What is a Modern Business?
The Modern Businesses stays relevant at all times. A Modern Business of tomorrow is able to sell more without selling, and as if that’s not enough, they can sell better and faster than their competitors. Why? Because such Modern Businesses have two things right:
Modern Marketing lets you
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What exactly is Modern Marketing?
It’s a million dollar question. Everyone is talking about it but it seems like everyone has their own way of defining it.
At Vermilion Pinstripes, we see Modern Marketing as the ability to establish, build and strengthen relationships between brand and its audiences with the human touch by harnessing technology. Modern Marketing makes your strategies more effective and quantifiable because it is able to offer the right touch points with the customers -- just as if a relationship manager was personally handling their business.
Modern Marketing is agile; aligns sales, marketing and communications to sell without selling and leverages creativity and technology to build memorable brand experiences that customers love
When we look back, there are three major technological developments that have changed the way we look at marketing: the internet, big data and smartphones. Now it's chat bots and artificial intelligence (AI). As cited by Forbes recently: "Whatever the latest high-tech trend, the basic storyline is always the same. If you don’t master the newest platform, methodology, technology, or system, you and your company are doomed to obsolesce, bankruptcy, and despair."
Yes, it is a bit nerve-wracking. In a skills report, Digital Marketing Institute found that many marketing professionals are unsure of their future. We believe that your current digital marketing role will change - very rapidly, whether you like it or not.31% of U.S. marketers and 30% in the UK believe that in the next 30 years robots will do much of the digital marketing they currently do (Digital Marketing Institute)
At Vermilion Pinstripes, we believe the Future of Marketing is where sales, marketing and communications come together to apply technology, mathematics, science, creativity and psychology into an ecosystem that empowers the brand's customers to move to their next stage of lifecycle FASTER than they would on their own.
This is Modern Marketing. It incorporates a deep understanding of customers’ needs, challenges and aspirations, use of modern technologies such as automation and analytics, as well as high quality content in a variety of formats for access through different channels and platforms.
We're not trying to be robots churning out cookie-cutter content or automating processes.
Modern Marketing is human. And we are selling to human customers. "The fundamental principles of human motivation remain remarkably consistent. As such, true marketing masters focus on these first before deciding what technology to apply.", says Forbes.
For current marketing professionals - whether you are in graphics, events, PR, marcom etc - we are here to provide some modern practical marketing ideas so that you can make a difference to humans and build business confidence online and offline.
Let's get started.
Trends to Get Ahead in Marketing
When we talk about Modern Marketing everyone starts thinking trendy techniques full of jargon and fancy, intricate technology. Which can be rather intimidating for busy marketers who are swamped with tactical work.
Let's just be clear -- we may be catapulting into a modern era but the basics are really still the same:
We are marketing products and services to people, yes, human customers.
Due to technological advances and the Internet, these customers have wider choices so they have evolved and changed in the way they buy.
In the past, customers were passive. They absorbed images businesses blasted at them and they humbly received these branding messages without too much of a thought process. All businesses had to do was dress up an advertisement and they would ensnare a good share of the market.
The Modern Customer can no longer be lured with this type of carrot at the end of the stick.
The Modern Customer has power in their hands and is creating a revolution in the way businesses market their products and services. We dare say that it is the Modern Customer who is really leading Modern Marketing. To predict future trends, look to your customers. Put them under a microscope and really study them.
1) Dissect Your Customers
Big Data - text-based information that is swimming around in an amniotic fluid that is entirely digital. Digital information is the fastest growing type of unique information produced.
Developments in data recording and data storage are speeding up, making Big Data an imperative resource for any business that wants to understand the profile, habits and psyche of their customers. A customer is no longer just a case file number you lure with a neatly packaged advertisement. Customers have become complex creatures businesses need to know well and engage with.
Inbound marketing arose as a natural consequence of Big Data. With the massive amount of data about gazillions of customers that is floating around in cyberspace, businesses have access to information and can get to customers in a more focused manner, concentrating on their interests and values.
Social media sites such as LinkedIn (2002), Myspace (2003), Facebook (2004), Twitter (2007) and Instagram (2010) have made it even easier for businesses to get to know their customers through the sharing of personal data online.
A useful consequence of these social media sites is that it became possible for businesses to track patterns of human behaviour and trends and preferences. With predictive analytics, businesses can use big data from the marketing cloud to obtain the emotional intelligence required to connect more effectively with customers.
Businesses have to play psychoanalyst and implement more focused and relevant strategies to strengthen customer relationships.
The Reinventing Loyalty report, published in 2017 by Goldsmiths University in partnership with Adobe, found that 61% of 5,000 European consumers felt loyal to brands that tailored their experiences to their preferences and needs. You can read more in this Econsultancy Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2018 Digital Trends.
Marketing strategies in the past can no longer work now because they were a one-size-fits all strategy that pigeonholed customers into a box and imposed their brand on them. Now the key to getting to the core of customers is to make it personal and relevant.
With social media, people are now sharing information prolifically and this information is usually something that is personal and relevant to them, be it their tastes, preferences or values. With the number of devices the average person has in the house – smartphone, smart TV, laptop, desktop, iPod, tablets, the amount of sharing in cyberspace is massive and constant.
Use Big Data to get to know your customers and then personalise your content so that it becomes a unique experience for them.
