Guest Post by Susan Wolff, Associate Principal and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Thomas Alva EdisonIn today's always on, constantly connected world, there is a need to establish your brand value and call for action quickly or lose your opportunity. And the reality is you likely lost many opportunities without ever knowing they were out there. According to research from SiriusDecisions, Inc. “70% of the buying process is now complete by the time a prospect is ready to engage with sales.” An increasing percentage of all sales are researched and decided online before the sales opportunity is even visible to the vendor. So what do you do? Join ‘em. Here are 4 essential components to any effective marketing program:
- Tools. Get a clear understanding of the tools available to you, your tangible requirements to use the tools, the cost of the tools and the payoff. In short, select, optimize and monetize your processes to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck. This is a continuous process as the rate of innovation for inbound marketing and social media is rapidly increasing. The challenge is to stay on the pulse of innovation, but stay focused on the expected ROI and the overall impact to your brand.
- Analytics. Keep your eyes on the ball. Ensure that you have a set of benchmarks and analytics to not only indicate performance, but give you an early indication that something has changed….providing every opportunity to correct your strategy or seize a new opportunity.
- Judgment. After all of the process, benchmarks and analytics are in place, Marketing takes extraordinary judgment to ensure all of the “other” Marketing variables are considered. This is what Thomas Alva Edison would consider your work. It is difficult…. but not insurmountable. Rely on conventional wisdom of those that have been in the similar position before you. There are usually rules of thumb for how much should be invested and what one could expect the ROI to be based upon a company’s product/service, brand and life cycle.
- Test New Approaches. In order to stay ahead, a certain amount of your time and budget should be spent looking at and testing new approaches. A systematic “what if” analysis plus a bit of trial and error is necessary for continuous improvement. That's what "A/B Testing" is all about. Simply put… get on board, get ahead and be committed to staying ahead.