Know Your Budget and Decide Which Marketing Channels Are Right For You

In part 4 of the Campaign Planning series, you’ll learn to choose the right marketing channels for your campaign, and increase your chances of success.

Now that you’ve got a targeted marketing goal, developed a comprehensive plan, and determined what kinds of campaigns your business should run throughout the buyer’s journey, now it’s time to decide on the best marketing channels to use given your goals and budget.

The best channels to use are those where your prospective buyers are, and to reach them, you’ll need to develop a campaign strategy that gets you where you want to be. In this final article on Campaign Planning, we’re going to discuss:

  • Deciding on what marketing channels you want to target
  • How to make it all work within your budget

Determining the Marketing Channels That Work for You

buyers

How do B2B companies know which marketing channels to choose for their campaigns?

In order to determine which marketing channels will best suit your campaign’s needs, you’ll need to figure out what your strategy is. To do this, it helps to research, ask yourself questions around these three objectives:

  • Target audience. You’ve got to go where your potential customers are spending their time–whether that’s on social media platforms, reading industry reports, or engaging with your website and content. After you know where your target audience is spending their time, you’ll want to focus on those channels.
  • Competitor benchmarking. Take a step back and see what your competitors are doing and where they are engaging with potential customers. What seems to be working for them? Observe what’s successful and determine how you can do something similar.
  • What kind of budget are you working with, and what do you expect to put towards each channel? Remember, it’s helpful to figure out what your expected ROI is for each marketing channel that you engage in.

This process is useful for determining what marketing channels you should consider for your campaign. However, if you already have a channel that successfully brings in leads or generates sales, use these objectives to determine ways to get more out of it.

If it’s already working, tinker with it and see how you can apply cross-channel marketing tactics. For example, if enhancing your brand image is a part of your marketing goals, and you’ve had success doing this on social media, consider incorporating online ads or pay per click (PPC) on those platforms to boost your reach even further.

There are a variety of marketing channels to choose from once you determine where your target audience is and what your budget is, and they broadly fall into three categories: brand awareness, lead generation, and direct sales. Many companies find success by using a variety of different channels and depending on your goals, you’ll want to incorporate channels that are in one, two, or all three of those categories.

Working with Marketing Channels — But Staying Within Your Budget

Multi channel Choose the channels that work for your company, but remember to stick to your budget

Embarking on a marketing campaign is a fantastic way to reach your goal of growing your business. While we all wish we had unlimited funds to do this, the reality is we do not. This is why it’s crucial that any marketing efforts your company engages in not only rest within your budget, but also provide you with the highest ROI. You don’t want to find yourself engaging in a marketing channel that just isn’t worth the time or the money you’ve budgeted, which is why first determining what will work for your company is so important.

The first step to determining a budget is sitting down and making a list of all possible expenses that will be incurred over the course of the campaign. Then apply that amount to your usual yearly marketing budget and determine if it is feasible. It’s helpful to look at ranges of marketing campaign budgets in your industry to ensure you’re not over/underspending. Once you’ve decided that this will work, consider allocating your budget across months or quarters. Breaking it up into smaller amounts will help you account for your budget and your successes as you move along in the campaign.

marketing chart

Choosing which marketing channel to focus on depends on your target audience and what is feasible within your budget–so meet your audience there! Employing a variety of marketing channels that work with your budget could help you reach your company’s goals, whether that’s brand awareness, increasing leads, or getting direct sales. If this sounds like something your business is interested in contact Company Expert to get started.

Understanding the Buyer’s Journey: Different Kinds of Campaigns

In part 3 of the Campaign Planning series, you will learn how to use different types of campaigns for each step of the buyer’s journey to reach your marketing objectives.

The next phase in the Campaign Planning series dives into the different types of campaigns your company can develop for each phase of the buyer’s journey. Having a solid plan in place with specific objectives should make this phase go smoothly.

planner

For most B2B companies, you may have up to five different stages of the buyer’s journey. So what exactly should your business be implementing at each stage to increase sales, grow, and build brand awareness? Glad you asked because in this article we’re going to discuss:

  • How to describe each of the stages of the buyer’s journey and what it means to your business.
  • Tactics to use at each stage to drive more customer conversions.

