten more phone calls than the previous week or post two blog entries per day. You might want to start with a summary of the goals you want to achieve, followed by specific numbers that will help you accomplish them.
  • MEASUREABLE - Make your marketing goals quantitative instead of using broad strokes or general terms like “more” and “better.” Website metrics and online tools can help you determine where additional effort is necessary to improve your sales. If you find that certain traffic is driven to your site via one particular source, devote more resources to exploit the phenomenon. It might be helpful to categorize your goals into appropriate segments, such as website updates as separate from social media posts and blog entries.
  • ATTAINABLE - Be realistic when setting marketing goals for 2014, instead of chasing a pipe dream that will result in failure. Avoid challenges that would be impossible, too complicated or simply impractical to attain. Make sure your vision is achievable with hard work, not one that requires you to move mountains or develop super powers.
  • REALISTIC - No one knows you and your business better than yourself, so be honest when setting marketing goals for 2014. If you’ve had failures in the past and found that accomplishing certain goals is simply out of reach, it’s a waste of resources to continue. While it may be a goal you want to achieve, chasing an impossible dream won’t result in sales or increased profits. Your efforts are better focused elsewhere, on goals that you're confident you can complete with appropriate efforts and a reasonable time frame
  • TIMEBOUND - Stick with a deadline when establishing marketing goals in the New Year, rather than just promising to accomplish them as soon as possible. Based on your experience, you should be able to pinpoint the amount of time each of your goals will take to achieve. Add to this period the delays and issues that will inevitably arise, and you can establish a time frame to help you stay true to your goals. Commit to this schedule, stay motivated, and increase your efforts if you haven't hit your goal as the deadline rolls around. It's smart to incorporate the agenda into your calendar so you're alerted in advance and can concentrate resources on accomplishing what you aim to do.

It may be time consuming and require you to step outside your professional comfort zone, but setting marketing goals for 2014 is a necessary part of moving into the New Year. Just as with any significant undertaking, success results only from the proper investment of time and resources as you plan the next phase.

If you are interested in getting a free marketing assessment - contact us here!
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Topics: increase sales, HubSpot Tips, Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, business marketing, effective marketing

Create Marketing People Will LOVE...new tools for marketing!

Posted by Natalie Young

Sep 4, 2012 11:03:00 AM

Marketing is getting more complicated. Take a look at history - it used to be a blend of Newspapers, Telemarketing, Direct Mail and Trade Shows. These days - the choices are plentiful and for small and medium sized businesses, those choices can get more technical and therefore, more confusing; websites, social media, email marketing, call to actions, landing pages, and more.

Additionally - it used to be that you kept all your contacts in a rolodex. (remember those?) Today, with multiple tools and social media tools - marketers most valuable asset - the prospect list - can become disorganized, inconsistent and incomplete.

marketing contacts solutionThis week at Inbound 2012, we've just seen the release of a tool that can help centralize your database all in one location. No more Excel spreadsheets, downloading, merging, uploading etc.

Imagine that you login to your contacts database - where you can you locate your contacts basic information, but now - using our new tools - you can see an entire history of every interaction they've had with your company. You can see which website pages they've visited, which product brochures they've downloaded, what social media interactions they've had and more!

With this new tool, you'll have the most scaleable, powerful marketing database ever created. No other system lets you maintain and work with all this data. It's the only database you'll ever want or need.

Oh yea...one more thing about the contacts database - it has a mobile app, so you can take your contacts wherever you go! Check out this cool screen shot....hubspot iphone app resized 600

And the best part - that's just one of the hundreds of tools that we have to offer small and medium sized businesses. Here's just a peek at some other bullet points: 

  • A new way to segment and nurture your leads.
  • It's easier than ever to build engage your website visitors and capture their info.
  • Create forms on your website that recognize repeat visitors.
  • Personalize offers for each visitor.
  • Turn social media into a powerful channel.
  • Email marketing without using a separate tool.
  • Integrate with your CRM and close deals faster.
If you'd like to schedule a demo for how we can kickstart your marketing and streamline your sales process...68e3e1ac-c172-47d9-81db-f84cdb542633
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Topics: lead nurturing, lead generation, increase sales, HubSpot Tips, marketing, Inbound Marketing

B2B Online Marketing to create more leads – 6 Significant Hints

Posted by Natalie Young

Jul 19, 2012 1:39:00 PM

new-media-marketingRemember when marketing meant a well-developed direct mail campaign, attending a few well-chosen trade shows, prospecting for new customers with cold calls and keeping in touch with your customers via personal sales calls. Those days are gone. Today's business executive has a myriad of products and services competing for her attention via the Internet. If you're not making the most of b2b online marketing, you're losing customers.

