Just when we feel like we have a grasp on things, the world continues to change, evolve, and grow. And Marketing, it seems, changes as fast as anything! Think of this blog as a quick refresher or guide to the top marketing terms you should know in order to help your business grow and succeed.
1. Lead Generation
Let’s break it down a little bit. Leads can be a person or a company that’s shown interest in a product or service your business offers. Showing interest can come in a variety of ways... Maybe they filled out a form, downloaded a content offer on your website, or subscribed to your blog or newsletter. Regardless of how you got their information, these would indicate that they're interested in what your business has to offer. Lead generation itself is the initiation of a customer’s interest in products or services a business offers.
Different businesses have different lead generation strategies. “The three most commonly used B2B lead generation strategies are email marketing (78%), event marketing (73%), and content marketing (67%)” (HubSpot). However, every business is different which means your lead generation strategy should fit your business. There are 4 main types of leads you should be on the lookout for:
- Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): This is a lead that has shown interest in what a business has to offer based on marketing efforts. This type of lead is most likely to become a customer when compared to others.
- Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): These are contacts who have actively expressed interest in becoming paying customers. This would be a lead that completes a form or subscribes to your brand’s content.
- Product Qualified Lead (PQL): PQLs are customers who have already bought and used your product. They also have demonstrated interest in being a paying customer. These are normally seen when a business offers a week trial or free version of their product.
- Service Qualified Lead: These are customers that have indicated to the service team that they are interested in becoming a paying customer. An example of this could be if a customer reaches out to your service team and asks questions about another product your business has or wants to upgrade their current subscription.
Why Is Lead Gen Important?
Lead generation is important for your business because it can create sales opportunities and increase organic traffic and customers. There are a variety of ways you can increase the number of leads your business generates. Companies see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15. Utilize your brand’s social media! Linkedin is actually the most effective social media channel for B2B lead generation.
How to Know if You’re Leveraging Lead Gen Tactics
Lead generation for any business means improving the tools that produce leads. This includes landing pages, CTAs, and offers. Your landing pages can be improved by keeping things clear, simple, and intriguing. This means incorporating strong, compelling headlines with imagery and forms. Your brands’ CTAs should be positioned where they’ll be seen and attractive to visitors. They should be clear on what your business is offering. Try placing them on the most relevant pages on your website. When creating an offer for your customers make sure there is an offer for each phase of the buying process. They should be compelling and incentivizing. Also, make sure your social media presence, on LinkedIn especially, is known to customers - both current and potential.
2. Growth Marketing
Growth marketing is the process of designing, developing, and conducting experiments to continuously improve and optimize in hopes of improving results in a specific target area. Think about it this way - if you are looking to increase a metric in a certain area, growth marketing can help you find solutions and ways you can make that happen. Remember the scientific method? That applies to growth marketing! Maybe you need a refresher:
- Ask a question
- Do some background research
- Construct a hypothesis
- Test your hypothesis by doing an experiment
- Analyze your data and draw conclusions
- Report your findings, was your hypothesis correct?
So you have a metric you want to change or improve, but how do you know what experiment to conduct or what sort of campaign to run? Campaigns can be a great way to continually grow your customer base and incentivize customers as well. Here are some examples of growth marketing campaigns your brand can try...
- Loyalty Campaigns: As a business, you want to continually earn your customer’s trust and loyalty. You want to show customers that you’re more than just a brand, you truly do care about your customers and want to continue to make them happy. Loyalty campaigns help bring engaged customers back for more. Implementing a membership program can help you find ways to continue to engage customers and incentivize new ones. Your membership program could offer things like exclusive offers, sneak peeks, or rewards that are offered for ongoing loyalty to your brand. Receiving these types of offers can entice your customers into coming back for more of your brand’s products or services. 36% of consumers shop more often in stores or with businesses where they can earn rewards.
- Referral Programs: Referrals to your business are huge! 83% of consumers trust recommendations given to them by friends and family. A strong referral can implement a strong sense of social proof that many customers won’t be able to resist. To test out and experiment with various referral program incentives, try segmenting your audience and offer different incentives. Whichever group brings in the most referrals, has the most effective incentive.
- Onboarding: Once you have customers that have signed up for various types of engagement with your business, an opportunity to further drive their engagement is presented. You can use onboarding to collect more data from your customers and create more meaningful content. For example, this could be sending out a welcome email and asking a question like, “What sort of products or services are you most interested in?”. This can help you curate the sort of content that each customer receives and in turn, aim to increase overall engagement.
Why Is Growth Marketing Important?
Over 500,000 new businesses start in the US every, single year. That’s a whole lot of competition. Growth marketing helps your business stand out from the crowd. When your business is continually updating the way you’re doing things, customers take notice. They appreciate brands that stay with the current times and don’t just stick to their old ways. Growth marketing adds value throughout the marketing funnel or process. It has the power to attract new customers, but also engage, retain, and turn people into loyal customers. Growth marketing will help your business quickly discover what works, and what doesn’t. Expanding your brand is important, and growth marketing is the answer to sustainable growth.
