“Doing the most good for the universe is important for everyone” Dan Tyre

I’ve been truly blessed to meet some amazing people in the journey I call my career. From having amazing mentors in college to having (and actually understanding the power and value of having) amazing mentors along the path of my growing career.

I have managed to find the power of meaning in each of my professional experiences – whether it meant learning from a hard decision, a terrible boss, or an incredible opportunity. But what I have learned for me, that is so true about what Dan explain’s in this article is – by passionately doing what I love – and doing it for everyone (not just for my own selfish gains) – others gain, grow, and succeed too.

Read Dan’s incredible article, ‘Why doing good is my mission statement‘.

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Marketing vs. Sales vs. Smarketing

Blair Pettrey - Pettrey - Inbound Marketing BLair Pettrey - Inbound Blair

(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!

40 Blog Posts That Will Make You Smarter, Better & More Efficient in 2016

40 Blog Posts That Will Make You Smarter, Better, More Efficient in 2016….(

I was recently asked my favorite influencers in the industry. Trying to recall a few (which even a year ago I could have spewed at least 100 of the industry’s top influencers), but quickly drew a blank. I began to ponder how in the world this could be. I am constantly reading, researching, and website/blog/social media account hopping.

It was instantly then, that I realized the one keyword… hopping. With the availability of sites like inbound.org , growthhackers.com, linkedin.com, reddit.com and the growing usage of specific hashtags on social channels (that then link to relevant content) — well the truth is, in 2015 I stopped following specific industry leader’s or blogs, and instead started following topics that peaked my interests.  A blog might have 1 killer post, but the rest could pretty much suck. So why waste your time visiting individual sites, or receiving emails of the latest posts

That aside; If you have an interest in inbound marketing and the various components that help produce great inbound campaigns, here are 40 blogposts that can help you bring your best to all you do in 2016.

Content Marketing

  1. 10 Steps Every Content Marketer Must Take In 2016, Heidi Cohen
  2. Planning Your 2016 Content Marketing Calendar, Duct Tape Marketing
  3. Content Marketing Grows Up: My 2016 Prediction, Ann Handley
  4. The Content Marketing Campaign Playbook – Guaranteeing Success in 2016, Moz
  5. Idea Sex: How New Yorker Cartoonists Generate 500 Ideas a Week, 99u
  6. Should you have a resources page on your blog?, BloggingTips
  7. 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer (Poster), Copyblogger
  8. 5 Free Market-Research Tools to Read Your Audience’s Minds (And Create Content to Delight Them), Kissmetrics

 SEO

  1.   Planning For SEO Success In 2016, Search Engine Land
    1. 7 Highly Effective SEO Tips for Bloggers, Sprout Social
    2. SEO Checklist 2016, IDFmarketing
    3. SEO & Link Building in 2016, webprofits
    4. SEO Predictions for 2016, emagine

     

    PPC

    1. 3 PPC Trends And Tactics You Can’t Ignore In 2016 , Search Engine Land
    2. PPC New Year’s Resolutions for 2016, ClixMarketing
    3. PPC Trends 2016: 24 Expert Predictions On Paid Search, Display & Retargeting, momentology
    4. 8 PPC Trends for 2016, Serps-Invaders
    5. Why Facebook Is A Bigger Ad Opportunity Than Google, AdEspresso

     

    Social Media

    1. 5 Ways to Re-Ignite Twitter Growth in 2016, Ignite Social Media
    2. 12 Best Facebook Marketing Tips (Sharpen Your Skills Today), Post Planner
    3. A Quick Guide to Visual Marketing on Facebook for 2016, Social Media Explorer
    4. How to Use Facebook’s Best Feature: Targeting, Contently
    5. 2016 Social Media Marketing Plan For Success, Heidi Cohen
    6. The Truth About Social Media Strategy, Convince and Convert

     

    Design

    1. Data-Driven Design Tips for Maximising Impact on Twitter, Canva DesignerSchool
    2. How to Find Images on Google You Can Reuse, RODAMarketing
    3. Be Careful About These 6 Web Design Trends in 2016, AWWWards
    4. 6 Web Design Trends You Must Know for 2015 & 2016, AWWWards
    5. Web Design Predictions for 2016: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, Wix
    6. Top Web Design Trends To Watch In 2016, Forbes

     

    Email

    1. Retailers’ email volumes rise in Q3 and so do open rates, Internet Retailer
    2. Best Email Marketing Services for 2016, The Simple Dollar
    3. Email Marketing & Video in 2016 – All You Need To Know, Business2Community
    4. Email Marketing Trends in 2016, Keywords+Jargon
    5. 8 Ways to Improve Your Call-To-Action Copy to Get More Subscribers, AWeber

     

    General Digital Marketing Tips

    1. Stop Marketing Like It’s 2012, Gary Vaynerchuk
    2. The Dangerous Myth of the Magical Tool, Copyblogger
    3. Top 3 Digital Marketing Trends for 2016 (Which You Should Be Starting in 2015), Impress1
    4. The one thing keeping your marketing from being successful, YourMarketingCo
    5. 7 Inbound Marketing Trends You Need To Stay Ahead of the Curve, Impact

     

    You can also find Blair Pettrey on Facebook • Twitter • LinkedIn

     

Reality of SEO…

blair pettrey

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

www.BlairPettrey.com

www.facebook.com/BlairPettreyforhire

www.linkedin.com/in/BlairPettrey

www.twitter.com/BlairPettrey

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