How to use Market Research as a Digital Sales & Marketing Tool

Most businesses will not necessarily be creating new product categories. As a result, they will be entering into a market place that already exists. This is true if you are a re-seller or distributor of products and services. Once you decide that there is a market for your products and services; you need to study your competitors.

Image via smartdraw.com

You will need to perform a SWOT analysis by assessing your strengths and weaknesses compared to your competitors on the products you offer, the price, quality, the service, reliability, stability, expertise, company reputation, location and appearance of your business along with how important it is to the customer.

Traditional Uses of Market Research

Most companies use Market Research for internal purposes IE education of Marketing and Sales teams on features, position in the marketplace and product descriptions.

Examples of Market Research as an Online Sales & Marketing Tool

What if companies could use Market research as an online sales and marketing tool, putting the analysis on their website? Justworks is doing just that. Justworks offers seamless payrolltax filings, HR support, and access to affordable benefits in an all-in-one solution.

Visitors to the Justworks site are able to access the information quickly without providing their information. Also, the company presents the Market Research in a quick and visually appealing format.

Justworks invites users to compare them to the competition; showing that they believe in their product and service.

The company allows visitors to compare fees and pricing along with each of the services they offer. When visitors click, they get to see a drop down menu of how Justworks compares to the competition.

At the bottom of each menu, Justworks supports its claims with customer testimonials in the form of user case studies. Users are invited to Read more in a call to action.

This is an innovate way to use Market Research as an Online Sales and Marketing tool because it helps build trust with prospects. Sharing Market Research as seen above helps position a company as an industry resource. Prospects have access to more choices and information than ever before; making it essential for companies to provide information in a quick and easy to understand format.

Have you used Market Research as an Online Sales and Marketing tool. Comment and share below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including: Start Ups, a Political Campaign and a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to serving as a Classroom teacher, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing and Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 18,000 followers on LinkedIn and over 17,000 on WordPress.

Dan’s articles and insights on Sales, Marketing and Social Media have been featured, mentioned and referenced in major Business Publications such as:

The Arizona Republic

http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/handle-top-10-sme-sales-objections-24845.html

Twitter Ads Blog

https://blog.twitter.com/2014/how-smartphone-users-engage-on-twitter-three-key-findings

Yahoo! Finance Blog

https://es.finance.yahoo.com/blogs/fintechnologiayredeses/cueva-arma-secreta-obama-110427857.html

Paper.li’s Wall Of Fame via Scoop.it

http://www.scoop.it/t/all-things-paper-li/?tag=Dan+Galante

Dan has been honored for his Social Profiles & Content

•Recognized by Klout for having a Score putting him in the Top 10 % of Social Media Users

•LinkedIn Social Selling Index Score in the Top 1%

•Honored by SlideShare for being in the top 5% of profiles viewed in 2014

•Honored by LinkedIn in 2012 for being in the top 1% of profiles viewed out of 200 million members

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content ans Social Media Marketing. He is willing to be a CMO to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. Contact him to set up interviews. dan@dangalante.com

How to be a CMO & Create the Marketing Function of an Organization

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image via http://www.ey.com/gl/en/services/advisory/ey-dna-of-sales-and-marketing-leaders-reinvention-of-the-cmo#.WCsll-YrLIU

The role of CMO needs to focus on more than just marketing to increase sales as seen in this chart.

Image via http://blog.marketo.com/2007/04/are_you_a_cmo_o.html

To have success in the CMO role, you need to: get executive buy in on authority and the ability to make changes, otherwise you are doomed to fail.

Brand Message and Content Marketing

From a brand stand point, the brand messaging need to be in alignment. It should not take a genius to understand what your product does and how it will help the customer. To achieve this goal, you need to do the following: Audit, understand and improve Brand message, voice, sales, marketing collateral, print and digital properties.

Do the above before starting a content marketing program if the organization sells products because you will need to build and create a content tilt to be found by customers in search.

