I am often asked in one-on-one conversations and group discussions whether Marketers should concentrate their resources on a single unique strategy, or spread their effort across many campaigns. Apart from the obvious argument that the “CMO should not put all their eggs in one basket”, there are real benefits to exploiting all options when developing marketing plans to deliver the demand generation needs of the business.
There is a natural tendency for people to believe that the latest and greatest technology idea or trend will provide a simple and affordable solution to complex business problems. This is evident today by the emphasis on social or inbound marketing as the single source of leads. Many people are extrapolating that since social is huge (which is obvious) and everyone is talking only about content marketing, that today’s CMO just needs to concentrate on one or both of these and the demand generation problem is solved. This is clearly not the case. I’m not suggesting that both of these areas aren’t of enormous value when used as part of an integrated plan, but building a successful and credible inbound source of leads can take time.
Diversify Your Efforts
This type of thinking is not new. During the dotcom bubble of the late nineties there was a similar problem. The view of “build it (a website) and they will come” prevailed as the way to ensure a massive business success at a negligible cost. As we now know, things didn’t work out that way and many companies wasted a lot of money by focusing on only one avenue. All businesses are sophisticated with lots of small moving parts and have, from a marketing perspective, lots of ways of engaging with prospects, leads and customers.
Implement a Mixed Campaign Strategy
When I am looking at our business plan for a year, I spend a lot of time considering where our leads for sales will come from. I always prefer a broad mix of campaigns that will support the different lead sources. Prospects are engaging in more ways than ever before, and being where your prospect is, be that at an in-person event, searching on Google, or on a relevant 3rd party website, is critical.
A Complete Strategy
A complete marketing strategy therefore starts with digital – web inbound supported by strong content, social, paid search, etc. In addition, I would plan regular and frequent events (offline & online), third party email, partner programs along with some very traditional sales outbound lead generation. This not only ensures that I am optimizing my reach, to my total target audience, but that I am also addressing each stage in my sales and marketing funnel, thereby answering the questions as and when the buyer asks them.
Through continuously measuring these campaigns I can decide which dial to turn up as appropriate throughout the year. Limiting my company to just a few leads sources probably means an incomplete plan with a reduced number of leads for the sales team.