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Past Marketing Minutes
Which companies are more innovative—big ones or small ones? Chances are you think that small companies are more innovative because they aren’t shackled by elaborate corporate policies and hierarchical bureaucracies.
There was nothing remarkable about Tommy Lasorda as a baseball player. He appeared in only 26 games in his professional career and gave up more than 6 runs per game. As a manager, however, he was among the best.
A study by the Wynhurst Group found that employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58% more likely to still be working for that organization after three years.
Many of today’s firms are opting for office environments with open spaces that house pods of people who work on similar projects. Teams can collaborate more easily and solve problems more quickly, thereby increasing productivity.
According to a recent study by Roper, 60% of business executives believe that content helps them make better buying decisions. Furthermore, the 2016 Demand Gen report found that these decision-makers consume between 3 and 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.
Always Be Hiring!
The turnover within an average sales organization is more than 25% according to the 2015-2016 Sales Effectiveness – Sales Acceleration Survey conducted by DePaul University. Many industries accept this level of turnover amongst the sales ranks as normal, but consider this—would Google accept a 25% turnover in engineering?
Strategy vs. Tactics
Your business isn’t growing, your department isn’t delivering on its objectives, or you’re falling short of your sales goals. Something has to change… but is it strategy or tactics? 2,500 years ago, Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu wrote, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
When It’s Broke, Fix It!
According to a recent study conducted by a team of psychologists from several major universities, even employees who were the most focused on learning and improvement were “significantly unhappy” with the constructive criticism they received during annual performance reviews. This explains the results from a separate study conducted by Deloitte, where 58% of responding executives noted that their current performance review process drove neither employee engagement nor high performance. To make matters worse, an internal investigation of Deloitte’s own processes discovered that completing forms, holding meetings, and creating ratings consumed almost 2 million hours per year.
In past years, sales managers often started each day by shooing their teams out of the office and into the streets believing that the best way to make plan was to get in front of customers. Reps who spent too much time in the office were often labeled “office dogs” because they lacked the motivation to spend all day in the field. Today, those so-called office dogs might well be the key to growing your company!
Mobile e-mail opens surpassed desktop opens for the first time in 2015, and the now ubiquitous smartphone is changing the way shoppers interact with brands. Smart marketers have tapped into the power of platforms like YouTube and Facebook to drive more interaction, encourage purchases, and constantly expand their audience.
Oh Say Can You “C”
According to a study by Google and Milliard Brown Digital, C-Suite decision-makers have the final say in 64% of deals and heavily influence another 22%. Successful sellers know how to build a strong business case and ROI for their solutions, yet almost 54% of sales leaders think their teams need to get better at these types of conversations.
According to a study by Leadership IQ, 46% of new hires will fail within the first 18 months. Their companies will then spend the equivalent of six to nine months of the position’s salary finding and training replacements.
When was the last time you asked someone on your staff what your company stands for and what sets it apart from its competitors? Try it today—you might be surprised by the answers.
No one would argue that prospects seem more focused on price today than twenty or even ten years ago. The question—and perhaps the secret to your sales success—is why?
According to CSO Insights, only 63% of sales reps achieve their sales quotas annually. Many attribute these dismal performance numbers to the fact that buyers have changed their behaviors, but sellers still cling to “best practices” that have gone the way of the dinosaur.
The Organization We Compromise For
Dysfunctional organizations don’t just materialize. According to American Entrepreneur and Marketer Seth Godin, they develop as a result of many compromises made over time.
Get ‘Er Done
It happens all the time. You attend a seminar and hear the speaker say, “You need a good business strategy if you’re going to be successful.” You leave the event fired up and ready to craft the strategic plan that will drive success. But then the day-to-day realities of running a company, a division, a department, or a sales territory take over and get in the way.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…
A It’s pretty easy for a shopper to get distracted and abandon a virtual or physical shopping cart. Time constraints and uncertainty about product suitability often cause potential shoppers to wander away at the worst possible time—the point of purchase.
There’s a lot of competition when it comes to selling coffee, donuts and sandwiches. Smart marketers know that even though these products may seem like commodities, how customers feel about buying them doesn’t have to be.