The ultimate challenge for businesses if they want to get even further ahead in modern marketing is to get customers to do the marketing for them using their own personal experiences. Customers generate content also (which businesses can use as a marketing strategy) and when other customers see their peers enjoying a product or benefiting from a service, what goes through their minds is ´this has been tried and tested by a real customer…so it's not fake, engineered advertising…it really works!´ This user-generated content has a much stronger influence on customers precisely because it comes via other customers, not the businesses themselves. It does not come across as advertising. It is simple proof. This can create a really strong bond between the brand and the customer.
Knowing your customers and segmenting them also means knowing when to give them the right content at the right time with the right messages. With the help of both quantitative and qualitative data, you can amass a whole load of information about your customers. This is quite a science in itself, a mix of psychology and mathematics to know what types of communication and content should be put out at different touchpoints to bring in the best outcomes.
What happens if you do not have any data or email list to start with?
Consider one of these options -
Vermilion Pinstripes help our clients with selecting and targeting, if they wish to launch a new product or service; get into new markets or target a new audience.
2) Rev Up the Speed
We are living in an age of speed where nobody has the patience to slow down and wait. ´Express´ is the way to live now, be it getting a haircut, working out at the gym or even learning a language. Speed Matters!
To achieve marketing goals, a business has to be agile in its marketing with creative strategies and also be quick to execute. You need to come up with a new product or service fast and jump on an opportunity to drive your business forward.
Social media is one of the marketing channels that has contributed to the rise of agile marketing. Businesses have to communicate efficiently on Facebook, Twitter etc. while creating an established personality on these platforms. This is where customers can get maximum valuable information.
We have installed a Facebook Messenger Chat on one of our client's website, My Blue Tea. She can answer any questions and help customers buy with just ONE chat platform making her business a lot easier to manage. Being responsive and the speed at which you respond and how you respond can be a highly effective way to capture your customers´ attention. When you offer immediacy to customers, you are sending the message that they matter, you are listening and it can help to engage customers in conversation and create a valuable relationship. At the end of the day, as humans we all crave connection, and businesses that make customers feel heard in a short response time and engage in a conversation that is relevant to them and their values can really consolidate customer loyalty and even bring about advocacy.
One of the most powerful and easiest ways to connect with customers is, not surprisingly, via smartphones.
Smartphones are so prolific and integrated into our daily lives it has even produced a new physical injury called Tech Neck. Think about the number of hours we spend bent over our tiny devices. Even a flamingo would cringe to see how we hurt our bodies with this modern smartphone addiction. Which probably shows you how deeply smartphones have permeated our daily lives.
The daily time US adults spend on mobile media has increased from 46 minutes in 2011 to 258 minutes in 2017. This makes the smartphone a powerful platform to reach out to and connect with customers. With just a tiny device, customers are literally connected 24/7 to all their social media sites, websites, online ordering, customer service etc. Businesses have no excuse not to get straight to their customers in a split second. Catch something customers are interested in, post it on Facebook and get your customers interacting and talking and they will be immediately sharing the content with dozens of other people. Customers buy your product online, they are encouraged to share their purchase on social media. You can literally get your customers to do the work for you. They are the ones to spread your message, values and brand personality.
3) Lure with Meaty Content
If you think about how the World Wide Web started, in a space of merely two years, from 1994 when Netscape the mass-market browser was released, the number of people using the web rocketed from 16 million to 70 million.
The Internet has basically made the ignorant and passive consumer powerful and knowledgeable. Search engines are becoming more advanced and allow users to find the information they need with a click and without having to move a step. This means consumers are becoming more independent and informed. They no longer rely on the words of a wisecracking salesman to determine whether or not to purchase a product or a service.
With Big Data permeating cyberspace and the vastness of information available on the Internet, everything is now transparent. There is no hiding it. Marketing is no longer about dressing things up and making something lesser look more than it really is in the hope that some poor fool would buy into the idea and fall for the purchase. Customers are shrewd now and highly informed.
Modern marketing is about finding your truth and sharing values with customers.
Customers are now able to find out anything they want about a product with just a swipe and a click. They have a massive buffet spread of options and reviews to form their own judgements. 70% of the buyer's journey is finished even before the buyer gets into sales. This means businesses have to get cracking and find a way to provide solid content and tangible value to entice customers.
Customers are the ones running the show and are not likely to be easily convinced or bought over by shabby or sloppy advertising and branded content. They need to feel engaged in a shared-value relationship. They want to be treated like intelligent creatures who are smart and well-informed enough to be discerning. They have values and good tastes.
As a business, if you are transparent about the quality of what you are selling, customers will sit up and take notice. So find your truth, establish your voice and provide meaty, valuable content so customers feel like they are not on a simplistic, mindless buying assembly line. They are on a learning journey where they get not only a product or a service but also values, an identity and a relationship.
Give your customers a great experience even before they buy your product or service. Every single interaction and engagement that a customer has with your brand (videos, chatbots etc.) contributes to customer experience. The richer the customer experience, the more likely customers are to stay loyal and even recommend your brand. Create compelling and useful content to enrich customer experience.
