Blog https://www.readynorth.com/blog Discover actionable information and resources about marketing strategy, HubSpot, content, SEO, social, email marketing, and more. en-us Wed, 30 Nov 2022 13:57:52 GMT 2022-11-30T13:57:52Z en-us The Comprehensive Marketing Audit: 21 Questions to Guide Strategic Planning https://www.readynorth.com/blog/the-comprehensive-marketing-audit-21-questions-to-guide-strategic-planning <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/the-comprehensive-marketing-audit-21-questions-to-guide-strategic-planning" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hubfs/RN%20Blog%20Images%20-%20audit.png" alt="women drawing formulas and graphs all over a whiteboard" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A<span style="font-size: 16px;">s marketers, a failed campaign is our worst nightmare.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">But sadly, failed marketing attempts happen every day and everywhere.&nbsp;</span><a href="https://hbr.org/2022/06/4-common-reasons-strategies-fail">Harvard Business Review says that strategic plans</a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> fail for many reasons, including poor execution and lack of understanding of the problem.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;">So, how can teams pinpoint what went wrong and redirect marketing energy?</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">As Paul Roetzer (</span><a href="https://twitter.com/paulroetzer"><span style="font-weight: 400;">@paulroetzer</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">) states in Chapter 8 of&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/resources#:~:text=Your%20Marketing%20Forward-,The%20Marketing%20Performance%20Blueprint%C2%A0,-The%20Marketing%20Performance"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Marketing Performance Blueprint</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">:</span></i></span></p> <blockquote> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Every marketing plan should start with an</span></i><strong><i> honest internal marketing assessment. </i></strong><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">The assessment should consider perspectives from multiple stakeholders, including marketing and sales leaders, as well as key executives. The more involved the partiers are in the entire strategy process, the easier it is to align needs, goals, expectations and priorities.”</span></i></p> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>The time is now to transform your marketing program.</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;">At Ready North, we utilize a comprehensive marketing audit of 40+ questions that zero in on talent, tech, strategy, and performance. As you’ll see below, we’ve broken down audit questions by each of these categories. This audit is a key piece of the puzzle when we start working with new partners to build long-term, custom marketing plans that win executive buy-in and align with stakeholder goals.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;">Continue reading below for 21 questions to ask your team and guide more strategic planning. For the full 40+ questions, download <span style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-style: normal;">our <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/marketing-audit-template-download">Comprehensive Marketing Audit Template</a>.</span></span></span><a href="http://www.pr2020.com/marketing-audit-template-download"></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hs-fs/hubfs/RN%20Blog%20Images%20-%20audit.png?width=407&amp;height=204&amp;name=RN%20Blog%20Images%20-%20audit.png" alt="RN Blog Images - audit" width="407" height="204" style="width: 407px; margin: 0px 0px 10px 10px; float: right; height: auto; max-width: 100%;">A<span style="font-size: 16px;">s marketers, a failed campaign is our worst nightmare.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">But sadly, failed marketing attempts happen every day and everywhere.&nbsp;</span><a href="https://hbr.org/2022/06/4-common-reasons-strategies-fail">Harvard Business Review says that strategic plans</a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> fail for many reasons, including poor execution and lack of understanding of the problem.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;">So, how can teams pinpoint what went wrong and redirect marketing energy?</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">As Paul Roetzer (</span><a href="https://twitter.com/paulroetzer"><span style="font-weight: 400;">@paulroetzer</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">) states in Chapter 8 of&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/resources#:~:text=Your%20Marketing%20Forward-,The%20Marketing%20Performance%20Blueprint%C2%A0,-The%20Marketing%20Performance"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Marketing Performance Blueprint</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">:</span></i></span></p> <blockquote> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Every marketing plan should start with an</span></i><strong><i> honest internal marketing assessment. </i></strong><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">The assessment should consider perspectives from multiple stakeholders, including marketing and sales leaders, as well as key executives. The more involved the partiers are in the entire strategy process, the easier it is to align needs, goals, expectations and priorities.”</span></i></p> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>The time is now to transform your marketing program.</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;">At Ready North, we utilize a comprehensive marketing audit of 40+ questions that zero in on talent, tech, strategy, and performance. As you’ll see below, we’ve broken down audit questions by each of these categories. This audit is a key piece of the puzzle when we start working with new partners to build long-term, custom marketing plans that win executive buy-in and align with stakeholder goals.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;">Continue reading below for 21 questions to ask your team and guide more strategic planning. For the full 40+ questions, download <span style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-style: normal;">our <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/marketing-audit-template-download">Comprehensive Marketing Audit Template</a>.</span></span></span><a href="http://www.pr2020.com/marketing-audit-template-download"><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;"> </span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></a></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Talent</h2> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">1. What are the roles and responsibilities of the existing marketing team?</h3> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Modern marketing is constantly shifting, and the folks that are part of your marketing team need to be masters in all things technology, best practices, and trends. Consider gaps in your current team structure; remember that both traditional and digital skills are more important than ever to become a </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">hybrid professional</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some roles to consider on your&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">marketing dream team</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">:</span></span></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="background-color: transparent;">Content writer</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Coder</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Data analyst</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Email specialist</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;">Graphic designer / visual storyteller</span></li> </ul> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">2. Do team members understand the metrics used to evaluate their performance and development?</h3> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-size: 16px;">Studies show that only <a href="https://www.workhuman.com/blog/employee-recognition-statistics/">23 percent of employees</a> feel they receive the right amount of recognition for their work, while only <a href="https://www.workhuman.com/blog/employee-recognition-statistics/">19 percent of managers</a> say recognition is a priority at their workplace. </span></span><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;">So, where’s the disconnect, and is it impacting your organization?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;">It’s imperative to meet on a regular basis to discuss performance, professional goals and areas to improve. Whether you’re evaluating the team on a quarterly or annual basis (or anything in between), clearly convey what metrics are used to evaluate individual performance. These metrics may be both internally facing (like efficiency) and business oriented (like leads closed or the number of campaigns managed).</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">3. What are our plans to augment the team through more advanced internal training or staff changes?</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hiring a marketing professional shouldn’t be a fix-it-and-forget-it tactic. Professionals need to be nurtured throughout the entirety of their careers with a clear, set path to advance and grow. Or your team risks high employee turnover.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Look for opportunities to implement professional development programs to ensure and encourage that the marketing team is staying up on technology and trends. Also, consider where you can make training mandatory. For example, if you’re using a marketing automation technology, require employees to be certified in that tech to feel comfortable using the tool and make performance-driven recommendations backed by technology.</span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Technology</h2> <h3 style="font-size: 20px;">4. What are the core components of our existing marketing technology stack?</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s proven: Technology increases internal efficiencies, helps eliminate mundane, manual tasks and makes the marketing process more automated.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Marketing technologies are vast (<em>see Scott Brinker’s </em></span><em><a href="https://chiefmartec.com/2020/04/marketing-technology-landscape-2020-martech-5000/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (2020): Martech 5000</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">), ranging from email solutions to social media management tools to best-in-breed marketing automation tools. Identify every day, manual tasks that could be sped up and easier with new technology.</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 20px;">5. Are redundancies in our marketing technology solutions leading to inefficiencies?</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Technology usage should drive efficiency across your marketing team, not pull it down. Are there redundancies in your technology stack that may require team members to login into multiple accounts to perform similar tasks?</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Look for all-encompassing platforms, such as HubSpot, that bundle sales, marketing automation, blogging, CMS, email, and more into one solution. Rather than logging into a separate solution to send automated emails, build landing pages and publish social updates, create efficiencies across the team with one simple platform.</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 20px;">6. Are the existing technologies being fully utilized by the marketing team?</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">A whopping&nbsp;</span><a href="https://leocode.com/development/over-70-of-tech-projects-fail/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">70% of all technology implementation projects fail</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> partly due to a lack of user adoption. Don’t risk a failed implementation because your team isn’t fully utilizing the tool.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Invest in technologies that offer training to help employees onboard seamlessly. For example,</span><a href="https://www.hubspot.com/"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">HubSpot</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://twitter.com/HubSpot"><span style="font-weight: 400;">@HubSpot</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">) offers the&nbsp;</span><a href="https://academy.hubspot.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">HubSpot Academy</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, which allows users to learn the platform at their own pace and become familiar with each function and module.</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">7. Are gaps in technology affecting performance?</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Is your organization missing key pieces of the marketing tech stack that could impact performance? For example, <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/crm/live-chat">online chat software</a></span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is ideal for engaging with site visitors, answering questions, and capturing leads.</span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Strategy</h2> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">8. Which industries do we plan to focus on for growth?</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Does your company target a variety of audiences across different industries? If so, remember that we are in the age of personalization. A content campaign that worked for a manufacturing lead will likely not be relevant to a pharmaceutical lead.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Make this year the most successful year by targeting vertical markets.&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrymyler/2017/06/21/grow-b2b-sales-by-adding-one-vertical-market-after-another/#3358fdf665e4"><span style="font-weight: 400;">As Forbes states</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, it’s not enough to cast a wide net across target audiences; instead, narrow your focus to define vertical markets. This way, you can best target, communicate and serve up the most relevant content to each vertical.</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">9. What makes our company unique in the market?</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Is it your culture? Customer service? Product?</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whatever sets your company apart from competitors should shine throughout all marketing collateral, especially your website. For instance, if you have extraordinary customer service, place your success rates or customer quotes across the home page to showcase third-party validation.</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">10. Do we have accurate buyer personas that inform our marketing strategy?</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Performing a yearly market audit may require your team to take a step back and work on foundational projects, like&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">buyer personas</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. To make any marketing campaign successful, you must understand the goals, pain points, influencers, and preferences of each target buyer persona your company is targeting.</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">11. Have we created a content marketing editorial calendar that defines our strategy on content production and publishing?</h3> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hs-fs/hubfs/Content-Calendar-1.png?width=320&amp;height=234&amp;name=Content-Calendar-1.png" alt="Content-Calendar-1.png" width="320" height="234" style="margin: 0px 0px 10px 10px; float: right;"><span style="font-size: 16px;">Publishing regular content on a blog platform is great for SEO, thought leadership, and establishing internal subject matter experts. But blog publishing shouldn’t be a random act that is done here and there when an idea hits you.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;">Instead, connect every piece of content to a strategy that’s backed by a defined production and publishing schedule. Define goals for blogging and overall content production. Perhaps you’re using it to drive lead generation or to boost your site in organic search.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left; font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16px; color: #d67822;"><i>&gt;&gt; Free download: Build a data-driven content marketing plan with our <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/content-hub-workbook-editorial-calendar-download">free content strategy workbook template</a>.</i></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;">From there, flesh out an editorial calendar with working titles, authors or subject matter experts, publish date, and persona for each post to stick with a strategic process.