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. Here are 5 steps to grow your sales pipeline by 5x in 3 months:
It may be prime suspect in the gruesome murder of the radio star (according to The Buggles at least), but for medium-sized businesses, video is nothing but good news. According to original research by Southport-based video marketers Wyzowl, 96% of people say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service, 79% of people say a brand’s video has convinced them to buy a piece of software or app, and 68% of people say they’d most prefer to learn about a new product or service by watching a short video.
Who’s the best driver in the world: Rally star Sébastien Ogier or F1 champion Lewis Hamilton? Trick question. Both are viable contenders, but only for a given value of “best”. Their driving styles are worlds apart. F1 is a matter of speed, precision and perfect understanding of the vehicle. A rally champion may not hit the same raw m.p.h., but they need to drive with flamboyance and a will to improvise. There’s a fundamental difference in mindset and skill set involved, and a champion behind one wheel may end up in the middle of the pack behind another. There’s a lot more to the choice than: “well, they both drive fast, don’t they?” So it goes with many things - including sales and marketing.