3 Steps Marketing Executives Can Take to Defend The Marketing Budget
Can we all agree that marketing sometimes seems hard to quantify or justify?
Even with all the tools that are available nowadays to track funnels (impressions, engagements, clicks, and online sales) you might still think that there are better ways to use a budget to grow a business.
You might have questions like:
Why spend money on Instagram if we are a B2B company?
Nobody buys a large-ticket services just from reading a blog, why should I do content marketing?
You and I are on the same team. Left-brained people, for better or worse, think primarily in binary terms. 1s and 0s. Yes or No. Black or white. Sale or no sale.
For this reason, we like to have goals, design and execute a process to achieve these, and get things done that we can quantify. It’s just like Peter Drucker said, “If it can be measured, it can be managed” right? Well… it depends (of course I would say that because I’m a consultant).
Don’t get me wrong. I love all the tools we have to quantify marketing efforts because it helps me justify what I do (especially coming from an Economics and Finance background). But in order to create memorable brand experiences, I’ve had to make friends with my right brain and so should you if you want to make investments that generate value not just for today but for years to come.
There are only 3 things you need to do to be successful in business. These are things people have been talking about for years and are not a secret. You need to get people to:
It’s simple, but not easy.
The thing is that you already know how to do that, you’ve been doing it for years in your personal life. Now, you just need to make a couple of adjustments to transfer that skill to your business life.
How to Make Friends to Grow Your Business
Do you remember back in high school when you used to plan to get together or go out with your friends somewhere?
Most likely, you always had a core group. These were your buddies. A group of 3 of 4 friends that would go everywhere together. One way or another, this core group was always part of any activity.
There were other friends that were part of the group too. They would join some of these activities, but they were not so tight, they were not “uña y mugre” like we used to say in Venezuela.
Sometimes, it would happen that some of this “other friends” wouldn’t get invited to some of the activities. Not because you didn’t like them, it just so happened that everyone forgot to tell them. Once you were doing the activity something reminded you of them… but it was already too late to make the invitation.
You probably said that “next time” you would invite them for sure. And sometimes you did, but other times you forgot again.
Yet, the core group was always there because they were “top of mind” when thinking about making a plan. It is exactly the same effect you want to have as a business. But it takes time.
Think back to those core friends, why were they your buddies? Most likely, because you had a lot of experiences together. Meaningful experiences that are part of who you are today. These are experiences that changed you in many ways and that you will not forget anytime soon.
How can we create this same effect for our business? How can we build meaningful relationships with our potential clients?
Building Meaningful Professional Relationships
You’ve probably heard this before, but to create meaningful professional relationships you need to create value together.
Think back to your teenage buddies. You were buddies because you had fun together and engaged in activities that were valuable for both. Playing sports, video games, watching movies, going to parties, or road trips, these are all experiences that are memorable because of the value that was created through that engagement.
Also, it was not just one of those experiences, it was the combination and the momentum that was created that lead to tight friendships. It takes a lot of investment to get that ball rolling, but once it’s going it will be very difficult to stop it.
I bet you might have lost touch with some of your teenage buddies but if they call you right now asking for help, most likely you will do what you can to help.
Let’s take it back to the business world.
Get People to Know You
This step is simple nowadays because we have social media.
Creating simple content, that educates and entertains, it’s an efficient way to get people to know you. That is why you see so many accounts posting quotes with a template that uses their branding. Because a lot of people can relate to valuable quotes, and by posting these with your branding, it allows people to get to know you and understand what you are all about.
Yes, no one is going to buy your products or your services just because you post a nice quote with your logo next to it. But that is not the goal of this step. First, we just want people to get to know you.
At some point, these bite-sized pieces of content could be quotes from your own long-form pieces of content. If you have many digital assets (blogs, e-guides, case studies, white papers, industry reports), you could repurpose some of that content to use it at the top of your funnel.
Get People to Like You
Long-form content is a great way to get people to like you and set the stage to build trust.
What are the most common questions potential clients have about your products or services?
What about the most common challenges they are facing that your products/services solve?
Is there a way you can help your client take step 1, or solve a minor problem they are facing, for free in a scalable way?
Let’s say you are a consultant, and you usually have 30 min free consultation calls. You should be documenting and measuring these calls. If at some point you see a common theme that emerges, then you could write a blog post answering those most-common questions with details and actionable information.
What about the most common questions/challenges that you help solve your clients? Is there a way you can share a bit of your process? That would be another great blog. For example, this blog fits into this category. I’m sharing some valuable and actionable information that you can use to design your marketing funnel.
You might think… “If this is what people pay you to do, why share it for free?”, and the answer to that is that when I go through this process with a client there is a lot more research and personalization that occurs. Here I’m just sharing a framework that you could use, but you still have to put in the hours of research, brainstorming, designing and executing a strategy.
When clients pay us, we do everything from research, to execution and analytics to make the necessary adjustments to achieve the goals set in our strategy.
Yet, someone that doesn’t have a clear marketing funnel will get value from this article or at least will understand what are the right questions to ask and how to start building meaningful professional relationships.
Brand Promise & Voice
In life, you are friends with other people because you have things in common. You like the same TV series, you like the same books, you like the same activities, you like the same sports teams… it’s no different in business.
It is for this reason that you have to develop a clear brand promise and a unique voice. Both of these take time and effort. The first one requires you to look deep inside the values and principles of your business to understand what makes you different. That way, you can understand and communicate what’s the purpose of your business and why you do what you do. The second one requires you to consistently deliver on your brand promise, and this takes time.
Get People to Trust You
If you do everything that we’ve mentioned so far, building trust is just a matter of time. In simple terms, trust is built when people have a clear understanding of what they can expect from you.
The first two steps, getting people to know you and to like you, can be done fairly quick. A robust marketing strategy can be developed in 2 to 4 weeks. But developing trust takes at least 6 months, and sometimes even years.
In terms of digital assets, it takes about 6 months for Google to pick up any SEO efforts and start ranking your content. It is for this reason that the best moment to have started executing an integrated digital marketing strategy was 6 months ago… the second-best moment to start is today.
Send us a message if you would like to have a conversation about how we can help elevate your brand by getting people to know you, like you, and trust you.