</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">12. What are the milestones in the next six to 12 months that are highly relevant to our marketing program?</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">You can use milestones to launch fully integrated marketing campaigns, complete with associated content pieces, landing pages, nurturing emails, social shares, and more. Or use these events to drive media relations and community conversation.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some events that may be classified as company milestones include:</span></p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><span style="background-color: transparent;">Website redesign</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tradeshow or conference</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Speaking gig with an internal thought leader</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Product updates / new releases</span></li> </ul> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">13. Which assets do we have that are underutilized?</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before completely overhauling your marketing campaign this coming year, take a step back to reflect on any underutilized assets. Some areas to consider:</span></p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><span style="background-color: transparent;">A premium content piece that hasn’t been fully activated with a campaign.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">A blog publishing platform that is only updated several times per year.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">An outdated whitepaper that could be refreshed and repurposed.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">A loyal customer base that you’ve never asked for testimonials.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">A database of leads that haven’t been nurtured.</span></li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before diving into new production, be sure you’ve fully utilized the assets you already have to save time and budget.</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">14. Do we have customers that are willing to share their success stories?</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Consumers are more willing to trust peer reviews or recommendations than a company. In fact, <a href="https://www.qualtrics.com/blog/online-review-stats/">93% of consumers</a> say that online reviews influence their purchase decisions.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Work with your sales or customer success team to determine if loyal customers are willing to share their stories and boost your brand credibility. These stories may be shared in a format as simple as a testimonial or quote on your site. Or, publish a formal case study and use the asset in both marketing and sales efforts.</span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Performance</h2> <h3><span style="font-size: 18px;">15. What are our company’s top marketing key performance indicators (KPIs)?</span></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Measuring the effectiveness of any marketing campaign begins with defined and clear KPIs. Conduct a review to determine what the team will define as success in the new year and what KPIs you’ll track to quantify that success. Remember to include decision-makers in the discussion, as </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">marketers with executive-level buy-in</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> on defined metrics thrive.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hs-fs/hubfs/Databox-Dashboard.png?width=359&amp;name=Databox-Dashboard.png" alt="Databox-Dashboard.png" width="359" style="width: 359px; margin: 0px 0px 10px 10px; float: right;">Examples of marketing KPIs include:</span></p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><span style="background-color: transparent;">Website visitors/sessions</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Content downloads</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Marketing qualified leads (MQLs)</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Opportunities</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Social reach</span></li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re still relying on spreadsheets for your marketing scorecards, or if your performance data is housed in multiple platforms (i.e. CRM, automation, Google Analytics), then consider getting a marketing reporting tool such as Databox. <a href="https://databox.com/templates">Databox</a> (<em>pictured above)</em> pulls all your metrics into one place so your team can visualize performance, gain insights and take action.</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">16. How many average monthly visitors do we receive to the website?</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">To truly gauge if your online marketing efforts are making an impact, take it from your average monthly, quarterly, or annual website visitors. Simply creating content, posting blogs, and updating website pages aren’t enough. If no one is visiting these assets, have you really earned any ROI on your efforts, time, and resources?</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">As a starting point, track the following to understand how visitors are engaging with your site and finding your brand:</span></p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Users</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sessions</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Goal completions</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Average session duration</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Average pages per session</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bounce rate</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Exit rate</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Organic search sessions</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Blog entrances</span></li> </ul> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">17. How do we classify lead quality or lifecycle stages?</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">What defines a qualified lead? When does a lead become ready for sales? What’s the difference between a lead and an opportunity?</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">These (and more!) are all important questions to pose and define to help you figure out how you’ll market to each segment of contacts in 2018. Plus, defining the different lifecycle stages and terms across your organization will set you up for&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">harmonious marketing and sales alignment</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">As a starting point, HubSpot highlights the following&nbsp;</span><a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/contacts-user-guide-v2/how-to-use-lifecycle-stages"><span style="font-weight: 400;">lifecycle stages</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">:</span></p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><span style="background-color: transparent;">Subscriber</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lead</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Marketing qualified lead (MQL)</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sales qualified lead (SQL)</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Opportunity</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Customer</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Evangelist</span></li> </ul> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">18. How many active qualified leads are in the existing pipeline?</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">This may seem like an easy one to answer. However, take this question a step further by brainstorming how to grow numbers with lead generation campaigns in 2018.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; text-align: left; font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #d67822;">&gt;&gt; <i>Related read</i><i>:</i>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pr2020.com/blog/a-simple-way-to-generate-more-and-better-leads" style="color: #d67822;"><i>A Simple Way to Generate More and Better Leads</i></a></span></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Also, consider not just the </span><strong>number of leads </strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">but the </span><strong>quality of leads.</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> If your database looks stale, consider a reactivation strategy in the new year to weed out the old contacts and reignite your marketing relationship with those who engage.</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">19. What are our company’s goals related to marketing, and how will we track success?</h3> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hs-fs/hubfs/SMART-Goals-1.png?width=381&amp;name=SMART-Goals-1.png" alt="SMART-Goals-1.png" width="381" style="width: 381px; margin: 0px 0px 10px 10px; float: right;"><span style="font-size: 16px;">Marketing goals should always be SMART:</span></span></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="background-color: transparent;">Specific</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Measurable</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Achievable</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Realistic</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;">Timed</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>An example of a SMART marketing goal</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">: Increase sales qualified leads by 25% by the end of the fourth quarter of 2018. </span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">An example of a </span><strong>not-so-SMART marketing goal: </strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">Increase brand awareness.</span></span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">20. How many total subscribers do we have?</h3> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;">Your subscribers are those contacts that have voluntarily opted in to receive content from you. They serve as a great starting point to gauge the quality and interest of new blog topics or premium content launches. Plus, since they’ve opted in, you can market to them in new ways with email nurturing, newsletters, and more.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 16px; color: #d67822; font-weight: normal;">&gt;&gt;<i>Related read:</i>&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.pr2020.com/blog/12-ways-to-quickly-grow-your-blog-subscribers"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-size: 16px; color: #d67822; font-weight: normal;">12 Ways to Quickly Grow Your Blog Subscribers</span></span></i></a></p> <h3 style="text-align: left; font-size: 18px;">21. Do we have an attribution model to track performance, spend and ROI?</h3> <p><span style="font-weight: 400; font-size: 16px;">If you were called upon by leadership to prove marketing ROI (MROI) and tie performance back to spend, could you do it? Set yourself up to successfully prove MROI with closed-loop revenue reporting.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">To start, pull associated costs in areas like software (marketing automation, CRM system, web hosting), advertising, partners (agencies, designers), and events (tradeshows, webinars). Next, compare your total marketing budget to the total leads generated and sales closed to calculate the</span><a href="http://www.pr2020.com/blog/the-road-to-marketing-roi-a-beginners-guide-to-the-metrics-that-matter"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">average cost per lead or cost per customer</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Get Access to the Full Audit</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Want access to even more marketing audit questions to guide your strategic planning? </span><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/marketing-audit-template-download"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Download the full audit</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> for 40+ questions to redirect marketing failures into strategic successes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.readynorth.com/cs/ci/?pg=0ef54f66-be00-4d29-9dfa-f52b290e3ae8&amp;pid=883&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="Download the Audit" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/883/0ef54f66-be00-4d29-9dfa-f52b290e3ae8.png" align="middle"></a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><em><span>Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated to be more current and comprehensive.</span></em></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=883&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.readynorth.com%2Fblog%2Fthe-comprehensive-marketing-audit-21-questions-to-guide-strategic-planning&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.readynorth.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Business Strategic Planning Wed, 30 Nov 2022 12:15:00 GMT shannen.laur@pr2020.com (Shannen Laur) https://www.readynorth.com/blog/the-comprehensive-marketing-audit-21-questions-to-guide-strategic-planning 2022-11-30T12:15:00Z 15 Steps to Build Your Performance-Driven Marketing Plan https://www.readynorth.com/blog/15-steps-to-build-your-marketing-plan <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/15-steps-to-build-your-marketing-plan" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hubfs/RN%20Blog%20Images%20-%2015%20steps.png" alt="man hiking up mountainside with backpack " class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p><em><span style="font-size: 16px;">T</span></em><span style="font-size: 16px;">he</span><span style="font-size: 16px;">&nbsp;proliferation of marketing channels, apps, mobile devices, social networks, and content has given consumers more choices and greater control while increasing complexity for marketers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">We want to help <strong>simplify and optimize the marketing planning process</strong> for your business.</span></p> <p><em><img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hs-fs/hubfs/RN%20Blog%20Images%20-%2015%20steps.png?width=404&amp;height=202&amp;name=RN%20Blog%20Images%20-%2015%20steps.png" alt="RN Blog Images - 15 steps" width="404" height="202" style="width: 404px; float: right; margin: 0px 0px 10px 15px; height: auto; max-width: 100%;"><span style="font-size: 16px;">T</span></em><span style="font-size: 16px;">he</span><span style="font-size: 16px;">&nbsp;proliferation of marketing channels, apps, mobile devices, social networks, and content has given consumers more choices and greater control while increasing complexity for marketers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">We want to help <strong>simplify and optimize the marketing planning process</strong> for your business.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Use the marketing game plan model featured in Chapter 10 of The Marketing Performance Blueprint to build core strength, spur growth through existing assets, connect actions to outcomes, and allocate resources based on performance. There are three phases—evaluate, establish and execute (e3)—made up of 15 steps.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Most organizations and enterprises should complete these steps at least annually to guide long-term planning. For small businesses, start-ups, and short-term goals, we'd recommend following Ready North's &nbsp;<a href="https://www.readynorth.com/solutions/workshops-consulting">Marketing Growth Hackathon</a><sup><a href="https://www.pr2020.com/hackathon">TM</a> &nbsp;</sup>to identify quick wins and accelerate success.&nbsp;</span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Evaluate (Steps 1 – 2)&nbsp;</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">The evaluation phase gathers intelligence into historical performance, technology infrastructure, success potential, marketing assets, competitors, industry trends, and resources.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">While this is a critical stage, do not fall victim to planning paralysis. High performers differentiate by doing, not planning. Do your homework, put strategies in place, and then start testing and revising.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;"><span style="color: #174361;">Step 1: Complete a marketing assessment.</span></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Every marketing plan should start with an honest internal marketing assessment. The assessment should consider perspectives from multiple stakeholders, including marketing and sales leaders and key executives. The more involved all parties are in the entire strategic process, the easier it is to align needs, goals, expectations, and priorities.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">The assessment challenges organizations to take a realistic look at potential and performance and ensure that marketing, sales, IT, and the executive team are aligned.