How to Know if You’re Leveraging Growth Marketing Tactics
In order to succeed at growth marketing, your business needs to focus on:
- Areas to improve and test on
- Developing and designing experiments to test those areas
- Conducting and analyzing the results from the experiments
If you’re actively searching for areas your business can improve in, you’re already halfway there! Your business should also be making new customers aware of your brand so that when you conduct experiments, you’re getting a wide variety of data to analyze. Once you gather enough data from the tests, you are able to personalize your customers' experience with your brand.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of improving both the quality and quantity of website traffic to your brand’s website from a search engine. SEO targets unpaid traffic rather than paid traffic or direct traffic. The goal for any business is to have their website featured in that first page of search results so your ideal audience can access their content.
There are three main things you can do so your content is offered in that first page of results.
- Ensure that the search engine knows exactly who your business is and what you do by making sure that your URL is accurate and your headlines are clear.
- Be sure that your business appears to be credible by including customer testimonials and reviews on your website as well as links to your brand’s other content (like social media).
- Make sure that your content is deliverable. When writing content for your website, make sure that it has the ability to be skimmed and still understood. The readability of your website plays a huge role in SEO as well as communicating effectively with customers.
61% of marketers say that SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. SEO brings you the traffic that is “free”. When a search engine shows your business as a result of a conducted search, it’s because you fit the description of what that person is looking for. A search engine’s goal is to satisfy the searcher by offering the best, most accurate, and credible information possible. Google’s search algorithm uses more than 200 different factors to rank websites. That’s where keywords and search queries come in. If you know what sort of questions or words your customers are using, you can cater your website to fit that description.
These are some great tools to see what questions, keywords, and phrases are being used most frequently in your industry or market.
Why Is SEO Important?
Search engine optimization is so important to your business because organic search is most often the primary source of website traffic. Because of that, improving your brand’s SEO is huge. Google is the most visited search engine, holding 75% of the world’s overall search market. Really focus on how you can tailor your content so that it is chosen as the best option for searchers. Organic traffic also builds more trust and credibility for your business. It can also improve your overall user experience.
How to Know if You’re Leveraging SEO Tactics
We know SEO is important, but what’s the best way to improve your ranking? It’s helpful to remember that SEO is a long-term strategy. It’s not something that can spontaneously change overnight. The market is constantly evolving and changing, so stay in tune with what the trends are so you may adjust your content and website accordingly. SEO also offers the opportunity to track your organic visitors, which can allow you to see exactly what changes improved your ranking or increased overall organic traffic. The top 3 tips for improving your SEO are:
- Ensure all your website’s pages have accurate meta titles and descriptions that include trending keywords or phrases.
- Go back and check each webpage to make sure your website is optimized for SEO keywords.
- Take a look at your URL structure, is it properly optimized for search engines?
4. A/B Testing
A/B testing is considered to be basic market research in which only one variable is changed at a time. This is so differences in results can be directly identified and explained. This could mean changing a small element of a social media post with a variance between the two and seeing which one has higher engagement rates. Other controllable variables are things like time of day, day of the week, and different written content. A/B testing can help improve user engagement, overall improved content, reduced bounce rates, an increase in sales, and conversion rates. You can use A/B testing on a variety of different things - some examples are:
- Social Media Posts
- Video Length
- Copy Length
- Design Style
- Ad Format
- Landing Page Layout
Why Is A/B Testing Important?
Don’t underestimate the power of A/B testing. 71% of companies run two or more A/B tests every month. Not to mention, the search engine, Bing, increased its revenue by 25%, all thanks to A/B testing. A/B testing can be utilized in emails as well. Companies that use A/B testing in every email see email marketing returns that are 37% higher than brands that never include A/B tests.
How to Know if You’re Leveraging A/B Testing Tactics
A/B testing is most successful when you set up target metrics before you even conduct your A/B test. This can help you better determine what was more successful and what could be improved. Asking for feedback from visitors can also help you discover what problems are currently frustrating customers. To dig even deeper, segment your audience! To make your A/B test the most effective it can be, test based on a specific audience or element. If you’re truly devoting time to A/B testing, the benefits will surely follow and help your business engage a larger audience.
5. Marketing Funnel
When you think about it, the marketing funnel is almost exactly as it sounds. It’s essentially the visualization for understanding the process of turning leads into customers from a marketing perspective. Like a funnel, marketers cast a wide net in hopes of catching as many leads as possible. Then, from there, nurturing those leads and potential customers through the purchasing decision. As you go down the funnel, the amount of contacts likely gets smaller and smaller. It would be ideal if the funnel was more rectangular, but it’s not realistic that every lead turns into a purchasing customer. There are 6 main stages in the marketing funnel as you can see in this image.
The 6 stages of the bigger marketing funnel split into 3 main categories, lead generation, lead nurturing, and sales. The goal is to have all leads made “aware”, make a purchase at the bottom of the funnel. However, that’s not always the case. This is why lead nurturing is so important.
Why is the Marketing Funnel Important?
It’s important to know about the marketing funnel because of all the benefits your brand can reap from it. The marketing funnel helps you to simplify the customer journey and makes it easier for you to apply that information to your marketing efforts. It can also help you better connect with and understand your audience. The marketing funnel also allows your business to see where customers are ‘dropping off’ so you may improve that aspect of the buyer’s journey. A good sales or marketing funnel has been proven to increase growth for your business. The best part is that it helps you turn your leads into customers, and that’s the whole point, right?
