6 Things a B2B marketing manager would like to say to a sales manager

6 Things a B2B Marketing Manager Would Like to Say to a Sales Manager

While B2B marketing and sales teams are divided by title, they need to work together to create measurable success. The best marketing plans are executed by an attentive marketing team and an involved sales team. The tasks of both overlap quite a bit, so as a B2B sales agent you can’t expect to tip back your office chair and wait for the sales to magically appear in your lap. However, if you sit up straight and jump headfirst into the marketing place, there’s a good chance you will see your B2B sales skyrocket. Ready to learn more about how you can bag those sales? The following are six things a B2B marketing manager would say to a sales manager if given the chance.

6 Things a B2B marketing manager would like to say to a sales manager

 

1. Marketing is not magic.

Marketing involves creativity, data analysis, market research, digital content, and a lot of communication in order to be successful. Effective marketing looks like magic, but it is a team effort with so much done on the backend. Top marketing campaigns are a lot of work, but that work pays off when brand awareness soars and sales follow. As a sales manager who wants to improve your sales, your first step should be reaching out to the marketing team to see how you can help, and to find out the most effective way to close sales following their strategy.

2. Are you sure about who your perfect customer is? (PS – It’s not everyone.)

One common misconception in sales is that everyone is a potential customer. They aren’t. If you are trying to sell your product to everyone, you are wasting their time and yours. Refocusing your marketing, advertising, and sales efforts onto your target customer will offer a much better ROI than continuing to market into what is effectively empty space. You wouldn’t try to sell cat food to a dog owner, so stop trying to sell your product to an audience with no interest.

3. Have you logged into the CRM yet … or ever? (AKA – Is that a Rolodex on your desk?)

As a B2B sales agent do you feel disconnected from your company’s advertising and marketing efforts? Maybe that is because you haven’t taken the time to log in or thoroughly navigate the CRM yet. The same way marketing companies need to look past Facebook and jump into new social media markets, it’s time to adopt new technology and truly learn what an effective communication and goal-orientated tool the CRM software can be.

4. No, automation tools are not robots (well, maybe a little).

One major reservation that people have about automation tools is that they feel robotic. Perhaps the most archaic automation tools are, but if automation is working correctly it is anything but. Automated emails and customer tracking tools should feel highly personalized and relevant. If your B2B sales tools feel robotic, there is a good chance you need to revise the way you approach them.

5. Yes, advertising does work. But you need to nurture warm leads.

Effective advertising is only half the battle. The goal of advertising is to bring customers to the sales team, but it is up to the sales team to close the sale. A lot of potential customers will click through to look at a product, but then don’t complete the sale. The internet is distracting; it’s very easy to click away and never return. It’s your turn now. Grab the attention of browsing customers and close the sale. Reach out to those with incomplete carts and offer them personalized offers that make checkout desirable.

6. Did I mention? Marketing is NOT magic.

Finally, in case you didn’t hear us before, marketing is NOT magic. We put in a lot of work on our end, so make sure you are up to the task of completing the sale. We can send customers your way, but only you can close the deal. Personal attention, open communication, and shared goals are what make B2B advertising and sales compatible and effective.

Interested in learning about how we can help your B2B Marketing Manager AND Sales Manager? Drop us a note, we’re always ready to chat. 

Email Marketing Guide

How to Engage Your Lead with a Strong Email Marketing Sequence

Digital marketing has exploded over the last decade, and there are now dozens of ways to reach out to customers. However, there is still one technique that rises above the others. Believe it or not, email marketing still has the best ROI, even beating out social media marketing.

Why email marketing?

Probably because people tend to pay more attention to their email. You can scroll through a newsfeed aimlessly, but email needs more direct attention since it can contain important information. Catching your target audience when they are paying attention is the key to successful marketing.

Of course, that is easier said than done. You want to evade spam filters and give customers something useful, all while managing your own successful company.

Let’s face it, you don’t have the time to manage personalized email marketing campaigns for each customer, which is where managed email sequencing comes into play. Building a strong email sequence is the foundation that will lead to strong sales leads in the future.

Email Marketing Guide

Work smart with email marketing automation

You DO have time to create a winning email sequencing strategy.

So how do you make the magic happen for you and boost your ROI? It’s this simple, focus on your consumer and your brand. It’s a time-tested formula that never fails.

The best email marketing campaigns are multi-faceted so that you take advantage of every potential lead. Set up multiple email sequences and watch your digital marketing returns skyrocket.