Developing Sales Processes and Shortening the Sales Cycle

Sales Managers hired; should train sales staff properly and hold Reps accountable to hit Revenue Goals. If you are tasked with creating/building out the marketing function of the organization, make sure that support staff are trained by the Sales Manager to handle inbound leads. Sales staff should be trained on objection handling, prospecting, product knowledge, making Sales, post Sales follow up and obtaining repeat business.

SMarketing

Have marketing partner with Sales. Go on Sales calls to understand customer objections /pain points to improve messaging and product. The goal of any Sales and Marketing program is to shorten sales cycles and increase Revenue.

Defining Your Target Market and Sales Channels

Audit, understand, and improve the sales structure of the organization, sales operations and sales processes. Define Sales Rep territories, compensations and commission structure using analysis that includes data from customer acquisition costs and ROI.

Decide if you will sell your product directly to customers or through re-sellers. Some companies do both.

Sales Management/Sales Reps

Hopefully if there is Sales Leadership at the company when you arrive, this will be handled. If no Sales people are present, start this process yourself and hire a seasoned rep or Manager from a larger competitor. If Sales leadership is there but has not done the above, give them a Sales Leadership improvement plan, look for a seasoned replacement and fire them. This applies to Sales Reps as well.

Market Research

Understand customers and buyer behaviors.

Share buyer personas and research with the sales staff.

image via smartdraw.com

Have sales staff complete a competitive analysis on how your company stacks up against your competition in the marketplace.

Product Development

Use Market Research to collaborate with product to come up with ideas for new products, features, promotions and pricing strategy.

Crossing the Chasm and Selling into New Markets

image via http://4.bp.blogspot.com/

Identify new markets to sell into. If Sales are stagnant, find a way to get in front of your customers before they become customers by using pricing in a crossing the chasm style analysis.

Proving you’re a CMO

Position marketing a source of revenue rather than a cost by putting marketing at the center of the organization. Showing how marketing can make an impact on the income statement beyond increasing sales. Show how marketing makes the organization run better.

Talent Branding

Improve the talent brand by creating a job site with employee stories. This job site will increase the amount of applicants and reduce recruitment advertising costs. Write more appealing job descriptions.

Attempt to make the organization the company of tomorrow by making it cross functional.

Company Revenue and Financials

Ask about the financial health of the company i.e. Churn rate, burn rate, Profitably, funding etc…

image via pinterest.com/explore/churn-rate

Ask the CEO about cash flow and if they can commit large amounts of cash to developing/executing marketing programs.

image via http://www.accountingcoach.com/financial-ratios/explanation/4

Data Driven Decisions

Above all, CMO’s need to use Data from Financials, Sales, Revenue and Analytics to make marketing decisions. The Data needs to be used continuously to justify marketing decisions and to pivot when marketing programs are not working.

The duties of the CMO will vary by industry and company size but these are the basics that a CMO must do to be successful.

What do you think makes a successful CMO? Comment and Share.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 16,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 11,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to be a CMO to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

How Businesses will Increase Sales by Improving How they Hire Marketing Staff

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image via http://www.slideshare.net/NashvilleTechCouncil/the-power-of-smarketing-40266445

Sales reps can only be as good as the product and message they represent. Before companies can hire Sales reps, they need a great product with messaging that conveys the benefits to customers. Sales Reps need support from marketing in the cross functional organization of tomorrow. The messaging should be able to prevent customer objections. Unfortunately, this is where many Marketing departments fall short.

image via Salesforce.com

Many people that get hired in marketing, lack a sales background and have no idea on how to handle customer objections.

In addition, many people in Marketing lack the background and understanding of how people learn. Teachers and psychologists have this training. Understanding how people learn can make product messaging more effective because it can be presented in multiple formats. Many people in marketing lack practitioner experience and as a result marketing is not as effective as it could be. Practitioners are especially underrepresented in the Marketing function of many EdTech companies and this needs to change. Now I will make a case for hiring Sales Reps, Teachers and Industry practitioners in the marketing.