People interact with their banks differently today than they have in the past. Changing needs and perhaps a reluctance of many banks to respond to these changes have given rise to Internet banking options that appeal to today’s technology savvy, smartphone toting customers. A recent survey by research firm TNS, found that direct banks (those without physical locations that offer services via the Internet or telephone, like Ally and Discover Bank) were the only category of banks to gain share in the past decade among retail customers.
Smell Like Coconuts
A new line of sun-care products launched this summer is targeting a new audience that has been largely ignored when it comes to sun protection…men. Banana Boat, a division of Energizer Holdings, will spend an estimated $2.8 million on digital advertising to promote its new line, Banana Boat Triple Defense Sunscreen for Men.
The Other is Gold
The first songbook published by the Girl Scouts in 1925 included a little ditty about making new friends but keeping the old. As the song goes, one is silver and the other is gold. With gold trading in the vicinity of 26 times more than silver, those lyrics might offer a valuable lesson to today’s marketers.
Good ideas are born every day and many of them come from a simple thought: “there has to be a better way.” The idea for Under Armour hatched from the mind of Kevin Plank as he watched his teammates struggle to pull off their sweaty t-shirts after football practice. He was not the first athlete to make such an observation but his insight launched a $3 billion company.
That and This
One of the most common objections your sales team is likely to face when reaching out to new prospects is the dreaded “We already work with company X for that.” Instead of focusing on how to handle this objection, sales leaders should direct their attention to what caused the objection in the first place.
Their Achilles Heel
According to a recent study by Forrester Consulting, 92% of marketing decision makers feel their companies have taken a greater interest in personalization compared to 2013. Marketers with strategies that allow them to learn more about their customers with each interaction can ultimately see response rates 20 times that of one-size-fits-all marketing, the study reports.
Even with what seems like a Starbucks on every corner, the company hasn’t tired of its quest to make sure its coffee is the last drop in the bottom of every cup. In addition to retail products for home use, Starbucks has added more drive-thrus, coffee trucks for college campuses, and even rare bean tasting rooms to appeal to what seems like the needs of every potential customer.
A Marketing Hat Trick
Capitalizing on the groundswell of interest generated by its second Stanley Cup win since 2012, the LA Kings set out to convert single-game ticket buyers to more profitable season ticket holders. The organization’s marketing game plan began by linking its ticketing database with other data sources from social media, mobile, and its website to create a holistic and more detailed view of LA King fans. Next, the organization capitalized on this new singular view to improve the segmentation of fans and better target e-mail and website messaging to each individual. Lastly, the LA Kings revamped its social media engagement strategy by using a sweepstakes to attract new Twitter followers and then reached out to them through direct messages to start one-to-one relationships with what had been a largely anonymous audience.
Rock Around the Clock
The mantra of today’s marketers is get the right message to the right person via the right channels at the right time. Most companies, however, view message timing in big blocks like seasons, months, weeks, days, or even AM or PM. Outdoor clothing company Patagonia is taking message delivery to the next level and rocking their e-mail marketing around the clock through personalized timed deployments.
According to the North American Content Marketing Institute, 93% of B2B marketers use content to drive sales, find new customers, and build customer loyalty. Despite the fact that on average they use 13 content marketing tactics that include everything from social media and blogging to printed newsletters, less than half feel they are effective at content marketing.
It’s a Matter of Trust
A key component of a successful sales campaign is trust. Customers must believe that a company has the expertise to help them accomplish their objectives and the fortitude to live up to expectations set during the sale.
What’s Your Story?
Rarely is your business the only game in town. You have competitors that do similar things and your prospects hear a version of the same “yada, yada, yada”— we sell print solutions or we specialize in flexible insurance or we have the most scalable computer software.
What to Do
There are 23 million small businesses in the U.S. and they account for more than 54% of all sales, 55% of all jobs, and 66% of all new jobs since the 1970s. And yet, according to a study by on-line marketing platform Yodle, they are typically the last to adopt modern technology and marketing approaches. With fewer hands on deck, less margin for error, and fewer dollars to spend, wouldn’t it be even more important for a small business to improve both the efficiency and the effectiveness of its marketing?