</p> <p style="font-weight: bold; text-align: left;"><span style="color: #d67822; font-size: 16px;"><em>&gt;&gt; Related read: <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/the-comprehensive-marketing-audit-21-questions-to-guide-strategic-planning" style="color: #d67822;">The Comprehensive Marketing Audit: 21 Questions to Guide Strategic Planning</a></em></span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;"><span style="color: #174361;">Step 2: Conduct discovery research.</span></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Carry out additional primary and secondary research to ensure you’ve thoroughly analyzed your company, audiences, competitors, and industry. Potential discovery research elements include:</p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li>Competitor analysis (brand positioning, marketing strategies, pricing, product mix, website).</li> <li>Industry trends and reports.</li> <li>Internal brand surveys.</li> <li>Lead and customer database segmentation.</li> <li>Management team interviews.</li> <li>Marketing analytics reports (automation software dashboards, social, SEO, website).</li> <li>Website reviews (calls to action, content, design, landing pages, mobile compatibility, optimization).</li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Discovery research allows you to establish a strategy, confident that no stone has been left unturned.</p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Establish (Steps 3 – 13)</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">The establish phase defines budgets, goals, audiences, and campaign strategies.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;"><span style="color: #174361;">Step 3: Calculate marketing budgets.</span></h3> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 16px;">Determine budgets early in the process to build realistic marketing strategies based on available resources. If your expectations exceed your internal capabilities and capacity, then this also is the ideal time to evaluate outsourcing options.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 16px;">When calculating marketing budgets, consider an ROI-based approach using historical performance data combined with future growth goals. Remember that increasing budget is just one way to achieve revenue goals. The preferred alternative is to focus on strategies that expand lead volume, improve lead-to-sale conversion rates and increase revenue per customer.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left; font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #d67822;"><em><span style="font-size: 16px;">&gt;&gt; Related read: </span><a href="http://www.pr2020.com/blog/point-pricing-how-we-finally-eliminated-hours-from-marketing-agency-pricing" style="color: #d67822;"><span style="font-size: 16px;">Point Pricing: The Story of How We (Finally) Eliminated Hours from Marketing Agency Pricing</span>&nbsp;</a></em></span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;"><span style="color: #174361;">Step 4: Build a marketing scorecard.</span></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Marketing performance scorecards are simple to build and are increasingly efficient to maintain thanks to analytics platform APIs. APIs let you automatically pull data out of one source and place it into another. There are technology solutions that offer robust reporting and visualizations, but for many businesses, a straightforward Excel document or Google Drive spreadsheet with charts is a solid start.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Business intelligence tools can provide data visualization while emerging artificial intelligence solutions use natural language generation (NLG) and natural language processing (NLP) to create narratives based on data.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #d67822;">&gt;&gt;&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/marketing-performance-pack-download">Download the Marketing Performance Pack for a template scorecard spreadsheet</a>.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">The key to an effective marketing scorecard is to align marketing KPIs with overall business goals, have a logical and well-documented process for updating and reporting results, and develop systems for turning data into intelligence and intelligence into action. Equally important is the need to pipe data into a&nbsp;<strong>single source of truth</strong> and&nbsp;<strong>visualize it</strong>. We recommend using a tool like <a href="https://databox.com/">Databox</a>, which&nbsp;<span>is a data visualization tool that enables marketers and business professionals to simplify and streamline specific KPI reporting using charts and graphs.</span><span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span><img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hs-fs/hubfs/Databox-Metrics-That-Matter.png?width=667&amp;name=Databox-Metrics-That-Matter.png" alt="Databox-Metrics-That-Matter" width="667" style="width: 667px; display: block; margin: 0px auto;"></span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: normal;"><span style="background-color: transparent; color: #174361;">Step 5: Set prime goal values.</span></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Once you have a representative sample of historical data in your scorecard, define benchmarks and goals. Rather than trying to set values for every marketing metric, focus on a select group of high-priority goals (e.g. website visitors, sales qualified leads, new customers, and monthly recurring revenue), and then assign monthly, quarterly, and annual goal values. Goals should be realistic and achievable based on your company's talent, technology, budgets, and potential for success.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;"><span style="color: #174361;">Step 6: Define and segment audiences.</span></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Marketing technology has made it possible to personalize every campaign and interaction. It starts with well-defined and segmented target audiences. Classifying audiences by name, priority (high, medium, low), size, and type (direct, borrowed, purchased) is helpful.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">How effectively you develop and nurture relationships with your audiences can determine your organization's ability to build a strong brand, grow a talented team, create a powerful culture, gain exposure in priority markets, establish brand loyalty and affect the bottom line.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;"><span style="color: #174361;">Step 7: Profile personas.</span></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Develop a deep understanding of your audience personas. Personas are profiles or biographies of the people you plan to reach and influence. They are most often created for customers/buyers, but they should be defined for all priority audiences. Detailing personas makes it possible to humanize your marketing and your brand through a more personalized approach to communications.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #d67822;">&gt;&gt;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pr2020.com/marketing-performance-pack-download" style="color: #d67822;">Download the Marketing Performance Pack for a buyer persona checklist</a>.&nbsp;</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;"><span style="color: #174361;">Step 8: Catalog accelerators.</span></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Identify assets that can be leveraged to accelerate success and fuel marketing campaigns. Accelerators can be organized by status (opportunity, active), priority (high, medium, low), and type.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Example ways to classify the type of accelerator include:</p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li>Audience lists (customers, influencers, leads, subscribers).</li> <li>Content (ebooks, white papers).</li> <li>Events.</li> <li>Digital marketing properties (mobile apps, websites).</li> <li>Partnerships.</li> <li>Speaking engagements.</li> <li>Sponsorships.</li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Marketing strategies with the greatest potential ROI tap into and maximize existing assets. You can build entire campaigns around accelerators. For example, a subscriber conversion campaign could be designed to move subscribers into the lead stage. Or, you can use assets such as an ebook to add value to emails as part of a lead nurturing campaign.</p> <p><strong><img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hs-fs/hubfs/Hackathon.png?width=480&amp;name=Hackathon.png" alt="Hackathon" width="480" style="width: 480px; margin: 0px auto; display: block;"><span style="font-size: 16px;">Want to accelerate marketing planning?</span></strong><span style="font-size: 16px;">&nbsp;Host&nbsp;a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.readynorth.com/solutions/workshops-consulting">Marketing Growth Hackathon</a>. This fast-paced&nbsp;brainstorming session zeros in on steps 5 - 10, so you can spend less time planning—and more time doing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Watch our free on-demand webinar, "<a href="https://www.readynorth.com/marketing-growth-hackathon-webinar">How to Hold a Marketing Growth Hackathon</a>," to learn more.&nbsp;</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">Step 9: Establish milestones.</h3> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">List all company and industry events that may be relevant to the planning process, such as company announcements, conferences, industry report releases, product launches, and speaking appearances. Keep track of milestone dates in a central marketing calendar for easy reference when building strategies.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">The marketing team can devise milestone-specific campaigns, as may be the case with a product launch, or use them to enhance ongoing programs, such as publishing a real-time blog post responding to a major industry study.</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">Step 10: Construct the campaign center.</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">A campaign is a series of projects designed to achieve a goal. Campaigns have target audiences, timelines, and budgets. There are two types of campaigns—builders and drivers.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Builders are recurring campaigns that lay the groundwork for future success. Builder campaigns, such as blogging and social engagement, are designed to create and expand assets on an ongoing basis. Drivers are campaigns that capitalize on existing assets to generate short-term returns and are often conducted over one- to three-month periods.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Think of builders as marathons and drivers as sprints. During the planning process, ensure your campaigns align with marketing goals, audiences, personas, accelerators and marketing milestones.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #d67822;">&gt;&gt;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pr2020.com/marketing-performance-pack-download" style="color: #d67822;">Download the Marketing Performance Pack for a&nbsp;campaign center template worksheet</a><a href="http://www.pr2020.com/marketing-performance-pack-download" style="color: #d67822;">.</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">Step 11: Develop the project center.</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Projects are a collection of activities that make up campaigns. Projects have tasks, hours (or a related measure of effort to complete), and goals.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">Step 12: Integrate into a project management system.</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Once your campaign and project centers are approved and ready for activation, move them into a project management system. In some cases, this may require manual entry of approved campaign activities, while other solutions offer the ability to import spreadsheets and automatically populate campaigns, projects, and tasks.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">Step 13: Set up campaign tracking.</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Establish a process to ensure that campaign names are consistent across analytics, project management, marketing automation, and marketing planning systems. This makes it far more efficient to track and report results.</p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Execute (Steps 14 – 15)</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">The execute phase is straightforward. Put the plans in motion and continually test and revise. Keep resources flexible to take advantage of real-time marketing opportunities and shifts in consumer behavior.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;"><span style="color: #174361;">Step 14: Launch builder and driver campaigns.</span></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Activate a mix of builders and drivers, starting with any foundation campaign work. For example:</p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li>Content marketing editorial calendar.</li> <li>CRM optimization.</li> <li>Database segmentation.</li> <li>Lead scoring process.</li> <li>Marketing and sales integration.</li> <li>Marketing automation and analytics setup.</li> <li>Website redesign.</li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Once the foundation is in place, take a long-term approach to success with builder campaigns, such as blogging and social engagement, and use drivers to produce short-term results in leads, sales, and loyalty.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;">Step 15: Adapt activities based on performance.</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Monitor analytics to deliver real-time insight and adapt activities based on performance. Use the marketing scorecard to regularly take stock of how campaigns are performing, and shift strategies and resources as needed to maximize ROI.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><span>For complete details on all 15 steps of the process, refer to chapters 9 and 10 in </span><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/resources?__hstc=115155352.d47cb3ee31434887857e5de877c89dd4.1654796256662.1669672807867.1669729815500.264&amp;__hssc=115155352.21.1669729815500&amp;__hsfp=607013177#:~:text=Your%20Marketing%20Forward-,The%20Marketing%20Performance%20Blueprint%C2%A0,-The%20Marketing%20Performance"><em>The Marketing Performance Blueprint</em></a><span>. You can also download the complementary <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/marketing-performance-pack-download">Marketing Performance Pack workbook</a>, which is filled with templates to help guide the planning process.</span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Accelerate Planning: The Marketing Growth Hackathon</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">For a condensed version of this process, <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/schedule-a-hackathon">host a Marketing Growth Hackathon</a>. Our accelerated brainstorming session provides the framework and focus to help you prioritize marketing goals and <strong>identify campaigns with the greatest probability of impacting business results in the next 90 days</strong>.&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.readynorth.com/cs/ci/?pg=229a8305-fdb0-4bbb-b70b-a04b83b8d327&amp;pid=883&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="SCHEDULE A HACKATHON" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/883/229a8305-fdb0-4bbb-b70b-a04b83b8d327.png" align="middle"></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><em>Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated to be more current and comprehensive.</em></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=883&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.readynorth.com%2Fblog%2F15-steps-to-build-your-marketing-plan&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.readynorth.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Strategy Tue, 29 Nov 2022 14:18:00 GMT paul@readynorth.com (Paul Roetzer) https://www.readynorth.com/blog/15-steps-to-build-your-marketing-plan 2022-11-29T14:18:00Z 12 Questions You Should Ask Google Analytics Every Month https://www.readynorth.com/blog/12-questions-you-should-ask-google-analytics-every-month <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/12-questions-you-should-ask-google-analytics-every-month" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hubfs/RN%20Blog%20Images%20-%2012%20GA%20Qs.png" alt="lightbulb against dark background" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>G<span style="font-size: 16px;">oogle Analytics can capture more than 360 metrics and more than 260 dimensions. Long story short, you can run thousands of reports in Google Analytics to evaluate the strength of your marketing program, particularly&nbsp;your website. &nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">But when you’ve got access to vast amounts of data, where do you start and how do you avoid falling into endless, fruitless rabbit holes?