The top three digital-related areas as top priorities for businesses in 2018 are – social media engagement, content marketing and targeting and personalisation. When marketers were asked to state some of the technologies and strategies they are most excited about over a three-year timeframe, the one that stood out was ´Delivering personalised experiences in real time´. (Ref: https://wwwimages2.adobe.com/content/dam/acom/uk/modal-offers/pdfs/Econsultancy-2018-Digital-Trends.pdf)
So while it is true that there is a lot snazzy technology available out there, it is more effective for businesses to stay focused on creating a relevant, timely, personalised and engaging experience for customers.
To look to the future, follow how your customers are evolving. For this year, harness digital powers to understand the psyche of your customers, cash in on technological platforms to be prompt and give them something meaty to chew on.
Is everyone on the same page?
One of the challenges Marketing has, yes, is to keep up with new trends - videos, bots and whatever trends come next.
However, the biggest challenge most organisations have is Departmental Alignment.
According to a report by Aberdeen Research, companies that are best-in-class at aligning marketing and sales experienced an average of 20% growth in annual revenue. But only 22% of respondents say their organisation's sales and marketing relationship is tightly aligned as reported in 2017 State of Inbound Report by HubSpot. Is everyone on the same page?
Watch this video to see if you recognise this executive isolation.
The NEW branding guide for the modern business
The brand is important for any business. This is because in the eyes of the customer, the brand is the entity that distinguishes the organisation or product from its rivals on the market. As a Forbes contributor Anjali Chugh writes:
“By not paying attention to creating a brand and creating an awareness around that brand, you’re unknowingly depriving your business of the highest potential it can reach.”
Relationships go deeper in B2B because there are more humans - from end users to CEOs.
Modern Marketing plays a big role in creating B2B customer experiences throughout the entire lifecycle of the customer, therefore it is vital to work with HR, Sales, Product Development, Customer Support, IT to develop and drive an engaging brand experience where customers can visualise how they can work with you to achieve value.
At Vermilion Pinstripes, we advocate that B2B marketers need to focus on their most attractive prospects and customers – consider their goals and aspirations, understand their needs, wants and desires, and look for the ways to make that emotional connection with them.
We have 8 tips for you on Shaping Your Brand:
1) The Human Connection: Love
B2B marketers juggling with statistics and campaigns need to stop and assess whether they are reaching out to more customers or the right clientele. When marketing is seen as a set of procedures to generate profits, the human element is lost. There is no connection.
Are you just a sales process oriented organisation driven by revenue - merely transactional, online or offline?
Believe it or not, love is the missing ingredient that is needed to propel business to another level. Love involves connecting with customers on a very personal level and a readiness to get emotional.
At Vermilion Pinstripes we like to bring in the various elements of mathematics, science, creativity and of course psychology to help businesses understand themselves and succeed in reaching out to their customers. Psychology plays a big part in shaping your brand – at the end of the day, we are humans reaching out to humans. Getting to the core of their emotions and getting a hook on it will make a significant change to how successful your brand becomes.
We created a 5-strategic step framework to guide brands to a valuable and long term commitment from customers, resulting in revenue generation. We call it the Modern Marketing and Communications Framework where you can start anywhere from Strategy, Content, Analytics, Mobile and Social. This is brand-led because what you want to say to each select segment of your customer is key to creating an effective, personalised customer engagement. Read more about how love can make a difference in improving your business.
As your brand creates an emotional connection with your customers, it will in turn build trust and brand loyalty, bond them to you and make them want to return. Your brand needs to be associated with a specific set of human characteristics which your customers can identify with. This personality is what drives your identity and as you grow and evolve, so does your brand.
According to a study (Ronald E. Goldsmith Research Study), having human-like characteristics adds to the authenticity of your company. This in turn increases brand engagement. Your brand personality influences user experience and helps to make you stand out from the crowd.
To move from a merely cold, transactional, robotic relationship with your customers, you may want to think about connecting with them on a deeper level. What feelings do you want to evoke in your customers when they think about your brand? What value are you giving to them? You would want customers to remember you and for positive reasons. These kinds of meaningful interactions with customers are what retains them and makes them loyal to you.
Shaping your brand is probably one of the most playful parts of your marketing process. See it as an exploration of your personality. Your brand is closely tied to your personality and over time they should evolve together. Best to start simple and then keep testing and experimenting and play around with iterations.
With time your brand will become more targeted and focused. To help you get started, we really love this simple and clear example of 5 main personalities and their related traits. There are real-life examples for you to see how these traits influence design decisions. Everything, from the colours, to the types of buttons, the font you choose etc. are all factors that influence how customers perceive your brand. This is an example of using psychology in a smart way to get your customers to notice your brand, identify with you and stay with you.
This may all sound overwhelming or it's something B2B marketers would rather sweep under the rug to their design team or agency. All you need is run through a couple of questions to understand what your personality is and how to convert that into your brand identity.
Get ready to brainstorm with your marketing and sales colleagues!
If you want more guidance on this, check out this branding workbook from Pricewaterhouse Coopers. It is a great way to start thinking about branding and can be used for personal branding or other types of business models.
After the brainstorming, you would have a clearer idea of the brand identity. Let’s check that against your current brand guide. This serves two key purposes: Firstly, it helps you to “rediscover” your company or product brand that you had overlooked, and secondly, it will help you to identify gaps so that you can move forward to make the right adjustments.
