Enterprise Inbound Marketing Process: Collaborative Review & Strategy
In a highly competitive marketplace, you have to be ready to pivot at any time in order to continue to grow and gain market share. We have done that twice during the past five years. Four years ago, we started the transformation from an integrated marketing company (primarily print and web) to an inbound marketing agency focusing on brand awareness and lead generation via digital marketing. Now we are pivoting again to what we call an enterprise inbound marketing agency. We are helping larger companies to increase revenues through digital marketing and to make their sales and marketing teams more efficient and productive using marketing technology. We have developed a process for doing just that, and we're busy executing it with both new and retained clients. It all starts with a collaborative review.
Introducing Our Enterprise Inbound Marketing Process
Enterprise Inbound Marketing differs from inbound marketing both in its scope and alignment with industry practices at the mid-to-large size company scale. Larger companies in the 100+ to 1000+ employee range are generally further along in their development of sales and marketing resources and processes than their SMB and startup counterparts. There are distinct sales and marketing organizations, typically headed by a VP for each wing. There are usually well defined processes in place and skill groups assigned to each function. These folks have been at it for a while and are looking to improve results in several key areas:
- Content Marketing - developing and distributing relevant, helpful content to fill the sales funnel with likely buyers
- Demand Generation - to reach out to new prospects who are currently unaware of our brand and solutions and capture their interest as opted-in leads
- Lead Nurturing - to reduce the number of lost leads, assist in qualifying leads and move them toward sales-readiness
- Marketing Automation - to leverage marketing technology to improve lead intelligence and scoring, automate demand generation and lead nurturing processes and make the entire digital marketing process accountable through analytics
Our Process Begins With a Conversation
Our Enterprise Inbound Marketing Process is neither a formula nor a static plan. Instead, it's a conversation that begins with understanding a company's goals, resources and needs. We ask several key questions to help us gain that understanding and develop a game plan for achieving goals:
- Where are you now, and how did you get here?
- Where do you want to go—3 months, 6 months, 12 months, years from now?
- What's currently preventing you from achieving those goals?
- What's your sales process, and how well is it working?
- Are sales and marketing on the same page, and if not, why not?
- What do you perceive as your biggest sales and marketing challenges?
- How are you currently utilizing marketing technology?
- Who creates content in your organization, and how does it get reviewed?
- Who are your buyers, and how well is your message received by them?
- Who are you marketing to—yourselves or your buyers?
These questions get the conversation started. This isn't a phone call. It's a live meeting of the stakeholders, maybe several meetings, we use to gain in-depth, definitive answers to these questions that allows us to develop a strategy and plan for each component of Enterprise Inbound Marketing and gain buy-in from the decision makers and their staffs. Without this first step, the entire engagement is at risk of failing to deliver and meet expectations. With an accurate roadmap in hand, we become partners with the company and have a clear vision of how to meet and exceed their goals.
In my next post, I will discuss the all-important Content Marketing component, which is often the missing link in the Enterprise Inbound Marketing chain.
With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. Connect with John via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google Plus.