Trigger-based email sequences

These are more customized because they capitalize on the real-time movement and behaviour of browsers and/or potential customers. These emails are pre-set to be sent whenever a user browses your website, abandons a shopping cart, purchases a product, or downloads content. The purpose of these highly effective email sequences is to show the consumer your brand cares about them and is always just a click away.

For instance, a shopper leaves their cart behind and a day passes. The sale may seem gone, that is until an email pops up the next day reminding the shopper to finish their purchase. A cute little tagline and photo of their car works wonders. Maybe they got interrupted or didn’t feel like grabbing their purse, but now your email is giving them second thoughts and they click back to finish the purchase.

Sophisticated CRM management software can make trigger-based email sequences an automatic process so you don’t have to lift a finger, but your customers feel like you gave them individualized attention. It’s a win-win situation.

Time-Based Email Sequences

The second type of email sequence is time-based. Sometimes referred to as automatic emails, these emails can also be scheduled ahead of time to email customers in a predetermined fashion.

For instance, every new customer that opts-in to your website or downloads content will receive a welcome email, and then thirty days after they sign up will receive a second email. Maybe you send out weekly emails that highlight your weekly specials and offer a piece of informative content. Set up the sequence once and let your email marketing campaign do the work for you so you can focus your efforts elsewhere without losing any leads.

If you want to talk about your email marketing, your CRM or marketing automation in general, book a call today or send us a quick note.

To download our sample email sequence, click here.

Small to Medium Business

5 No-Nonsense DIY Marketing Techniques for your Small or Medium-sized Business

Running a small to medium-sized business can be daunting and stressful, especially these days, and the thought of doing your own marketing is even more so – mainly because marketing probably isn’t your area of expertise. The key is to focus and don’t overreach. To keep things simple, here’s the Curve Communications simple step-by-step guide to marketing your business, whether it be business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C).

1) What is your unique sales proposition (USP)?

This is often referred to as your elevator pitch. Your business’ unique selling proposition (USP, also known as unique selling point) is what you do that differentiates your business from your competitors, such as the lowest cost, the highest quality or the first-ever product of its kind. A USP could be thought of as “what you have or do, that competitors simply don’t.” Refining your USP for internal and external marketing will help focus your team for best success moving forward. It will also provide clarity for your revenue team — marketing, sales and customer fulfillment. A USP isn’t a brag; it’s a valid point that reveals the most sellable thing about your business. Really think about what your customers want, and focus on how your product(s) or service(s) will uniquely provide the solution.

Here are some good examples of products with a clear USP that has been included right in the company tagline:

  • Anacin: “Fast, fast, incredibly fast relief”
  • Domino’s Pizza: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less, or it’s free.”
  • FedEx: “When your package absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”
  • M&Ms: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
  • Metropolitan Life: “Get Met. It Pays.”
  • Southwest Airlines: “We are the low-fare airline.”

What is your unique selling point?

2) Define your perfect customer or buyer persona

Your customer or buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your “ideal” customer. It is essentially someone who gets their exact needs met by what you’re offering. The more detailed or niched down your persona is, the more you will be able to target your marketing to that exact person. This will save you time and money on your marketing and make you more money. It will also be easier to measure success. Here are a few questions you can ask to start defining them:

  • How does this ideal client act?
  • What do they want?
  • What do they like or dislike?
  • What are their challenges?
  • What motivates them?

Remember: think about what exactly your buyer persona needs from you, not what you need from them. If you can target that customer persona and their motivations, you’ll increase your odds of real conversions or sales in the long run.

3) Getting your message to your customers

Picking which medium to use is a crucial step. If you have your USP and your customer persona defined, you can make the obvious – and sometimes intuitive – step of choosing the right platform to reach them. Is it Facebook, Instagram, Google Search, legacy media like direct mail, out-of-home, radio, print or TV or some other new form of media? The three main factors you should think about are your message, your audience, and your budget. By considering these factors, you can fully optimize your advertising and marketing successfully. No matter what medium you choose, your message, and how you deliver it, needs to both grab your potential customer’s attention, and show them how what you are selling can fulfill their needs and wants.

