It’s Time to Build a Marketing Machine

Is it time to build a Marketing Machine … let’s examine the benefits.

marketing machine

The Best of Both Worlds

There’s marketing and there’s sales, and each has its pros and cons. To ensure your marketing and sales people work in concert with one another as teammates, like they should, you need a Marketing Machine.

A Marketing Machine combines the strengths of marketing and sales to create a powerful business development system – a combination of technology and process! First Direct Corp., a leading CRM expert and the top Solutions Partner for FrontRange Solutions, builds Marketing Machines using economical, readily available software products such as GoldMine, and integrated add-on products.

Marketing Pros & Cons

Marketing allows you to deliver compelling communications at the lowest possible cost per impression to a large audience via a variety of different media. Through repetition, marketing can build brand awareness and increase the odds of reaching a prospect with the right offer at the right time.

But marketing generally doesn’t consider the sales cycle; it hits target audiences all at once with the same communication. Many salespeople wonder what marketing really does to help them sell. Yet, when marketing does its job, salespeople can do a better job!

Sales Pros & Cons

Selling is one-to-one! Salespeople are generally better able to qualify leads, establish rapport, overcome objections, and close deals than marketing. Great follow-up is the hallmark of a great salesperson. Salespeople can follow a pattern which is right for each prospect. In other words, a letter can follow a call, after a week an email can follow the letter, then another mailing, maybe a fax, and so on. A salesperson can deviate from his or her pattern based on the consumer’s response or action.

However, sales is very expensive and has a lower capacity to reach to prospects/customers than marketing. Salespeople are a challenge to manage, to motivate, to train, and to retain. They’re also the most expensive way to sell, so businesses have to  make sure they are productive.

Three Links in a Chain

There are three parts to a powerful Marketing Machine: strategies, tactics and execution.  Like links in a chain, your Marketing Machine is only as strong as the weakest link. And, as in the definition of synergy, a Marketing Machine is more than the sum of its parts! The synergy is lost if any component (strategy, tactic, execution) of a Marketing Machine is deficient.

The three parts are as follows: one part strategy, one part tactic and one part execution.

Part 1 – Strategy

We need to begin with the end in mind, form strategies to achieve specific objectives.

Part II – Tactic

Tactics are tools that perform functions. And, as we know, form follows function, so when building your Marketing Machine it must be comprised of the tools that will perform the functions you will use to achieve your strategic objectives.  A Marketing Machine is built to perform many key marketing and sales activities:

1. Print personalized letters
2. Print one- up labels
3. Send personalized e-mails
4. Send personalized faxes
5. Schedule activities
6. Update/Add/Remove (to lists, data, etc.)

Part III – Execution

Finally, a Marketing Machine is only as good as its design and execution. The ability to anticipate important or relevant potentialities and then to build them into the design of the Marketing Machine is key!

Three Critical Success Factors

Marketing and sales both seek to trigger a positive response, a desired action on the part of the consumer. Three essential factors increase your chances for success:

1) Relevance – Advertising and sales must motivate the consumer to go through a series of doors. This is best known as the AIDA formula: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Your product or service’s benefits have to be appealing in the mind of our consumer. No need, no relevance – no appeal!
As marketers and salespeople, we must start with a clear understanding of who our target audience is. This understanding includes both knowing who they are and what emotional buttons we need to press to stimulate an action. In marketing, every inch of our copy – the headline, the body, the offer, and even the call to action – should be constructed with our audience in mind.

2) Compelling Value – The value proposition establishes to the prospect that the benefits we offer are priced competitively. Perceived value is adjusted down by the prospect for any perceived risk. Therefore it is essential to establish credibility, and give other assurances that the consumer will receive  the value we promise. Creating compelling value ultimately comes down to our “offer,” which is why  marketing experts focus heavily on improving this part of your message. It’s been said, “If you want to lift response, improve the offer.” Another expert puts it more succinctly for those whose marketing is not working … “It’s the offer, stupid!”

3) A Basis for Urgency – In marketing, later is never. If the consumer senses no urgency, they will wait. If they wait, there’s no assurance that they will return to you if and when there comes a time when the have an urgent need for what we have to offer. Marketing works better if we add elements that create urgency, rather than relying on the consumers’ independent level of urgency. Adding urgency is easy to do. Just create either scarcity or limited time, or both. Taking something away, even if it’s something we haven’t purchased yet, has a motivating affect all its own! No matter how well your Marketing Machine is designed, it still is no substitute for the three success factors above!

The Ultimate Problem – Timing is Everything!

