This blog covers areas of B2B marketing where you absolutely must be both active and have software solutions. Recommendations are made for specific zero budget software because premium paid for versions exist for when you chose to beef up your activities.
I use the word budget rather than cost, because as a leader you can carry out the marketing suggested below even when you have zero budget to play with: the recommended software will not cost you anything. You could start your new marketing as soon as you have got to the bottom of this article.
- You know you should be on the digital bandwagon, but aren’t, and convinced that you should be getting more sales bang for the same marketing buck
- You undertake digital marketing but you are looking for the confidence that you are doing the best possible.
- You are the leader of an existing business, looking at launching a new venture.
Your vision (ie, where you want to end up)
- You wish to have the confidence that you have the right marketing strategy, doing the right marketing activities, and using the least resources necessary (time and money).
- Doing all this will give you the best chance of sales success.
- minimises the amount of expensive labour time you have to fund.
- increases the volume of marketing messages going out the door.
Your starting point
- Hardware – computers and phones!
- Soft stuff
- a place to host your website
- a domain name with email address(es)
- perhaps a website, but not a problem if you don’t because suggestion on free web software is made below.
If you already have more than the minimum
This article addresses marketing software that costs you nowt. Of course,you might have already got a solution in place or you are choosing to invest more. This might get you there faster (if you already know what works and what does not):
- However, you should have turned down the no (least) cost options first, as this maximises your return
- If getting there faster involves making an investment, then everyone would do so if the return was acceptable and achievable with a high probability of success.
Your rock solid principles
- You know that a reliable and ongoing stream of sales comes only come from a sustainable, long term, uninterrupted programme of marketing activities
- You have a vision (the soft, aspiration, over the horizon sort of stuff) that you are telling others about. If you didn’t have a vision, then you know that you will be persuaded by others (employees, friends, etc) to fill the void by seeking justification for your actions based on what others have done in the past, by what has worked in the past or by what your competitors are doing. This is frontier stuff and you know that a vision energises your as a leader, and others, in blazing a unique journey.
- You have targets: hard numbers. You have a plan that says we want to achieve this, by this date, using these resources. If you don’t have the targets, you know it is impossible to know if you are on the right path, going at the optimal speed for the resources that you are investing.
- You measure your progress.
- You will be fully subscribed to the fact that everything about marketing and sales is different now to where is was 10 years ago. If you learnt your marketing and sales craft back then, or from a current company that is still stuck in the past (there are plenty of those) then you are dead in the water. You are open-minded to the concepts of inbound-marketing , social media, content marketing, web 2.0 and the like.
- You know that marketing has to be owned by a leader in the business. It is that important.
- You acknowledge that this is a marathon (one long, endurance race) and not a short term sprint.
- You know that you have to test, test and test again. There is no silver bullet out there, though plenty of people selling their wares will tell you otherwise. The principle is that all marketing starts with you setting a hypothesis. You know that there is only one person (or category of person) who will tell you if you are right with your hypothesis and this is your client. And not any type of client: a client who chooses to give you their money, not once, but repeatedly.
- You know that you have to do the right bits in a whole plethora of integrated marketing activities. You know that if you were to ask a PR guru what you should do, you know that they will tell you that you should do some PR. But you know that business life is more complicated than this.
Recommendations for zero budget software.
1. A customer relationship management (CRM) system
2. A website that is built for dialogue
- open source. This means it is free to use and also that there are people across the globe who are continuously adding free functionality that you can bolt onto your website. You can pay a modest amount of money for enhanced designs, but you don’t need to.
- based around blogging functionality. This enables you to continuously post leadership comment and for you to engage in reader feedback.
- Webengage – build customer feedback forms on each page
- Yoast SEO – improve the way you use copy on your website so that the website performs better in search engines
- Google Analytics – measure the way that visitors are using your website
- Mailchimp – capture visitor contact details so that you can keep them engaged through newsletters, offers and the like
- AddThis smart Layers – enables visitors to social share every page.