Marketing vs. Sales vs. Smarketing

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(AKA – Attract your clients, customers, and potential leads with marketing – and close them like a boss with sales and combined you’ve got smarketing!)

When I first began digital marketing years ago, perhaps I was one of the ‘rare lucky’ ones, or at least when it comes to most companies & businesses.

I came from the world where my marketing funnel went from Top of Funnel (TOFU), Middle of Funnel(MOFO), to Bottom of Funnel (BOFO). At which point if the potential lead was considered a true lead – and at the ‘BOFU’ they were passed on to the dedicated sales person. Otherwise, as a marketer, it was my job to continue to nurture and work with them through the process to make them become a ‘BOFU’ worthy lead.

In all actuality, my goal with every single lead I ever received, was to try to nurture them in an online way in every capacity possible before having to have a salesperson get them on the phone – so that I was not wasting my sales person time. My ultimate goal was to make it so that potential lead was so nurtured and aware of whatever product or service we or I provided was so worthwhile, at the point they talked to a salesperson, all the salesperson had to do was say ‘This is the pricing, and this is where you sign.’

Let’s be honest: most true marketers (especially online marketers) weren’t meant to be the salesperson. Marketers weren’t meant to be the closers (which is why we have sales staff!). I know for certain that is where I fall short in my own weaknesses, and thus that is why I focus solely on generating leads, qualifying them, and then nurturing them. AND THEN – gladly passing them off to my sales personnel, who knows how to do demos, who knows how to share pricing without ‘eeeking,’ who knows how to say ‘sign on the dotted line.’

Yet for many business owners, companies, and the like – when generating leads in the online world, it’s hard to know when to shift that ‘marketing qualified lead’ (MQL) to a ‘sales qualified lead’ (SQL), and how to give both credits. Even more so, it’s hard for many to grasp the concept that inbound marketing goes beyond just the initial lead generation.

Inbound marketing is absolutely about connecting, collecting, and generating leads. We as inbound marketers are drawing people and leads to whatever company and business through many avenues – paid, social, content, etc. However one of the biggest components that are often misunderstood by business owners is the fact that as inbound marketers, we continue to nurture leads. Whether it’s sending follow-up leads. Or it’s actually placing that phone call (which heck, I don’t like to do, but I often do just so I can know why a client may think not or share how we can be the best option!) It’s about continuing the conversation far past the point of a form fill out at day one.

Inbound Marketing is far past the point of filling out a form.

Sure, I’ve gotten a lead, WOOHOO! I can pass it on to my sales person and count it towards whatever my target goal may be. But are they converting? Are they becoming a sale? Are they becoming a client?

Are they becoming a client?

This is the most important question to ask and to have answered – and why it is so important that sales and marketing teams work together (aka smarketing). Because if perhaps a typically qualified “MQL” that turns into an “SQL” but then does not end up becoming a SALE – should you just drop the potential lead? Of course not!

However! This means that your sales team and marketing team must be hand in hand in communication and efforts. Perhaps the lead didn’t sell this time. Well, your sales team should tell your marketing team to continue their nurturing process so that perhaps next time, they do become a sale. That’s not just a win for marketing or sales, that’s a win for the business.

Marketing can’t help Sales without Sales helping Marketing!

The point of all of this is this: if marketing passes on a potential lead to sales – but is failed to learn about the follow-up connection – whether that person became a lead or not: why that person DIDN’T become a lead or not, etc. There’s a huge missed opportunity for all.

Marketing cannot continue to potentially nurture the nonqualified lead in the future, that could have become a SQL (sales qualified lead).
Marketing is missing opportunities on potential content, conversations, and failed to potential examples of clients as case studies – all of which reinforces the circle of the success of sales and marketing working together.

In Conclusion

The point that I am trying to make – and any marketer and salesperson together should ever make, is that there needs to be a ‘smarter’ approach. A written, defined, understood way to what happens to each lead that comes through the funnel. No marketing funnel stops at the top – no matter what, just like no sales funnel ends at the bottom.

