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Crafting a Winning Marketing Strategy for Zumvu Success

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Crafting a Winning Marketing Strategy for Zumvu Success

What is a good online marketing strategy? And what’s it exactly for anyway? What happens if you don’t have one? Don’t worry, no cute bunnies will die in the distance and your company might not go bankrupt next year. But it’s certain that without planning, you’ll waste a lot of money on marketing and you won’t even come close to taking advantage of opportunities to increase revenue.

The basic premise is that a marketing strategy should always be part of your business strategy, as it helps you achieve your business goals, so it’s a good idea to dig into your business plan before you go wild with your marketing strategy. If you don’t already have one, I recommend you get started, because at the very least you’ll need well-defined goals, a financial plan (or at least a medium-term cash flow plan), and an operational plan to make marketing planning make any sense at all. Don’t overcomplicate it, you can also find countless planning guides on the internet. The key is to be clear about your business objectives and the steps to achieve them and to be able to communicate this simply and quickly to the right colleagues, management, and investors.

Once you have your business plan for the coming year, get out your pencil and paper, take a few hours, and develop your online marketing strategy: write it down, structure it, and probably already have it in your head in detail.

1. Objective

Until you know what your exact goals are, it will be difficult to meet them. Set your goals using the SMART method:

S- specific

M- measurable

A- achievable

R- Relevant

T- time-boxed

Example of an awesome clever objective:

In 2024, I will acquire 6 new clients for my marketing agency in the travel agency sector, for complex marketing execution.

Specific, quantified, time-boxed, measurable, relevant, and achievable target.

Goals like “I will be more successful in the future, I will earn more money and I will be less stressed” are not appropriate here because they do not meet any of the above criteria.

The biggest mistake you can make when setting goals is not being realistic about the outcomes you want to achieve. If you have a monthly turnover of HUF 1 million in your webshop, it is not realistic to aim for a turnover of HUF 12 million without changing the product structure, and prices or investing several times the current expenditure in marketing.

It’s also a mistake to leave too short a timeframe for development: we often get requests that someone who wants to increase their revenue three or four times in 1 month but is not willing to spend more on marketing or change their product or pricing policy. In such a case, you can’t work miracles (and if someone does promise to do so, I would be quick to run away because they probably don’t have enough experience or are simply projecting).

2. Target group analysis

Never lose sight of who you are trying to sell to. Set up your buyer persona: with common sense, think about whom you are giving the most value to with your products and services. There is no such thing as something for everyone. Be very specific: think about the main characteristics of your typical customer (and better still, ask them!)

  • Are you a man or a woman?
  • How old?
  • Do you have a family?
  • How much do you earn?
  • How much does he spend?
  • How does your day go?
  • What do you do for work?
  • What do you read or watch?
  • How do you spend your free time?
  • What are your main problems at work?
  • What is your foremost personal problem?
  • How much time do you have for your family, entertainment?
  • What is your main source of pleasure?
  • What can you do to help him?

All this is important, not for the sake of being naughty, but to help you decide which marketing channels will be most valuable and useful to you.

3. Price strategy

The most common pricing models:

If you have been running your business for many years, you hopefully have an established pricing strategy, but it is never too late to revisit and modernize it. It is important to be clear about your break-even point: when it becomes worthwhile to sell a product. Why is this important? If you make 100 cents on a product, it’s not worth it to have a Facebook ad that brings you, customers, for 150 cents. If you run your business alone and have the capacity for 40 units of your service per month, then it is unnecessary to bring in online marketing resources that will increase the number of orders to 80, as you will not be able to service those customers (unless you hire new people, but that is not part of your online marketing strategy).

  • Cost-based: the most common pricing method used for products: you calculate how much it costs to produce a product and then add your profit, which becomes the selling price.
  • Value-based: the most common pricing model for services: you calculate how much value you produce for your customers and base your prices on that.
  • Competitor-based: you look at what your competitors are charging and adjust your prices accordingly.
  • Blended pricing: I calculate how many man-hours it takes to do a job, multiply that by the hourly rate of labor input, and look at the value we create. And, of course, I constantly monitor our competitors’ prices and adjust our prices if necessary.

Work at prices that leave you money for marketing (hiring professionals, advertising costs, product development, promotions).

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4. Competitor analysis

It is good to be aware of exactly who you are competing with and know what is going on in your market.

First, list the companies that offer the same (or very similar) products/services to your target group. Then narrow this down to those whose operations have an impact on you.

Once you have the 5-8 companies whose operations affect you, then look at their case studies:

  • Product: how is the quality of their product, how does it compare to yours (listen, be honest! If their product is better, admit this to yourself and try to improve your own, either lower the price or compensate for the difference somehow)
  • Price: what price they work for, what they sell for
  • Turnover: find out from a public database what their turnover was, their statistical headcount, their profits, their dividends, and the change from previous years. You will find a lot of exciting information.
  • Website: what is the quality of the website, what is the loading speed, how much information is on it, what is the quality of the images, what is the quality of the text, and what is it like from an SEO point of view, how are the processes working, what guarantees do they offer, what are the delivery terms – look at all aspects that are relevant to your product
  • Social media: where are they present? Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok. How big is your follower base? How often do they post and on what topics, and in what quality? What are they doing well and what are they not?
  • Customer reviews: see what kind of feedback they get from customers. The easiest way to find out is to look at Facebook and Google My Business reviews: to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are.
  • Visible marketing processes: do they have a newsletter? What about a blog? How frequently do they take action? Who are their collaborative partners?

Once you have all the information, make a spreadsheet where you can sort the information side by side. And what to do with the table? Simple! See where you need to improve. What you can learn from your competitors and see where they are making mistakes. Your task is this: be better than them!

5. Messages

If you’ve done the above steps honestly, you’ve probably already found the message (or rather messages associated with buyer personas) that best describes your product or service and best highlights the solution to your target audience’s problems.

Never start with yourself! It doesn’t matter what you like, what sounds good to you You are biased towards your company, you are already immersed in the topic, you have a thorough knowledge of the subject. What matters is what your target audience needs. It is useless to communicate that your luxury product is the cheapest in its category if your customers buy it precisely to use it as a status symbol. In such cases, a misguided message can cost you wholesale, even if you have the perfect product, good pricing, and good advertising.

Be concise, pithy, and easy to understand. A good message is no more than 10 words (which is all the brain can comfortably take in while reading) and it’s never about you. No one cares that your company is 10 years old and that you are a top-quality company (everyone says the same thing about themselves). What matters is what your product does for me! Will my new phone make me cooler? Can I cook healthier meals for my family? Can I get to my business meetings faster? Does your perfume make women/men turn around after me on the street?

Tip: Try not to communicate a product feature but a benefit.

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Summary

I do not recommend starting any online marketing activity without planning, as you are likely to end up disappointed. Plan what you want to achieve, how much money you have, what exactly you want to market, and to whom, so that if you have set realistic goals and have done your planning homework honestly and consistently followed through, you are almost certain to succeed in your online marketing.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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