By Kim Albee
Welcome to 2009, and as is the case with most sea changes, paradigm shifts, or whatever you'd like to call them, it takes something dramatic to cause changes to take effect beyond the early adopters, and 2008 delivered on that front! The gas prices did a lot to push home the notion that we need to get independence from our oil addicted ways, and the economic situation has driven a lot of companies to streamline and be even more watchful of their budget and expenses.
Marketing must start to examine ways to get more done with less -- and it's completely possible when companies start to truly embrace online marketing and look at how to participate in the internet-savvy world where our customers and prospects are active.
Here are 5 "Resolutions" for Marketing as you move into 2009:
1. Get Yourself Found! Does your organization come up in the first page of search results for the terms that are used by your target market segment(s)? If not, you better start paying attention to getting your organization dominant for those terms -- through natural and paid search strategies. Get control of your websites, and the SEO. Free yourself from dependence on IT (if they've got the control).
2. Capture Lead Interest. Does the information you provide help your target segments better think about the issues that your products solve? Does it kindle their interest in learning more from you? Build your reputation as a company that can help? If not, then pay attention to the content you're distributing and how you are adding value -- a good question to ask yourself is, "So What?" as you read your content and see if there is a compelling "something" getting said that matters to your target audiences.
3. Nurture Lead Interest. Getting a lead to sign up for something is one thing. Nurturing their interest with relevant messages, based on their activity and responses, can keep you top-of-mind with your leads, so when they are ready to buy, you're in the game.
4. Focus on Delivering Value. Not only with your products, but with every interaction you have with leads and customers.
5. Get along with Sales (and Sales, get along with Marketing) -- you work for the same side! Start behaving that way, and stop pointing the finger at each other (I know, easier said than done). This one isn't trivial, but the rivalry and finger pointing takes a toll, and the companies that resolve this will be ahead of the game. Technology can help bridge the gap, but nothing beats communication and teamwork - put all three together, and you could transform what it's like to work at your organization (if you're in one of those departments).
Employing these resolutions will take dedication and focus. But it doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg.
Welcome to 2009. May this year be the breakthrough year for Online Marketing, Demand Generation, and Lead Nurturing!