Quick wins for new heads of marketing (and everyone else)

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Success Kid meme - just started new jobI recently wrote about the information a salesperson can learn about a company in just a few minutes before responding to a new inbound lead.

Heads of marketing starting at a new company will be faced with many strategic and long-term challenges, but they too have quick-win opportunities that they can take advantage of in just the first few weeks on the job. Here are a few…

Analytics: Make sure you have some analytics program on your website. You need to establish a baseline and track your progress. If you already have a good program installed, great. If you don’t, sign up for Google Analytics (free) and get the tags on the site.

Remarketing: If the new company isn’t already doing remarketing, they should be. The opportunity to create and advertise to just a “house list” of people who have already visited your website can’t be overlooked, and the people can be targeted by the specific products and services that they looked at. For many companies this is the most cost-effective digital marketing tactic. It may take a few weeks longer to create the ads and get them launched, but the building of the remarketing cookie pool should start on day one.

Search ads: A well-run search marketing campaign gets you in front of people who are searching for your products and services right now:  what Google has called the Zero Moment of Truth. It’ll take some work to get a full search ad campaign up and running, including researching all the keywords, thinking about geotargeting, dayparting, creating ads and offers, etc. However, you can get a few ads up and start learning quickly.

One way to intercept people who are seriously considering a competitor is to use exact keyword phrases such as “[competitor] pricing”, “[competitor] features” and “[competitor] reviews”. People searching on keywords such as pricing, features and reviews are typically late-stage buyers — people you definitely want to be talking to.

Search Engine Optimization: Clicks on organic links are still the vast majority of search clicks – far more than the clicks on the paid ads. A sure sign that a company hasn’t applied serious thinking to its search engine optimization is a home page Title that is:
1. Just their name
2. Their tagline
3. The word “Home”
4. All of the above

People who are searching on your company name will find you; you need to get in front of people who are searching on industry terms who don’t yet know about you. Page Titles are one of the most important signals to Google and Bing about what the page is about, so the home page Title should be keyword rich. In some less competitive situations I’ve seen just the changing of this one website element make a huge difference in the ranking of the site.

And make sure your home page Description metatag is current and under 155 characters. If this is present, Google will display it with your search listing. Here are some other good description metatag tips.

Landing pages: Okay, you’ve made some efforts with search ads, SEO and remarketing to get more of the right people to your site. So when they do arrive, make sure that you have landing pages that make it as quick and easy as possible for them to convert. “Submit” buttons should be prominent and, for lengthy pages, at the top and bottom of the page. To make it even easier for your hottest prospects, make sure that your sales phone number is near the top of the landing page, too. And then over time you can create engaging landing pages and use a tool like Optimizely to continue to improve the results.

Social media:  Any reason why you can’t spend 10 or 15 minutes a day on social media while you work out a fuller strategy? (Answer: No.) Get a Twitter account setup if your company doesn’t have one, or re-activate a dormant one. Identify some of the industry thought leaders and follow and retweet them, and comment on their posts. Share other people’s content. Use appropriate hashtags. Setup a Google+ page, it’ll help your SEO. Post to LinkedIn – that’s one of the best ways to be in front of a professional audience of peers.

And multiply your efforts: start encouraging other people working at the company to be active in social media as brand ambassadors if they aren’t already. Even people in sales should be learning about social selling.

Blogging: Okay, this is going to take a little more effort, but I write 10-12 posts a month for this blog; your company can surely match that. HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe says that their data indicates it takes 100-200 posts for a blog to really start delivering business results, so the sooner you get going the sooner you’ll get to that level. I have no doubt that your company is full of people with industry insights that current and potential customers would find valuable.

Now, some of you may be saying, “Well, duh.” But I am amazed at how many companies, many of which have hundreds of millions of dollars (or more) in revenue, aren’t doing this. And I’ve seen cases where companies did implement these tactics and quickly saw a double digit increase in leads.

The full implementation of any of these tactics (SEO, social media, content marketing, inbound marketing, etc.) can take weeks or months, and will be ongoing; what I mentioned here are just some quick wins. Your full, onni-channel marketing program is going to take a lot of study and collaboration to get ramped up. While developing your strategy you’ll need to understand the company’s brand and creative, customer personas and journeys, competitors, company silos, how marketing and sales are aligned, what sales and marketing technology you’re using (CRM, content management system, marketing automation, email marketing, newsletters, analytics, etc. etc.), where your industry’s social conversations are happening, KPIs, staffing, budgets, policies, etc.,etc.

But in the meantime, this is low-hanging fruit, and these efforts can make a quick, measurable impact on your marketing results. You could do all of this in a few weeks, most take very little time. And then spend another few hours a week analyzing the data, blogging and doing social media.

Don’t pass up these quick wins as a way of creating confidence and momentum.

Did you find this post useful? You’ll find dozens of actionable strategies and tactics in my interviews with 10 sales and marketing leaders.

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