When businesses wanted to buy software pre-internet, they would physically buy a CD-ROM, install it on everyone’s computer and pay a licensing fee. Like so many sectors, the rise of the web turned things on its head. Software as a Service (SaaS) is a way of delivering software online, paying a monthly subscription without installation costs. Since the rise of Salesforce in the late 90s, the SaaS market has exploded. Lower costs, greater access to cloud storage and increased speed have moved the market away from an enterprise-only concern to a space open to businesses of all sizes.
Two out of three business leaders who’ve signed up to our Return On Marketing Investment webinars aren’t measuring marketing ROI at all. We’re not saying this to call them out - far from it. They know ROI is important, they want to know how best to measure the results of their marketing efforts, but they weren’t sure how to make a start. Here’s how.
For as long as there have been markets, there has been a thing called “market research.” The Phoenicians - a civilisation in the Middle East, established four and a half thousand years ago - studied consumer demand for their exports, and became the trading powerhouse of the classical world. Marco Polo’s diaries talk about the trade studies he conducted for Kublai Khan. Despite this long history of success, a lot of businesses still don’t fully understand the markets they operate within, or the people they’re trying to reach. That’s why we’re going to walk you through what market research is, what good it does for a business, when’s the right time to do it, and how to do it well.
When you’re a multinational corporation, the marketing world is your oyster. Want to generate brand awareness? Invest in a few peak time TV ads on ITV for £30k a pop. Or take out a colour double-page spread in The Times for £42,000. If you’re thinking bigger, why not shell out $5.25 million on a 30-second Superbowl advert? How about all of the above? However, very few of these “big business” marketing tactics work for smaller companies with tighter budgets. Account-based marketing (ABM) is different. The approach of aligning sales and marketing to focus energies on a few accounts rather than a broad segment is one that medium-sized businesses can easily adopt. And according to specialist services marketing association ITSMA, 85% of marketers have found that account-based marketing delivers higher ROI than any other marketing approach. It’s probably why you’ve heard more and more of your peers talking about it of late.
A lot of people think that marketing is solely concerned with long-term growth. If you need short-term financial fixes, they say, you need to turn to sales. While it’s true that marketers have the big picture in mind, it’s simply false that they can’t help businesses in the here and now. A PPC push, an email re-engagement campaign, a promotional offer - each of these is designed to work in the space of days or weeks, not months. And each can add considerable value to your sales pipeline. Even these short-term campaigns require strategic marketing thought, however. While sales might hammer a (GDPR-approved) list with cold calls to try and make immediate financial gains, we think there are better ways to go about it. So here are five ways marketing can fatten up your sales pipeline for the quarter.