Revenue is the lifeblood of businesses. To get it, some will spend millions on marketing while others spend next to nothing.
The amount that spent can depend on many things but the biggest issue will be how much you can afford. Not everybody has the luxury of a million budget.
Of course, you don’t necessarily need a million dollar budget to be successful. You can have great success with much less. It’s not how much you spend, it’s how it’s spent.
It can feel like the stock market. It’s easy to say buy low and sell high. Knowing when to buy and when to sell is the real trick.
One thing that will be a great help is to be clear why marketing is going to benefit you in the first place.
Why Do You Market?
Over the weekend I watched a replay of a webinar. They asked a simple question. What is the goal of marketing?
I briefly considered awareness but I decided that wasn’t going far enough. It had to be lead generation. We market to drive leads. That’s our goal.
Let’s stop for a second. I’m going to ask you the same question. What is the goal of marketing?
The presenters had a different goal than I did but theirs made more sense than mine. The goal of marketing isn’t awareness and it isn’t to drive leads. The goal is revenue.
If you think about it, all the marketing we do has the same goal in the end. It doesn’t matter whether it is content marketing or ads. We want revenue.
Even SEO is about getting our pages on page one so people can find us. Why do they need to find us? Because we want revenue.
Lead generation is about creating revenue.
Every step of the marketing funnel is about converting and reconverting a customer to a sale which leads to revenue.
What gets reported in the news? Revenue. We measure a company’s growth with revenue. A CEO’s success is characterized by how much revenue is made under his/her watch.
Acknowledging the obvious is important for the success of our marketing efforts. It aligns marketing with sales, finance, and the C-Suite.
One of the biggest issues I see with marketing is that it is not seen as an investment but an expense. This can be hard to overcome but when marketing focuses on revenue, it’s less likely to be seen in this way and you are more likely to report a higher return on investment.
The Buyer’s Journey
Focusing on revenue doesn’t mean we look at our customers as dollar signs. It does mean we need to understand the journey of how a person becomes a customer.
The channels we use to market are revenue channels. We need to optimize to revenue but also to for our customer’s journey. If you don’t optimize to the buyer’s journey it’s going to be much harder to optimize to revenue.
Understanding their journey is essential because it aligns with the marketing funnel. To optimize we need content that that will pull our customer through to conversion. What makes it challenging is customers don’t go through the funnel in a linear fashion.
Regardless, it all starts with awareness. For some, this is a trap. I talked about it last week. Many organization are so focused on awareness they ignore everything after it. Don’t forget, revenue is our goal and awareness is just part of the trek.
It’s helpful, and I argue a must, to map out the complete buyer’s journey so we know how they find us. What we can provide to drive awareness, interest, consideration, a sale, and how we retain them after purchase.
This is going to be different for every company but it all starts with awareness.
There are many ways to be found. It could be from an ad. It could be a search, or from a social media post. In some cases, I first became aware of somebody because of a guest blog post or from attending a webinar.
Interest can be built through a blog post, a white paper, an ebook, or an infographic. It’s entirely possible that it could be more than one of these things and it could be all of them plus more.
Consideration could come through reviewing a case study, doing a demo, reviewing service pages, reading reviews and testimonials, or making contact via a contact page.
And remember, just because somebody is considering services doesn’t mean they won’t go back and consume more content that you are targeting towards building interest or even awareness.
As I said earlier, the path isn’t necessarily linear.
Where does each Channel fit in?
Each channel you use is a revenue building channel so think about how they will be used. This means determining how each fits into the bigger picture. For instance, what kind of content is going to be shared on LinkedIn, Facebook, and even your website?
It may not come as a surprise that I am a proponent of using social media to amplify content on the website. It can also be used to amplify other content such as a guest post or a webinar.
I’ve attended multiple webinars in which Andy Crestodina was the presenter but none of them have been through his company Orbit Media. They have been through other organizations such as SEMrush and Marketing Profs. I found out about all of them through social.
Measurement is Important
Of course, everything you do is meaningless unless you measure it. You will need to decide how to measure and they will need to make sense for the channel.
What you measure on your website is going to be different than social media, ads, or a webinar. Vanity metrics can be helpful in some situations to determine what is resonating but you need to focus on something more substantial. You can’t connect a like to revenue.
You also need to be aware of what the average conversion rate is for the channel you are using. This will give you a guide to what to expect and how to properly set your goals.
I read yesterday that Facebook organic reach is .09%. Twitter is even lower at .048%. Expecting 30% of your followers on Facebook to hit your website every time you share your latest blog post is going to be very disappointing for both you and your boss.
While there are many aspects to marketing don’t take your eye off its end goal. If you ignore that revenue is the end game, you are going to have mixed results.
Embrace it. Align your marketing funnel with the customer’s journey and determine how each step will pull your customer towards a sale.