Understanding Marketing and Lead Nurturing

Marketing is a key component for any business strategy, but how well do you understand it? Below is an excerpt of the blog post written by Neville Chamberlain about the importance of understanding marketing and lead nurturing in business processes.

Understanding Marketing and Lead Nurturing

The biggest problem most businesses struggle with is revenue. More particularly, we struggle with marketing, which in turn should generate leads, which eventually should lead to sales. As you know I’m a big fan of simplifying things so that they are easy to understand. Once we understand something we can break it up into parts (the art of deconstruction), and focus on getting one part right at a time.

I’ve recently had a number of conversations with early-stage service businesses around the topic of marketing and sales (and more importantly, the lack of sales), and that made me think about the process of going from marketing to lead nurturing and eventual sales.

The overall process

To understand how we go from marketing all the way to a sale, the first thing we need is an overall model. Let’s look at the overall process and define what I mean by the different stages.

The diagram below shows my definition of the marketing and sales process.

I define the stages as follows:

  • Marketing: the activities we do before we know our potential clients by name (or email address). These include things like posting on LinkedIn, being active on Twitter or Instagram or publishing articles on Medium.

  • Lead nurturing: When a potential client downloads a lead magnet or signs up for a newsletter, we know who they are - and this gives us the ability to track their engagement with our content. We can now nurture these leads.

  • Sale: This is where we make an actual sale to a customer. I define a “simple” sales as something that requires little or no interaction from ourselves - products like reports or (in my case) step-by-step guides are good examples of a simple sale. Complex sales require you to interact with the potential client to make the sale. Obviously, simple sales are faster and easier than complex sales where you have to devote a substantial amount of your time - which eats into your profitability.

  • Delivery: This is where you deliver your service (or product). This is what you’re already an expert at so usually you don’t have problem with doing this.

  • Follow-up: After your product or service delivery is complete, there is always the opportunity to bring them back for more. Or, if your client no longer wants to use your services, there may be a chance you can bring them back in future. But to do either, you have to follow up.

Where we struggle

Most business struggle with getting their marketing to deliver leads, and then nurturing those leads so that they turn into sales.

Some of us struggle with the sales process itself (it takes too long or we fail to convert leads into sales). Most of us are good at delivery, and usually we’re not that good at following up.

If our marketing and lead nurturing is effective, we should be generating enough leads so we have a good rate of conversion to sales. So let’s zoom in on the marketing and lead nurturing stages.

The Marketing and Lead Nurturing stages

When we zoom in on these two stages, here’s what we find:

We’re going to do marketing so that we create an awareness in the market. Marketing could be things like engaging on social media, advertising, public speaking or even cold calling.

Our hope is that an awareness will eventually drive people to our website. If what we’re offering is interesting and compelling enough, visitors will download a free report or sign up for a mailing list.

If we’re using the right tools, we can now track how people interact with our content - starting with our website. We know which pages they visited, how long they spent there, and how often they’re coming back.

A key part of lead nurturing is content marketing, sometimes called email marketing. This is where we send regular information to those leads that hopefully drive them back to the web site to view our blog, go to a landing page or otherwise use our content.

By keeping up the engagement level and continuously providing value to our subscribers, we keep our products and services top of mind and remind them that we can help. And - eventually - they buy something from us.

Here’s a more detailed view of how this works:

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