As we approach the end of the year with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is a good time to reflect. The question on every marketer’s mind should be “Has my marketing been naughty or nice this year?”
To determine the answer, begin with sales. Did you meet or beat your sales goals in 2014? Or did your company miss the mark?
If you beat your numbers, congratulations – your marketing has been nice! Skip the rest of this post, take a nice vacation and work on your tan until you return early next year to find out how you can do even better in 2015.
However, if you did not meet your sales goals, then your marketing has most likely been naughty! If your marketing behaved badly in 2014, this is a great time to understand why – and chart a new course for 2015. What went wrong? What can be improved upon? How can you discipline your naughty marketing to get that vacation at the end of next year?
3 Major Areas to Consider
Was your positioning differentiated, clear and concise? Did your value proposition directly address your customers’ needs and pains? Were your strengths relative to the competition clearly illustrated and called out? Did you generate “air cover” for sales? Did you get the word out effectively through different channels such press, owned websites, social media, advertising campaigns, search, events and mobile initiatives?
Did you segment and target the right prospects, buyers and personas? Was your lead generation effective and valued by the sales team? Did you educate and nurture the valuable prospects throughout your funnel? Were they placed in the proper and most relevant nurture tracks? Was the right message delivered to the right prospect at the right time?
Did you provide sales with accurate and complete data about prospective customers? Did you help the sales team accurately prioritize prospects with a lead score? Was your pricing simple to understand yet competitive and logical? Did you make strategic partnerships to add value to your customers? Are you using systems and data effectively to support and strengthen the relationship between marketing and sales?
If the answer to many or most of these questions is NO, you probably have a lot of work ahead to clean up your naughty marketing!
Luckily, you now have a rough outline for how to get your marketing off the naughty list in 2015. Whether you are struggling with branding, lead generation, or sales enablement there are many great solutions to get you on track. Try boosting your SEO, look into loyalty and gamification technology, or explore predictive lead scoring and marketing applications.
If you are looking for some inspiration, check out what some successful modern marketers are doing here:
- Interview with Katja Gagen, General Catalyst Partners
- Interview with Kevin Scott, Cisco
- Panel Discussion with Michael Ballard (Lenovo), Katja Gagen (General Catalyst Partners), Brian Goffman (LinkedIn), Lisa Joy Rosner (Neustar)
- Panel Discussion with Sophie Shiatis (Neustar), Blake Harris (OpenView Venture Partners), Eric-Jan Schmidt (Hitachi Data Systems)