Market One Blog

The 4 Keys To Building An Inbound Internet Marketing Campaign

Posted by Paul Patrizi on Wed, Oct 12, 2016 @ 06:48

Terms like “conversion assists” and “analytical measurement” sound more like a science experiment than marketing components to many marketing executives.  Traditionally more focused on strategy vs. operations and analytics, many marketers are still intimidated by the thought of introducing an inbound internet campaign, let alone new technology into their company.

This blog is designed to provide you with the required building blocks to developing a successful inbound internet campaign and ensure long-term success for you and your organization.  

Your Tool Kit For Building An Inbound Internet Campaign    ToolBox2.png

Developing and implementing an effective inbound internet campaign requires specific expertise in four top areas:  

1. Hybrid Talent

2. Insight and segmentation

3. Digital capabilities

4. Tools and measurement

Hybrid Talent 

As marketers, we are often directed simply to drive leads and sales without an established strategy or plan.  But in today’s environment, buyers repeatedly demonstrate that campaigns designed to accelerate a buying decision simply are not good enough. Compared to only a decade ago, what’s needed in the B2B marketing department is a different skill set – skills heavily focused on the buyer persona, not on the product or service. This makes the alignment of sales and marketing even more critical than ever before.  Marketers must be more web savvy; educated in social behavior on the web and how those behaviors and attitudes translate to future buying decisions. Lead nurturers must also be comfortable with data and the analytics that generate the insight on how to adapt campaigns based on the buyers digital behavior.  They must have the ability to leverage the tools that are available today. Finally, marketers embarking on a digital campaign need to be focused on return on marketing investment and measurement – both online and offline – to be able to justify costs over the entire sales cycle.  Inbound internet campaigns require a team of hybrid talent that include: 

 

The Intellectual:

The big time experienced B2B strategist who has navigated rough waters in prior lives

The Penman:

The one who is at ease writing tons of content for blogs, social media, web pages and sophisticated content for ThoughtPapers, articles and more

The Socialite:

The social marketing guru who knows how to manage the social scene like Don Juan

The Explorer:

You guessed it, this is the one who knows search like you know your balance sheet.  The expert in SEO, PPC’s, optimization, keyword management and more.

The Techie:

This one knows how to put high tech software like HubSpot into high gear

The Architect:

This skill set builds and manages websites at lightning speed

 

 This team of traditional and digital hybrid professionals will leverage the dynamic landscape of the new marketing frontier. 

Consider challenging your organization with these questions:  How digitally literate is the organization? How many team members have experience in the social media space? How many are genuinely enthusiastic and creative in new media?  How many member embrace big data and rich analytics?  You can get there.  It just might take some time. 

Insight and Segmentation 

In today’s digital world, marketers need to identify and segment prospective buyers in ways that allow them to create relevant messaging and react to the prospect’s behavior and level of engagement. Understanding the buyers persona and value expectations is the basis for determining allowable spend, which is the amount a firm can afford to spend to acquire or reclaim a customer. Understanding value and timing also helps determine how much time to invest in the inbound marketing process. In inbound marketing, there is an inherent need to understand prospective buyers in ways that facilitate buyer value assessment, forecast digital behavior, persona segmentation and engagement analytics. In addition, buyer value assessment helps determine how much to spend on nurturing an individual target. Most B2B companies have trouble understanding these relationships which represents both their greatest opportunity for growth, profit, and retention, and their greatest risk of attrition. Buyer value can be calculated any number of ways but the simplest and most direct approach is to identify the spend appetite which a company budgets in a particular product/service category as well as how much they allocate to the marketer’s firm. Companies that are top category spenders – and which align with the marketer’s solutions – can translate to high-value prospects most easily. 

Common B2B segmentation matrixes are based on company size or region, type of industry, title/role and products manufactured because these factors align with the structure of their sales organizations.  Please keep in mind that there can be vast differences between companies and buyers in such groups. Other, more effective factors upon which to segment include behaviors and needs. Segmenting behaviors and needs enables marketers to move prospects through the nurturing channel faster by delivering the right message to the right buyer in the right context at the right time. 