The Buyer’s Journey

What are the stages of the buyer’s journey and what do they mean to your company?

dataUse each phase of the buyer’s journey to engage with customers. 

At its core, the buyer’s journey is how customers become aware of, evaluate, and finally, decide on which product or service to purchase. Although it may look different from industry to industry, this phased process is how most B2B companies find the best product or service to meet their needs. Let’s take a closer look at what these stages are, and ways to engage with prospective customers.

Awareness Stage

At this stage, your prospect is aware of their pain points and is looking for a company that can deliver a solution to solve them. At this stage, your business really needs to think like a buyer and try to understand how they would describe their goals and challenges. What do they need to know in order to decide this pain point is a priority and is it worthwhile to invest in finding a solution? At this point, you want to make prospective buyers aware of your solutions.  Helpful content you can make available to them on your website or social media accounts at this phase might include things like:

  • Product tear sheets
  • Industry reports
  • Educational blog posts
  • White papers/Thought leadership pieces
  • Social media posts targeting specific products/services

Consideration Stage

At the consideration stage, prospects have decided that their need is a priority, and are considering their options when it comes to providers that could potentially fulfill that need. At this point, they will consider the different approaches/solutions providers may use to best address their pain points. At this point, it’s important to think about what kinds of solutions your prospects might investigate, what are the pros and cons, and how will they know that your solution is the right one for them? Consider developing your content to speak directly to the answers to these questions.  At this stage, the content that can be most effective can include:

  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Case studies
  • Demonstrations
  • Expert guides
  • How-to manuals

Decision Stage

This is the stage where the buyer will make a decision and transition into being a customer. They have evaluated their options and have chosen a company whose product best suits them. At this stage, include content to help your buyer finalize their decision. Ask yourself what do they like about your product or service versus the competition, do they have any concerns, and what criteria do your buyers use to evaluate your product or service? Ways to get this kind of information to them includes:

  • Price comparisons
  • Free trials
  • References and testimonials
  • Use cases/Prototypes

Retention

If you’re offering B2B solutions, you’ll want to ensure that your customer stays with your company for longer. In order to work on retaining a customer at this stage, focus on content that will either provide additional value to the relationship or provide feedback to your organization that can be acted on in the future.  This may include:

  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Product training
  • FAQs
  • Online help

Advocacy

This phase focuses on those customers that really use, and like, your product or service. Tap into the power of that advocacy to gain new customers by featuring:

  • Testimonials
  • Reviews
  • Customer interviews
  • Referral programs

Marketing Campaign Ideas for Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

5 stepRun the right kind of campaign to reach your goals

What your overall goal is for your marketing campaign will determine which path you choose, and what types of tactics you employ to reach what you’re aiming for. For an awareness campaign, your goal is to increase engagement and get your brand out there. In order to do that, you could run a traditional media campaign coupled with use of social media to get your brand in front of potential customers. Once you drive traffic to your site, consider offering prospects a contest, or give them access to industry reports, analyses, or other educational information.

If your company’s goal is to get more leads, your consideration campaign should include re-engagement, targeting personas, competitive drips, and boosting subscriptions to your blog. When you’re ready to generate those leads into sales at the decision phase, your business should focus on a case study campaign, assigning leads to sales reps, and re-engaging with potential customers with abandoned carts.

If your company is a B2B business, you’ll definitely want to invest in running retention and advocacy campaigns after you acquire a customer. Retention campaigns can utilize tactics such as upselling, success/engagement campaigns, and including relevant special offers. Turn those customers who are pleased with your product or service into advocates by asking for reviews and using targeted re-engagement.

Throughout the cycle of the buyer’s journey, there are specific campaigns you can turn to in order to reach your goals. By engaging with prospects and assisting them along their journey, you will not only convert leads to sales, but you might just make customers for life!

