Have you ever sat at your desk and wondered what you were going to do when your marketing budget and all the wonderful things that go with it go away? I’ve had to experience that before and it’s not fun. I felt like as the company we were not being wise by doing this and it would come back to hurt us. When the time comes for your marketing budget to get the axe, I sense that a few things can occur in both the awareness and consideration stages of the sales funnel (Top and middle).
Awareness Stage Marketing
This is a very important part of the sales and marketing process. Awareness marketing helps your brand get exposed so that prospective customers become “aware” of your brand. It is designed to be a top of mind marketing approach that primes the prospective customer so that when they are ready, they already know who you are. Awareness marketing becomes the feeder system for deeper level funnel activity and helps to qualify prospective customers.
When no awareness marketing is happening, the brand is cutting off prospect activity and the pipeline becomes very weak at best. Because awareness marketing is at the top of the sales funnel, when it is no longer filled with prospective customers due to your marketing efforts, the middle of the sales funnel also has fewer leads, and more importantly, more qualified leads. When this happens, your sales team screams because a high percentage of the prospects they do have are not buying and sales reps feel like they are wasting their time talking to prospects that have no interest. In essence, your company is spending money on a sales team that is trying to sell people a product or service they really don’t want and won’t buy. I think it would be more productive if the sales team invested their time on targeted, qualified leads right?
Why is it important for sales teams to spend their time on targeted, qualified leads as opposed to leads they do not know anything about?
This process actually needs to begin with the leadership high above the sales team. In order to know what constitutes the most ideal “qualified leads”, the business needs to clearly articulate their core values. Once those values have been determined and written down, they need to be clearly communicated to the employees and sales professionals. With that information, they can know far more quickly which leads are qualified and which is a waste of time. Casting too wide a net will result in loss of focus, reduced effectiveness, and overall frustration among the sales team.
– Sarah Asaftei, a brand strategist and director at skaMEDIA Productions & Films, Inc.
Consideration Stage Marketing
Now that we know that awareness stage marketing is all but gone because your budget was whacked. I guess that also means you have no budget for deeper funnel marketing activities that target specific personas. If Awareness is at the top of the funnel, Consideration is the middle. This is where the prospective customer already has heard about your brand from the awareness stage and now they are considering your product or service. As a marketer, you want prospects in this stage because it means you have a fighting chance to get them to purchase.
If you are not engaging in any awareness stage marketing efforts, do you really think your prospects will even get to the consideration stage? Let’s just say, it’s pretty slim this would happen, but it is possible. Cutting off both awareness and consideration stage-marketing efforts is like cutting your lifeline. Both of these stages take time to build and they also gain momentum over that same time. Once you cut them however, that momentum is lost and your valued prospects are lost too.
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Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-macfarland/
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