Sales and marketing must be a collaborative force, that works together, to better achieve not just their own goals – but the goals of the businesses they represent.

Happy Smarketing!

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Reality of SEO…

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blair pettreyThe reality? The best place to hide a dead body? Page 2 of Googlesearch.

80% of people don’t look past the top 3 results on Google, 90% don’t look past page 1.

Where does your business’ page land?

Blair Pettrey

www.inboundBlair.com

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Facebook’s New ‘Call to Action’ Button!

Blair Pettrey, BlairPettrey, Inbound Marketing Maryland, Inbound Marketing DC, Inbound Marketing Virginia, Facebook Call to Action, Facebook Call to ACtion Button

Blair Pettrey, BlairPettrey, Inbound Marketing Maryland, Inbound Marketing DC, Inbound Marketing Virginia, Facebook Call to Action, Facebook Call to ACtion ButtonIn case you live under a rock – and I admit, I am delayed in the amazingness – Facebook has recently introduced (in a slow roll out, sadly none of the pages I administer have it implemented yet…) a “call to action” option.

Blair Pettrey, BlairPettrey, Inbound Marketing Maryland, Inbound Marketing DC, Inbound Marketing VirginiaLocated next to where a potential fan would typically ‘like’ your page, you can now add 1 of 7 new ‘Call to Actions’:

  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Use App
  • Play Game
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch Video

As a huge conversion & lead generation lover – this brings yet another way for Facebook to help you rock your marketing funnels and gain information and potentially help you bypass steps in the funnel you would have had to cross bridges with social media prior.

To add the ‘Call to Action’ you visit your page’s cover photo section, and it will be located next to the “like” option. As I mentioned, I haven’t received access to the exciting tool yet – but Facebook promises it will be rolled out worldwide by the end of the year. (Ha!)

Have your page received the ‘Call to Action’ button yet? How are you utilizing it and what gains have you seen because of it? Leave a comment with your experience

Stalking Not Necessary… How to Stay on top of your Competition!

 Blair Pettrey, Digital Marketing South Carolina, Inbound Marketing South Carolina, Inbound SC, Inbound Marketing, Inbound Columbia, Inbound Marketing Columbia, Digital Marketing Columbia, BlairPettrey, Blair PettreyAny time I meet a new client, and they realize ‘what it is I do’ – they immediately jump my back and assume whatever it is I do – is ‘illegal’ or ‘black hat’ or ‘beyond what the government does’.

Which is beyond FUNNY; because truly, all I do is use the resources available to me as a mere human being – to analyze my competitors and what they are doing.

Nothing I do is ‘black hat’

or ‘unfair’

or ‘stalking’.

In fact, everything I do to analyze my (or anyones) competitors – is something I’m about to share with you (and how EASY it is)!

In three simple ways, I will share with you everything I do!

#1) I analyze (their) Paid Advertising:

  • I’ve mentioned SpyFu.com a million times – but this is always my go to resource, priority number one. If for some reason you are hating on SpyFu.com – make sure to also check out SEMRush.com or KeywordSpy.com

    (Nope – not a single one of THOSE or ANY of these links are paying me to share their information, resources or content with you. Any link I ever provide is completely out of FREE-WILL good conscious!) ←(Hey @SEMRUSH, KEYWORDSPY and @SPYFU – if you ever want to pay me, I am down for that too )

#2) I view their websites ‘View Source’:

  • If you’re on PC – you merely right click “view source”, if you’re on MAC (and someone can surely suggest an easier route) – you utilize your tool settings on whatever browser you use. This allows you to view ANY meta tag, meta description and/or meta keywords that your competitor may be including on their website or that specific page!

#3) I subscribe to any and all information available:

  • Do they have a social media account? I ‘follow’ and/or ‘like’. If they have a newsletter, I ‘subscribe’. This alone reminds me any and all times they update their page, and with what content!

These 3 examples alone – allow me to truly analyze and understand what my benchmarks and/or competitors are doing to stay up to date.

Stay tuned for even more tips on how to better compete with and analyze your competitors!

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