1. Typography and Colour
The font and colour speak volumes of the brand’s personality and influence people’s perception of your values.
Is your brand typography a classic Serif font? That would give the impression that your brand is contemporary and reliable. If it’s a Script typography, it would give the brand an air of elegance and luxury. Or is it a Display font? That is all about being bold, eclectic and ever-ready to stand out from the crowd!
With colours, there is an underlying play on emotions. Some of the impressions and influences colours have on customers’ perception include:
Here's an interesting read - Branding colours: everything you need to choose your brand’s perfect pigments.
Besides looking the part, the brand’s voice has to be right, too. Using the brand’s unique voice, B2B marketers then need to communicate the brand’s messages across a vast spectrum of channels e.g. website, social media, email, ebooks etc. The brand’s voice must be consistent and appropriate for your brand’s personality in order to communicate effectively.
Here are a set of steps to help you get started on shaping your brand's voice for your target audience.
Step 1 : Arrow in on Your Basic Values
Step 2 : Focus on Vocabulary
Step 3 : Laughter is Good Medicine
Step 4 : Announce to Everyone
6) Listen, I’ve done all that but it’s still not working…!We hear you. As an experienced marketer, you know the drill about branding. Yet, having spent much time and effort, you’re not getting the results or progressing to where you want to be.
Let’s examine a few common situations:
This sounds like a broken business model syndrome.
We believe that there is a special formula to help businesses understand why they are not where they believe they should be, AND how to address that challenge.
B2B marketers have the ability to influence, drive and manage across the different pillars of the company – from products and services to operations to services delivery -- to ensure that the customers enjoy the best brand experience.
Within the organisation, we need everyone to have a human-centric mindset.
Learn more about how to work from within your organisation to ensure that customers gain the best brand experience.
Book a free 30-minute consultation with us if you feel you are doing all you can but nothing seems to be working for your business. We can guide you to gain more clarity and analyse what specific steps you can take to push the right buttons to achieve your business goals.
It is imperative to deliver your brand’s messages in the right manner with the most appropriate content so as to establish and maintain the emotional connection with customers and veer them towards making a decisive choice for your brand. Content is a big thing in the future of marketing.
Content is key to elevating your brand and it can effectively motivate customers to move to their next stage of their purchasing journey faster than they would on their own.
Remember: Content doesn’t just help marketing. It can enable your sales team and be beneficial to recruiting, investor communications, internal training and just above every other area of your business too.
Marketing plays an important role here as it is capable of engineering the customer’s journey – to entice, guide and provide relevant information to steer them to a decision in favour of your brand.
Content – also known as the “meaty” part - is the element that will help to deliver your brand's message. Your marketing and communications colleagues have to create a content-driven ecosystem. According to PQ Media's Global Content Marketing Forecast 2015-19, content marketing will be a $300B industry. You need fantastic content to differentiate your brand from your competitors. The common problem for many businesses now is that content is being created and distributed in silos from different business units and marketing channels. This lack of consistency creates confusion in the market place and does not reach out to customers effectively.
B2B marketers need to align content to business objectives.
We have come up with three key steps to building a content-driven ecosystem.
You can refer to our blog to learn more about how to create your own content-driven ecosystem.
Studies show that 85% of consumers say that they will change their buying behaviour in response to social media content (Source: The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web). Researchers at the Australian Psychological Society (APS) did a poll of 1834 adults and found that ¨online social networking increases, rather than reduces, face-to-face socialising¨.
Social media is undeniably one channel that will bring massive returns when applied correctly. Social media can be extended to the entire lifecycle of the customer. In our article on Getting The Best Out Of Customer Life Cycle With Social Media we demonstrate how we help our brands move customers from each stage of the life cycle, from brand awareness to demand generation and onward to sales enablement, customer support and even customer advocacy.
Social media is where you can extensively share your brand values. Create brand visibility by matching your brand with its values. Your brand's voice will draw people into wanting to identify with you. Choose influencers who share your values and are aligned with your voice in order to make them your allies.
This is where you can consolidate relationships by sharing common values between your customers and your brand. Check out our blog for more tips on how to make social media work for you.
Briefly, here are five brand-shaping strategies that dominate social media:
Understanding human emotions is key to advancing your business.
Understand yourself well enough to create a brand personality and voice that is authentic and which your customers can identify with.
Understand your customers to know what content they want and what factors affect their thoughts and choices.
With a dash of love, creativity and data, marketers can work towards creating that happy business alongside your colleagues in sales, operations, etc.
Would you prefer to download our 56-page eBook on Modern Marketing for the Modern Business?
Modern Selling Techniques
How to sell more without selling
"It is simple common sense that consumers would rather spend their time in engaging ways than in boring ones", Pine says. Companies, therefore, must align what they charge for with what their customers value.
“Especially in the B2B world, a customer is never really buying a company’s offering – it is a means to an end,” Pine says.
“If you sell the end, rather than the means, you gain more economic value. And the end is helping your customers achieve their aspirations.”
Modern Selling Techniques can help the Modern Businesses of tomorrow to sell more without selling, and as if that’s not enough, they can sell better and faster than their competitors. Why? Because such Modern Businesses have two things right:
Technologies can help a Modern Sales Person. Here are some things you can do with Modern Sales Technologies:
Let’s start with selling. You see, businesses generally have a hard time figuring out how to sell more. In a vast sea of strategies it can be really intimidating knowing where to start. So many dance around the act of selling instead of getting their hands deep into it.
