Today’s economic indicators seem to be positive. Unemployment rates are down. GDP numbers are up. And it seems that more and more companies are meeting, and even exceeding, their revenue growth objectives. Favorable economic conditions are always welcome, but we all know that success just doesn’t happen. It takes hard work and preparation from a lot of people to grow a business.
Preparation can take a lot of different forms – hiring, training, building out processes, and leveraging new technology. Proper preparation also requires that we re-evaluate our infrastructure. Do we have the essential elements in place in which to build upon? Our houses have infrastructure – foundation, plumbing, electrical, heating, and air conditioning, etc. Our marketing has required infrastructure as well. Below is a list of the basic marketing infrastructure elements critical to growing a company.
Marketing & Sales Service Level Agreement
This ensures that everyone on your team – the executive team, the marketing staff, and the salespeople – are all speaking the same language, working toward the same objectives, and have a clear understanding of expectations and accountability.
Fictional, generalized representations of ideal customers that are used to internalize the ideal customer you're trying to attract. Understanding your buyer personas (or target personas) help you relate to your prospects as real humans and guide all of your content and campaign decisions.
Strategic Marketing Plan
Map out tactics and campaigns, prioritize resource allocation, and assign responsibilities and deadlines.
Your website is the virtual front door of your business and often establishes your prospects’ first impressions. It should be SEO-optimized and built using the most current graphic standards.
Goals & Objectives
It’s critical to have targets to shoot for and ways to determine our success.
Analytics & Metrics
Analytics are a fundamental piece of marketing infrastructure because they help us understand our progress. They give insights as to what’s working, what’s not working, and where your investments are paying off.
Search engine optimization is a methodology used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high ranking on a search results page. Approaches to optimizing your search results are continually changing. It’s important to stay up-to-date.
Subject Matter Expert Bios
Your company will benefit when your leaders share their subject matter expertise and thought leadership. It builds their personal brands and builds credibility with your target prospects.
Branding Elements (logo, messaging, color palette, letterhead, etc.)
These are tangible representations of your company to the market. Consistently communicating these elements establish the character your company is known for.
Articles, blogs, checklists, videos, podcasts, whitepapers, and eBooks, are all ways to grow your brand, communicate your message, and establish credibility with your prospects.
Technology used to instill discipline and efficiency into the ongoing communication with your prospects.
A clean and current list of your marketing targets (companies and individual targets) that can be easily segmented for efficient communication.
This allows you to stay top-of-mind with your prospects and customers by efficiently and consistently communicating current messaging.
Email Marketing Platform
A tool to facilitate the efficient and legal way of communicating a 1-to-many email message.
PPC/Digital Advertising Plan
Paid channel marketing (paid social, pay-per-click, AdWords, banner ads, etc.) used to drive online traffic and lead generation.
Your company and every key member of your team should have an up-to-date social media presence and use it to frequently share your company’s marketing and thought leadership content.
Helps salespeople manage the sales process and communicate with prospects. It can also be used to manage sales pipelines, forecasts, performance KPIs and track marketing ROI.
Un-gated and downloadable content that prospects can access via the website, or that salespeople can send via email, that answers common questions and accelerates the sales process.
Technology that provides salespeople insights into who is opening emails, downloading content, and visiting the website, helps them prioritize their time and be more responsive.
It’s great to have a lot of content, but it needs to be easy to find, easy to access, and easy to use.
These help build your credibility with your prospects and provide them confidence that you have helped others solve problems similar to theirs.
Keep your salespeople from “recreating the wheel” every time they create a proposal and ensure that your corporate message and branding is adhered to.
Prospect engagement sequence maps that guide salespeople through the sales process. They include email templates, call scripts, and sales collateral for various common sales scenarios.
When was the last time you evaluated the condition of your marketing infrastructure? Do you need to add to it or enhance it? Are there areas that need improvement or refining? The companies that will take advantage of improving economics are the ones who not only prepare and plan, but who invest in a comprehensive marketing infrastructure.