A B2B Marketing Model that Prevents the Marketing Apocalypse.

AIDA, the classic B2B marketing model for effective customer acquisition, retention, and business growth has never been more relevant than in the digital, inbound marketing age. The four horsemen of the marketing apocalypse are a reminder of the nature of the marketing process and the business growth cycle. In classic marketing strategy, this process is called AIDA: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. It’s the journey from encountering a stranger to creating trust and mutual success.

When the process is not working, business decline follows. Hence, the four horses of the marketing apocalypse become the signs that the growth has stopped and highlight the four causes of why the business is not generating or retaining customers and heading for hard times.

  1. No Awareness. If your target market doesn’t know who you are or forgot that you exist ….
  2. No Interest. If your target market doesn’t know what great solutions, you have for their problems… you are not on their shopping list, and they’ll look elsewhere.
  3. No Desire. If your target market doesn’t know why they should buy from you … they will go to the first competitor who gives them the reason to buy.
  4. No Action. If you are not repeating your “who, what, and why” often enough, until your Brand becomes the ultimate destination for the solutions you offer, and until your target audiences can repeat it to others… you are not set for growth.

 

THE CUSTOMERS’ QUEST FOR INFORMATION

These four horsemen are on a quest for honest answers and helpful and useful information, the very element that ensures marketing effectiveness.

Their quest reflects the four-stage customer journey. These horsemen are riding at full speed through your competitive landscape. They require different information to stop them by attracting their attention (Awareness) and to show them that it is relevant and useful (Interest). And different type of information is needed to compel these tough ‘riders’ to consider if they really want it (Desire) and to trigger Action you want, a purchase.

Peter Drucker once said, “business has only two functions: innovation and marketing”. Without innovation that is meaningful to customers, marketing can only do so much to hold market attention. The good news is that there are at least ten ways to innovate in business, and while product innovation is important, it’s not the only way forward. Refreshing your visible, digital assets, adding new perspective on your brand and solution with new content is a good starting point.

The bottom line is that when all these four signs appear in a business, it is heading for oblivion and the only way forward is to quickly go back to the marketing drawing board with the best help you can get.

 

COMMUNICATION IN THE COMMUNICATION AGE

Drucker also said, “the only purpose of business is to create a customer”. Creating a customer is a disciplined, strategic process of continuously attracting new and repeat customers with the right communication approach.

We live and work in the mobile communication age. It’s noisy out there, but like never before, brands are in charge of their message, and they can also measure and constantly improve most of their marketing efforts and business results. However, to get the right results from marketing, like with everything else in business, you need a plan.

The Marketing Plan differs from the business plan and from the sales plan in one significant way. It is a roadmap a business needs to achieve the desired sales and business goals. A good marketing plan, which can be just one page, starts with a marketing audit which ensures that the sales goals and long-term business goals are based on sound foundations.

 

BUSINESS NEEDS MARKETING CONTINUITY

Continuity of business requires continuity of marketing. Even Coca-Cola discovered that when they stopped advertising, expecting that the huge brand awareness would be enough, the sales rapidly declined in favour of Pepsi. The reason?

Customers have a short memory!

This shoddy memory means that customers easily forget where they bought things, when and why. Even if they bought something from you before, don’t assume they remember or know what else you do or sell. So, unless you remind them again and again, chances are, next time they might choose one of the alternatives which are constantly being offered to them.

After all, customers are busy people, constantly bombarded with the growing volume of information. Without frequently hearing how you solve a range of relevant problems; your own customers can forget that your business exists at all.

Photo by Sebastiaan Chia on Unsplash

 

MARKETING PROCESS PUTS GROWTH IN OVERDRIVE

For an effective, consistent growth, B2B companies need to master marketing continuity with a frequency of communication that is relevant to their industry, buyer personas, and the company’s relationship with its customers.

 

The Inbound Process Brings Customers to You

The AIDA model leverages marketing continuity to achieve strategic growth. Recent marketing approaches, such as Content Marketing (also known as Inbound Marketing), have introduced new terms and finetuned this proven marketing approach with these four steps: Attract, Convert, Close, Delight.

When properly planned, with focus on customers’ needs and wants, this marketing process works to fill in the sales funnel where it needs to flow best to build a profitable business.

The best thing about content marketing that makes it efficient and effective for small and medium business is that once the plan is in place, it requires minimum management by a skilled vCMO, virtual Chief Marketing Officer to achieve incremental results.

Not only does the Inbound marketing approach work but its capacity to build market relationships makes it the foundation of successful B2B marketing. This proven model provides a logical sequence to fill the sales funnel and metrics to determine which section of the funnel requires more activity for best results.

With this process in place, it’s easy to manage the short memory of the customers with consistent “nurturing’ campaigns that educate them about the types and benefits of solutions they need from you.

 

A 7-Step Roadmap to Consistent and Effective Marketing

At InnoFuture, the Content Marketing process for growth is delivered via a 7-step roadmap. The process delivers a continuity of strategic direction and tactical execution, allowing the management and sales teams to focus on what they do best to “create” a repeat customer.

  1. Define Key Business Goals.
  2. Define and verify viable market Segments & Customer Profiles.
  3. Identify SMART Marketing Goals to achieve Business Goals in line with Budget.
  4. Define 1-3 Core Topics YOU want to own.
  5. Map out a 90 Day Content Campaigns Plan.
  6. Create content & Optimise for SEO and User Experience.
  7. Relentlessly Execute, Measure, and refine.

 

The Bottom Line

Every business has an opportunity to consistently and frequently inform and educate its customers and prospects about what it does, how it helps solve their problems and why your solution is the best option for your buyers.

The four riders of the marketing apocalypse are just a reminder of the simple process. It may take some professional skill and dogged execution to get results. But once the funnel is flowing, it becomes easier and pumps out stronger ROI.

If any of the above sounds a little familiar for your business, see how InnoFuture can help. Get in touch.