The CMO Guide for Successfully Aligning Marketing Campaigns to Sales

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Are you the marketing chief at your company? Has the ever-changing nature of marketing online become a source of frustration for you? Do you wish to find out how to align your marketing efforts with your sales to properly direct your marketing budget spending? Navigating within this technologically-advancing world, marketing strategies seem more like guesswork at times.

Finding out how the delicate ballet that is marketing and sales works is both a science and an art. Those in the marketing sector that have been traditionally trained, and have refused to stay abreast with the many changes in regards to technology, are surely feeling the pressure, as their marketing budgets are hemorrhaging due to rapidly-diminishing returns. Let’s take a closer look at how to align your marketing and sales for efficiency and effectiveness.

Traditional Marketing
Also known as real-world marketing, traditional marketing was the exclusive form of marketing, in one form or another, for over a century. Traditional marketing outlets include newspapers, telephone books, magazines, billboards, radio, and television. Even before the invention of radio and television, print advertising was used to promote businesses and their brands.

In the era of traditional marketing, everyone read newspapers and magazines, listened to local radio stations, received new telephone books annually, and watched broadcast television. There we only a handful of outlets that marketers had at their disposal. This limited scope of outlets made it a bit easier to align marketing and sales. The cost of traditional advertising was dictated by the size of the ad and the medium used.

Tracking the effectiveness of traditional marketing campaigns consisted of companies requesting customers to mention where they heard, saw, or read the promotion when they called in or visited the store to make their purchase. Some companies include special codes in the sales copy for the customers to use that indicate the outlet used.

Modern Marketing
Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past two decades, you will have noticed that the entire media dynamic has changed over that period in time. Traditional marketing outlets are simply not as effective as they were in times past.

Instead of watching broadcast television, many viewers prefer to stream the shows and movies they want to see online. While newspapers were prominent years ago, people get their news from trusted sources on the internet. Today, more listeners prefer to select their own playlist rather than the local radio selections.

Since the old forms of media are rapidly fading, the marketing efforts in these spaces are largely in vain. Marketing online has emerged as the modern form of marketing. The dominant marketing tools and outlets of today include:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Inbound Marketing
Marketing Automation
Social Media
Pay-Per-Click Advertising

We will cover the use and analysis of these outlets and marketing methods in greater detail.

Demographics
Before deciding on the right outlets for your brand message, you must paint a clear picture of your ideal customer. Using demographics, create a description of your target customer by using the following specifics:

Age
Location
Gender
Interests

Once you are able to identify these particulars, it is easier to decide where you are most likely to find your target audience. This will give you the best indication of how your marketing dollars will be best spent.

CRM
Customer relationship management software is designed to collect, interact with, and analyze the interactions with your prospects and customers. Your CRM essentially automates and manages what is known as your customer life cycle. Your sales team can also build and track their pipelines with minimum effort using this tool.

Online marketing relies heavily on your ability to build a list of prospects that you can market to. If you intend to send email campaigns to your prospects online, they must explicitly register (or opt-in) to your mailing list. Marketing to anyone that has not opted into your list is considered spam and is prohibited.

Inbound Marketing
With the power of your CRM application activated, you will be able to reach out to your prospects and customers with meaningful promotions. Inbound marketing is an indirect method of promoting online. In order to establish brand recognition and earn the trust of your target audience, you need to demonstrate your expertise and build trust among your chosen demographic.

Inbound marketing uses content that helps prospects decide on solutions for their issues and shows how your products and services can aid in their problem’s resolution.

The following methods are commonly used for inbound marketing campaigns:

Informative Email Campaigns
Blogs/Articles (SEO)
E-Books
Informative Videos
Webinars
Whitepapers

With the incorporation of your CRM platform, your inbound sales can become a personalized buying experience. The objective is to give vital info without pressuring your prospects with aggressive sales promotions.

Marketing Automation and Analytics
The use of CRM software allows for the automation of marketing campaigns to your email list. This software also has tracking capabilities that show your click-through rates and other critical data to show you where your traffic is coming from. With this information at your disposal, you can determine what digital campaigns are giving you the best ROI.

Marketing using a sales funnel and your CRM will align all of the various aspects of your online marketing campaigns and the conversion of prospects to customers. Sales funnels can track the customer’s journey from awareness of your brand to the actual purchase. Funnels provide the most useful methods for analyzing your campaigns and how they correlate to sales.

Conclusion
As the leader of marketing at your organization, it is incumbent upon you to stay abreast of the modern media changes and the most desirable outlets for your marketing messages and campaigns. Taking a shot in the dark by not having a meticulously calculated strategy, is the recipe for wasteful spending from the marketing department.

How will you begin structuring your marketing campaigns and organize your analytical efforts to gain a new perspective of how effective your marketing campaigns are in relation to your sales performance?

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