Episode 68 of Landscape Digital Show reveals why digital leadership is necessary to integrate sales and marketing channels, and how to get it done.
It seems business slows down this time of the year. This leads to a question: What should we be doing during these summer doldrums?
Every business experiences slowdowns, but they can be minimized by taking the right measures to close the gaps.
Is the cause a lack of leads or a failure to close sales? Leads are the responsibility of marketing and closing sales is clearly the responsibility of the sales team.
The solution is getting sales and marketing working together.
When sales slow down, doubling up on selling efforts is the action that many businesses take. However, that can be a big mistake if you have not properly prepared your customers for them with tactics that demonstrate empathy and earn trust, such as content marketing.
Empathy is a vital business objective because that understanding is the raw material for achieving alignment with customers.
Let’s explore how this can work to smooth out wrinkles like the summer doldrums that can impact business growth.
Empathy is a Valid Business Strategy
Some people associate empathy with intimate feelings and touchy-feeling tactics that have no place in a business setting.
Empathy is understanding. That’s what buyers expect before they will commit to a relationship with a business. Thus, getting your sales and marketing down to the level of emotions and feelings will only make it better.
If your business slows down this time of year, as many do, use this time to interview your customers. Stop focusing on product sales and start asking your customers questions.
Pay attention to how they position your company and compare that to your marketing. Are they congruent?
Look for what is not being said too. Take the risk of going deeper and you may be surprised at what you get for creating case studies that can be used across all of your sales and marketing channels.
Practice the Digital-First Mindset
It’s recommended that you build all of your sales and marketing on the foundation of digital. For one thing, our experiences nowadays are predominantly digital, and the majority of those digital experiences are mobile.
Therefore, your attention and resources should be weighted more heavily on creating the best mobile experience possible for your customers. If you doubt this strategy, consider that Google now gives priority to the mobile vs the desktop experience in search results.
Our increasingly complicated world is driven by search, and not just online. Acknowledge and use this to your advantage by working to achieve consistent use of keywords, natural language, messaging, and voice and style across all of your channels.
Get into the habit of having a digital-first mindset. For one thing, it’s necessary to make your digital channels work. More importantly, when you take this approach to your internal systems it teaches everyone to communicate consistently with customers, regardless of the channel he or she may be using.
Customers Expect an Integrated Channel Experience
Marketing today is ideally a collaboration with buyers. It’s one in which the business and its customers co-create solutions that are better than what was previously thought possible. This requires customer-focused sales and marketing that attracts attention, encourages engagement and interaction, and leads to experiences that build business growth.
The traditional role of marketing was to create awareness and interest, but today it is bigger than that.
Our digital marketing channels, including websites, blogs, social media, email, podcasts, and video can indeed take a lead all the way to a sale, but they can do it much better with the help of sales and service.
That experience must be planned, tracked and measured because the sales and marketing channels now overlap, and that is why each of them should be used to do what they do best while supporting the others.
Every channel should have a theme or purpose that closes a gap in the overall customer experience. For example, you have to decide if your email newsletter will drive sales with special offers or nurture and grow that audience with valuable content.
There is no right or wrong answer here, just right or wrong outcomes that are due to failing to deliver an experience that is congruent with the brand promise – who the business wants to be for its customers.
United Airlines clearly didn’t intend to create a media fiasco when it permitted security guards to drag that passenger off one of its planes. It simply lost touch with its customers. Now it is employing an empathy strategy to fix who it wants to be for them.
The digital channels are a constant reminder that a customer-focused strategy is the only way to operate a business today
As you move forward with your plan, keep in mind that integrating the respective channels is more than a project. It’s an ongoing challenge that can actually be fun for sales and marketing geeks.
If you enjoy making customers happy, then I imagine that describes you too.
Join me and we’ll make this happen together!
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Call to Action
The call to action for this episode is to apply digital leadership to mapping out the integration of your sales and marketing channels. Leading brands are increasingly shifting to a digital-first approach for building more relevant experiences that are bigger than the products they sell.
You should too.