Workingarts™ Marketing Tools Creation/Management
Marketing is a complex discipline because it functionally sits at the hub of a company’s internal and external efforts. On the outbound side, marketing gathers customer requirements directly, via technical marketing meetings with customers, or indirectly from the sales force, industry reports, analysts, etc. Marketing also validates those requirements, translates them into technical requirements and incorporates them into inbound marketing and product requirements documents intended for the company’s product development teams. Marketing also creates sales tools for the sales force and handles marketing activities to generate demand creation (a.k.a. product pull) from prospects and existing customers. That’s a lot of work for one title! Some of those essential tasks are bound to fall through the cracks if they are not properly planned and scheduled. A marketing plan only seems important, however, it is essential to the success of any product launch and life cycle.
Marketing Tasks and Scopes
Marketers often use simple images or scripts to illustrate their goals, strategies, and projects. The common image of marketing uses the military concept of “air cover” that both tests and prepares the market for the arrival (launch) of the product while announcing the arrival of the sales force and sales efforts by softening the market segment with demand creation strategies and tactics to facilitate market penetration. But we are getting ahead of ourselves; at the very start of a company, many marketing tasks are performed, often well before the product itself is completed and ready to be launched into its appropriate market(s). Beyond the product itself, the company’s image, culture, logo design, mission statement and solution/product positioning, must be designed and tested until its final draft is approved by executive management for publication. Before the product or service is ready, marketing activities can be planned and launched to reach out and expose the company’s story, its products, services, and solutions, to its potential customers.
Each marketing activity has its cycles and its associated goals, which can be measured with predetermined and accepted sets of metrics. Metrics can be reported counts of “eye balls” on the company’s website, downloaded solutions white papers, case studies, positioning documents, product data sheets, customer and industry surveys, published ads (print and internet), social media feedback, trade show booth presence and accumulated leads, worthy encounters, as well as targeted numbers of published press releases, trade publication articles, interviews and published products/services evaluations, participations in product benchmarks, customers testimonials, partner activities and partnership announcements, reseller wins, customer wins, etc. The job never ends and, actually, if done correctly, gets increasingly more interesting and challenging.
Marketing automation Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software products and/or cloud services are maturing rapidly. Subscription-based systems such as SalesForce.Com, Marketo, Eloqua, etc. in combination with lead cleansing solutions such as jigsaw (a crowd sourced contact information updating systems that is constantly refreshed by member customers) enable companies to automate their lead qualifications via automated and manual monitoring of prospect activities, to eventually graduate them into their proper qualification, historical mapping and nurtured lead information gathering. These systems interact with email campaign solutions (native or third party like Constant Contact, Vertical Response, iContact, Campaigner, etc.) with up-to-date performance metrics available via the web, iPhone or smartphone apps. Many of these tools require training and are not as intuitive as their vendor would have you believe, but minimal training to let you understand the basics and advanced training via online seminars and training videos can help familiarize you with their tools. However, such solutions require you to use them often enough so that you do not forget what you have learned. Workingarts Marketing can help you fill in the gap by training you or implementing strategies on those tools. If we know the tool, we can implement the marketing project for you – if we do not yet know the specific tool you wish to use, we take the training (no charge) and implement the marketing project for you. Our experience allows us to learn new tools quickly because most of them are similar. If you have not yet selected a tool, we can help you decide on the right solution for you based on your goals and resources.