</span></p> <p><img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hs-fs/hubfs/bright-bulb-dark-132340.jpg?width=363&amp;name=bright-bulb-dark-132340.jpg" alt="bright-bulb-dark-132340" width="363" style="width: 363px; float: right; margin: 0px 0px 10px 15px;">G<span style="font-size: 16px;">oogle Analytics can capture more than 360 metrics and more than 260 dimensions. Long story short, you can run thousands of reports in Google Analytics to evaluate the strength of your marketing program, particularly&nbsp;your website. &nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">But when you’ve got access to vast amounts of data, where do you start and how do you avoid falling into endless, fruitless rabbit holes?</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">It helps if you think of performance reporting in two distinct ways:</span></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>Monitoring</strong> — The routine review of a select group of reports to stay on top of overall performance and trends.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>Analysis</strong> — The process of diving into the data to uncover what happened and why.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Your Google Analytics data analysis may be prompted for various reasons, including strategic planning, benchmarking, or campaign evaluation. But most commonly, the need to dive into the data is spurred by something weird you’ve spotted when monitoring your Google Analytics reports.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Effective monitoring of your marketing performance data requires a regular cadence of asking and then answering the same questions at regular time intervals, at minimum monthly.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Only by getting familiar with the status quo can you uncover the unusual. &nbsp;</span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Questions to Ask of Your Google Analytics Data</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">The questions you ask will be contingent on the different types of campaigns you’re running and whether you sell items on your site.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">However, for most companies, focusing first and foremost on overall website traffic is a good start. Specifically, how much, how engaged was it, where did it come from, and were there any significant changes?</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Specifically, consider asking:</p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li>How much traffic came to the website?</li> <li>How does that compare to last month? Last year?</li> <li>How engaged was last month's website traffic?</li> <li>What were the top traffic-driving channels?</li> <li>Were there any traffic source fluctuations and if so, what caused them?</li> </ul> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;"><span style="color: #174361;">Blog Monitoring Questions</span></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Next up, if you’re blogging, asking similar questions about your blog traffic is a valuable exercise considering the impact it can have on site performance. In addition, routine blog monitoring can offer insight into the value and potential of specific content topics.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">To effectively monitor blog traffic, it helps to turn on a segment that filters Google Analytics data to only show sessions that start on a blog page. <a href="https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/template?uid=MlsRoQxkQp6GeG_fxbhvDw">Click here to add this segment to your Google Analytics account</a>.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">With this segment turned on, ask the following:</p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li>How much traffic came to the blog and how does that compare to last month? Last year?</li> <li>How engaged was last month's blog traffic?</li> <li>What were the top-performing blog posts?<i> (Turn off the segment here to see total blog pageviews)</i></li> <li>What were the top traffic-driving channels?</li> <li>Were there any traffic fluctuations and if so, what caused them?</li> </ul> <h3 style="font-size: 18px;"><span style="color: #174361;">Goal Monitoring Questions</span></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Finally, Goals. Ideally, you’ve got Goals set up on your Google Analytics account to track when a visitor takes a valuable action (e.g. completes a lead form).</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Understanding how your site performs at driving goal conversions is crucial to revealing ways to increase conversion opportunities.</p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li>How many goal completions were generated last month?</li> <li>What pages did they convert on?</li> <li>Where did these goal completions come from?</li> <li>Did goal completions differ from last month and if so, what channels caused it?</li> </ul> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Answering the Questions</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">As important as asking the right questions is how they’re answered. The value of your answers relies on how you combine relevant metrics and historical data for context.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Consider the following recommendations when formulating your answers:</p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><strong>Compare numbers to something.</strong> Whether goals or historical data, pairing metrics with context gives readers a truer sense of what the numbers mean to the bigger picture.</li> <li><strong>Answer clearly and concisely.</strong> Adding too much exposition clutters and conceals the important stuff.</li> <li><strong>Combine metrics.</strong> Combine pieces of the puzzle together for context and to tell a more comprehensive story.</li> <li><strong>Pair percentages.</strong> Percentages on their own are misleading. Always combine them with actual numbers to offer some perspective.</li> <li><strong>Answer the same way every time. </strong>Don’t try to reinvent the wheel with each answer. It may be boring to write and read, but consistent answers make it easier to get familiar with the report and allows for quicker reviews.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Putting It All Together</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Below is a sample <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/services/marketing-analytics-reports">marketing analytics report</a> we produce monthly for our agency and for clients.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; padding-left: 40px;">Website Traffic</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><strong>How much traffic came to your website, and how does that compare to the previous month? Last year?</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><em>In November, there were 6,279 website users, which is a decrease of 1,141 (-15.4%) compared to October. These users generated 8,124 sessions, a decrease of 1,276 (-13.6%). 6,023 of the users were new to the site, which is down 15.1% compared to October. Year over year, November's sessions improved by 155 (+1.9%).</em></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><strong>How engaged was last month’s website traffic?</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><em>In terms of engagement, in November there were 202 form submissions, which is an increase of 27 (+15.4%) compared to October. This gives the site a conversion rate of 2.5%. The other supplemental engagement metrics were mixed:</em></p> <ul> <li style="list-style-type: none;"> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><em>Bounce Rate: 34.4% (+2.3 points)</em></li> <li><em>Pages / Session: 1.4 (+0.2%)</em></li> <li><em>Avg. Time on Site (sec): 138.6 (+4.2%)</em></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><strong>What were the top traffic-driving channels?</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><em>Similar to October, last month Organic Search (5,236 sessions) was the top traffic-driving channel to your website, making up 64.5% of all traffic. Direct (1,736 sessions) again is the second top traffic driving source with 21.4% of total traffic. Referral (572 sessions) moves up into the top three channels, replacing Email. Referral made up 7.0% of total traffic.</em></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><strong>Were there any traffic fluctuations, and if so, what caused it?</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><em>November traffic as a whole was down 13.6% (-1,276 sessions) compared to October. This is predominantly thanks to three channels:</em></p> <ul> <li style="list-style-type: none;"> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><em>Email caused most of the drop, contributing 693 fewer sessions specifically from the following email: Webinar Promotion Email 1 (-601 sessions).</em></li> <li><em>Organic Search also contributed to the decline driving 256 fewer sessions specifically to: 10 Ways You Should Be Looking At Your Data (-96 sessions), The Marketing Audit: 21 Tips to Strategic Content Planning (-87), and Homepage (-73).</em></li> <li><em>Social pushed 179 fewer sessions, specifically from the following networks: Twitter (-71 sessions), LinkedIn (-63), and Facebook (-15).</em></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><em>It's worth noting the decrease in sessions was offset by an increase from Referral. Specifically, Referral increased by 100 sessions thanks to the following sites: www.espn.com (+79 sessions) and www.nytimes.com (+10 sessions).</em></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; padding-left: 40px;">Blog Traffic Reporting</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><strong>How did the blog perform last month?</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><em>The blog was responsible for attracting 4,582 users to the site in November, which is a decrease of 372 (-7.5%) over October. These users, who entered through the blog, were responsible for 5,330 sessions (-5.8%), and 4,396 were new users to the site, which is a decrease of 331 (-7.0%) compared to October.</em></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><strong>How engaged was blog traffic?</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><em>The blog received 6,345 pageviews in November, a drop of -337 (-5.0%). In terms of engagement, blog traffic saw varied performance with bounce rate, session duration, and pageviews per session:</em></p> <ul> <li style="list-style-type: none;"> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><em>Bounce Rate: 41.1% (+1.2 points)</em></li> <li><em>Pages / Session: 1.2 (+0.1%)</em></li> <li><em>Avg. Time on Site (sec): 134.8 (+3.9%)</em></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><strong>What were the top-performing blog posts?</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><em>The top blog posts in terms of pageviews include:</em></p> <ul> <li style="list-style-type: none;"> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><em>The Marketing Audit: 21 Tips to Strategic Content Planning: 600 pageviews (-15.7%)</em></li> <li><em>Case Study: How We Grew Blog Traffic and Leads 110%: 543 pageviews (+20.9%)</em></li> <li><em>11 Social Media Tips for Better Engagement: 425 pageviews (+14.2%)</em></li> <li><em>The 4 Most Important Things to Do Every Morning: 357 pageviews (+33.2%)</em></li> <li><em>10 Ways You Should Be Looking At Your Data: 299 pageviews (-26.9%)</em></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><strong>Were there any changes in blog traffic last month, and if so, what caused them?</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><em>As noted above, the blog caught the attention of 372 fewer users in November (-7.5% compared to October), and generated 326 fewer sessions (-5.8%). This session decline is chiefly thanks to three channels:</em></p> <ul> <li style="list-style-type: none;"> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><em>Organic Search experienced the largest decrease, generating 128 fewer sessions to the blog, specifically to the following post: 4 Ways to Generate Content Daily (-96 sessions).</em></li> <li><em>Email contributed 94 fewer sessions to the blog, specifically from the following emails: Q1 Blog Notification Email (-62 sessions), and Monthly Enewsletter (-30).</em></li> <li><em>Social contributed 62 fewer sessions to the blog, specifically from the following networks: Twitter (-38 sessions), and LinkedIn (-26).</em></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; padding-left: 40px;">Goal Performance</h3> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><strong>How many goal completions were generated last month?</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><em>When it comes to goal, in November, there were 202 completions, which is a change of 27 (+15.4%) compared to October.</em></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><strong>What were the top converting pages?</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><em>The top pages for goal completions were:</em></p> <ul> <li style="list-style-type: none;"> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><em>Contact Us: 40 (-7.0%)</em></li> <li><em>Subscribe: 37 (0.0%)</em></li> <li><em>The Marketing Audit: 21 Tips to Strategic Content Planning: 32 (-22.0%)</em></li> <li><em>Case Study: How we grew blog traffic and leads: 13 (-13.3%)</em></li> <li><em>15 Marketing Assets You Probably Have Laying Around: 5 (-61.5%)</em></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><strong>Where did these goal completions come from?</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><em>The top channels driving conversions to your site include:</em></p> <ul> <li style="list-style-type: none;"> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><em>Organic Search: 96 goals (+21 / +28%)</em></li> <li><em>Direct: 39 goals (+6 / +18.2%)</em></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><strong>Did goal completions differ from last month, if so, what channels caused it?</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; padding-left: 40px;"><em>Last month, there was an improvement of 27 (+15.4%) goal completions compared to October. This growth was the result of 3 channels, specifically:</em></p> <ul> <li style="list-style-type: none;"> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><em>Organic Search experienced the most growth, generating 21 additional goal completions specifically from visitors who landed on: The Marketing Audit: 21 Tips to Strategic Content Planning (+15 goals), Case Study: How we grew blog traffic and leads (+12), Homepage (+11), 11 Social Media Tips for Better Engagement (+11), and 15 Marketing Assets You Probably Have Laying Around (+7).</em></li> <li><em>Referral contributed 33 additional goal completions specifically from the following sources: hubspot.com (+8 goals), netflix (+6), contentresources.com (+5), publicrelationsinternational.com (+3), and business-site.com (+2).</em></li> <li><em>Direct experienced growth, driving 6 additional goal completions specifically from visitors who entered the site through: Service Pricing (+14 goals).</em></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Need Help With Your Monthly Analytics Reporting?</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Ready North can ask and answer all the questions above and get the report in your hands by the second business day of the month. Save yourself time and <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/services/marketing-analytics-reports">gain greater visibility</a> into your marketing performance with monthly analytics reports.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.readynorth.com/cs/ci/?pg=d8c41b7b-717f-4c44-b39a-b2580e9c6130&amp;pid=883&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="button to subscribe to newsletter with clipart image of person working at a desk" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/883/d8c41b7b-717f-4c44-b39a-b2580e9c6130.png" align="middle"></a></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><em>Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2019 and has been updated to be more current and comprehensive.<span></span></em></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=883&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.readynorth.com%2Fblog%2F12-questions-you-should-ask-google-analytics-every-month&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.readynorth.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Data Analysis Mon, 28 Nov 2022 14:01:00 GMT info@readynorth.com (Ready North) https://www.readynorth.com/blog/12-questions-you-should-ask-google-analytics-every-month 2022-11-28T14:01:00Z How HubSpot Fixes Professional Services Firms’ Top 3 Struggles https://www.readynorth.com/blog/how-hubspot-fixes-professional-services-firms-top-struggles <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/how-hubspot-fixes-professional-services-firms-top-struggles" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hubfs/RN%20Blog%20Images%20-%20prof%20services%20alignment-1.png" alt="smiling woman talking on cellphone" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>T<span style="font-size: 16px;">he professional services industry, like many others, serves customers with high expectations. For example, innovation is high on their lists: <a href="https://www.salesforce.com/resources/articles/customer-expectations/">69% of customers</a> expect new ways to get existing services in the wake of the pandemic, such as doing so remotely.