To derive maximum business impact – increased revenue growth and profits – online marketing activities must support an organization’s end-to-end business development process.
A well-conceived and executed end-to-end business development process;
Generates inbound leads. By definition, inbound leads are well qualified because prospects “have put their hands up” and identified themselves.
Nurtures qualified leads. Prospects may not be ready to buy, and may require decision facilitating information. It is incumbent upon a business to provide prospects with this information.
Converts leads into sales. The ultimate goal is to convert prospects into customers. The business development process must get prospects to “yes” at each decision point.
Strengthens relationships with existing customers. A customer base is a very valuable asset that is often under leveraged. The business development process must ensure that customers are not taken for granted.
Online marketing is very well suited to supporting each phase of the business development process; inbound leads are generated when prospects search online to locate available options; lead nurturing is facilitated through various online means such as e-mails, webinars, e-books, white papers, or videos; conversion is supported through calls to action posted on web sites, or on social networks, and with landing pages specifically designed to move prospects to a next step; the use of online tools such as electronic surveys, e-coupons, and new product announcements sent via e-mail to strengthen customer relationships.
To support each phase of the end-to-end business development process, a combination of online practices, tools, and technologies must be applied in an integrated and cohesive manner. These “building blocks”, working seamlessly together, are the foundation for online marketing success.
In online marketing, Content is King. Posting educational, value based content is critical for establishing online visibility and credibility.
Search Engine Optimization
Optimizing for search engines will result in qualified, inbound leads.
Social networks must be used to disseminate content, engage in value based conversations, create credibility and visibility, and improve search engine rankings.
This technology allows organizations to capture prospect and customer data and preferences, and automate on-going electronic communications and follow-up.
There are numerous online tools that provide real-time data and analysis regarding the performance of online marketing activities. This insight is used to continually refine tactics and improve results.
Organizations must implement these building blocks in such a way that each phase of the business development process is optimized. In so doing, positive business results – increased leads, conversions, and revenue – are inevitable.