The smart Modern Business marketer keeps calm and focuses on three key points:
The more you understand your customers’ buying behaviour, the smarter and more efficient your marketing actions will be.
You need a sales rep with the expertise to engage based on a buyer's business issues so that the buyer's ongoing experience can be greatly enhanced. A sales rep who knows exactly what the buyer is after in terms of outcomes will be able to provide the buyer with exactly what they need instead of wasting time pitching a product or a service which may have nothing in common with what the buyer is after.
Today's B2B buyers could be 66% to 90% of the way through their journey before they get to the vendor. The entire length of sales processes must be turned into a marketing engine with strong messages and content to engage buyers. This is one key part where you sell without selling. Vermilion Pinstripes is keen to turn that 66% to 90% of sales efforts into a marketing engine, leaving the sales teams time to build meaningful relationships and focus on closing.
Let us examine several modern selling techniques that cover a range of expertise areas which make the traditional job of a sales rep more interesting in this contemporary era. A vibrant, modern sales department has a mathematician, scientist, creator and psychologist on hand to combine their prowess to trigger positive buying actions.
This is the Creator's department.
For the new generation of B2B buyers, having an appropriate mix of relevant content for each stage of the purchasing process and making sure it is high quality content are key to building a business case for a purchase.
This implies that businesses must adopt a business model that is customer-centric and be able to identify the company's unique differentiation and transform it into visible business value. This involves personalisation and providing relevant content to customers at each stage of their buying journey.
Convert buyers with valuable content. This is the Inbound Marketing way of fattening up your buyers and getting them sales ready. It is something that has to be done consistently. It is the accumulated effort over time that builds leads and grows revenue.
As we are in a customer-centric age of marketing, businesses need a broader digital ecosystem to tap into an array of other digital businesses and customers. Marketers need to leverage digital channels to create highly personalised experiences to engage customers and inspire advocates.
Use creativity as a vehicle to build relationships between your brand and potential buyers while accentuating your brand's differences. Your business´ unique differentiation can be transformed into visible business value.
Rather than think about how to sell more easily, focus instead on how to help buyers buy more easily.
Use brand-led and personalisation marketing strategies on each customer's journey to help them buy easier from a brand. Use an agile, responsive framework that has an integrated mix of content, analytics, mobile and social engagement techniques powered by marketing automation and supported by CRM.
Bring in the Psychologist and the Scientist for this section.
Neuromarketing refers to the commercial application of neuroscience technologies and insights to drive businesses further. These include functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and electroencephalography (EEG) to access the “pleasure centre” of the brain.
Neuromarketing involves a whole spectrum of considerations ranging from choice of fonts to colours, music and which specific words to use or phrase. What most businesses forget is neuromarketing is effective when it is not about you.
Just as a teaser to what you can expect when experimenting with neuromarketing:
Neuromarketing is a very clever way to power your sales, marketing and communications strategy.
Make your Mathematician get to work here.
Once a potential buyer visits your website, they start thinking ´What do I do next?´ This is where email automation can grow your customer base. In this digital age every business is an online business, which means you need to build a customer email list. More than that, you need to automate email responses and segment your customers by product and interest.
It is another way to get to know your customers´ preferences, spot trends and see clearly what works or not. This way you can identify the right product or service to follow up for each individual customer. Based on their browsing information, you can automatically send customers information on products or services that are relevant to their searches. Add "workflows" to that and you can literally map out every potential communication of each individual's purchasing journey.
Remember what we said in the beginning that every Modern Business should be relevant at all times? Therefore, Modern Marketers will expect MORE of these in eMail Marketing:
Videos in eMails
The coolest trend right now is to embed personalised 1:1 videos into your emails. Instead of the recipient reading your email, they listen to what you have to say and see how your products or services can work for them! According to Vidyard, emails that contain a video increases response rates by eight times!
To find out how HubSpot email automation can boost sales for your business, speak to us right here.
Video - another hot trend? We feel that any new trend that focuses on quantity over quality were never going to stand the test of time. So where is video really going?
Video Marketing trends.
Some video stats.
Another job for the Mathematician.
Businesses have access to a lot of data about customers but it is all useless without analysis. Analytics literally force you to acknowledge accountability when you underperform and it also gives you the assurance when something is successful.
Analytics can tell you if you are achieving your goals, keeping the pace, or falling behind on web traffic. With quantifiable information you can then snap into action and implement changes.
Analytics show you if you are investing rightly by monitoring individual channels like social media, SEO or email to see if you are hitting your daily lead goals. It can help you understand the close rates generated by the different channels and see the quality of the leads.
Analytics also monitor traffic so you know if you are attracting new customers and whether your keywords are appropriate for generating more traffic.
Analytics show how your Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) are working, showing which channels generate the strongest MQLs and which activity works best for your business.
It's a great time to be a Nerd who cares! Learn how sales and marketing can succeed with Analytics.
You can bring in the whole team of experts for this one.
B2B companies rely heavily on social media platforms to generate sales. Businesses now even pay to play on social media platforms.
