Make Your Marketing More Efficient - dummies

Make Your Marketing More Efficient

By Marina Martin

Efficient marketing is a broad topic that covers lots of areas, but there are a couple high-level concepts to keep in mind to make sure your marketing is just as efficient as your sales process.

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is the idea that instead of using the traditional sales process where you identify and reach out to potential customers, you should invest time and energy in making yourself easy for potential customers to find you.

Inbound marketing has taken off in the Internet age where consumers (both individuals and businesses) are increasingly looking online for information and options to solve their problems. How can you put yourself in front of these people when they are searching for a solution to a problem that you can solve?

Forms of inbound marketing include publishing a blog with useful information for your industry; publishing useful articles in other blogs or publications (that just so happen to point back to your website); posting informative articles and white papers on your website; interacting with people in your industry on Twitter; and answering related questions on websites like Twitter, Quora, and LinkedIn.

Inbound marketing is very different from putting advertisements for your company on other websites. It’s about helping to inform potential customers about issues and questions relevant to their needs, and therefore establishing yourself as an authority on the matter. If you’re the perceived authority, people are more likely to sign up for more information, demos, and so on, and ultimately purchase from you.

A/B testing

You can extend the idea of A/B testing (which involves changing one variable in a scenario, holding all other variables equal, and seeing which leads to the better outcome) out much further in your marketing campaigns across the analog and digital worlds.

Some variables to test include print advertisements (content, headlines, placement, day of the week, publication); direct mailings (type, timing, and messaging); paid search keywords (compare multiple keywords); and banner ads (websites on which they were placed, image used, colors).

One tried-and-true means of A/B testing different campaigns is to use unique promotion codes. For example, run two different ads in the newspaper on two different days, with a different “coupon code” listed on each. You can track the success of the ads by seeing how often each code is redeemed.

A more tech-savvy version of this has you listing different URLs in each advertisement and tracking which URL is visited more.