Segmentation can be a tedious process but one that will deliver the best overall results when conducting inbound marketing campaigns. 

Digital Capabilities 

In today’s technology driven economy, digital capabilities are a must for marketers in every B2B  environment.  Each day, B2B consumers are flocking to the web to evaluate products and services, and to contribute to the conversation themselves. While this is not breaking news, it suggests a change in focus as marketers realize the need to adopt digital platforms. Content marketing is of key importance in digital nurturing programs as each communication must be relevant, timely, and provide value to the prospect in a way that goes beyond selling. Content should consist of thought leadership pieces that evoke engagement and action, sprinkled with a bit of self promotion.  Consider repurposing existing digital assets – widgets, games, online apps, and benchmarking and assessment tools – as content marketing pieces. Remember that relevancy drives conversion.  In B2B environments, the buying cycle is greatly influenced by community, and in the online space this is hotter than ever. Companies are finding ways to position themselves to prospective customers in the places in which they form opinions. As such, communities can be an important part of the nurturing process. Digital communication allows marketers to gather information that helps tailor messaging to convert prospects into customers faster. Combining targeted content with sophisticated marketing automation software, communities can be positively effected in ways that supercharge digital direct nurturing efforts. It is important to note that communities help create trust and credibility. A company can benefit from communities by tailoring messaging to convert prospects into customers faster. 

It is also important to note that offline channels still have a role to play – the key is to integrate offline with online efforts. Multi-channel marketing can extend a company’s reach and deepen the value of their brand.  For example, a nurturing program might include direct mail, phone calls and emails to a qualified prospect to promote relevant events or thought leadership pieces, or offer a special incentive – each communication driving responders to a landing page where their engagement is captured which will establish the next step in the nurturing process. 

Tools & Measurement 

Integral to any direct digital campaign, certain systems need to be put into place to enable a productive Inbound marketing program. Considerations include having the ability to drive segmentation into campaigns. As marketers begin to score and model prospects and customers, the database must be capable of accommodating this data. A company’s ability to capture and use self-reported, company profile and behavioral insight data will greatly impact the way it will target, spend, and communicate to its nurturing groups. To be an effective lead nurturer, a company also needs the ability to watch engagement so that it can change messaging quickly and efficiently. Marketers will need appropriate layers of web analytics and engagement monitoring software such as HubSpot, Marketo and Eloqua to determine how and when people respond, and what drives that response. Marketers also need to be able to score leads by blending self-reported data, behavioral data, and value or propensity modeling. Scoring systems should accommodate the use of point systems that allow for flexible scoring and reporting.  This is typically driven by a prospects digital footprint or sometimes also referred to as their digital behavior.  Another key inbound marketing tool is the ability to integrate information derived from existing automation applications. Because nurturing involves data from both up and down the funnel, marketers need to have visibility into leads that are accepted and worked or rejected and not worked by the sales team. This relationship between marketing and sales systems is crucial in that marketers need to know when a lead converts as well as when a lead becomes inactive thus maximizing the efficiency of the sales team. 

Some common questions you might want to ask your marketing team include:  Is there a system in place to flag rejected and dormant leads and assess their viability for further nurturing? • How can marketing monitor and leverage what prospects and customers are saying about the company online? • Is the data toolset flexible enough to enable gathering, reporting and using the data needed to drive meaningful engagement and action with leads, even as the nature of the data changes with the ever-evolving digital medium? 

Taking the time to research, integrate and gain knowledge on a specific technology set will go a long way in the effectiveness of your nurturing programs.   

Conclusion

In its basic form, building a successful inbound internet campaign requires the execution of certain activities as well as the right people and tools.  These include: 1. Hybrid Talent 2. Insight and segmentation 3. Digital capabilities 4. Tools and measurement

For more information, contact us directly at [email protected] or download our white paper “Marketing Automation…Not All Leads are Created Equal”.

Topics: inbound, marketing, marketing tips