Once you have a good idea of where your customer is or what media they are consuming, depending on your budgets, you will need to decide whether this will be a paid campaign or some kind of free campaign like social media or public relations. No matter what, they all take time and money; and don’t forget, your TIME is money too, so don’t choose the cheaper option because it might cost you more in the long run. Often we tell our clients that if they don’t have time to do the work to get the free exposure (pitching media and writing content takes time), they should find some money to pay for marketing and put those funds into paid advertising. As the old saying goes, advertising is the publicity you pay for, PR is the publicity you pray for. To put it simply, it means that while advertising is paid media, public relations (PR) is earned media.

Target Persona

4) Content and advertising

Assuming you already have a website that tells your story and sells your brand, make sure it communicates your USP and is written for your perfect customer as noted in points 1 and 2. Coming up with messaging that causes your perfect customer to ACT, is something different altogether. For both your ads and your content, consider this list from Target Public:

  • What Makes You Stand Out?
  • Use A Powerful Headline
  • Make Them An Offer
  • Talk About The Benefits
  • Tell Your News
  • Take Away Their Fear
  • Call To Action
  • Make It Seem Urgent
  • Use Testimonials
  • Use Exciting Graphics
  • Complete Contact Information

5) Measure and Scale

Marketing your small or medium-sized business does not guarantee a sale or a new customer, but it sure helps. If you follow the above steps, you can grow your business.

Before you start, make sure you have what you need to measure and scale your marketing and for that matter, your business itself. First you need to decide what you want to achieve financially from your marketing, also known as your marketing return on investment (ROI).

Return on investment is a metric that compares how much a team EARNS, to how much it COSTS. It’s calculated using a simple formula: [(money gained – money spent) / money spent] x 100 = ROI.

So if you spend $100 on customer service and, as a result of that service, you earn $150, your return on investment is 50% (150 – 100 = 50; 50 / 100 = 0.5; 0.5 x 100 = 50%). The formula works for product ROI too.

Small to Medium Business

Generally, we recommend that clients spend around 10% of their budget on marketing, which can include a wide array of items including advertisements, staff, events and so on. Based on that math, the above-noted product would require $15 to market as part of your “money spent” portion. In other words, you should be willing to spend $15 for every $150 sale.

Assuming you want to make 1000 sales in a year, then your gross marketing budget should be 15 x 1000 = $15,000. Likely for many small businesses, that is a manageable budget for media like Google, Facebook and others. But you need to be efficient, and you will need to test and measure before you scale.

Testing requires that you know where a lead or sale comes from. With digital marketing, that is pretty straightforward, but with people phoning or walking in the door, you need to find other ways to track sales. And remember, your ads or other marketing initiatives may not hit the perfect ROI at first, but you should always have a goal.

The good news is, once you hit that magical ROI, you will have information to scale and really start growing your business, which is what future marketing of your business is all about.


 

By George Affleck, Founder and President of Curve Communications. If you want to talk to George about your company’s marketing strategy, click here to access his schedule.

plan_built_for_you@2x

How to Write Blog Posts That Drive the Right Traffic to Your Website (And It’s Way Easier Than You Think)

This week I gave my agency team the ultimate challenge: 52 blog posts in 52 weeks.

The ideas for post subjects came from a list of attention-grabbing headlines I found on a Facebook group (btw — Facebook groups are great places for inspiration and knowledge building), courtesy of Vietnam-based content provider Jos Aguiar (https://iamjosaguiar.com/).

Ready to Blog

I was surprised at how excited my team got. I sent them 74 possible headlines (see full list below) and said first come first served. In other words, whoever tagged their favourite headline first would likely make their life easier on the writing side.

Now — to be clear — just because Curve Communications does marketing and advertising does not mean all of us are writers. So the idea of writing 500 words on any subject did intimidate some, but it also thrilled others, mostly based on their writing skill levels.

The thing is, any small to medium-sized business can do this, and I would argue they NEED to do it. Content on your website and in your social feeds is king. Original content that is helpful and that evokes the personality of your business is even more crucial to engaging your current audience and enticing new people to buy your products or services.

The key to this process is to be fast at it. Choose your title, fill in the blanks, and start writing based on your knowledge base. You don’t have to be an expert but one would assume that if you own a small business, you likely are skilled at what you do. The fact is, once you have the title of the piece, the hard work is done.

I am writing this first piece of the series right now – so far, what you have read has taken me ten minutes to write. I am a pretty good writer, but I’m also a major procrastinator when it comes to getting my fingers on the keyboard. So if you are like me, or like some of my staff who are challenged by time or a writing focus, there are some shortcuts you can take.