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>T<span style="font-size: 16px;">he professional services industry, like many others, serves customers with high expectations. For example, innovation is high on their lists: <a href="https://www.salesforce.com/resources/articles/customer-expectations/">69% of customers</a> expect new ways to get existing services in the wake of the pandemic, such as doing so remotely.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">They also want your website, video content, meeting booking tools, and every interaction with your brand to be simple and intuitive. They want touchpoints with your business to be customized. In sum, they want a totally <strong>personalized experience.&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">On top of that, professional services businesses face industry disruptors: A diminishing talent pool and <a href="https://www.replicon.com/blog/professional-services-trends-2021/">a call to speed up</a> digitization, automation, and remote capabilities.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">As a professional services business ourselves, we feel qualified to speak on the topic of common issues within the industry and the demands of the professional services target audience.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Within businesses trying to delight customers and solve for the needs listed above, we often see challenges with awareness, alignment, communication, targeting, and more. Luckily, <strong>HubSpot’s tools allow you to confront many of these disruptors</strong>. Let’s break it down.&nbsp;</span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Problem 1: Internal Alignment&nbsp;</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Internal alignment is a significant challenge for professional services companies.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Many companies struggle to make sure that remote workers and departments are aligned with real-time customer information. They often lack the tools to coordinate tasks and meeting schedules across teams.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">On top of that, teams are tasked with meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders on the customer side. It’s a lot to juggle!</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">HubSpot’s CRM platform has all the tools and integrations professional services companies need. It’s the perfect solution to the alignment problem since it was created to ensure everyone operates from <strong>one single source of truth.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Each product (Hub) in the platform is powerful alone, but using them together unlocks an entire organization’s ability to fall in lockstep. On top of that, the UX is intuitive and the same from one Hub to the next, so adoption is easy—no matter the department.&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Problem 2: Communication and Self-Promotion&nbsp;</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Communicating their expertise and thought leadership is challenging for professional service companies because they are busy <em>providing</em> <em>services.</em> That doesn’t leave much time for promoting their expertise online and internally.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">However, effective communication is the keystone of a reliable company. Sharing accurate information <em>internally</em> and promoting expertise <em>externally</em> demonstrates thought leadership.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">The HubSpot CRM solves for this with Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub. Internal templates, up-to-date customer service documentation, and the latest marketing materials all live under one roof. That means the marketing team can easily share social media updates with on-brand copy, the sales team doesn’t have to rely on disparate folders to find updated collateral, and the customer success team always has answers at their fingertips.&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Problem 3: Targeting</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Targeting is an essential growth tactic for professional service companies. Identifying key accounts, developing a strategy and refining messaging to pursue them, fostering relationships with stakeholders, and nurturing those relationships are huge parts of growing the business.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">The HubSpot CRM solves for all of this. It allows professional services teams to:</p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li>Collect the data that is needed to grow and improve custom lead generation tactics and pipeline segmentation.</li> <li>Segment their prospects based on various factors.</li> <li>Organize and track automated touchpoints with each target account.&nbsp;</li> <li>Automatically start every call, email, or meeting in the portal to help track, convert, and retain leads.</li> <li>Share context between marketing and sales teams for a unified approach to getting target accounts to become customers.</li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Bringing in new leads is only as good as the leads themselves. HubSpot makes identifying, nurturing, and closing your target accounts easier.</p> <h2><span style="font-size: 20px;">Want More HubSpot Content?</span></h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Our bi-weekly newsletter covers topics related to marketing news, HubSpot, tips and tricks, and more. Sign up to get Damn Good Marketing News to your inbox.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.readynorth.com/cs/ci/?pg=d8c41b7b-717f-4c44-b39a-b2580e9c6130&amp;pid=883&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="button to subscribe to newsletter with clipart image of person working at a desk" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/883/d8c41b7b-717f-4c44-b39a-b2580e9c6130.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=883&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.readynorth.com%2Fblog%2Fhow-hubspot-fixes-professional-services-firms-top-struggles&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.readynorth.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> HubSpot Professional Services Tue, 22 Nov 2022 12:53:50 GMT https://www.readynorth.com/blog/how-hubspot-fixes-professional-services-firms-top-struggles 2022-11-22T12:53:50Z Elizabeth Juran What Is a Marketing Call to Action (CTA) and How Do I Use It? https://www.readynorth.com/blog/what-is-a-marketing-cta <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/what-is-a-marketing-cta" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hubfs/RN%20Blog%20Images%20-%20cta.png" alt="woman typing on laptop" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>W<span style="font-size: 16px;">hat is a CTA? We'll start by sharing what it <em>isn't</em>. The CTA we are referring to is not a computed tomography angiography, otherwise known as a diagnostic technique in the medical industry. <strong>Instead, this clever acronym is short for "call to action."</strong></span></p> <p>W<span style="font-size: 16px;">hat is a CTA? We'll start by sharing what it <em>isn't</em>. The CTA we are referring to is not a computed tomography angiography, otherwise known as a diagnostic technique in the medical industry. <strong>Instead, this clever acronym is short for "call to action."</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">As a marketer or business owner, CTAs play a vital role in your marketing strategy. CTAs should be sprinkled throughout your blogs, webpages, and social media posts like chocolate chips in a warm loaf of pumpkin bread—personal preference? Maybe. But we promise your marketing campaign will improve, just like that loaf of bread.</span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">What is a CTA?</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">A call to action summons the reader to click a button, which sometimes leads to a new window, ultimately completing a task. The call to action you include in your web copy depends on the action you want your readers to take. So, for example, if my goal were to share another wildly helpful Ready North blog post, I'd ask you to <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog?__hstc=45788219.863a43148b677fabd2a97f110c31d346.1668805325367.1668805325367.1668805325367.1&amp;__hssc=45788219.1.1668805325367&amp;__hsfp=2442824485"><span>click here</span></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>See what I did there? </strong>Each action provides a specific purpose to support your marketing campaign. The best part about CTAs is that you can make them as creative as you wish.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Let's say you're hosting a free webinar and hope to get 50 registrations. To begin, your campaign call to action might be, "Save Me a Seat!" This phrase, paired with a button on your site, would prompt users to click and complete the registration form in the next window.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Or, maybe you've started blogging and want more people to subscribe to your monthly email. Instead of saying, "Sign Up For My Newsletter," you could say, "Keep Me in the Loop." Both accomplish the same task but adding a creative spin can help your company's personality shine through.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Here are a few everyday actions you may recognize:</p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li>Be the first to know</li> <li>Get my free demo</li> <li>Shop the look</li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Keep in mind that however you craft your call to action, it should be simple and effective. Try <a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/cta/a/b-test-your-calls-to-action-ctas?__hstc=45788219.863a43148b677fabd2a97f110c31d346.1668805325367.1668805325367.1668805325367.1&amp;__hssc=45788219.1.1668805325367&amp;__hsfp=2442824485"><span>A/B testing</span></a> your buttons to see which directive your users respond to better.&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">What different designs can a CTA have?</h2> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">There are many different call-to-action staples that you can incorporate into your marketing campaign. Alongside being creative with your copy, you can also get creative with the execution. For instance, you could try an <span style="color: #d67822;"><a href="https://popupsmart.com/blog/best-popup-overlay-examples" style="color: #d67822;">overlay technique</a></span> that appears after a user begins scrolling on a webpage. A CTA that almost every online shopper has witnessed (and appreciates) is <strong>the coupon</strong>.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Today, when you visit <a href="https://rothys.com/" style="color: #4a6ee0;"><span style="color: #d67822;">Rothys.com</span>,</a> you're greeted with a large pop-up. "Happy Holidays!" it reads, followed by, "Enjoy a gift of $20 off." Now, as a shopper, you're feeling eager. So how do you take advantage of this generous gift? The following line reads, "Plus, we send really great emails." See the visual below.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hs-fs/hubfs/rothys%20holiday%20cta.png?width=2568&amp;height=1426&amp;name=rothys%20holiday%20cta.png" alt="rothys holiday cta" width="2568" height="1426" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; width: 2568px; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; display: block;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">What you may not realize right off the bat is that the" SIGN ME UP" in big, bold letters is an excellent way of saying, "In exchange for this holiday coupon, you agree to receive our emails moving forward."</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">In addition to being disguised as a gift, some CTAs double dip on the action. Take, for example, Hulu. The streaming service is now paired with Disney+ and ESPN+. They offer you two options when you visit their site: "Sign Up for Hulu Only" or "Get the Disney Bundle." You have a choice: follow one call to action for the service you likely came here for, <em>or</em> follow their suggestion to upgrade to get the entire kit and kaboodle. Hence, the double dip: a sign-up and upsell—two birds, one stone!</span></p> <h2><span style="font-size: 16px;"><img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hs-fs/hubfs/hulu%20cta.png?width=2808&amp;height=1496&amp;name=hulu%20cta.png" alt="hulu cta" width="2808" height="1496" style="height: auto; max-width: 100%; width: 2808px; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; display: block;"></span><span style="font-size: 20px;">How to Set Up a CTA</span></h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Now that you've got a feel for&nbsp; CTAs, it's time to put them to work. CTAs often take the form of a button to click, a visually appealing image, or a hyperlink within the copy. Because they are so universal, there are a handful of key places you'll want to incorporate your call to action.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Be sure to include them in the following:</p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li>Blogs</li> <li>Email marketing</li> <li>Social media posts</li> <li>Lead generation campaigns with downloadable content</li> <li>Ebooks and presentations</li> <li>Webinars or videos</li> <li>Your email signature</li> <li>Online ads</li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Using CTAs will not only generate leads but will also make all of your hard work pay off. Every landing page you design, every social media post you craft, and every ebook you put together will work <em>for you.</em>&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">This all boils down to properly promoting the projects you work so tirelessly on! CTAs fall into the 80 percent portion of the <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/the-80/20-rule-why-you-need-to-spend-more-time-on-content-amplification?__hstc=45788219.863a43148b677fabd2a97f110c31d346.1668805325367.1668805325367.1668805325367.1&amp;__hssc=45788219.1.1668805325367&amp;__hsfp=2442824485"><span>80/20 rule</span></a>, which states that you should only spend 20 percent of your time creating content and the remaining 80 percent on promoting that content.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">If crafting CTAs and implementing them within your marketing campaigns feels out of your wheelhouse, <span style="color: #d67822;"><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/contact-us?__hstc=45788219.863a43148b677fabd2a97f110c31d346.1668805325367.1668805325367.1668805325367.1&amp;__hssc=45788219.1.1668805325367&amp;__hsfp=2442824485" style="color: #d67822;">drop us a note</a></span>— we'd be happy to support you!</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">If you are interested in increasing leads through your marketing campaigns, <span style="color: #d67822;"><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/subscribe?__hstc=45788219.863a43148b677fabd2a97f110c31d346.1668805325367.1668805325367.1668805325367.1&amp;__hssc=45788219.1.1668805325367&amp;__hsfp=2442824485" style="color: #d67822;">subscribe to our blog</a></span>. You'll get a healthy dose of marketing insights delivered straight to your inbox.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.readynorth.com/cs/ci/?pg=d8c41b7b-717f-4c44-b39a-b2580e9c6130&amp;pid=883&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="button to subscribe to newsletter with clipart image of person working at a desk" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/883/d8c41b7b-717f-4c44-b39a-b2580e9c6130.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=883&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.readynorth.com%2Fblog%2Fwhat-is-a-marketing-cta&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.readynorth.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Marketing 101 Fri, 18 Nov 2022 21:11:58 GMT hayley.hughes@readynorth.com (Hayley Hughes) https://www.readynorth.com/blog/what-is-a-marketing-cta 2022-11-18T21:11:58Z What Is a Landing Page? https://www.readynorth.com/blog/what-is-a-landing-page <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/what-is-a-landing-page" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hubfs/RN%20Blog%20Images%20-%20landing%20page.png" alt="contact us page on a tablet" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>W<span style="font-size: 16px;">ould you believe us if we told you that <a href="https://unbounce.com/conversion-benchmark-report#about_this_report">nearly one in ten people</a> who make it to a landing page become potential customers or leads? Well, you should!</span></p> <p>W<span style="font-size: 16px;">ould you believe us if we told you that <a href="https://unbounce.com/conversion-benchmark-report#about_this_report">nearly one in ten people</a> who make it to a landing page become potential customers or leads? Well, you should!</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">If you are looking for an effective lead conversion tool, landing pages will be your best friend.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">This post explores what a landing page is, what it’s used for, and the most significant benefits of implementing landing pages across your site. Let’s dive in.&nbsp;</span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">First, what is a landing page?</h2> <p><a href="https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/7177/what-is-a-landing-page-and-why-should-you-care.aspx"><span><span style="font-size: 16px;">According to HubSpot</span></span></a><span style="font-size: 16px;">, a landing page is a specific page on your website where you collect a visitor's contact information in exchange for a resource, like an ebook or guide. Its primary purpose is to drive conversions and turn prospects into customers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">You can think of a landing page as the catcher in a baseball game—it’s there to catch the traffic your marketing team is pitching to your targeted audiences. This is why creating a landing page with content specific to the traffic it will collect is so essential.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Below is an example of one of <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/marketing-strategies-for-manufacturing-ebook-download">Ready North’s landing pages</a> that includes all the necessary elements to help drive conversions. These elements include:</span></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;">An attention-grabbing headline.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;">Creative body copy that explains what the offering is.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;">A sneak peek into what visitors will get when they fill out the form.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;">A call to action (e.g., download, sign up, subscribe).<a href="https://www.readynorth.com/marketing-strategies-for-manufacturing-ebook-download"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/KBH8w2I1Clb3-Tosu3i-3etw2aKzEm2080dFV_UZChYHpSztKfkfdFEnxz0TGuajtTkc64BSuvoswlc2IXShRzS5MYB_PE2dtSWVqdJDnpU4hzMeAg6wqBBDnma43BOBkEjnkqgYwsX7uTy6_4Qhawk7_-WkH2YKZxKB543OioU5qcgRhr1r7s7S4RKZEQ" width="628" height="477" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; display: block; width: 628px; height: auto; max-width: 100%;"></a></span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">When you implement all of the above into your landing page, you’re making the conversion path for a visitor simpler. To increase your chances of a visitor “landing” on your landing page, you will want to incorporate calls to action throughout your website—for example, CTA buttons or pop-up forms.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>🔥 </strong><strong><em>Hot Tip</em></strong><em>: If you use a marketing automation tool like </em><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/solutions/hubspot/"><em>HubSpot</em></a><em>, you’ll be able to see which offer a new lead converted on, when they converted, and what other interactions they’ve had on your site. This information allows you to nurture this lead in a more targeted way by helping you decide which marketing actions are best.</em></span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">What is the purpose of a landing page?</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Research shows that approximately 68% of B2B businesses use <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/the-data-driven-guide-to-landing-page-design-infographic">landing pages to generate leads</a> for future conversion. And according to <a href="https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/7177/what-is-a-landing-page-and-why-should-you-care.aspx"><span>HubSpot</span></a>, that’s the primary purpose of a landing page.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">The <strong>goal of a landing page is to convert and build a database of leads that can be nurtured </strong>with more personalized marketing campaigns. There are several different types of marketing campaigns that can benefit from a landing page, including:</p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/ebook-copywriting-design-and-distribution-tips">Ebooks</a> or whitepapers</li> <li>Email newsletter subscriptions</li> <li>Online course enrollment</li> <li>Event registration</li> <li>Free trial</li> <li>Community membership</li> <li>App download</li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px;">There are endless possibilities and benefits when it comes to landing pages. Outside of its main purpose of increasing conversions, landing pages can:&nbsp;</p> <ol style="font-size: 16px;"> <li>Grow your email subscriber list.</li> <li>Add context to your offer.</li> <li>Build your buyer personas.</li> <li>Increase brand value.</li> <li>Help make a good first impression.</li> </ol> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Tips For Creating High-Performing Landing Pages</h2> <p>I<span style="font-size: 16px;">f you’ve never created a landing page, we outline a few best practices to help you get started below.</span></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>Use only one call-to-action (CTA).</strong> Your landing page should be optimized for one goal. Too many CTAs or links to other pages may distract the visitor from the main goal—downloading, signing up, or subscribing.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>Make your CTA button appealing. </strong>The design of your CTA buttons should excite and encourage viewers to take action. Consider using one of your brand’s side colors to make it stand out from the landing page background and ensure it’s not too big or too small.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>Implement your keyword research.</strong> As you draft copy for your landing page, ensure you’re optimizing for the right keywords so your offer shows up in visitor’s searches.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>Provide social proof. </strong>Tapping into someone’s FOMO (fear of missing out) is a <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/inbound22-marketing-rules-of-thumb#:~:text=likely%20to%20induce-,FOMO,-(fear%20of%20missing">powerful persuasion tool</a>. Add testimonials and reviews from other users to your landing page to boost conversions.&nbsp;</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">If you’re interested in more ways you can increase conversions on your website, <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/subscribe">subscribe to our blog, which delivers </a>actionable marketing tips and best practices directly to your inbox.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.readynorth.com/cs/ci/?pg=d8c41b7b-717f-4c44-b39a-b2580e9c6130&amp;pid=883&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="button to subscribe to newsletter with clipart image of person working at a desk" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/883/d8c41b7b-717f-4c44-b39a-b2580e9c6130.png" align="middle"></a></span></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=883&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.readynorth.com%2Fblog%2Fwhat-is-a-landing-page&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.readynorth.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> HubSpot Marketing 101 Wed, 16 Nov 2022 17:15:01 GMT https://www.readynorth.com/blog/what-is-a-landing-page 2022-11-16T17:15:01Z Macy Kittelberger Do I Need HubSpot if I Already Have a CRM? https://www.readynorth.com/blog/do-i-need-hubspot-if-i-already-have-a-crm <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/do-i-need-hubspot-if-i-already-have-a-crm" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hubfs/RN%20Blog%20Images%20-%20HS%20Logos.png" alt="HS logos " class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>A<span style="font-size: 16px;">t first glance, we may not immediately understand the exact role your current CRM plays in your operations. However, we know that with<strong> HubSpot</strong>, your company can gain <strong>a software platform specifically designed to help your company market and sell more effectively.</strong></span></p> <p>A<span style="font-size: 16px;">t first glance, we may not immediately understand the exact role your current CRM plays in your operations. However, we know that with<strong> HubSpot</strong>, your company can gain <strong>a software platform specifically designed to help your company market and sell more effectively.</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Those who already have a CRM in place often believe HubSpot is an unnecessary tool—but have you considered what an additional tool, like HubSpot, added to your tech stack could do for you?</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Continue reading to learn about the <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/solutions/hubspot/">noteworthy features of HubSpot</a> and how your business can benefit from implementing this software.&nbsp;</span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">What is HubSpot?</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">HubSpot is a CRM platform that connects everything companies need to deliver a best-in-class customer experience in one place. Its software empowers companies to grow more efficiently and intelligently, to out-think and out-execute rather than out-spend the competition.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">HubSpot is hard to beat in most instances—it’s the perfect choice for many <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/how-to-create-compelling-b2b-content"><span>B2B</span></a>, B2C, and SaaS businesses. With its customer-first mentality and simple customization abilities, HubSpot unifies teams through its connected CRM. Plus, it offers over 600 integrations with other platforms like <a href="https://www.drift.com/platform/integrations/hubspot/"><span>Drift</span></a>, <a href="https://www.pandadoc.com/integrations/crm/hubspot/"><span>Pandadoc</span></a>, <a href="https://www.proposify.com/professional-services"><span>Proposify</span></a>, <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/salesforce"><span>SalesForce</span></a>, and more.&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">What makes HubSpot unique?</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">HubSpot believes what's good for the bottom line should also be good for customers.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Its mission to help businesses grow with a conscience and succeed with a soul starts with inbound marketing. And the ecosystem they’ve built by merging software, education, and community is what makes HubSpot so unique.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">When you adopt HubSpot, you’re investing in the following game-changing approaches to business.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #434343;">Focus on Customer Experience</span></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">It’s never been more critical to provide a remarkable experience and make customers <strong><em>want</em></strong> to do business with you again. HubSpot’s <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/service"><span>in-house-built platform</span></a> offers customers the benefit of using software that’s cohesive, customizable, connected, and easy to use. <em>What more could you ask for?</em></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Even more, HubSpot enables your team to <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/how-to-establish-a-full-funnel-marketing-approach-with-an-established-erp"><span>form deeper relationships</span></a> with customers throughout their buying journey, translating into much simpler company-wide alignment.</p> <h3 style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="font-size: 18px; color: #434343;">Seamless Connection Across Departments</span></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Not all CRM platforms make it easy to connect every part of your business, as many are designed to be utilized exclusively by a company’s sales team. However, HubSpot does—and they make it a priority.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">HubSpot’s approach to product development takes all the critical elements of customer experience management and brings them into a single platform that can grow with your company.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/get-started"><span>Each HubSpot product is compelling on its own</span></a>, but when used together, you get the same feeling you did when Taylor Swift dropped her latest album, <a href="https://open.spotify.com/album/151w1FgRZfnKZA9FEcg9Z3"><span>Midnights</span></a>—<em>literal euphoria.</em></p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #434343;">Flexible User Environment</span></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">HubSpot can be customized to meet the needs of your business without adding unnecessary complexity. The flexible software has a clean user experience that is simple to follow and rich with insights. You can purchase different hubs individually or together—whatever works best for you.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">The level of cohesiveness helps you create more personalized and significant experiences to help your business grow.</p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">HubSpot CRM and Sales Features that Stand Out</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">HubSpot is a market-leading CRM, <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/your-questions-about-hubspot-sales-hub-answered"><span>sales</span></a>, and <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/how-to-establish-a-full-funnel-marketing-approach-with-an-established-erp"><span>marketing tool</span></a>. We could list out every single offering HubSpot has and tell you how fantastic it is, but to be respectful of your time, we decided to highlight five features we feel will prove why you can invest in HubSpot even though you already have a CRM.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #434343;">1. </span><a href="https://academy.hubspot.com/contact-management" style="font-size: 14px;">Contact Management</a></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Businesses can easily add contacts, leads, prospects, and company information to HubSpot’s contact management system. This makes it easier for all teams to keep contacts organized and improve customer conversion, relationships, and service delivery. HubSpot contact management helps you to keep your database healthy, compile an effective <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/what-is-a-content-strategy-and-why-do-i-need-one"><span>content strategy</span></a>, and keep contacts segmented appropriately.&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #434343;">2. </span><a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/reports/set-up-sources-tracking" style="font-size: 14px;">Website Activity Tracking</a></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">With HubSpot’s website activity tracking, your business can track how a lead interacts with each of your web pages. For example, if a lead lands on your website from a specific Google search, HubSpot will show that. Then, if they navigate to a different page, HubSpot shows their path to get there. Tracking users’ interactions with your website helps you better understand their needs and wants from your business.&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #434343;">3. </span><a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/crm-deals/create-deals" style="font-size: 14px;">Opportunity Pipeline (Deals)</a></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Deals are potential transactions between you and business contacts. HubSpot’s opportunity pipeline enables you to organize deal stages however best suits your sales process until they are won or lost. Having complete visibility into a prospect’s buyer’s journey helps to identify hurdles, gaps, and opportunities along the way.</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #434343;">4. </span><a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/calling/integrate-a-third-party-calling-provider-with-hubspot" style="font-size: 14px;">Call Integration</a></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Logging calls manually is so last year—it’s inefficient and time-consuming. HubSpot’s call integration feature allows you to use the HubSpot calling tool connected to your phone system or third-party apps such as HubSpot.&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #434343;">5. </span><a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/payments/connect-payments-to-the-quotes-tool" style="font-size: 14px;">Quotes and Payments</a></h3> <p style="font-size: 16px;">HubSpot makes the payments process so much easier by allowing you to generate quotes directly, send them to your contacts, and collect payment—all in one place. This crucial feature enables you to manage your revenue from within HubSpot (or with an <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/how-to-establish-a-full-funnel-marketing-approach-with-an-established-erp"><span>integration of your ERP</span></a>) without relying on an external source.