Case for hiring ex Sales Reps

  • Knows how to handle objections which can be applied to message
  • Experience dealing with customers, knows customer pain points
  • Sees how end-user uses the product
  • Can increase sales using Sales expertise to make messaging customer centric
  • Can assist with Sales and Marketing Alignment as companies need to work cross functionally
  • Understands the issues Sales Reps face and has the credibility of being a Rep when collaborating with Sales Teams

Experienced obtaining , qualifying and converting leads to Sales ie Lead Gen/Demand Gen

Hiring Industry practice experts

  • They are the customers and understand the pain points better than any market research should be in leadership roles
  • Healthcare does this with Doctors, Dentists
  • Tech does this with programmers and engineers.

Why not EdTech!

  • Can increase Sales because they are the customer and understand the pain points because they have experienced them in the job

This is the best market research/ buyer persona there is!

Case For hiring ex Teachers

  • understands how people learned
  • skilled at tailoring content for understanding based on learning needs
  • Today’s marketing is about educating customer and earning the right to market to them they educate their customers

Why it is not Good enough to just place them in Sales

People in Sales are not involved in the creative process and cannot change their cards and company messaging.

They cannot address weaknesses in messaging and product.

The Marketer of Tomorrow

Has all of the above in their background or at least a Sales background at a minimum.

My background

I have Marketing experience along with all of the above in my background.

In the EdTech Industry, I hit all of the above and I am qualified for a job in marketing especially being the industry practice expert. In healthcare I have two out of three. For all other verticals, I have two out of three because I was in Sales, I taught and understand how people learn.

Are you ready to increase Sales by improving Marketing? Your sales teams deserve better!

Change today!

How have you increase Sales by improving messaging? Comment and share below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 16,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 11,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

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How Brands Can use Cultural Diffusion to Sell & Market Products Abroad

things-to-know-before-entering-international-markets

image via marketing 91.com

The United States is an established country with a built up infrastructure. Depending on the product and industry, brands may see product sales hit a plateau based on a high market saturation rate.

Go to Market Strategy

One go to market strategy that brands may use to increase product sales is to sell into new markets. Chances are that brands have exhausted all markets and customers based in the United States. Upon reaching this conclusion, brands need to decide if they want to sell and market their products abroad based on the principle of cultural diffusion.

Cultural Diffusion

Cultural diffusion is the spread of one civilizations ideas, customs and beliefs from:

1. one nation to another

2. from another area or region to another.

To see if international marketing makes sense for brands, they must list the positives and negatives of this go to market strategy. Positive benefits include the chance to increase sales and gain revenue from a new source. A negative of this go to market strategy is that it will require a large outlay of operating cash to implement and execute. This may drain resources from other programs in the organization.

Contacting Local Authorities

Before brands can start selling products abroad, they need to check with the commerce division of the Foreign country’s government. The Commerce division of the government can guide brands on the proper procedures needed to sell and market products abroad.

Market Research

image via smartdraw.com

New Market research needs to be conducted for the international markets brands intend to sell into. This research includes, new buyer personas, competitive analysis, cost of customer acquisition, pricing, promotions, understanding local laws and customs.

Product Development

Product specifications need to be aligned with the customs and laws of the country. These products may need to be re-branded with a different name. Outside of the US, product measurements need to be converted to the metric system; triggering a change in the product packaging.

Examples of International Brands

A few examples of Global brands are Starbucks, McDonalds, Auto makers and Oil companies.

Starbucks

image via http://chinaexpat.com/wp-content/uploads/u659/starbucks.jpg

Starbucks operates stores abroad and follows local customs.

McDonald’s

A McDonald’s in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Businesses as well as people can exemplify cultural diffusion.

Image via http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/grade3/geoimages/Image16.gif

McDonald’s uses local ingredients to make its food. For example, in Greece they fry french fries with olive oil. McDonald offers alternative sandwiches in countries where citizens are not allowed to eat beef and pork.

