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Five Reasons Good Sales & Marketing Messages Fail

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Jan 12, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Five Reasons Good Sales & Marketing Messages FailMessaging gets a lot - A LOT - of attention from both marketers and sales executives. For good reason too. An effective message is like a large lever (give me a lever long enough and I can move the world). Conversely a poor message will thrust you into a thorny patch of commoditization and irrelevance.

As you’d expect with something as important as a company’s messaging, significant time and money is spent on the effort. But stop for a moment and do the following:

  • Look at your website
  • Review your sales and marketing collateral
  • Think about how sales conversations are started with prospects

Now, ask yourself, “what is the message we’re conveying?” Are you happy with it? Does it stand out and resonate with customers and prospects? Is it a competitive advantage?

I know the answer for most of you is, “no!” I know this because in workshops I conduct across the country when I ask executives, marketers or salespeople to share their message, almost all of them start off stuttering and blathering about themselves. I can also look at the results of marketing and sales efforts and see that the message isn’t working.

Having been directly involved with the assessment and development of hundreds of companies’ messages, I’ve learned five key reasons that good messages fail.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, B2B Sales Strategy

6 Ways You're Scaring Your B2B Leads Away

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Oct 25, 2016 4:00:00 PM

scare-away-your-leads.jpgEverywhere you look these days, there’s something that’s been designed to give you a chill. From spooky jack-o-lanterns to ghosts and witches to creepy clowns, it’s the scaring season.

In less than a week, kids will be dressed up and invading neighborhoods across the country in search of treats. Where I live, we don’t get many trick-or-treaters. Those who do stop by get a friendly greeting – nothing too scary – and take home a big handful of treats.

In some ways, trick-or-treaters are a lot like B2B leads. Depending on how you present your company and what you offer, they may be scared away before they ever ring the doorbell.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

Was Adopting an Inbound Approach a Mistake?

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Mar 8, 2016 4:00:00 PM

inbound-mistake.jpgInbound marketing has been greeted with tremendous excitement. It’s hard to believe but just five years ago, few people had even heard of it, and today more than 84% of companies are implementing at least some portion of the inbound marketing methodology.

It’s no surprise that inbound has been adopted so quickly. When exposed to the proposition, it just makes so much sense. I remember when I took my first steps into inbound. I was sure lead generation was going to be a breeze and the opportunity to bring hard measurements meant I was finally going to be able to demonstrate the impact of marketing.

While the excitement around inbound is still high, it’s also suffering from a bit of fatigue as many people have found that it’s not quite the panacea many hoped it would be. The truth is that inbound marketing is really hard. There are a lot of moving parts and keeping it all together is a huge challenge. As for results, many are seeing improvements in lead generation but revenue isn’t moving in the right direction.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

5 Things to Do if Your Content Isn't Generating Leads

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Feb 23, 2016 9:00:00 AM

content-not-generating-leads.jpgWhen I joined Imagine – just over a year ago now – part of my role was account manager for one of our newest clients. It was a great opportunity for me to learn how we approach a client engagement from the very beginning and to understand the process that we go through.

The very first thing we do with a new client is develop their buyer personas. As is usually the case, our client had ideas around who their ideal customers/prospects were but they hadn’t documented those ideas or answered all of the necessary questions. When the process was complete, we had identified and defined three primary personas.

From there, we created an editorial calendar and plan for premium content that would be directed at those personas and began to execute. We were confident with our plan. Our editorial ideas were in line with what we had learned about the buyer personas.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

Want A Rock Star Blog? Be Sure You Address These 8 Areas

Posted by Matt Polashuk

Feb 10, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Blogging_Best_PracticesBlogging is a term that has taken off over the years but not just for moms who want to talk about their favorite recipes or 20 something’s who want to write about their summer Eurotrip. Recently, forward-thinking businesses have realized it’s true value as a lead generation and lead nurturing tool, driving significant web traffic and providing clients and prospects with important industry information. All items which lead to more sales.

This is not just my opinion, as the data exists to back me up. HubSpot’s 2014 State of Inbound report determined that marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI. Additionally, 82% of marketers who blogged daily acquired a customer using their blog and 57% of marketers who blogged monthly brought in new business as well.