&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">HubSpot vs. Other CRMs</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">While we may be <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/solutions/hubspot/"><span>HubSpot evangelists</span></a>, the functionality of this platform is something most others can’t offer. HubSpot is designed to transform your website into a sales and marketing power tool that makes the most of your resources, implements automation, and nurtures your contacts.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">HubSpot is made to meet your business needs without adding unnecessary complexity. Only looking for marketing support? You can purchase HubSpot’s <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/marketing"><span>marketing hub</span></a> without worrying about the added cost of <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/sales"><span>sales</span></a> or <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/operations"><span>operations</span></a> tools. HubSpot’s CRM is truly customizable to YOUR needs.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">As HubSpot’s first-ever partner agency, we have the know-how to get you and your team up and running smoothly—and even if you already have a CRM, you can still implement HubSpot today! Get started with our <span>HubSpot onboarding services using the button below.</span>&nbsp;We promise you won’t regret it.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.readynorth.com/cs/ci/?pg=92e4ef49-fe99-44b4-ae51-4cf1f4af3f9c&amp;pid=883&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; " alt="team of people working together on marketing campaign with button to Get Started" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/883/92e4ef49-fe99-44b4-ae51-4cf1f4af3f9c.png"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=883&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.readynorth.com%2Fblog%2Fdo-i-need-hubspot-if-i-already-have-a-crm&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.readynorth.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Inbound Marketing HubSpot Marketing Technology Marketing Strategy Thu, 10 Nov 2022 13:26:33 GMT https://www.readynorth.com/blog/do-i-need-hubspot-if-i-already-have-a-crm 2022-11-10T13:26:33Z Macy Kittelberger 3 Transformative Benefits of Integrating HubSpot and Your ERP https://www.readynorth.com/blog/transformative-benefits-of-integrating-hubspot-and-erp <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/transformative-benefits-of-integrating-hubspot-and-erp" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hubfs/RN%20Blog%20Images-hubspot%20ERP.png" alt="HubSpot logo plus wood blocks that spell out ERP" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>A<span style="font-size: 16px;">cross the board, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and customer relationship management (CRM) tools have traditionally been kept separate—two places for recordkeeping siloed from each other.</span></p> <p>A<span style="font-size: 16px;">cross the board, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and customer relationship management (CRM) tools have traditionally been kept separate—two places for recordkeeping siloed from each other.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">While this may have been the status quo in the dark ages, there are better ways to get ahead of your competitors than disjointed systems.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">In today's connected world, businesses have more data than ever before. Integrating your <a href="https://blog.thevested.com/blog/how-to-select-an-erp-system">ERP</a> and CRM enables you to capitalize on this data to streamline processes in lucrative ways and provide customers with an unmatched level of personalization.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Keep reading to discover the three competitive advantages you can discover today by integrating your ERP with a best-in-class CRM like <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/why-choose-hubspot">HubSpot</a>.</span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">1. Attract Decision-Ready Customers</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Did you know that, on average, B2B buyers are around <a href="https://www.inbound.com/speakers/marcus-sheridan"><span>80 percent</span></a> of the way through the sales process before they talk to a salesperson?</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">How are they doing that? By becoming their own subject matter experts using resources available to them online, such as company websites, product reviews, research, insights, comparison guides, and more.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">To take advantage of that opportunity to educate and <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/how-to-become-the-trusted-content-leader-of-your-industry"><span>build trust</span></a> with prospective customers while they’re in that research mode, you can utilize your ERP-CRM integration.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">With a CRM like HubSpot, you can produce and publish <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/what-type-of-marketing-works-best-for-a-small-manufacturing-company"><span>helpful content</span></a> that addresses your customers’ unique pain points, interests, and desires wherever they are in their buyer’s journey. Then, you can use <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/your-questions-about-hubspot-sales-hub-answered"><span>Sales Hub</span></a> tools like automation, workflows, and sequences to nurture, qualify, and rank prospects—streamlining your sales process and bringing decision-ready customers to your doorstep.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">When a lead is ready to move into your ERP (a step unique to your specific integration setup), all that information learned upfront—behaviors, engagements, conversations—is immediately transferred for your entire team to utilize, further increasing knowledge share.&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">2. Increase Marketing Effectiveness</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">With an ERP-CRM integration, you have <a href="https://blog.thevested.com/blog/distribution-dashboards-927"><span>complete visibility</span></a> into your prospects’ and customers’ needs, purchase habits, order history, preferences, and more from the moment they land on your site to their 10th repeat purchase.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">If you use this data to your benefit to observe behaviors and trends, the opportunities to increase marketing effectiveness are endless.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">For example, if your company has a specific product and order goal it’s aiming to hit this quarter, insights gleaned from previous customers in your ERP and user engagements in your CRM can inform <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/what-type-of-marketing-works-best-for-a-small-manufacturing-company"><span>how, when, and where</span></a> to market this product. The result is more targeted, data-driven marketing strategies, intelligent resource utilization, and lower costs.&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">3. Elevate Sales Team Productivity&nbsp;</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">The 360-degree view of your business that results from integration between your ERP and HubSpot can improve the productivity and success of your sales team in numerous ways. The most popular benefits include the following:</p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><strong>Accurate quoting</strong>. With complete visibility into your company’s inventory and costs, you can kiss inaccurate <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/sales/quotes"><span>quoting</span></a> of product quantity and price goodbye.</li> <li><strong>Improved forecasting</strong>. Improve the accuracy of your <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/forecasting"><span>sales forecasts</span></a> and planning with insight into vital financial information stored within your ERP.</li> <li><strong>Reduced duplication</strong>. Keeping your sales and finance departments on the space page can virtually remove redundant information sharing and reproduction of reporting.</li> <li><strong>Increased productivity</strong>. Automation tools can increase the productivity of your sales team by streamlining their sales funnel while also deepening relationships and <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/case-studies/binary-stream"><span>improving conversion rates</span></a>.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px;">If you're looking for ways to take full advantage of your ERP, strengthen your marketing efforts, and transform your entire organization's potential, integration between your ERP and HubSpot makes sense.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">To learn more about an ERP-CRM integration, including the benefits and how to align your marketing strategy to the connected systems, check out our recent webinar, <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/marketing-erp-crm-integration-webinar"><em><span>How To Establish a Full-Funnel Marketing Approach With an Established ERP</span></em></a>, by clicking the button below. You'll hear from Ashley Sams, Ready North's director of marketing, and Chris Johnson, director of strategy at <a href="https://thevested.com">The Vested Group</a>—NetSuite's 2022 Partner of the Year.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.readynorth.com/cs/ci/?pg=c3bd46e3-e255-476b-bd2d-7caed7b20631&amp;pid=883&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="headshots of presenters with a green button to watch webinar on-demand" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/883/c3bd46e3-e255-476b-bd2d-7caed7b20631.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=883&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.readynorth.com%2Fblog%2Ftransformative-benefits-of-integrating-hubspot-and-erp&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.readynorth.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> HubSpot Manufacturing Professional Services Integrations Tue, 08 Nov 2022 14:40:56 GMT ashley.sams@readynorth.com (Ashley Sams) https://www.readynorth.com/blog/transformative-benefits-of-integrating-hubspot-and-erp 2022-11-08T14:40:56Z How Do I Onboard to HubSpot? Your Questions, Answered https://www.readynorth.com/blog/how-to-onboard-to-hubspot-your-questions-answered <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/how-to-onboard-to-hubspot-your-questions-answered" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hubfs/RN%20blog%20images%20-%20checkmark.jpeg" alt="orange checkmark" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>A<span style="font-size: 16px;">s one of the <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/comparisons/best-crm" style="color: #ff9900;"><span style="color: #d67822;">most popular CRM systems</span></a> for business, it’s no surprise that many companies—like your own—are eager to get started with HubSpot. But with five hubs and countless tools, a formal onboarding is often necessary to effectively launch the platform for your business.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p>A<span style="font-size: 16px;">s one of the <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/comparisons/best-crm" style="color: #ff9900;"><span style="color: #d67822;">most popular CRM systems</span></a> for business, it’s no surprise that many companies—like your own—are eager to get started with HubSpot. But with five hubs and countless tools, a formal onboarding is often necessary to effectively launch the platform for your business.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">A proper onboarding process not only ensures that you and your team understand how to use the platform, but also confirms that you made the right CRM choice.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Continue reading for answers to top HubSpot onboarding questions and more details on white-glove onboarding services available to you.&nbsp;</span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">What does the HubSpot onboarding process involve?</h2> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Your actual onboarding activities may vary depending on who handles the process for your organization. However, you should look for <span style="color: #d67822;"><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/hubspot-onboarding" style="color: #d67822;">onboarding services</a></span> that include the following action items:&nbsp;</span></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;">Answer questions about your <strong>strategic business goals and intended use</strong> of HubSpot. It’s also a great idea to clarify any pain points that your team experiences with your current systems—how are you hoping HubSpot will fix these?</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>Review existing data</strong> such as customer records, deal information, and email lists to determine if any data cleaning is necessary before importing to HubSpot.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>Set up</strong> templates, reports, workflows, and any other tools necessary to leverage your new portal.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>Import or sync existing data</strong> into the system.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 16px;">Undergo a <strong>comprehensive training session</strong> and/or receive a final resource to guide your team through HubSpot and any features relevant to your processes.</span>&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">I already have a website hosted elsewhere. How will this work with HubSpot?</h2> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">While <span style="color: #d67822;"><a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/cms" style="color: #d67822;">CMS Hub</a></span> is part of HubSpot, <strong>you do not need to transfer your website to HubSpot in order to use the platform. </strong>Instead, you can <a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/integrations/install-the-hubspot-wordpress-plugin" style="color: #ff9900;"><span style="color: #d67822;">connect your existing website</span></a> through a compatible HubSpot plugin or app, depending on your existing site platform. This connection enables you to use many of HubSpot’s features, like forms and CTAs, seamlessly throughout your website. It also syncs website data into HubSpot for comprehensive reporting.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px;">In addition to connecting your website via a HubSpot plugin, you can also <span style="color: #d67822;"><a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/domains-and-urls/connect-a-domain-to-hubspot" style="color: #d67822;">set up a subdomain</a></span> in HubSpot where HubSpot-created landing pages can be hosted. <em>Note: HubSpot </em><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/your-questions-about-hubspot-smart-content-answered-inbound-takeaways"><em>smart content</em></a><em> and A/B testing functionality can only be used on HubSpot site pages.</em>&nbsp;</span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">What sort of templates does HubSpot offer?</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">HubSpot’s template marketplace has a wide variety of drag-and-drop templates to choose from when creating landing pages and emails. Templates can be customized in <span style="color: #d67822;"><a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/design-manager/a-quick-tour-of-the-design-manager" style="color: #d67822;">Design Manager</a></span> to match your company’s branding.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Along with design templates, HubSpot’s <span style="color: #d67822;"><a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/templates/create-and-send-templates" style="color: #d67822;">email template</a></span> and <a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/conversations/use-snippets" style="color: #ff9900;"><span><span style="color: #d67822;">snippets</span></span></a> tools are also available for users to draft and save pieces of text for reuse. These features are especially useful for sales teams that find themselves sending the same emails or paragraphs during conversations. <strong>Think: </strong>Product descriptions, answers to commonly asked questions, and your terms and conditions can all be templatized for ease of use.&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">What social channels can I connect to HubSpot?</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">HubSpot’s social media tool enables <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/marketing/professional"><span>Marketing Hub Professional</span></a> and <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/marketing/enterprise"><span>Enterprise</span></a> users to <span style="color: #d67822;"><a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/social/connect-your-social-media-accounts-to-hubspot" style="color: #d67822;">connect all of their social channels</a></span> in one place. Each channel can also have multiple accounts—like your personal LinkedIn profile and company page—connected at once. From there, teams can schedule social shares and monitor account performance. HubSpot users can also connect and manage their paid accounts to HubSpot.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><strong><em>Note:</em></strong><em> For security purposes, some channels will require users to re-authenticate their social account connections in HubSpot every 90 days. Because of this, we recommend a team member from the onboarded company understand how to connect the accounts so that they can reconnect them in the future.&nbsp;</em></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Can I integrate my existing technology with HubSpot?</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">HubSpot boasts an <a href="https://app.hubspot.com/ecosystem/22505601/marketplace/apps/" style="color: #ff9900;"><span><span style="color: #d67822;">ecosystem</span></span></a> of hundreds of out-of-the-box integrations to connect everything from email to websites to calendars to other CRM systems. Most of these integrations allow you to seamlessly sync data between the platforms and use the combined power of their functionalities. If your particular tech is not part of HubSpot’s ecosystem, the platform has an open API available for custom-built needs.&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">Can my sales team make and track calls through HubSpot?</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">With HubSpot, sales reps have the option to <a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/calling/manage-phone-numbers-registered-for-calling" style="color: #ff9900;"><span><span style="color: #d67822;">connect their own outbound phone number</span></span></a> to HubSpot or use one of HubSpot’s generated phone numbers. Either way, HubSpot’s <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/sales/click-to-call" style="color: #ff9900;"><span><span style="color: #d67822;">call tracking software</span></span></a> allows reps to make and log calls directly in HubSpot. With call recording enabled, reps can also save a recording of the call in the associated contact record’s notes. Moreover, HubSpot offers a free call transcription tool that automatically transcribes your call recordings and pulls automated insights based on the information tracked.&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">How can HubSpot enhance our existing sales and marketing processes?&nbsp;</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">There are a number of ways HubSpot has the potential to enhance your existing processes, but its <strong>automation capabilities</strong> will likely have the largest impact on your team’s overall efficiencies. Here are just a few examples.&nbsp;</p> <ul style="font-size: 16px;"> <li><span style="color: #d67822;"><a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/workflows/create-workflows" style="color: #d67822;">Workflows</a></span> enable your marketing team to automatically send nurture emails to new and existing contacts.&nbsp;</li> <li><span style="color: #d67822;"><a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/tasks/create-tasks" style="color: #d67822;">Tasks</a></span> can be automatically assigned to team members based on other completed actions in your portal, like a contract being sent out.&nbsp;</li> <li><span style="color: #d67822;"><a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/sequences/create-and-edit-sequences" style="color: #d67822;">Sequences</a></span> can be set up to ensure follow-up emails and tasks are executed in a timely and effective manner.&nbsp;</li> <li><span style="color: #d67822;"><a href="https://knowledge.hubspot.com/playbooks/use-playbooks" style="color: #d67822;">Playbooks</a></span> prompt team members with the right questions to ask prospects and ensure notes are accurately recorded.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 16px;">HubSpot is a robust and always-evolving CRM system, designed to significantly improve your marketing and sales processes. And the organizations that best use the platform to their advantage are the ones that started with a comprehensive onboarding plan.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><br><strong>Looking for HubSpot onboarding support?</strong> The Ready North team offers <span style="color: #d67822;"><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/hubspot-onboarding" style="color: #d67822;">white-glove onboarding services</a></span>, customized specifically for your organization. Our goal is to convert everyone at your organization into a HubSpot superfan—and provide your team with the strategic support needed to successfully get started with HubSpot. Click below to learn more.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.readynorth.com/cs/ci/?pg=92e4ef49-fe99-44b4-ae51-4cf1f4af3f9c&amp;pid=883&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="team of people working together on marketing campaign with button to Get Started" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/883/92e4ef49-fe99-44b4-ae51-4cf1f4af3f9c.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=883&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.readynorth.com%2Fblog%2Fhow-to-onboard-to-hubspot-your-questions-answered&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.readynorth.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Strategy HubSpot Tue, 01 Nov 2022 17:23:06 GMT madison.filipiak@readynorth.com (Madison Filipiak) https://www.readynorth.com/blog/how-to-onboard-to-hubspot-your-questions-answered 2022-11-01T17:23:06Z 3 Game-Changing Takeaways for Every Business in the “They Ask, You Answer” Book https://www.readynorth.com/blog/game-changing-takeaways-for-every-business-in-the-they-ask-you-answer-book <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/game-changing-takeaways-for-every-business-in-the-they-ask-you-answer-book" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://www.readynorth.com/hubfs/RN%20Blog%20Images%20-%20TAYA.png" alt="cover of They Ask, You Answer book on wood background" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><em>Editor’s Note: The content for this blog post was inspired by our team’s quarterly book club meeting. You can read more of our book club recap and takeaway posts </em><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/hs-search-results?term=book+club&amp;type=SITE_PAGE&amp;type=BLOG_POST&amp;type=LISTING_PAGE"><em><span>here</span></em></a><em>.</em></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><em>Editor’s Note: The content for this blog post was inspired by our team’s quarterly book club meeting. You can read more of our book club recap and takeaway posts </em><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/hs-search-results?term=book+club&amp;type=SITE_PAGE&amp;type=BLOG_POST&amp;type=LISTING_PAGE"><em><span>here</span></em></a><em>.</em></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">For years, Marcus Sheridan’s book, <a href="https://marcussheridan.com/they-ask-you-answer/"><em><span>They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today's Digital Consumer</span></em></a><em>, </em>has been the foundation of countless successful content marketing programs. Having been ranked as the “#1 Marketing Book” by Mashable and on FORBES’ list of “11 Marketing Books Every CMO Should Read,” it’s easy to see why.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Using the genius, yet simple, guidelines detailed in the book, companies can realign their marketing and sales teams, reconnect with their buyers online, and redefine the role content marketing plays in revenue growth.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">To whet your appetite, we’re sharing the three top takeaways we believe every company should know, understand, and implement to set themselves up for success in today’s competitive business landscape.</p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">1. Trust is the most critical pillar to business success.</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">In the book, Marcus challenges readers to answer this question: Who is the most trusted voice in your industry?</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><strong>If your answer does not include the business you work for, this takeaway applies to you.</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Simply put, trust is the one and only thing that binds consumers to businesses. If you cannot <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/how-to-become-the-trusted-content-leader-of-your-industry">build trust with your prospects and customers</a>, they will leave your products and services in the dust and find someone that can.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">When it comes to methods for building trust, content marketing is a no-brainer.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Content marketing is defined by <a href="https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-marketing"><span>HubSpot</span></a> as the process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing content with the goal of reaching your target audience and increasing brand awareness, sales, engagement, and loyalty. It enables businesses to address their consumers’ questions, wants, desires, and needs without ever having to meet them in person or hop on a phone call.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">According to <a href="https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-09-15-gartner-says-80--of-b2b-sales-interactions-between-su"><span>Gartner</span></a>, B2B (business-to-business) buyers are already 80 percent of the way through the sales process by the time they talk to a salesperson.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">How are these buyers walking themselves that far down the funnel? By using the content available to them online—blog articles, social media posts, product and service reviews, website content, press releases, podcasts, and more.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">So, if they’re not getting that information from you, it’s safe to assume your competitors are supplying it.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">If you want to be involved in the online narrative of your business and establish trust with your target audience, you need to answer their questions as they arise; you need to take advantage of the power of content marketing.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: normal;"><span style="color: #d67822;"><em>&gt;&gt; Get started: Create <span style="text-decoration: none;">a </span></em><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/content-hub-workbook-editorial-calendar-download" style="font-style: italic; color: #d67822;">content marketing strategy</a><span style="font-style: italic;"> </span><span style="font-style: italic;"></span><em>devoted to creating valuable, resource-driven content for your prospects and customers.</em></span></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">2. Make your pricing available and transparent.</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">One element of the sales process that can make or break your prospect’s trust is price.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">For some, price is used to determine if a product or service is within a certain budget range. For others, price is a way to determine the quality and value of the exchanged goods.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Regardless of the reason, price is a core part of every business transaction. Therefore, it matters to your customers—which means it should matter to you.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">In chapter 10, Marcus shares:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><em>“When you’re researching a company and their products and services, the moment you feel like anyone is hiding anything from you, all trust is lost.”</em></p> </blockquote> <p style="font-size: 16px;">This applies most dramatically to pricing. When a user cannot find information regarding your pricing online, they lose trust in your business immediately. This is not just due to their search yielding no results; it’s because the lack of results evokes a realization that your company knows the price and is choosing not to share it—AKA: you’re hiding something from them.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Additionally, following the Covid-19 pandemic and global lockdown, <a href="https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/growth-marketing-and-sales/our-insights/these-eight-charts-show-how-covid-19-has-changed-b2b-sales-forever"><span>more than three-quarters</span></a> of buyers and sellers say they prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions. If a visitor can’t at least conclude a price range of your products or services online, you could lose their business forever.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">As of this book’s publication, fewer than 10 percent of all businesses in the world (not including e-commerce) address pricing and costs on their company website. That’s a massive opportunity for your business to capitalize on. <strong>If you want to set your company apart and build honest relationships with your customers for life, </strong><a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/how-to-become-the-trusted-content-leader-of-your-industry#:~:text=2.%20Talk%20about%20pricing%2C%20costs%2C%20and%20rates."><strong><span>make your pricing available and transparent</span></strong></a><strong>.</strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: normal;"><em><span style="color: #ff9900;">&gt;&gt; Get started: Update your website to educate visitors about your pricing, and consider adding pricing content to your editorial calendar.</span></em></p> <h2 style="font-size: 20px;">3. Be comfortable with fear and your competition.&nbsp;</h2> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Another exercise Marcus instructs readers to complete is to make a list of all the reasons why someone would <em>not </em>buy your product or service.&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">While this may sound terrifying at first, it can be an extremely productive way to<strong> identify the unique fears, worries, concerns, and questions your prospective customers have</strong>.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Apply the same concept to <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/blog/how-to-become-the-trusted-content-leader-of-your-industry#:~:text=7.%20Talk%20about%20the%20competition."><span>your competition</span></a>. Ask yourself: what are the differentiators between our products/services and those of our top competitors? The answer to that question is exactly what your prospective buyers want to know. Instead of pretending your competitors don’t exist, address the elephant in the room—you versus them—and position your company as an honest, unbiased resource that buyers can trust.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">This philosophy can also help you qualify and prioritize your leads. For example, if a prospect is interested in a unique capability that your company cannot offer, wouldn’t you rather know up front instead of having a member of your sales team waste time setting up calls and demos? We sure would.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><strong><em><span style="color: #ff9900;">&gt;&gt; Get started: Brainstorm all the reasons a prospect wouldn’t buy from you, as well as the similarities and differences between your company and its competitors. Once identified, address it online (blog post, website content, podcast, etc.).</span></em></strong></p> <p style="font-size: 16px;">Looking for more content marketing best practices and resources? <a href="https://www.readynorth.com/subscribe"><span>Subscribe to our newsletter</span></a> today and receive actionable marketing takeaways directly in your inbox.</p> <p style="font-size: 16px;"><a class="cta_button" href="https://www.readynorth.com/cs/ci/?pg=479bbcb4-1f74-41a9-b028-a0156c10a1f4&amp;pid=883&amp;ecid=&amp;hseid=&amp;hsic="><img class="hs-cta-img " style="border-width: 0px; /*hs-extra-styles*/; margin: 0 auto; display: block; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px" alt="SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER" src="https://no-cache.hubspot.com/cta/default/883/479bbcb4-1f74-41a9-b028-a0156c10a1f4.png" align="middle"></a></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=883&amp;k=14&amp;r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.readynorth.com%2Fblog%2Fgame-changing-takeaways-for-every-business-in-the-they-ask-you-answer-book&amp;bu=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.readynorth.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Marketing Sales Alignment Marketing Resources Marketing Strategy Sales Book Club Wed, 26 Oct 2022 19:58:41 GMT ashley.sams@readynorth.com (Ashley Sams) https://www.readynorth.com/blog/game-changing-takeaways-for-every-business-in-the-they-ask-you-answer-book 2022-10-26T19:58:41Z