Tag Archives: targeted content

Are You Guilty of This #1 Lead Killer?

6 February 2017 Theresa Mills 7 Comments Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Sales Growth

Qualified leads are the heart and soul of your business, your bread and butter, the center of your universe.  Yet for some reason, despite all of your hard work, none of your leads seem to be converting.

You tried inbound marketing because you heard you should, but that didn’t work. And so, after two months, you gave up.

Secretly, you know your database is out-of-date, inaccurate and completely unqualified, but you don’t have the time or money to scrub the list. In the end, you ignore the problem and try the “bombard your contacts with broadcast emails” approach instead. You hope you’ll get a nibble or two for your efforts – but that isn’t working either. Even a badly-trained hamster knows that you can’t run a business this way.

I once worked for a company that gave their sales team a giant list to cold call. The list was SO bad that the team didn’t make any sales and eventually they were blamed and fired. The problem? The owner didn’t understand the target audience or how to reach them. He thought that as long as the sales team kept making phone calls, they’d eventually get a hit. Not surprisingly, this approach was a disaster.

If you don’t understand your ideal customer, you’ll spend months of effort trying to sell umbrellas to a camel. In other words, you won’t sell anything and your inbound marketing efforts will lead you on a road to nowhere. Even if you DO capture a qualified lead here and there, your lack of understanding will likely result in their demise and they’ll be gone forever.

In order to give marketing teams and salespeople a fighting chance, companies need to clearly define their target market. They need to understand what prospects need at different stages of their buying journey and help drive them towards a decision.

Inbound marketing is a highly-strategic process, based on clearly defined buyer personas. It’s not about sending out random emails to prospects hoping to get a bite. And it’s not about promoting your blogs on Facebook when none of your leads actually use Facebook.

For inbound marketing to work, everything from email campaigns to social media need to be focused on your personas: who they are, how they live, what their budget looks like and what kind of media they consume. Otherwise, you’re just wasting a lot of effort without seeing any results.

In her blog, What Do You Mean Your Marketing Isn’t Working: Sales Edition, author Kristen Patel explains that, even if your leads seem to be going down the sales funnel, they might just be doing research. She says you need to understand their behavior, such as how many times they’ve converted, whether they’re a first-time visitor and whether or not they fit with your persona. If they don’t, chances are they’re just a “lookie-loo” and are stopping by for a visit but not really interested in your product or service.

Buyer personas are key to getting into the heart and mind of the buyer so you can answer all of their questions, solve their problems and become a resource for them through your inbound marketing. Equipped with a genuine understanding of their target market, sales and marketing teams can provide the right information for qualified prospects, initiate the right conversations at exactly the right time and nurture qualified leads so they become customers.

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5 Key Benefits of Inbound Marketing

2 November 2016 smashdeck Leave a comment Healthcare, Inbound Marketing, Sales Growth

Have you ever wondered why some companies resist inbound marketing? Here are 3 possible reasons:

  1. They don’t really know what it is and are too embarrassed to admit it
  2. They want sales! And they don’t understand how content can generate actual revenue
  3. They don’t have the time or money to hire someone to oversee it in-house

Well, let me start by saying that inbound marketing is highly-strategic methodology designed to educate and nurture prospects through their sales journey. It’s not “in your face.” Instead, it’s about providing prospects with something of value without asking for anything in return. And who doesn’t like to get something for nothing?

I’ll give you an example of how it works: In our last blog, The Easiest Way to Get in Front of Hospital Buyers, we revealed that most hospital administrators conduct research online before EVER coming in contact with a sales person. That means that they’re not sitting around waiting for your phone call. In fact, they’re probably dodging your calls until they’ve done their research. The goal of inbound marketing is to provide that research so the buyer can find you on their own.

It’s about delivering the right information at the right time in the right place.