While the blogs we write differ based on our target audience and the nature of our businesses, there are things that all B2B companies should pay attention to in their approach to blogging. Here are eight things to consider that will help you get the most bang for your buck from your blog.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, Lead Nurturing

6 Reasons to Add Webinars to your Content Mix

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Feb 9, 2016 3:00:00 PM

6-reasons-to-host-a-webinar.jpgA long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a marketer in the engineering consulting business. Not as exciting as Star Wars but it did sometimes seem like I was on another planet. Kidding aside, one of our most successful tactics for generating leads was hosting seminars. We’d work with our technical staff to identify topics that our prospects were interested in learning about or HAD to learn about because of changes in regulations.

Each event was held in one of our offices or at an off-site meeting place. The agenda usually included multiple speakers all presenting something relevant to the overall topic. These events were successful because we were able to invite very specific prospects and clients to learn about something that was causing them pain or was about to cause them pain. We were then able to deliver our teaching point-of-view on the topic in person and really establish ourselves as the experts. Our prospects looked forward to attending these seminars and prioritized them in their schedules.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

How to Create an Effective Sales and Marketing SLA

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Feb 5, 2016 1:00:00 PM

create-effect-sales-marketing-sla.jpgThis post originally appeared on the HubSpot Marketing Blog.

The alignment of an organization’s sales and marketing efforts is a crucial strategic imperative for companies that desire sustainable growth. Despite the evidence of improved business performance, it’s still a rarity to find an organization that has and maintains full alignment. The good news is that the issue is getting far more attention than ever before, and more organizations are making progress.

A major cause for the overall lack of progress is that while the issue of alignment is getting more strategic attention from executives, it’s still getting very little focus in terms of tactical and structural changes that need to be made within an organization to sustain the goal.

While talk and will power can improve results in the short run, structural change is required to sustain the effort and to gain the benefits of such a pursuit. It is for this reason that the development of a documented service level agreement (SLA) between sales and marketing is so important.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

Want More Inbound Leads? Make Sure Your Premium Content Doesn't Suck

Posted by Maria Votlucka

Jan 19, 2016 12:00:00 PM

According to the Content Marketing Institute, in 2016, B2B organizations plan to produce 76% more content than in 2015. That’s a lot of marketing noise! To boot, CMI also reports that in 2015, 64% of marketers didn’t have a content strategy and only 30% of marketers said their content was effective. 

Get More Inbound Leads with Your Premium ContentThose numbers are unnerving considering the blood, sweat and tears (time, more time and money) that you invest in developing premium content pieces such as whitepapers, ebooks, case studies, how-to guides, etc. Premium content is key to your business’ success! Whether your offer is for the epiphany (above the funnel), awareness (top of the funnel), consideration (middle of the funnel) or decision stage (bottom of the funnel) of the buyer’s journey, to achieve success your strategy must be aligned with how buyers engage, learn and consume content today - not 6 months ago.

So how do you get the most ROI from your premium content? Start with your buyer personas. To grab their attention, capture them as a lead and guide them down the path to becoming delighted paying customers, your premium content must be focused on what matters most to them. Do you know how effective your premium content is?

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

[Free Tool] The 8 Elements of an Effective Landing Page

Posted by Matt Polashuk

Jan 12, 2016 4:00:00 PM

Landing-page-example.pngLast week, Ellen wrote about improving conversion rates on landing pagesToday, I’m going to take a deeper dive into the elements of an effective landing page.

For those unfamiliar with the term, landing pages are web pages that allow you to capture a visitor’s information through a conversion form. Think of them as a sales rep that is working 365, 24/7 for your business. Capturing leads through landing pages is not only an effective method of lead generation but has become a primary and vital method for any business to build out the top of their sales funnel.

While landing pages should not be thought of as a one-style-fits-all tool, there are certain elements of a landing page that must be included in order to garner optimal results. 

According to Hubspot, the elements of an effective landing page include a headline, hidden navigation, context, images, and forms. At Imagine, I have utilized these elements along with other components to create landing pages that fulfill their purpose of converting visitors to leads.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

4 Insights to Increase Landing Page Conversion Rates

Posted by Ellen Salzler

Jan 6, 2016 3:30:00 PM

4 Insights to Increase Landing Page Conversion RatesIt’s a small victory when a visitor comes across your site and navigates to a landing page. What makes it a big win? With all the hard work you’ve done to get that visitor to your site, when they continue along a conversion path to fill out your form and become a lead…well, that’s worth celebrating!

When that visitor turns out to be one of your buyer personas in the midst of their buyer’s journey, that’s even better. Of course, part of the journey includes entering the top of your funnel by following the lead conversion path you’ve designed for them. A lead conversion path is made up of 6 elements:

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing