Three Questions to Always Consider When Updating Your Strategic Marketing Plan

As we kick off a new year, this is a great time to review your annual marketing plan and look ahead to where you want to go in 2018. What worked well last year, what needs tweaking, and what new tactics can be added to this year’s plan to keep your marketing fresh?

We have come up with the following three questions to help you with your review:

1. Is your brand reaching your market?
Brand visibility used to be achieved by a full-sized advertisement in a national newspaper. Today, the options are practically endless. Building brand visibility requires a reach that extends across many different mediums and channels. Knowing who your buyer is and where and how your target audience consumes content is vital. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) recommends answering the following questions about your buyer when determining your content strategy:

  • Where do they like to get content?
  • Who do they get their content from? Industry analysts, vendors, thought leaders, friends?
  • How does the format of content they consume change throughout the buying process?
  • Are there internal/external influences in the kind of content they choose to consume?

CMI survey respondents who were able to answer these questions spot on saw an uptick in website traffic, improved sales lead quality, increased social media sharing, higher conversion rates and increased sales and sale leads as a result.

So, as the typical buyer is changing – how is your marketing strategy adjusting to their preferences – and is your brand present in the right places?

2. Is your content working for you?
While channel and medium are important for brand visibility, quality content is equally important to ultimately drive new sales leads. Having a full roster of content that matches the various stages of the sales cycle is one way of supporting your sales team to engage prospects- from building awareness through to the selection stage – and then after the sale is complete. While some may rush to produce a brochure and then consider the job complete, content starts at a much earlier stage, where people ‘Google’ for information. It’s here where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) becomes vital to ensure that your content – whether it’s your website, whitepaper, blogs or brochure – are discoverable in direct searches, as well as where your competitors may reside.

Is your content discoverable and is it supporting your sales team to progress prospects through the entire sales cycle? We’ve written about this topic in more depth in our blog Content is King – here.

3. Are your campaigns hitting the mark?
Whether it is to gain credibility with a new segment of the market, generate leads for a new product or to retain or upsell existing clients, your marketing requirements will differ. In a recent study, sales reps maintained the top ranking spot for sourcing product information, survey respondents then ranked vendor websites, trade publications, conference events, industry associations, industry peers, bloggers and analysts as the next top 6 sources of information when researching an industrial product. Thus showing the power of integrated marketing campaigns coming into play to ensure that all your bases are covered. When launching a new product to the market, content – such as blogs, website landing pages and white papers – help to establish the foundational value proposition to the market. You can then follow this up with an analyst relations program, which can provide an avenue to obtain important 3rd party credibility to your story. Speaking at events and participating in industry awards can also help you to reiterate your story in front of your prospects and key influencers. We often talk in the tech industry about the pitfalls of taking a siloed approach to technology – and this is no different when developing your marketing campaigns. Building up momentum through integrated marketing campaigns gives you the power to fire on all your ‘marketing’ cylinders.

Are you utilizing integrated marketing to strengthen your campaigns?

At Quexor, our breadth of marketing services means that we support our clients as an extension of their marketing division. Whether it is providing additional capabilities or managing the full end-to-end marketing function, Quexor works side by side with our clients to ensure their success. Contact us today if you are interested to learn how we can support you.