These days, the measure of your success can be as simple as the MQLs you develop, so it’s pretty important to know ahead of time whether your message is mighty, or mighty weak. The best performance predictor is, predictably, also the best way of insuring that your rollout doesn’t flame out.
Your prospects have preferences. You already know that. But knowing which prospects like which forms of media—that’s knowledge with value. Because believe it or not, the majority of leads from companies with over $1 billion in revenue come from one form of media—and probably not one you’d expect.
Trying to figure out the right combination of systems and data sets for your organization is daunting. But more often, that’s the easy part. I’ve seen numerous clients who have implemented all the latest and greatest marketing and sales technology and are no better off because they are now drowning in data. Or the data is so disparate they don’t have access to the right information. And because of that, organizations lose insight into the progress of performance against goals.
Last month we discussed how Colin Powell’s 40–70 rule applies to research. What we didn’t say is that results are only half the story and should not be taken as law-like truth.
Many research programs with obvious results fail when applied to marketing. Why didn’t they work? There was an ’80s rumor that went something like this:
Healthcare marketers, listen up: the people who make the buying decisions—i.e., the IT folks who buy solutions, or not—have a couple of reasons why they buy. You should probably check them out before you structure your account-based marketing.
In his professional life, Colin Powell has been a lot of things, but chief among them is disciplined. In fact, if anybody has ever been “in the zone,” it’s him. Literally. Powell believes that leaders have an “information zone” of 40%-70% to make decisions: If you make a decision with less than 40 percent of the information you need to know, your chances of being right aren’t very good. But if you wait for more than 70 percent of the information, your window of opportunity closes.
Like everyone else in the world, you want to spend more for everything you buy. Wait—you mean you don’t? Then why are you buying banners instead of eBlasts? Sure, banners are a cheaper way to buy leads. But they’re actually more expensive. The confusion is in the conversion.
How to Generate Engaging Content (and Separate Yourself from Those Who Just Engage in Generating Content).
We talked about the guardrails of good content last month, so today we’ll address the architecture of buyer engagement.
I like to follow a proven ideal framework:
Objective: Which area of the buying cycle are we influencing?
Strategy: From which angle are we most likely to interest readers/viewers?
Structure: How do we tell the most compelling story?
Style: What is the appropriate voice and tone?
To understand what makes good content today, all we have to do is look back to the ’50s and ’60s—when it was called copy. Back then, advertising’s primary focus was copy. Copy, it turns out, sold—and sells—products.
And while it has evolved into this thing we now call content, the principles that drive its creation haven’t changed:
People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.
—Howard Luck Gossage, advertising icon
If you can guess where content development ranks as a focus area among marketing strategists, you can probably guess why it means a lot more than simply communicating with your audience. Words mean more these days, and there’s a very simple but powerful reason why.