Fortunately, there are several easy ways to ramp up your b2b online marketing effort quickly and inexpensively. Below are just a few ideas:

1.  Create and maintain a blog. Every business needs a blog...a regularly updated blog. This gives you an instant way to share information with your existing and prospective customers. If you don't have time to write the blog yourself, you can hire a freelance writer to help you for a reasonable rate

2.  Embrace social media. The phenomenon that is Facebook has changed the way businesses market to consumers and to each other. What began as a way for college students to keep track of their friends has evolved into the greatest marketing tool in history. And, it's free.  There are more than 750 million active users on the site. Where else could you get this kind of exposure?

3. Make your website interactive. If your website does not give your prospects a way to interact - you may be missing out on converting them to customers. Call to Action buttons and custom tailored landing pages can raise the ROI on your website and help to pinpoint those prospects that are ready to buy.

4.  Learn about SEO. SEO--Search Engine Optimization--is the art and science of getting your Web site ranked in the first few pages of a Google search. Simply put - if you want to get found for specific key words - every page on your web site should be "optimized" to contain these words. If your clients search Google and find your competitors, you may need some fine tuning in this area.

5.  Create an email list. Give your Web site visitors the option to be on your mailing list. Do not underestimate the value of an email address in today's marketplace. Your email list is your sales funnel and it's vital to stay in touch on a regular basis.

6.  Write and publish online press releases. Another useful b2b online marketing approach is to write and publish press releases about your product or service. Did your company recently will an award?  Are you launching a new product? Let other businesses know by writing a press release and posting it on a site such as PR Newswire.
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Topics: lead nurturing, lead generation, increase sales, HubSpot Tips, Hubspot, Content Marketing, marketing, marketing services, B2B

What do Preschoolers know about Inbound Marketing?

Posted by Natalie Young

Sep 20, 2011 9:01:00 AM



My three-year old twins just started preschool. They will get to do fun things like show and tell day. The other day my kids took their pull-line flying saucer toy to show and tell, which proved to be an instant hit with the other kids. 

Marketing tools

My twins didn’t have to force the other kids in their Preschool Class to play with the flying saucer. They did not have to "push" their classmates to listen to long explanations about the toy. All they had to do was show them how fun it was to play with the flying saucer.  

Then, it occurred to me that Inbound Marketing works in sorta the same way. A proper inbound marketing plan can pull your target market towards you and your products. It can spark curiosity about you and your brand...just like show and tell. When you have people’s curiosity you don’t really need to force the sale. 

Let’s lay out an example from a recent client. The client is a music school and they had a website but it was not generating leads. We looked into our “toy box” and started applying SEO, informational blogging, landing pages, and call to action buttons. After 1 year – here are some of the results:

·         Grew customer base by 400%

·         Nearly tripled number of teachers

·         Tremendously reduced paid search expenses

·         Grew organic traffic 10x in less than a year, from 60 visits in September to over 600 visits in June.

Incorporating a tailored inbound marketing plan will increase your brand exposure. Here are the take-away points:

  • Your website is the "playground" for your prospects and clients.
  • Just like those kids in preschool - share your toys and your target will come to the playground.
  • If you don't show and tell - they won't know you exist.
  • If you don't have a way to capture those interested in your product (landing pages, webinars, product information, videos), they will leave your playground.
  • If they leave your playground - they WILL find another (your competition)

A well-designed marketing plan can attract customers to your brand and do it within your advertising budget. To learn about starting your Inbound Marketing strategy stay tuned for future blog posts on this topic. Our goal is to help market your brand using marketing tools to help you "get found" by your prospects, "Convert" those prospects into leads, and then "analyze" the data so you know what's working.

