Mike Moss: What is your approach to demand generation, marketing automation, content marketing?
Chris Bechtel: My approach to Demand Gen. is to first understand the goals of the client. What product, service, etc. do they want to drive demand for? Who are the target buyers? Who are the competitors? What is working and what is not working now? What resources, assets and tools are currently available (people, content, software)? What differentiates the product/service and what are the needs/pains that it is fulfilling? What is the brand story? Is it clear? Do we still need to define and refine the product/service and brand positioning or are we ready to rock and roll with what we have?
Marketing automation is applied if the need is there (i.e. sales cycles that include a period where leads need to be “nurtured” so the product/service will stay top of mind when they are ready to buy.) The approach is to map out the funnel, then identify Lead/Prospect behaviors that will trigger a communication or series of communications based on where the lead is in the funnel (e.g. top of the funnel/just browsing/nurture with educational/entertaining content vs. bottom of the funnel/numerous visits to a buy or pricing page/or tech. specs. page - target upsell or close or notify sales).
Content Marketing is mapped against the funnel that is defined for each client/product/service. A Content Marketing Strategy then determines the goals/outcomes desired (to move leads forward in the funnel) and specific assets and types of assets are specified in an Content Plan that will consistently produce content that is designed to accomplish the goals specified in the strategy.
MM: Do you have a framework or methodology you use?
MM: How would you get started?
CB: Identify the goals and objectives of the client/company/product/service. Ask the questions listed above under Demand Gen., create a scope of work that specifies these goals along with an initial program. Often this is the result of a demand gen. “Opportunity Audit” which is part of a “Scoping” phase - this phase can be built into the whole program or contracted as a separate and initial phase.
MM: How would you price?
CB: We price based on the estimated number of hours to accomplish the scope of work, then provide a flat monthly fee/retainer or a straight project fee based on those hours.
MM: What kind of metrics would you measure?
CB: Start with the key numbers the client is looking for: New Sales, new leads, lead acquisition costs/customer acquisition costs, channel effectiveness/lead acquisition costs by channel, Customer LTV, length of sales cycle/funnel velocity (rate by which leads move through the funnel), lead quality (sales acceptance rate), and of course conversion rates across channels and media (email, landing pages, ppc, etc.)
MM: What technologies need to be in place already?
CB: None actually. It is typically part of the scope of work to build out an infrastructure of tools; from web content management software for managing web content and blog content (Wordpress for example), to analytics (Google, KISS Metrics, or other) to marketing automation (Eloqua, HubSpot, or Marketo for example) to CRM (Salesforce, Sugar, Zoho) integration and email campaign management (Constant Contact, Mail Chimp AWeber, etc.). We will work with what the client has already, tune them up, add or replace, based on project goals, budget constraints. We will perform the work to set them up, integrate them and train team members.
MM: What are your favorite tools and technologies to use? Why?
CB: Google Analytics - measurement and free, Unbounce for Landing Pages - A/B testing and easy CMS, Google AdWords and Bing for PPC, Authority Labs for SEO and rankings, Salesforce for CRM, Marketo for Marketing Automation, and Hootsuite for Social Media.
There are many others and we can work with them if clients have them. We believe these tools to be the industry leaders however.
MM: What are you most excited about when engaging with a new firm?
CB: Helping them define their goals. Looking for untapped opportunities. Supporting sales in closing more deals. Creating compelling content and a consistent content production flow. Monitoring and measuring success and continuous improvement.
MM: When is the best time for you to engage, and typically how long do you like to stay engaged?
CB: Best time is typically after product, branding and services positioning has been fairly well defined. So, we can take it to the next level and not have to spend months while the company spins on positioning and getting buy-in. Typically 120 days at a minimum. 6 months is preferred.
17 July 2013