With social media being all the rage across the age groups, businesses need to know where customers play in social media and why they use it. This will help businesses understand what outcomes customers are looking for and so engage with them more effectively with inspiring content that fits their needs and preferences.
The key point is, businesses should aim to talk with their customers and not at them.
Trust goes a long way when it comes to convincing someone to buy something. If we don't trust someone, we aren't going to listen to them. Time and time again, studies have shown that people almost always trust other people's opinions over generic advertisements and sales pitches carefully crafted by the brand themselves.The major types of referral channels that have proven to be “trustworthy” are -
89% of consumers conduct their research using search engines (Source: PR Newswire). It would pay for businesses to make social media engagements high on their To Do list.
CRM – Customer Relationship Management – is a system that helps businesses to define processes and empowers the entire organisation to manage its interactions with current and prospective customers.
Why is CRM important? Well, in a Utopian world, the revenue generated from one sale to a single customer could be enough to boost the company’s growth. Unfortunately, in the real work, that does not happen.
Sales reps continuously need to chase for their numbers with existing or potential customers, and marketing needs to keep generating leads for their sales colleagues. And because everyone is so busy chasing the next set of numbers, barely is anyone left to ensure customer retention or build loyalty.
Sales is a long process and its sales statistics can tell you whether the company will be able to keep going into its second month or second year. Businesses cannot continue to do these:
Enter the B2B marketer in the Modern Business organisation. He or she is familiar with CRM and collaborates with his sales colleagues throughout the sales cycle, helping to raise brand profile, generate interest among customers or new audiences, and drive a strong pipeline for brand loyalty and long term growth.
The successful Modern Business that will exist for the long term is built on efficiency and foresight. It is managed on a set of repeatable and scalable process that will guarantee a steady and predictable inflow of income.
If you need help aligning your sales, marketing and communications goals and teams, then book a 30-min free consultation.
Ultimately, every business has the expertise and content for their customers. However, in the long run, the business that succeeds is one that understands and stays engaged with their customers, enjoys the highest level of brand loyalty and empowers customers with the luxury of choice throughout the course of the latter’s purchasing journey. Yes, choice.
Selling without selling is all about giving customers choices.
Hacks and tips to help you get started on modern marketing
Now here's a little fun experiment with some hacks and tips for you to try out. We love these 6 Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 from Forbes and our Good Housekeeping with Consistent SEO Strategy. Why not have a think how these can work for your business?
6 tasks to get you started on modern marketing
1) Smartphone Addiction
People sleep with it and go to the toilet with it. It´s the first thing they see in the morning and the last thing they look at before bedtime. The smartphone has become a rich ground for engaging with customers. This could be via a mobile website or sending text messages.
Quality conversation. That is what customers dig. Give customers quality content and they will sit up, take notice and follow. Make sure your media platform is focused on providing useful, relevant content to your customers.
Do up an informative podcast, a fun blog or an unusual video and put them up regularly.
Chatbots are the hottest thing in town. They are used for responding to your customers' questions. This amazing little thing can be used for engagement, customer service issues or general questions. What is amazing about this tool is if you send 1000 messages via Chatbot, at least 800 people will see the message. This is an incredible piece of statistics, making Chatbot a powerful channel to engage with customers.
What is really cool and exciting about this is, if set up correctly, customers find it really difficult to know if they are talking to a real person or a robot!
4) Ace the Review
Score that A. You need many reviews. Good ones obviously. Organic traffic from SEO brings excellent web traffic for businesses. Google sees all your reviews and it prioritises a business based on its ratings. One thing to note - Facebook reviews do appear on Google too. It is common practice nowadays for customers to look at online reviews before deciding on a product or service. So your reviews could really make the difference between a successful business and one that is floundering.
5) Going Viral
People love watching videos. It would not be surprising to see an increase in Facebook and web TV videos. People prefer to watch something than read a chunk. A video that is well done would get the message across sharp and clear and get people talking. Obviously, Facebook Live videos get more visibility than traditional videos on Facebook. Videos could be the tipping point in increasing conversions (by as much as 80%, according to this research).
6) Engage and Involve
People do not enjoy being told what to do. Instead, influence, engage and involve them. You do not need a massive, fancy Call to Action that could end up being too obnoxious. Give your customers value first. Tell them your story and show them your unique personality. Make them want to be associated with you and be involved in your activities.
Three "raw materials" of Modern Marketing guided by a Modern Marketing Framework from Vermilion Pinstripes:
The art and science of modern marketing that makes brands human, builds business confidence and accelerates sales.
Modern marketing is so dynamic it is never boring. What keeps us on our toes at Vermilion Pinstripes is opening our eyes and ears to what is coming up next. With each period there is always a supply of new techniques to boost brand confidence. Don’t forget to bookmark this page and keep checking in for more updates!
Five good housekeeping tips for better SEO
Sometimes, when you’re busy with different marketing tactics, you do not have time to stop to relook at your available marketing platforms such as your website, blog and social media to see if these are up to date with Google’s latest search techniques.
You may also wonder why your page views and visits start to decline. Don’t assume that what you had implemented a year ago will be working tomorrow. You see, Google's search Artificial Intelligence (AI) is constantly evolving and the criteria it uses to judge your website can only become more sophisticated. To have a consistent SEO strategy, you need to optimise your website, blog and social media presence to make sure you are always one step ahead of Google AI. Your website, blog and social media are easy starting points for your digital marketing journey. Your aim is to get free organic search traffic flowing into your website. Here are some good SEO housekeeping tips to follow.
1) Fix your website
While you can always pay for search traffic, the aim is to improve free organic search traffic. When people search Google, your site should rank near the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). However, if you have duplicate pages, broken links or badly tagged images, that could break your SEO and search ranking. Check and see how Google views your website here by typing on your address bar site:yourwebsite.com e.g. site:facebook.com (use Chrome or Safari). Audit the list of pages to see if there are any duplicate content or broken links. If there are duplicate home page URLs or old pages that have been removed (but are still searchable), use customised 404 error pages and permanent 301 redirects. Check out these clever 404 error pages for some creative inspiration!
Don’t forget to audit your content and examine the effort you are putting into voice queries and long-tail keyword phrases.
Book a session with Vermilion Pinstripes for a website audit to determine how to best houseclean your website.
2) Stand Out with Images and Videos
Humans are visual creatures and the use of images or videos can make or break your brand. Choose appropriate images for your brand on your website. They should be interesting, relevant and in line with your brand personality. Avoid large images as they slow down the loading of your webpages and that will in turn cause Google search AI to push your ranking down.
Check your page size here > https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Extra tip: Always include alt-text on your images. It provides relevance and makes it easy for people and those with vision impairment to understand your message. Plus you get the bonus of Google pushing up your search ranking.
3) Check your META tags
You need META tags to ensure the information about your website is displayed in a consistent manner on Google SERP. Every bit counts. Without META tags, when customers search for you for the first time, Google AI will just take the first few words off the top of the page which would mean a lot of inaccuracy. Good SEO housekeeping practices mean controlling every bit of information Google searches your website by.
Make sure you describe each page clearly, use key words and it helps if you also indicate your CTA (Call to Action) in the description.4) Reliability and Trust
Business blogging is an inexpensive way to build your authority and create new opportunities for people to find and engage with your business. This could even convert readers into customers.
It is enough to blog quality content once a month than to have incessant useless blog content daily.
At the end of each blog post you should always include a CTA for readers to further engage with the content. Here is where you can get creative with what you can offer e.g. a free ebook, a consultation etc.
It’s important that your blog has content that supports visitors becoming customers because Search Engine are not searching for your content - People Are!
For more SEO tips, download our Free eBook SEO Primer 2018 TRENDS and learn the tactics that will:
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Modern Marketing RoI
Measuring success in modern marketing
You’re here because you need to demonstrate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Scenario One: You're too busy managing different marketing tactics. There’s barely time for lunch, let alone time to develop an integrated marketing and communications campaign with different team members or divisions. And, worse, for all your marketing tactics, you're under pressure to show MROI (marketing returns on investment).
Scenario Two: Having planned and executed your marketing campaigns successfully, you are now faced with the challenge of reporting marketing ROI. You need to show how effective your go-to-market strategy has been in attaining positive results for the business.
Just remember, marketing isn't just about running events, social media campaigns or creating the best ads. It involves a blend of science, technology, creativity, psychology, and even mathematics to ensure success.
How to measure the success of your marketing campaigns?
In today's digital marketing era, numbers are key to consolidating marketing metrics that work for your brand. This is where Mathematics come into play and can help marketers focus effectively on results to boost incremental customer demand. There are massive advantages to collecting data, applying analytics and interpreting insights. Always put everything you do under a microscope, be it content, campaigns or marketing actions, analyse them and understand what works and what doesn't. Data and analysis can be very powerful tools to point out immediately when something isn't working and also give you confidence when something is working.
Let's look at a logical step-by- step guide of six critical marketing metrics businesses need to understand. Your marketing metrics should be tailored to fit your business.
For more specific calculations and formulae, download Vermilion Pinstripe's eBook on the 6 marketing metrics that prove the value of your marketing efforts.
It is easy to get swamped with data and get lost in figuring out what is working effectively and what needs to be changed. When analysing your results, you need to understand your marketing performance in a way that gives you the assurance your marketing budget is being spent effectively. These six marketing metrics can specifically show you how your marketing programme is leading to new customers, lower customer acquisition costs and higher customer lifetime values. This how you know if you are getting the maximum ROI for your marketing expenditures now and in the future.
If you are hungry for more, check out our additional 15 marketing metrics here to get more out of your ROI.
As you move up the corporate ladder to lead a business unit, you'll need to find a happy balance when following modern marketing trends where the customer is the centre of attention receiving valuable content. This needs to be blended well with data and mathematics to make the results from marketing strategies something real and concrete that can be analysed. When you can see how effective your strategies are, you can make the choice to drop those that are draining money and beef up those that have been proven to work effectively. This is about making better and wiser business decisions.
Did you know that applying analytics effectively can allow companies to free up 15-30 percent of their total marketing budget? McKinsey’s DataMatics study shows that firms in the top quartile of analytics performance were 20 times better at attracting new customers and more than five times better at retaining existing ones than firms in the bottom quartile.
This is where we can focus on Integrated Marketing Analytics that is people-centric and features the prospect, lead or customer as the unit of focus. It plays a big part in Inbound Marketing as it helps you create quality content to attract people to you of their own volition. By aligning content with your customer's interests, you attract, consolidate and maintain inbound traffic. This can potentially save 80% of your direct mail budget (source: Gartner Research). According to a study by MIT Sloan School of Management, this can generate 54% more leads than traditional paid marketing.
