Marketing activities are not a "one-size-fits-all" affair. Businesses have different characteristics and challenges, which make it difficult to standardize marketing activity. So, determining the best marketing process for a firm requires research and understanding of what that business entails.
This article will show you how to choose the best marketing process for your business.
Factors That Affect The Choice of The Marketing Process
Three key factors influence your marketing process.
1. The nature of Operations
Businesses either offer physical products or services. And since these vary in benefit and characteristics, the marketing process would also differ.
Products businesses tend to adopt more straightforward tactics emphasizing product features and benefits, as shown in content and communication approaches. On the other hand, service businesses adopt more value-focused communications since the value of their offerings is often not obvious.
2. The type of offering
The choice of marketing process will vary depending on the simplicity or complexity of your offering.
Complex/abstract offerings would often adopt more value-driven communications. That would reflect in the kind of content they produce, plus the channels through which they communicate.
Similarly, simple offerings, e.g., basic office software, often work well with straightforward, sales-focused content. The idea is that potential customers would already know what the solution provides.
3. The Buyer persona
Whether your offering is simple/complex, a service or a product, your ideal customer plays a huge role in your marketing direction. Marketing activities focus on communication with these prospects. So, knowing where they hang out, their pain points, etc., will determine your content, tone, and distribution methods. Check out Persona discovery welcome sequence and Persona Based Nurturing Flows for more details on how to use marketing automation to communicate with your with different personas.
For example, if your business targets B2B CEOs and Managers, you might be more inclined toward professional platforms like LinkedIn and Email. While if it is B2C millennial customers, other social media platforms may be your focus.
How to design the right type of marketing process for your business
Considering these factors, you can easily determine the best marketing process to adopt for your business. Ideally, your entire customer journey would fall under the three main stages of the Top of the funnel (Lead generation), Middle of the funnel (Lead nurturing), and Bottom of the funnel(Lead Conversion).
Generating B2B traffic and leads generally occurs through Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Social Media Marketing (SMM). Your lead generation content depends on the type of information that your audience needs to make decisions.
So, if your products are simple and transactional, create content around them. Highlight key benefits and push for sales often. On the other hand, if your products ate more complex or knowledge-based, you will want to focus on informative pieces. Users will need to understand what benefits they derive from purchasing.
Furthermore, some products and services may have clearer keywords that customers use. If this is the case, drive traffic through SEM and SEO. When keywords are unclear, value-focused content around commonly asked questions will be the best option to reach the audience.
Regarding your distribution, your ideal buyer persona will determine whether you drive traffic through SEM or SMM. If you can easily find your target groups on social media, focus there. If they mainly use search engines, like most B2B customers, you can focus more on paid advertising and SEO-driven content.
In many cases, you will need to test both strategies to see which is the most cost-effective. That is why several businesses use SMM and paid SEM in the early stages but also use SEO content as a long-term strategy.
However, in many cases, digital channels like SEM and SMM may not be the best way to reach your target audience. Then it is sometimes possible to work with cold emailing and cold calling using pre-purchased lists or even manual outreach.
The type of content you share and the frequency of its distribution in the nurturing stage depend highly on the nature of your products and target audience. Simply put,
Transactional products will work fine with regular content containing product features, discounts, etc. So, emails and social media will be the best options for communication. Customers would probably compare several options, so you want to position yourself as the best deal.
On the other end, knowledge-based or self-service offerings call for a different approach. You would need to factor in consultations, trials and demos, etc. And, considering many of such offerings come with a steep learning curve, you might need "content funnels."
Content funnels work when you classify your audience by what stage they are in the journey. Then you can send them the appropriate content periodically, starting with basics and advancing to more complex features and potentially sales.
Such complex content would also warrant more detail-oriented distribution methods like videos through webinars, YouTube, or written guides.
Part of your target audience might always be closer to buying, especially small businesses with less bureaucracy. Larger enterprises might involve more processes before they can purchase.
Similarly, simpler products are generally easier to close since they are straightforward and usually less expensive than complex products.
For simple products and much smaller firms, often direct selling tactics work just fine. For example, sales landing pages, sales-focused posts, discounts, etc.
However, for larger groups or complex high-value products, it becomes worth doing Account Based Marketing and Sales to those customers. Such could include manual account mapping, targeted advertising, and media campaigns directly to those companies. The firms often have multiple influencers, and it might take time to engage each of them to communicate value.
So, even when using landing pages and other lead magnets, such situations require you to follow up with knowledge-focused content marketing. For example, demos, consultation calls, etc., followed by a structured sales process.
The right marketing process is critical to driving more sales and revenue for your business. But you can only get it right when you fully understand your business and target audience. Determine whether your offering is simple, complex, transactional, knowledge-based, etc. Then, what your target audience looks like and what works for them.
This knowledge will help you determine the best way to draw traffic, nurture leads, and drive conversions, as shown above. In doing so, remember to continuously test and adjust accordingly because no standard marketing template works for all businesses.
Need help in developing a suitable marketing process? Reach out to the Funnelbud team today!