How many marketing professionals do you know that are NOT interested in impressing their boss?
How many sales professionals would you guess are completely satisfied with the number of leads they are being provided by their marketing department?
Whether you have been tasked with looking into Inbound Marketing as a potential shift in strategy, or you are simply being proactive–there is a lot of information you will need to know before you can take it to the person that will ultimately make the decision.
7 Major Keys to Prepare You to Pitch Inbound Marketing to Your Boss
1) What is Inbound?
As defined by HubSpot:
Inbound is a method of attracting, engaging, and delighting people to grow a business that provides value and builds trust. As technology shifts, inbound guides an approach to doing business in a human and helpful way. Inbound is a better way to market, a better way to sell, and a better way to serve your customers. Because when good-for-the-customer means good-for-the-business, your company can grow better over the long term.
Inbound marketing is a widely accepted approach to marketing. 75% of inbound organizations believe their marketing strategy is effective.
As opposed to outbound marketing, inbound is centered around creating your own content and developing a strategy to ultimately position your business as a thought leader in your industry, a trusted resource.
Prospecting and cold calling are, arguably, the most difficult part of the sales process. Generating a consistent and qualified lead flow skips that step by attracting and engaging with people that are actively looking for the product or service that your company offers.
2) What Tools are Needed?
- Marketing Automation Software: There are several options out there, Hubspot, Pardot, Marketo, to name a few. Marketing automation helps to scale the marketing efforts are a proving successful. It is not a “set it and forget it”, but it will certainly help increase your operational efficiency.
- A Customer-Relationship Management tool (or a CRM) is a very necessary tool for marketing in general. A CRM helps track all of your correspondence with a client or prospect, keep detailed notes, houses all contact information and shows what content, of yours, they are engaging with.
- Content Creation: you are going to need to add human capital as well. This can be done through hiring staff internally or outsourcing to a freelancer or an agency. Here are some of the first resources you are going to need to produce effective inbound marketing campaigns:
- Inbound Marketing Strategist
- Content writer(s)
- Social Media Guru
- SEO Specialist
- Paid Search/ Social Specialist
Depending on the scale of your operation—these positions can vary.
3) Look at the Data
Google Analytics will be your best friend. If you do not already have a Google Analytics tag implemented on your website—do that ASAP.
Analytics tells the story on your business. It tracks more data then you may know what to do with. It will show trends and patterns, successes and failures, how much traffic you are getting on your site, what percentage of that traffic is converting, and so on. You can compare with industry benchmarks to gut check how successful your efforts are.
One very important piece is understanding the effectiveness of each channel. Organic search, direct search, paid efforts, social media, and email marketing, can all be broken out, so you can see exactly what sources are producing the highest volume of conversions.
4) Demonstrate Value
The first question your boss is going to ask you is “what is the ROI on this investment?”
Proving ROI at first can be a challenge, but following best practices for inbound marketing has a ridiculously high success rate. After you have been following this discipline for several months, you will be able to start tracking the ROI from your analytics and the dashboard within your marketing automation tool(s).
One of the biggest benefits inbound marketing provides in the long-term is that you own all of the content you have created. This efforts only compound over time and strengthen your online presence, domain authority, and the pursuit of thought leadership.
5) Set Proper Expectations
The fewer companies know about their KPIs, the less likely they are to meet their revenue goals. 74% of companies that weren’t exceeding revenue goals did not know their visitor, lead, marketing-qualified leads, or sales opportunities. (HubSpot, 2015)
Using the data will not only tell a story, but you can use predictive math to project and forecast the return you can expect.
It is important to meet with all departments to understand and agree on what success looks like. Sales and marketing alignment is important to achieve before you take these ideas up the latter, you will have the answers to questions like these:
- What goals are you hoping to achieve?
- What does success look like?
- Is there a cost of inaction?
- What cost-per-lead would help us increase profitability?
6) Know the Competition
In college and professional sports, a lot of time is spent watching film on the teams you are preparing to play against. Understand how a competitor operates can be incredibly advantageous.
Look at what your biggest competitor(s) are doing online. Check out their website and see what strategy they are using—how well is their site optimized?
Dig around on their social media channels to see how many followers they have, what type of content they are publishing and how much engagement they are getting on it. This may spark some ideas of what to do or what not to do, but most importantly it will show you what you need to do to compete.
7) Be Prepared
The suggestions in this blog will help you start to gather the tools and information you need to really impress your boss, but you know them best. Over preparing will only help your case, and ultimately set you up for success when you begin to make your shift to inbound marketing.
If you want some additional resources in order to help you plan for this transition, download our free Marketing Checklist here!