Numbers and statistics are always very reassuring things to see on paper. They are basically, undeniable proof.
For example, when it comes to tracking your brand and competitors, you can build keywords, streams of interactions and see what matters to you and compare that with your competitors. On average, we conduct 12 billion searches per month on the web in the United States alone (Source: Comscore, July 2014). However, the average click-through rate for paid search in 2010 worldwide was only 2% (Source: Convario, January 2011). There you have it, numbers giving undeniable proof. With this proof, you realise how critical it is that your content has the right keywords and that you can track this against your competitor. Integrated Marketing Analytics can help you figure out which keyword or stream of interaction works.
In the royal kingdom of social media, 96% of social media managers measure the number of fans and followers, 89% measure traffic, 84% measure mentions, 55% track share of voice and 51% track sentiment (Source: Awareness, Inc.).
With Integrated Marketing Analytics, you can create an agile marketing engine and have a complete real time view of your customers, activities, content and most importantly how each impact leads and sells at every customer's buying cycle. Integrated Marketing Analytics platforms like CRM and Marketing Automation like HubSpot can help you design attribution models to track and provide sensible business marketing reports. They also allow you to manage your posts, emails, marketing channels and teams efficiently from just one platform.
If you are still not convinced of the necessity of having data and analytics, think about this:
79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. The cause of this poor performance? Lack of lead nurturing (Source: MarketingSherpa).
Everything in modern marketing now is integrated and orchestrated. With the right content and actions, you are bringing customers on their purchasing journey. You can even replace more than 60% of dated sales functions like cold calling. Your sales and marketing team should be focusing on talking to high propensity prospects, building deeper customer relationships and providing better customer support.
The trend is to move into Real-Time Marketing with analytics. Right now we already have predictive analytics. You can anticipate your customer's next action based on your knowledge of their past behaviour. In the near future we will be expecting a heavy dependence on the Science of Integrated Marketing Analytics.
Now that we have convinced you analytics is really crucial, you need to know the correct way to get into it. For a deeper analysis into ROI, Forbes mentioned four marketing science and academic gurus who came up with an analysis in a newly professional journal called Applied Marketing Analytics. It is important to realise that Marketing ROI when applied in the real world requires adjustments and adaptability. Marketers have to clearly define how and what they have measured in a specific business decision-making context if they want to analyse their MROI numbers. Businesses need to connect MROI to real world business objectives. You want to maximise profit, not necessarily MROI. There is a difference between being efficient (high MROI) and being effective (maximum profit and long-term value). There are many issues to be taken into consideration such as brand building, new customer acquisition, short-term sales etc.
The Right Way to Calculate Marketing ROI:
ROI is complicated in itself. There are many variables and it is not a fixed formula that can be slapped on across all industries.
You need to know when to measure it. Money invested today will have an uncertain impact at Point X in the future. Yet, marketers have to decide right now where to invest their money today.
The business belief is that it takes at least seven touches before a cold lead can be converted into a sale. Because this is so random and volatile, it is difficult to allocate revenue to just one specific touch and expect it to work and show results straightaway.
Most businesses have several marketing programmes going on which reach out to and affect different customers. It is not easy to know exactly which programme has the most impact.
At the end of the day, life is such that there are many factors outside of our control. While we love our data and analytics, it only means we can measure and have proof something works or not. It does not guarantee that what we do will yield the result we want. Macro-economic trends, even the weather, the new sales rep you hired etc. can have their own effect on your marketing programme results. It is difficult to point the finger at any one specific factor.
Businesses can still find a way to make the most of their numeric data. The important thing is to get on the bandwagon and get started on milking the most of analytics. Marketo has a clear set of guidelines how to Measure the ROI of your Marketing Programmes that is well worth checking out.
If this feels overwhelming, think on this - According to a MMA/Forrester/ANA study, 87% of senior marketers did not feel confident in their ability to impact the sales forecast of their programmes. What this means is we have the ability to ensnare a competitive advantage over 87% of our competition. Looking on the bright side of things doesn't hurt! Start small, and go for a few fine-tuned measurements and work your way towards bigger data.
When you make the effort to analyse and understand where you invest your time and financial resources and why you get certain results, you are well on the way to avoiding expenses wastage and improving marketing strategies.
Make friends with your numbers and make analytics work for you.
Vermilion Pinstripes is a full service integrated sales marketing and communications agency based in Australia and Singapore.
As partners and agents for HubSpot and Kounta point of sales software, it’s amazing how we have a team who use maths, science, creativity and psychology in this modern marketing era to help small businesses and B2B organisations connect with MORE of their most profitable customers using a simple, clear and structured purpose-driven sales, marketing and communications plan to gain brand clarity so that they can grow their business and achieve returns on investment (RoI).
We are proud to journey with growing local, regional and global businesses as they gain business confidence. Now let’s build your business confidence!
(Port Macquarie and Sydney) New South Wales, Australia: t/ +614 0777 9828
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: t/ +6144 950 1277
Singapore: t/ +65 9681 7045
Would you prefer to download our 56-page eBook on Modern Marketing for the Modern Business?