For today’s inbound marketers, the pressure is on. Leads are demanded — and new customers are expected — because of your inbound efforts and investments.
Sure, those who really know inbound understand it takes persistence and patience. It’s fair to say that inbound is more of a marathon than a sprint, and understanding at the beginning that the greatest benefits accrue over time helps to get expectations properly established. Yet, marketing leaders are likely under the gun from day one to deliver results that get leadership talking. And nothing speaks louder than quick wins that demonstrate early progress and payback.
As Weidert Group’s vice president of business development and client services, Nicole Mertes leads the agency’s new business efforts. She knows the long term success of a new client’s inbound program may be predicated on how quickly they start to see results. That’s why new client programs today always include elements intended to show early impact. And that knowledge was the inspiration for Nicole’s upcoming presentation at the sixth annual Experience Inbound June 3 and 4, 2019, which we’re previewing just a bit by sharing this recent interview with Nicole.
Q: Let’s start with how you choose this subject as a topic for Experience Inbound.
Nicole: We’ve always provided insights to new clients on expected ROI and payback, but we realized that some clients had pressure to show senior management more immediate impact attributable to their commitment to inbound. So we became more intentional about building some “quick wins” tactics into the startup phase of programs.
Q: What’s your definition of a quick win?
Nicole: They are low-effort/low-cost tactics, things you can execute pretty quickly without a ton of effort or budget. They are the things that you do by rolling up your sleeves and hitting the ground running, exerting limited-effort with current assets that show fast results. In a lot of ways, these are the low-hanging-fruit ideas, the things you would obviously do first if you just had a little help or a little more capacity.
Q: Are there different situations that drive different kinds of pressure to generate results quickly?
Nicole: Great question! If a business has historically never had much formal marketing support and they’re launching a formal inbound program for the first time, they might be feeling some doubt about the wisdom of committing significant resources to a new direction. In this case, the team needs to have some early wins to build momentum and support for the direction they’re taking.
A startup business faces different challenges, most often that the need to demonstrate to investors that they’re making all the right moves since startups generally don’t experience a ton of patience from their backers.
More mature businesses may be in the situation where their growth has plateaued and they need encouragement quickly that growth is still possible. They might also be looking for hard evidence that a formal investment in inbound could deliver an attractive ROI.
Each situation potentially points to different tactics, since in each case they’re starting from a different place and doing it for different motivations.
Q:With all the different conversations you have with marketers, what’s the most common challenge you hear from them?
Nicole: Marketing technologies and human behaviors are changing so fast it’s hard for them to pick a direction with confidence. Think of all the technologies and applications you heard about just in the last 30 days! There are too many choices, and people want to feel some assurance that what they do will move the needle!
Q: What’s the biggest mistake you see marketing and sales people make today?
Nicole: While it’s important to take action on low-hanging fruit, that’s no substitute for solid strategic marketing plans for your long game. A well constructed inbound marketing plan takes time to build, execute, and realize the benefits, but it’s the best way to build sustainable distance between your business and competition.
Q: What’s the #1 takeaway you want people to leave with from your talk at Experience Inbound?
Nicole: I want everyone to walk away with multiple ideas that they can quickly and effectively implement for their businesses within 30 days of EI.
Q: Who would benefit most from your talk at Experience Inbound?
Nicole: Any sales or marketing manager or leader looking to improve results, whether you’re just starting an inbound program or have a fully deployed program that hasn’t achieved its full potential.
Q: Is there anything else readers should know about your session?
Nicole: I think it will be a great opportunity to reflect on your current program and plans. Hopefully, you’ll get excited about some ideas that are completely new, and maybe you’ll experience relief that there are tons of possible ways to boost your results.
Don’t miss Nicole’s session and the chance to put these actionable ideas into play for your own marketing and sales teams. Join us June 3 at Miller Park in Milwaukee or June 4 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Click below to see the full lineup of speakers and to register!
Posted by Greg Linnemanstons With 18+ years in senior management roles at Fortune 500® and medium-sized companies, Greg has deep marketing and sales experience with CPGs and manufacturing. He leads strategic initiatives with clients and is involved in developing client inbound marketing plans. Greg holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and a B.A. in Economics from Lawrence University.