The three digital marketing processes

digital marketing

In 9 out of 10 cases, digital marketing can be simplified to three simple processes: Inbound Marketing, Lead Nurturing, and Digital Campaigns.

If you implement all three processes well, you will be able to scale up your marketing and sales operations to a previously unattainable level, reach more customers, and see a significant sales boost. You will also have more time to focus on new ideas and strategic questions, rather than having to fight new fires and try to cope with tight deadlines.

Read on, and I’ll guide you through the processes one by one, and show you exactly how to implement them.

Digital Process 1: Inbound Marketing (and sales)

Inbound is all about creating sales funnels that start online and end with a purchase. These funnels consist of the following steps:

  1. Get found: Understand what your customers are searching for and write content that will attract visitors
  2. Convert: Convert your visitors to leads by offering something of value
  3. Close: Create processes that allow you to close the deal – using both marketing and sales tactics

Using Smart Marketing you can communicate with your contacts in each step of their buying journey in the best possible way: Get found using content about their day-to-day challenges (usually on your own blog and by marketing on social media), convert by providing valuable insights, and sell by talking about the value you can offer.

Digital Marketing Process 2: Lead Nurturing

Lead Nurturing is important because most leads you get via Inbound Marketing will not yet be ready to buy something. Most of your new leads will drop off somewhere along the journey.

You will also need to nurture existing customers. And the ones who never buy may still be valuable. They may be potential partners, promoters or even potential employees.

Because of this, you need a process that allows your visitors to exit your sales process, get nurtured, and jump back in when they’re ready.

A good Lead Nurturing process accomplishes this. It continues to educate leads that exit your sales process, keeps them warm, and makes it possible for them to opt back into the sales process.

A good nurturing process contains the following components:

  • Collection: Ability for both old and new visitors and leads to enter your nurturing process
  • Segmentation: So that you can communicate in a more relevant way
  • Follow up: Most commonly via email, but also via other mediums such as social and retargeting (and preferably the same message regardless of where they happen to be)
  • Tracking: So that you can see when it’s time to add the lead to a new sales process

Digital Marketing Process 3: Digital Sales Campaigns

Digital sales campaigns will be increasingly important the more lead you generate.

While Lead Nurturing is reactive (in the sense that it waits for your visitors and leads to opt in), digital sales campaigns are proactive.

Here you select a target group or segment (if you have a good Marketing Automation software you can automate segmentation), and then you target this segment with an outreach campaign.

“Selling” can also mean promoting an event or allow them to show their interest in some way. Some of the most common examples of what digital sales campaigns can be about are:

  • Event invitations
  • Webinar invitations
  • Discounts or product offers
  • “Early access”
  • Sign up for beta testing
  • Feedback or surveys

Most companies lack the capacity to execute all this in an effective way. The 80/20 rule is usually valid. One or two of the above will account for the majority of your results. That’s why measuring is so important.

Test some of the methods you instinctively believe in while measuring both cost and results. When you found something that works, forget everything else. Focus on standardizing, systematizing and scaling up the one that works!

A company who has succeeded exceptionally well with this approach is Hypergene, a company I’ve helped in the past. They’re really found the approach that works well for them: Webinars. They’ve standardized how they execute webinars, and refined both pre- and post webinar activities.

Because of their focused approach, they are able to execute several professional and interesting webinars each month – an impressive feat considering their size. They usually have plenty of interested attendees. And of course, this is visible in the sales results. Very impressive!

How all the digital marketing processes work together

Inbound Marketing generates leads. Lead Nurturing educates and keeps your leads warm until they’re ready to buy. And Digital Sales Campaigns captures the ones who are ready into your sales process.

If you want great results, you need to do all three. Each process by itself may be weak.

For example, if you only do Inbound Marketing, you may be able to get a lot of leads, but 95% of your leads will go to waste. In our experience, few Inbound leads tend to be ready to jump straight into a sales process.

Just doing Lead Nurturing will also yield below average results. It is only effective if you have an Inbound Marketing process that pushes leads into it, and if you have a Digital Sales process that the Lead Nurturing can push leads back into.

And Digital Sales Campaigns can only work well if you have a large database of contacts to begin with.

Building all three processes at once can be difficult. My recommendation is to build it in this order:

  1. Start with your Inbound Marketing process: This is your foundation because without it, you will not have any contacts that the other two processes can process. Plus, it is valuable all by itself too.
  2. When you start getting leads regularly, you can shift your focus to Lead Nurturing. This ensures that the majority of the leads you get won’t go to waste.
  3. When you have built up a large enough database, it might be worth trying to target them with more sales oriented offers. Select the types of digital campaigns you believe in, and try what works best.

This all takes time. But when you’re done, you will have a top notch marketing machine. It will pay for itself many times over. And you will free up time and energy for growth, new ideas, and more strategic questions.


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About the Author

Yusuf Young

Yusuf helps companies use Marketing Automation to grow B2B sales. In his role as a Marketing Automation consultant implementing systems such as HubSpot and Salesforce, he discovered the need for better services at a lower cost. Today, he runs FunnelBud to make the fruits of sales and marketing technology available to businesses worldwide.