For my team, I have said I will let them outsource the work, but they have to come up with a title first using the list below. Sites like Fiverr.com, CrowdContent.com, and Upwork.com are perfect for finding great writers. Or if they really want to, the reluctant writer in my group might want to slip 50 bucks to a fellow team member and get them to do the work. However, I am hoping they don’t do that and instead take the time to write what they know better than most. It should be a proud moment to shine.

So — what are you waiting for? You too could have 52 articles about your business’ focus that will be helpful to your customers or clients and drive new visitors to your website. And — in a way — it’s great to build team spirit and share knowledge internally and externally. Right, team?!

Stay tuned to this page and our social feeds because over the next 52 weeks there WILL be new content here from a variety of sources, giving you a ton of great marketing information, and it will hopefully inspire you to do the same. Happy New Year!

(74 Killer Headlines for your Blogs!)

74 Great Headlines

George Affleck is the Founder of Curve Communications, a Vancouver-based digital marketing agency focused on lead generation for small and medium-sized businesses. His team loves it when he comes up with ideas like this. If you would like to chat with George about your business’ marketing, schedule a free consultation here.

How Magazine Design for the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation is Transforming the Lives of Canadians from Coast to Coast

How Magazine Design for the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation is Transforming the Lives of Canadians from Coast to Coast

How Magazine Design for the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation is Transforming the Lives of Canadians from Coast to Coast

Getting your content in front of the right eyes is more important than ever these days. With access to millions of stories at our fingertips, it takes time to create an engaging magazine that really catches your reader’s eye.

That’s why the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation (DSRF) and the Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) chose to work with our team to design their first national quarterly publication, 3.21: Canada’s Down Syndrome Magazine. For many years, the DSRF has come to Curve Communications for a variety of marketing initiatives, videography, and photography content, and when it came to the creation of 3.21 they knew exactly who to count on to turn their publication dreams into a reality.

The Design Process

The DSRF came to us with the idea of creating an all-new quarterly publication, full of stories from Canada’s Down syndrome community. The publication would be distributed nationally through the DSRF and CDSS websites and social channels, with some physical copies made available for local communities. They needed a reliable team who could bring together their collection of stories, images, features, and ads into one glossy publication with an e-magazine to accompany it – and that’s where Curve stepped in.

The DSRF had been putting out a newsletter for more than two decades but knew it was time to expand it into a more polished and professional magazine, similar to what you might see on a newsstand.

Now you might be thinking – why follow a traditional magazine format, and revive an old medium? “When you work with the right organization and audience, magazines are a great way to get your message out through the noise,” says Amanda Bates, Curve’s Vice President and client lead with DSRF. Our team worked hard to understand the wants and needs of the DSRF and their key audience. For the DSRF and their collaborative partners at CDSS, that meant creating a sleek magazine that would serve as a forum to inform and inspire individuals and families across the country. And for their audience, it meant having access to a publication that showcases important stories of families and individuals just like them. 

Curve developed the magazine’s branding and aesthetic from scratch, creating a bright and professional template for the overall look of the magazine and its regular features, and from there it was up to us to bring the publication to life. With each successive issue, our collaboration with the DSRF continues to evolve as a publication for families and individuals with stories and advice from Canada’s leading Down syndrome experts, parents and self-advocates.

The Results

The whole process was spearheaded by our Manager of Creative Projects, Kerry Slater, and after a couple of meetings, 3.21’s look and format were created, along with the launch of a logo, all incorporating uplifting, bright colours throughout the publication to accompany the positive and encouraging stories within. “Creating 3.21 with the DSRF has been incredibly rewarding and has really allowed me to grow in my design work. With each edition of 3.21, I feel more and more at home with the DSRF team. They’ve allowed me to branch out with design and take artistic risks, which have paid off,” says Kerry. And there’s proof of Kerry’s hard work, eye for design, and total understanding of DSRF’s value as an organization on each page of 3.21.

So, what does the DSRF think of their shiny new quarterly publication? “We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Curve Communications on 3.21: Canada’s Down Syndrome Magazine,” says Glen Hoos, Director of Communications at DSRF. “The product gets better and better. Our office proudly displays each of Kerry’s magazine covers on our walls and we look forward to working together on this project for many years to come.”

Are you interested in working with Curve Communications on your next design project? Our team works hand-in-hand with our clients to understand their business, brand, and initiatives.

To book an appointment with us, click here.