 Natalie Young Inbound Marketer, marketing consultant

 

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Topics: lead nurturing, lead generation, increase sales, HubSpot Tips, Hubspot, Content Marketing, marketing, marketing services, B2B, branding

Inbound Marketing Summit 2011

Posted by Natalie Young

Sep 14, 2011 6:40:00 PM

Today is my wedding anniversary and I'm on a plane (by myself) headed for Boston. My husband has always been uber supportive of my career, but now more than ever - even on our sacred day - he can see the excitement that Inbound Marketing has brought to my agency. This week in Boston, Inbound Marketers, experts in marketing innovation, acclaimed marketing strategists, and thought leaders are gathering to discuss ideas, concepts, strategies and more! I plan on spending two days working on advanced strategies to: ~learn creative ways to use content you've already created ~Learn new and creative inbound solutions that you can implement immediately ~learn easier ways to set your up for success and fast! Some of the specific topics that I will be tackling will be: ~How to Create Offers That Convert ~How to Increase Customer Conversion Rates ~Engaging Leads with Email and Lead Nurturing ~How to Turn More Leads Into Your Best Customers. By sharing the goals, challenges and stories of real world experience I will be armed with more innovative ideas for those clients who have chosen to harness the power of the Internet rather than sticking with traditional ideas that are no longer getting the results businesses need to be successful. Stay tuned for my follow up when I can't wait to start sharing some new ideas for how to market your business using best practices for online marketing success. The early adopters of this methodology can look forward to growing success, more leads, more customers, advanced lead nurturing, and higher revenue. Oh, one more thing, thanks honey for watching the kids!
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Topics: lead nurturing, lead generation, increase sales, HubSpot Tips, Hubspot, Content Marketing, marketing, marketing services, B2B

"Traditional Marketing" vs. "New Marketing" Which is Better?

Posted by Natalie Young

Aug 10, 2011 11:46:00 AM

As a marketing consultant, I walk clients through new marketing strategies that may feel uncomfortable. The fact is that ‘change’ – though uncomfortable – is inevitable especially in marketing.

Recently a client asked:

I've been hearing a lot of talk about "traditional marketing" versus the "new marketing." What is considered traditional marketing and how does new marketing differ from the old way of doing things? And which is better?

—Kate, business owner

 

The designation may simply be explained by a new way of delivering the information to clients.

  • Traditional marketing is “outbound. It’s sending out brochures, advertising, billboards, phone calls, hoping that someone will have a need at the exact moment that we reach out to them. Traditional marketing has also been called “interruption marketing”

  • New marketing is “inbound”. It’s getting found by your prospects when they have a need for your product. Inbound marketing is on their terms, when they are ready.

 

Consider the following facts:

  • More than half of all US residents and more than ¾ of all US adults are online.1

  • One third of US consumers spend at least 3 hours online every day.2

  • More & more of the things we used to do offline, like product research and getting news, we now do online.

The Internet has fundamentally changed the way in which people find, discover, share, shop, & connect. Today’s buyers don’t want to be sold, they want to reach out and find you. They want to interact with your website, download information, read what you have to say, and ultimately buy when they are ready.

 

So which is better? Let's take a look at Inbound Marketing Effectiveness vs. Outbound Marketing Effectiveness on the following graph:

Inbound graph resized 600 

INBOUND MARKETING TACTICS

So how, as a business owner, can you use Inbound Marketing? The answers lie in new delivery methods. Inbound marketing tactics are things like SEO, blogging, social media, website lead generation and lead nurturing. Additionally, these tactics are more cost-effective than traditional forms of outbound marketing. The most important part of Inbound Marketing tactics vs. Traditional tactics is that these new methods are more MEASURABLE. Marketers are shifting their budgets, and seeing measurable results. And that’s when new marketing gets fun.

 costperlead resized 600

THE INBOUND MARKETING PROCESS

The inbound marketing process involves three main steps: Get found > Convert > Analyze. It’s a way of connecting with clients and qualified prospects, and then converting them to new customers. B2B marketing veteran Ron Fink summarized the 6 benefits of Inbound Marketing in this way:

 

  • Consumer engagement fosters the customer relationship by enabling customers to interact with one another, a company or a brand.

  • Consumer empowerment adds value by giving consumers a voice, which can result in collaboration, insight and innovation.

