Revenue Architects had the pleasure of presenting a workshop entitled “Designing the New Revenue Engine in the Age of Digital Marketing” to members of TiE Boston. Unfortunately, A/V malfunction, room reshuffling, and a little “musical chairs” delayed the presentation. We had to cut the workshop portion examining the revenue engine in greater detail (my personal sweet spot). Rats.
The workshop participants were engaged and raised many good questions. Several questions were centered around the metrics and cost/benefit benchmarks of social networking and digital marketing. Is it worth investing the time, energy, and expenses in building a web presence strategy, or is this all just a fad? I’m pretty sure we agreed that social media and digital marketing are here to stay.
Why? The explosive growth of social networking – with tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, BlogTalkRadio, and YouTube – has fundamentally changed the way customers learn, evaluate and ultimately make their decisions. Anyone trying to grow their business and generate revenue knows that they need to have web presence, beyond just a website.
What role does social networking and digital marketing play in the revenue engine?
First, fundamentally, a revenue engine is comprised of:
- A well thought out market strategy, at any level (enterprise or campaign specific)
- A customer-centric process for finding, attracting, nurturing, acquiring and caring for customers
- A set of tools/technologies that enable the process
- The people who are skilled and organized to follow and execute the process
- GOOD CONTENT (not just quantity, but quality and different from the competition)
Next, you need to determine what kind of social networking / digital marketing makes the most sense for your business. For example, would your target customer…
- Use LinkedIN?
- Follow you on Twitter?
- Subscribe to other sites/groups to get more information?
- Are members of special interest groups?
Then, examine if your sales and marketing teams have the process, tools, and skills to deploy social networking /digital marketing to:
- Attract leads
- Nurture leads who are “on the fence”
- Convince leads to buy
- Create advocates / best customers
Finally, but most importantly, determine if you have or need to create valuable content. Also, it helps to determine the right mix:
- Written (papers, briefs, emails, blog posts, new website content)
- Web or live events
- Direct mail
- Email drip campaigns
Let’s face it. We’re in a social/digital world. There are massive amounts of information out there. If you’re going to include social networking / digital marketing in your revenue engine, at the very least, be sure your content doesn’t get lost in the crowd. Make sure it is searchable and relevant. Also, don’t forget the “long tail.” If you’re very focused in a certain niche or in a specific target industry, you’ll have a better chance of standing out and increasing your conversion rates with “a long tail” approach.
Anyways, these were some of the key points we hoped to discuss in the workshop.
Maybe we’ll just have to record a webisode and post it on our youtube channel.
Great post Nan.
I am glad you stressed the need for good content. Many times organizations spend time and money building out strategies, teams, process, and supporting technology but ultimately end up staring at each other saying, “what should we do now?” Or organizations might have a list of campaigns that cover the first few months but do not have a plan that will keep the content pipeline full beyond that. Empty content pipelines can kill any social/digital marketing momentum an organization may have.
With that said…not all full pipelines of content are created equal….I feel that organizations need to take an important step back and think about what their customers really want from them. It is one thing to dish out content that YOU want your customers to hear and it’s a whole other thing to offer content or an experience, that THEY want. Relevancy is key and in this ever complicated world, what is relevant to someone can change based on where, how,and for what reason they are interacting with you.
It all seems pretty daunting…but personally I think we all have some exciting times ahead of us as we maneuver though this new Consumer Ecosystem and try to wrangle all of these social/digital kittens….it is far too early to be calling them cats yet.
Dave, you’re right. The content piece is more than just broadcasting to the world what you have to sell.
I worked with a guy who said, “What you say is what you sell.” It’s true. If you create content that only the technical engineers in your company understand, then your message is NOT going to resonate with anyone else. You might even repel potentially good leads, particularly if the decision makers in your target market are on a business side.
We touched on beginning with the fundamental step of knowing who your audience is.
– Who is the target market?
Next,companies need to figure out what part of their value proposition is going to get resonate.
– Why should prospects buy from you over the competition… or do nothing at all.
Finally, and I think this is the most difficult piece, is creating the content that is clear and compelling. It not only has to be relevant, but it has to be targeted, better and differentiated.
Buyers these days are bombarded by information and ignoring much of it. The behavior has changed. We are looking for information on our own time. Sifting through it can be time-consuming. If your message is relevant and crisply communicated, then you will attract the leads you want and repel the one you don’t. This is much better than repelling them all with a bunch of ‘techo-babble.”
Nan, enjoyed your session at TIE. Also agree with what you mention here – that content needs to be targeted, better and differentiated.
But, what happens if you change your messaging or the direction of your product/company? With the amount of content that is created, it does not seem like a trivial task to update everything. Are there tools out there that can “audit” your content to make sure they are reflecting the right message? Or update the old information?