We can accomplish all three success factors – relevance, compelling value, and built-in urgency – and still fail. Why? Because timing is every thing! If the message is too early or too late, it fails. If the message is not the focus of our consumers’ priorities when it reaches them, it fails. If the consumer can’t find us or remember us when they want to get more information or purchase what we offer, our previous efforts failed. Timing is everything!
So this challenge of “timing” begs the question: How then, do we manage to be in the right place at the right time? The answer is, one of three ways: 1) We’re psychic, 2) We’re lucky, or 3) We repeat our offers enough. I’ve pretty much ruled out hiring a fortune teller or depending on luck. This leaves the only intelligent option – repetition!

Repetition Is More Effective Than You Think

We hear the word repetition used over and over again in marketing. Especially from anyone trying to sell us advertising! Maybe they’re just trying to sell us something, or maybe they know something. What could they know? Here’s what I know about the power of repetition and what it can do for you:

1. Right Place at the Right Time – If the timing isn’t right, it may not matter how good your overall message is. Today’s consumer suffers from “information overload.” People are just too overloaded to pay attention to things that are of low or no priority to them. They may buy your product or service a month from now, but if you are a month early or a month late, you lose. Repetition improves the odds of being in the right place at the right time.

2. Right Message – Life has been called a “moving parade” and at any point in time there’s something new passing by. What interests one, may not interest another. Repetition gives you more opportunities to appear before your prospect with something of interest to them. Each new  communication you do affords the marketer or salesperson with the opportunity to try a new, albeit congruent, message. What works for one prospect may not be effective with another.  Altering your message gives you a chance to appeal to more people.

3. Residual Effect – Each marketing message has an impact that leaves a residual impression in the mind of our prospective consumer. Even if they don’t act on it, as long as we capture their attention and interest, our marketing can have some lasting, residual effect. This can have a positive influence on the strength of subsequent marketing and sales communications. In other words, past communications can increase our ability to motivate our consumer in future communications.

4. “Top-Of-Mind” Awareness – Building brand recognition is a long-accepted mission for marketing. The fact is that purely “institutional” or brand-awareness advertising is out of financial reach for many businesses. Most organizations have shifted over to direct response advertising where the emphasis is on motivating our consumer to take some form of action. With repetitive direct response communications, you can also build “top-of-mind” awareness.

5. Relationship Development – To build and maintain any relationship, you need to stay in touch.

6. Thin-Out Your Competition – Studies show that the majority of people who inquire on a product or service do eventually purchase it. In many industries, especially those with a longer sales cycle, the majority of sales are made after five or more contacts. Yet, less than 10% of salespeople make five or more contacts. This is one important explanation for why 80% of the sales go to less than 20% of the salespeople in any industry. Therefore, repetitive follow-up alone will thin out your competition.

7. Database Maintenance – As you follow-up you come to learn about changes in information. Key contacts change along with their contact information. You have more opportunity to collect missing information. You increase the value and usefulness of your database through repetition.
A Marketing Machine is the only effective and affordable way to achieve the repetition needed to develop new and repeat business!

Increase Selling Time and You’ll Increase Sales

It’s been said that, “Sales people should sell, and everyone else should do everything else.” It stands to reason that the more time your sales people concentrate on “selling,” the more sales they should make! A Marketing Machine gives your salespeople more time to sell. And, helps them be
more efficient and effective for a number of reasons ! Here are some of the reasons to increase selling time and where Marketing Machine can help you:

Hitting your numbers

How many hours are in your sales reps’ workday? How many of those hours is the salesperson spending on prospecting, qualifying leads, and cross-selling to existing customers? Do they reach enough people in a day? Do they ask for referrals often enough? Do they check in with previous customers to maintain the relationship?

Increasing productive use of salespeople’s time

Are your salespeople wasting time collecting data? Are they each reinventing the wheel when it comes to providing written responses for cover letters, frequently asked questions, trade show follow-ups, etc.? Are they wasting their time folding, stuffing, labeling, picking & packing brochures, etc.? Do your sales people have trouble keeping up with all their calls? Do you want them doing more of what they do best, selling, and less time on  administrative tasks which distract them from selling? Do your sales people waste too much time on unqualified or disinterested leads?

Lead follow-up

Are you confident that when you give a lead to a salesperson that they will follow it up until that lead becomes either a customer or a “dead” prospect? Do you believe you’ve lost sales because of a lack of follow-up?

You Can’t Afford not to Have a Marketing Machine

Fortunately, with the technology that provides, the cost of a Marketing Machine is within the reach of any viable business. Contact First Direct today for a blueprint of a Marketing Machine that will work for your organization.