If you’d like more information on how to best utilize these different kinds of campaigns and see your company grow, contact Company Expert.

 

 

Beginning Your Campaign: Marketing Goals and Objectives

In part 1 of our Campaign Planning series, this article will discuss the importance of campaign marketing to your company’s growth and how to lay out your goals and objectives.

For B2B businesses, it’s critically important to have a plan – and that includes a plan for reaching your marketing goals! After all, how will you know that your marketing efforts have worked without first focusing on what you’d like to achieve and how to go about doing it? In this four-part series, we’re going to be discussing the ins and outs of campaign planning and why it’s so crucial to increasing sales, building your brand, and keeping your business on target to reach your goals. But you’ve got to start somewhere, so in this first article we’re going to discuss:

  • The importance of marketing campaign planning
  • Understanding your goals and objectives

Why is Marketing Campaign Planning So Important?

Taking the time to plan your campaign will pay off in the long run

planning Having a marketing plan with clear goals and objectives will set you up for success.

We all know that planning ahead can save time and money, whether it’s creating a logical way to achieve goals, or planning for a trip. You wouldn’t just go off to someplace far away without a plan, right? Well, maybe some people would. But when it comes to increasing sales and building your brand, it’s always best to have a well-laid-out plan of attack. Building marketing goals is a smart decision since it will provide specific and measurable metrics from which you can determine your success. Goal setting is also crucial since those companies that write and organize their goals have a much better chance of achieving them. In fact, businesses have a 538% more chance of success when marketing strategies are documented. That’s a staggering number!

Developing a clearly defined marketing goal also helps keep your team focused. Having objectives in place allows them to achieve those goals, step by step. This visibility allows those involved to see how the campaign is coming together and makes it easier to collaborate and make tweaks as the process moves along. After all, companies that set clear goals have a 429% higher chance of success than companies that do not. Did you know that marketing goals also:

  • Create alignment across your company
  • Impact sales and revenue
  • Allows you to have a targeted approach
  • Give you insight into the marketing collateral
  • Helps you track spending and ROI

There are clearly multiple benefits to having a plan in place to achieve your goals, so let’s delve into how to get started.

Creating Your Marketing Goals and Objectives

Marketing GoalsFollow the SMART system to set up your marketing goals and objectives

The first step in your marketing campaign is to establish your goals and objectives. Do you want to increase sales and revenue? Promote brand awareness or a new product or service? Or perhaps you just want to boost user engagement or advertise for a big event? Whatever your big goal is, write it down, because the next step is creating SMART objectives to help you attain that goal. Objectives are measurable steps that your team can take to reach your target goal. In order to qualify as a SMART objective, it must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Let’s explore a little more about what that means.

  • Any objective you use to attain your goal should be defined and precisely lay out what it is you want to accomplish. This helps target your focus so that you create a plan for success. In order to get very specific, try to answer the 5W questions–who, what, when, where, and why.
  • Objectives should be quantified in order to track progress, set milestones, and meet deadlines. This helps to determine whether or not your endeavor was successful or not.
  • Ensure that your objective is attainable, given the time, skills, and resources you have available. This does not mean it has to be easy. Challenging objectives cause companies to reach for their full potential and find new ways to be successful that may have previously been overlooked.
  • Your objective should always align with the overall mission of your company, and the achievement of your campaign planning goal should be important to those involved.
  • Time-Bound. Definite time frames, target dates, and deadlines create a sense of urgency–and urgency gets things done! Creating long-term objectives that can be met with shorter-term deadlines is a great way to set yourself up for success.

When creating your objectives, make sure each stands up to the SMART criteria. That way, you’ll be creating a clear, focused path towards your goal.

SMART

Planning a marketing campaign by setting up goals and objectives is a proven pathway to success. At Company Expert, we partner with our client’s hand in hand to help them reach their goals and succeed.  We have found that detailing their goals by using SMART objectives significantly increases their chances of success.