Exxon Mobil

https://goodlogo.com/images/logos/esso_logo_2709.gif6

Exxon Mobil, operates under the brand name ESSO in Europe and uses the metric system to measure gasoline.

Auto Makers

Image via Dan Galante

Global Automakers , use the metric system when making cars and trucks. Also, these cars and trucks are made to the specification of local laws. Vehicle models made for foreign markets have different brand names. In England and other UK countries, the steering wheel is on the opposite side of vehicles made for the US market.

Deciding What an International Go to Market Strategy will look like

Once brands have an understanding of customer needs and competitive analysis, they need to decide what channels to use to sell their products. Brands can set up stores and offices that sell direct to the end-user. They may decide to partner with distributors who sell to the end-user directly or through licensing and/or use an e-commerce model. Brands may decide to use a combination of the above channels. They also need to decide how many people will need to be hired to execute the go to market strategy.

Using Data to Make a decision about whether or not to Implement an International Marketing Strategy

All the numbers and projections need to be calculated to see if International marketing is right for Brands. Each brand need to examine its financial health, and come up with an investment amount needed to execute an international go to market strategy. This amount needs to be measured against: financial health , potential sales, revenue, profits, cost per customer acquisition, market research, procedure to enter the market and opportunity costs. Based on these numbers, brands may decide to enter the market or use their operating cash for other programs.

CMO’s are you selling your products abroad? Why or Why not?

Comment and share below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.
Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 16,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 10,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

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10 Ways to Build an Audience & Grow a Customer Base

There are many ways to grow an audience and build a customer base.

Here are 10 strategies for you to grow your audience and build a customer base.

1. Starting a Blog based on Buyer Personas

Create a blog within your website focusing on customer pain points discovered in your buyer personas.

Image via http://www.garrisoneverest.com/inbound-marketing-2/how-to-implement-inbound-marketing/

2.Use Social Media to share Blog Content

Share the content of this blog on Social Media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram etc….

3. Employees LinkedIn Company Pages & LinkedIn profiles

Start publishing on your LinkedIn company page. Also, encourage employees publish and share content to their LinkedIn profiles if you are not doing so.

4. Content Repurposing

http://bluepolointeractive.com/ 

Repuropse blog content in the following ways: On SlideShare,

http://www.whitehatmedia.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/linkedin-buys-slideshare.jpg?itok=PZQMLnYm

YouTube videos, podcasts, ebooks, whitepapers, newsletters, webinars etc…

5. User Groups

Create a user group on LinkedIn, and Facebook to facilitate discussion of your product and service.

6. Twitter Chats

Host Live Twitter chats on topics that are important to your customers

7. Using Groups to organize and announce off-line events

Use LinkedIn and Facebook groups to organize off-line events such as trade shows; invite customers to provide in person testimonials to prospects.

8. Stay In front of Customers

Be where your customers are, share a value message based on Market Research,Customer Analysis, Big Data Analytics and Competitive analysis.

https://marketingtruth.wordpress.com/category/analytics/

Image via http://smartdraw.com

9. Content  & Customer Retention

Create content to keep current customers engaged; share new features and ways they can get the most out of your product or service. Use the content to stay in the mind of customers.

http://www.invespcro.com/blog/customer-acquisition-retention/

Use your blog and product check out to ask customers to opt in to your marketing messages. Once you obtain permission, you can create email marketing campaigns targeted to subscriber needs and interests.

10. Develop Marketing Partnerships & Relationships

Strength comes in numbers. It helps to have other noncompeting businesses with complementary products promoting your product and services. These businesses can have a similar customer base and audience that can help your business.

Cross promote partner content/offerings on Social Media and at events to facilitate a reciprocal relationship.

Bonus Tips Statistics & Related Content

http://www.marketingcloud.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/audience_infographic_w640.png 

How have you built an audience and customer base?

Comment and share below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 15,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 10,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.