  • Results measurement works with an inbound marketing system that has an established set of performance analytics.

  • Digital asset integration enhances the consumer experience at all touch points in the buying process.

  • Resource efficiencies allocate marketing resources to those activities that provide the greatest ROI.

  • Organizational connectivity enables functional areas to work seamlessly to reflect a focus on what they sell and support.

 

In summary – Inbound Marketing is proving to be the better choice of interaction for today's buyers. Embrace change because the only real failure is to live life without it. 

Take away point - Your prospects are on your doorstep; help invite them in. Adding a healthy dose of inbound tactics to the marketing mix can help boost results in a digital world

 

 

  • 1BLOGHER, APRIL 2011, PEW RESEARCH, MAY 2010, US CENSUS BUREAU, MAY 2011

  • 2THE MEDIA AUDIT, OCTOBER 2010

  • 3HubSpot's Inbound Internet Marketing Blog

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Topics: lead generation, increase sales, HubSpot Tips, Hubspot, Content Marketing, marketing services

Content Marketing - 3 tips to make it easier

Posted by Natalie Young

Jul 19, 2011 10:56:00 AM

Are you struggling to find new leads? If so, you've probably considered doing something new and different like Search Engine Marketing (SEO). After all, you paid a lot of money to have your web site built. Why aren't the leads flooding in?

Let's take a minute to discuss content marketing, lead generation and getting traffic to your web site. A recent report published by Marketing Sherpa shows that content creation sits on top of the heap when it comes to the most effective means of getting leads to your web site. (see chart below)

Most effective SEO tactics chart 1 resized 600

Content creation or Content Marketing is like a handshake with a new acquaintance. It's the proverbial "hand" that you stick out there on the internet when welcoming new leads to your company. Your prospects are on Google searcing for products. If you've placed your web site on the internet and never go back and use that tool - you're missing out. Web sites today should be interactive lead generating machines. They should provide a a place where conversations happen and prospects can find information and then ask for more with the click of a mouse. Web sites should not remain static.

The other side of the coin is that creating content for your web site is hard to do. It ranks low in popularity by marketers with only 60% of marketers using it. We've created a list here on how to make this job of "creating Content" easier:

1. Answer most common questions:

Every sales person has common questions asked by prospects. These questions get asked time and again. Why not answer these questions in a blog? Create a post or even a multi-page white paper answering these questions on your web site. Don't be afraid that you're giving away the farm - the serious prospects will read and research and will still need your help in the end. The not-so-serious prospects will not call nor will they fill out a form on your web site. That's ok.

 

2. Don't be afraid to list detailed information on your products including price. Prospects are out there asking questions. If you don't answer them - your competitors will!

 

3. Post blogs every week! It's vital to getting found by Google. The more "fresh" content you have on your web site, the easier it will be to be ranked on Google. This also keeps your prospects involved with you. It's like an ongoing conversation with your clients and prospects. If you blog 52 times per year - that's 52 new pages for Google to scan and rank. Within 6 months time you should see an increase in traffic to your site.

 

Content Marketing is just one of the many tools that will help you turn your web site into a lead generating machine. We even have are tools that can help "push" that information simultaneously to your blog, your Facebook page, your Twitter account and more.

If you're interested in seeing where your web site ranks against your competitors...we offer a free analysis: 

Click me

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Topics: lead generation, increase sales, HubSpot Tips, Hubspot, Content Marketing, marketing services

Marketing Help - How does your website rate against your competition?

Posted by Natalie Young

Apr 27, 2011 1:51:00 PM

Edit     Remove

Part of every marketing and promotion budget must include funds set aside for your website. In order to stay current, having a web site that is easy to change on a daily basis is becoming crucial.

describe the imageBefore spending money on making changes to your current web site, let us give you a FREE analysis (Valued at $500) on how your web site compares against your best known competitors.

This valuable insight can save you money by offering you tips from our experts. What will you learn from our analysis?

  • Your overall ranking against your competitors
  • Ways to improve your ranking
  • How intuitive is your web site to visitors?
  • Keyword ranking for search engine optimization
  • How ready are you for social media?
  • Is your site set up to capture leads? 
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Topics: lead generation, increase sales, HubSpot Tips, Hubspot

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