How to Know if You’re Leveraging the Marketing Funnel
To see if your brand is truly leveraging the marketing funnel, pay attention closely to what buyers experience when interacting with your business. Where are customers dropping out of the funnel? Once your business takes advantage of the opportunity to improve those aspects, you should be able to see more customers continue down the funnel. You should also see a boost in your overall awareness and sales!
6. Demand Generation
Demand generation is best described as a data-driven marketing strategy that creates awareness and interest in what a business has to offer through the use of technology. Demand generation - or demand gen - encompasses all aspects of the buyers’ journey, from initial engagement to delighted customers. Many marketers strongly believe in the power of demand generation, so much so that 70% of marketers say their demand generation budgets will increase in the coming year. It can be best broken down into three main components:
If you want to generate demand for your product, you first have to make customers aware of your business. The first step is creating brand awareness, which is the number of customers, current and potential, that are able to recognize your brand. This means having a strong brand identity and personality. Your brand has values and a purpose that should be reflected in your content. This is why having a strong social media presence is so crucial. The goal is to create content that is catered to the needs of your audience while also standing out from the competition.
- Inbound Marketing:
Inbound marketing is the vehicle demand generation relies on. Your methods of inbound marketing are what will drive your demand generation efforts. For example, blogging is a great inbound marketing strategy and can also be a great way to move customers down the “funnel”. Writing on topics that your customers care about can be a great way to increase organic traffic and generate more demand.
- Customer Retention:
While it is super important to continue to seek out new leads, it’s also critical to pay attention to your current customers. This is where customer retention comes in. To achieve sustainable growth with your demand generation strategy, you must continue to delight and incentivize your current customers. This means providing excellent customer service and continuing to delight customers at every step in their buying journey.
These three components combined should give your business a pretty solid understanding of how important demand generation is to your business and why you should be aware of it.
Why is Demand Gen Important?
Demand gen is critical for your business because it involves driving awareness and interest in your brand and all it offers. Not to mention, it drives revenue for your business! Demand generation is a great way to ensure that all your brand’s marketing efforts are flowing effectively and influential. It creates more opportunities for your business to grow.
How to Know if You’re Leveraging Demand Generation
There are some great strategies and tactics your business can utilize to discover the true power of demand generation. Think of this as a little check-in. One tactic is paying attention to web insights. Your website is one of the top demand generation strategies because it allows you to unlock what customers are paying the most attention to, their interests, and their pain points. Another tactic is social media, which may seem obvious, but it’s an extremely powerful tool! Stay focused on your customers’ needs by creating groups, responding to comments, and listening to what conversations are being had. The last tactic you should try out to leverage demand generation for your business is content marketing. According to the Demand Gen 2020 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey, 70% of buyers ranked “relevant content that speaks directly to our company” as “very important”. Paying close attention to these 3 tactics can truly help you develop your demand gen strategy.
Data-driven marketing is when a business optimizes brand communications based solely on customer information. Marketers will use customer data to contour and sculpt their efforts to better predict their needs, wants, and future behaviors. In simpler terms, the data drives marketing and communication decisions. The goal of data-driven marketing is to personalize the customers’ experience. Personalization is very important to consumers of today. 79% of consumers won’t even consider an offer from a brand if it’s not personalized to their previous interactions. That’s why paying attention to data is so important! The three overall goals of data-driven marketing are:
- Gaining a deeper and better understanding of your target audience
- Be able to identify and predict customers needs
- Designing strategies and tactics to deliver products that serve those needs
But, how does one collect the data? The concept of gathering, let alone finding, customer data can seem daunting at first, but you actually have access to a lot of this data already. Things like your website analytics, CRM, social media interactions, completed forms, and more are all great ways to track customer data.
Why is Data-Driven Marketing Important?
Data-driven marketing is important because it’s just that, data-driven! It has been shown to help companies optimize their overall marketing channel performance and, in turn, enhance customer experience. When you enhance customer experience, it can also drive revenue and increase profits. A company that actively caters to the needs and wants of its customers has a better chance of converting leads into loyal customers. When you implement a data-driven marketing strategy, you can really tune in to see what your customer buyer behaviors are and adjust accordingly
.How to Know if You’re Leveraging Data-Driven Decision Making
The answer to leveraging data-driven decision-making is paying attention to your business’s data! It’s important to clearly define your objectives before digging into all the data. It can all be a bit overwhelming without a specific goal or objective in mind. It can also help you better organize your customer data. Keep looking for those ‘unresolved’ questions. If you’re truly taking advantage of data-driven marketing, you’ll surely see the benefits with increased customer engagement and more accurate decisions that not only save your business time but money too!
Not only are these terms great to know, but they’re also all beneficial for your business. Making strides towards better understanding trends in marketing can better your brand and help you better connect and please customers. Whether it be creating a better lead generation strategy or trying A/B testing, the marketing world hosts an infinite amount of opportunities for your brand to grow.