Still aren’t convinced? Then have a look at these 5 Key Benefits of Inbound Marketing:

Benefit 1 – Simplifies the Jobs of Sales AND Marketing

With inbound, your sales and marketing teams join forces to create powerful content for prospects. Sales people are the source for key insights into what the customers need and want at different stages of their buying journey. Armed with that information, marketing can create highly-targeted content that educates the buyer, answers their questions and solves their problems. Together, sales and marketing can utilize and distribute that information to drive leads, increase conversions and nurture existing customers.

Benefit 2 – Increases Visibility and Brand Awareness

The digital world has made it possible for even the smallest brands to gain worldwide recognition. By producing content that is aligned with the the buyer’s journey, your target audience will be able to find your information as they conduct their research. If you’re not out there, they won’t find you. It’s that simple. Oh, and bonus! If prospects like what you’ve written, they’ll share your content with their social networks – dramatically increasing your visibility and solidifying your reputation as a credible resource.

Benefit 3 – Educates Prospects in the Digital World They Live In

Prospects are doing their research online. The latest statistic by CEB says that most B2B buyers are 57%-70% through their buying research before first contacting the seller. With a bit of research and clearly defined buyer personas, you will understand WHERE those key prospects are searching for information, and you can position your information strategically for them to see.

[Tweet ““67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally.” @siriusdecisions“]

Benefit 4 – Increases Trust and Credibility

Many buyers have shunned outbound marketing. They don’t want their day to be interrupted by your call or email. They want to consume information at their own leisure. Always remember: inbound marketing is on the buyer’s terms. If you can swallow your pride, dial back your enthusiasm and target prospects in a less direct, yet more effective way (ie: Inbound), you’ll gain their trust and pop in their minds when they’re ready to make a purchase.

Benefit 5 – Generates Quality Traffic & Leads

Finally, the part you’ve been waiting for. How does inbound generate sales? Well, we’re not saying it generates sales. We’re saying it generates relationships that lead to sales. Content targeted at your key audience will drive quality traffic and leads to your website. The more frequently you produce content, the more often those prospects are likely to visit your site – and when they do, you’ll be ready for them with calls to actions, top-notch landing pages and content offers that will help them make their decision – thus, leading them down the path towards conversion.

Well, if that wasn’t a long-winded explanation of why you need an inbound marketing program in place, then I don’t know what is. But it’s important to understand that inbound marketing is one of the most effective strategies in today’s busy world.


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How to Create the Content Your Customers Want

31 March 2015 Theresa Mills 4,088 Comments Content Marketing

Who knows your customers and prospects better than you? Many businesses are sitting on a treasure trove of information and knowledge that customers are already searching for online.

You see, your customers want YOU. They want your expertise, they want your advice and they want you to tell them why your product or service is better than anyone else.

But first they need to trust you, and the best way to build trust in this digital world is through content.

Customers no longer buy into pure marketing hype. They research and study before ever making a purchase.  They expect information to be thoughtful, well-researched and credible – and if it’s not, they’ll disappear in the blink of an eye.

And that’s where you come in. The experts in the industry. Who better to tell your story than, well, you.


This year, content marketers are no longer working in silos, spending hours researching information to create the content they think will drive marketing efforts. Instead, they’re maximizing the resources already at hand. Content writers and marketers are turning to the people in the company who work day in and day out with customers – the sales teams, customer-service reps and executives. They interview and dig into that treasure trove of knowledge to produce high-quality content that can be distributed in different formats across multiple channels. It not only saves time, but it results in highly-targeted, customer-centric information.

By setting up one interview every quarter with a team who understands the ins and outs of the ideal customer, content marketers can gather enough information to produce white papers, blogs, social media postings, case studies and infographics for months. Yet, as we say at Smashdeck marketing, there shall be no random acts of content. Every piece of content should be relevant, designed to drive new leads and created with re-purposing in mind, so that the content works hard to help you accomplish your goals.

If you’re not already producing content and you’d like some help, feel free to contact Smashdeck marketing. We’ll be happy to set up a consultation to help you start producing the kind of relevant content that your customers want.

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