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The 9 Goals to Consider When Creating a Marketing Strategy

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The 9 Goals to Consider When Creating a Marketing Strategy

If someone asks you to list a few marketing goal examples, could you?

When many think of marketing, they go to the big flashy examples – like SuperBowl commercials and Spotify’s annual “Wrapped” campaigns. But the truth is, that’s likely the result of months of strategizing.

Before you can build your strategy though, you first need a clear goal. What does your business want to accomplish? Maybe you need more traffic to your website or perhaps you want to generate more leads.

If you need help figuring out what that is, we’ve got you covered.

A campaign without a clear goal is essentially a waste of money. Because you won’t know how to measure the impact or value of the work you’ve put in.

Goals are there to provide clarity, purpose, direction and vision. Whether personal or commercial, they are what lead to success for you, your department, and the business as a whole. Hitting your goal proves you’re making an impact. We all want to feel like we’re contributing, right?

Here, we’re going to explore the major goals you should consider when creating and implementing a marketing strategy. These goals should help you achieve maximum results in 2022 and beyond.

1. Increase brand awareness.

In 2021, we surveyed over 1,000 global marketers – 48% of marketers surveyed said their primary goal when running marketing campaigns was increasing brand awareness.

Brand awareness is key to gaining customers because after all, if consumers don’t know you exist, how will they know what you have to offer?

Every brand has a personality — a human voice shaped by the tone you strike and the platforms you’re using and the subjects or topics you’re talking about. If your goal is to raise brand awareness, figuring out what that personality is and how that voice sounds is the place to start.

From there, here are some tactical steps:

  • Tell a story – Consumers engage with brands they feel connected to and storytelling is an incredibly powerful tool to do it. To craft your narrative, think about your origin story and what adds humanity to your brand.
  • Consider where your target buyers spend the most time – Online, this might look like a particular social network like Instagram or TikTok. It could also be a specific channel like email and podcasts. You want to meet your audience where they are
  • Share and engage constantly – Once you know what story you want to tell and where your audience is, all that’s left is to engage with them. This can look like posting interesting content on social media, having a blog or guest blogging to share industry insights, and conducting polls.

You’re more than a business that sells a product or service. As you have a positive impact on your audience, they’ll likely turn into advocates of your brand, sharing your content and passing along their positive experiences to friends, family, and colleagues.

Top brand awareness tip: It’s not all ‘me me me’. A conversation goes two ways, so don’t forget to stop and listen to what the people you’re trying so hard to reach are saying back to you. You never know — they might just have some valuable insights or great ideas.

How do you measure brand awareness?

Although brand awareness can be a hard metric to track and measure, you can review the effectiveness of your activities by looking at your quantitative metrics such as:

  • Brand mentions, reach, follower count for social media
  • Branded search volume, website traffic, backlinks for SEO

To learn more about increasing brand awareness, read this Ultimate Guide to Brand Awareness.

2. Generate high-quality leads.

Your sales department depends on a consistent stream of leads to nurture and turn into new customers.

You’re not their only source of leads, but it’s safe to say your colleagues over in sales are depending on you to convert leads into new contacts to which they can reach out.

27% of marketers surveyed in 2021 by HubSpot Blog Research said generating leads and traffic was the biggest challenge they faced in 2021. What’s more, 21% say they expect to meet that same challenge in 2022.

From tried-and-tested methods like on-page forms to innovative features like chatbots, there are many ways to drive marketing-qualified leads.

Here’s an example of a lead-gen strategy:

  • A website visitor discovers your site through an ad and arrives at a landing page.
  • They click on the call-to-action to receive a content offer, otherwise known as a lead magnet.
  • To download the form, they must first fill out a form (known as a lead capture form).
  • After filling out their name and email, they access the content offer download page.

This is followed by a nurturing strategy to guide the user down the sales funnel.

There are many ways to generate leads, including:

  • Email newsletters
  • Retargeting ads
  • Content marketing
  • Social media

If you’re having trouble driving leads, create a report of all the leads coming in and section out those who’ve been disqualified, and why. This can help refine your marketing processes and continuously improve the quality of leads coming in.

How do you measure high-quality leads?

Analyze trends across the leads who eventually turn into customers. Create goals and custom reports such as multi-touch revenue attribution reports, customize your dashboards, report on revenue, and more.

If you’re looking for tools to create and track effective marketing goals for an entire marketing team, check out HubSpot’s Marketing Hub.

3. Acquire new customers.

Gaining customers is key to expanding your reach and growing your business. Many companies struggle to build a sustainable strategy that will scale.

For instance, say your main customer acquisition play is by leveraging content marketing. Do you have a strong team to build out a style guide and content strategy then execute on it for your chosen channels?

Or say you use a freemium model, by giving consumers a taste of your product to attract and hopefully convert them to the paid version. Do you have a strong conversion strategy and a team that can focus on optimizations?

To build a strong marketing strategy with the goal of acquiring new customers, focus on leveraging sustainable and flexible tactics that will scale with your business.

How do you measure customer acquisition?

  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
  • Total new customers
  • Churn rate
  • Product sign-ups

4. Increase website traffic.

In this digital age, getting strong traffic to your website is one of the major signs of a successful marketing strategy.

In fact, 54% of marketers surveyed in 2021 say web traffic is the most important metric when measuring the effectiveness of their content marketing efforts.

So, how do you accomplish this? Here are a few strategies:

  • Increase your paid ad campaigns.
  • Double down on your SEO efforts to increase your search engine ranking.
  • Start a blog.
  • Ensure all marketing channels circle back to your website.

How do you measure website traffic?

  • Total sessions
  • Total unique pageviews
  • Average time spent on page
  • Bounce rate
  • Conversion by traffic source

5. Establish industry authority.

It doesn’t matter what industry you find yourself in — being recognized as an expert in your field is fundamental for proving a high level of knowledge and credibility.

Not to be confused with brand awareness, thought leadership is about consumers recognizing your brand — and the people within your business — as among the best and most trustworthy in the industry.

On the other hand, brand awareness is more about making sure your brand is heard, seen, and recognized at all.

There are different ways to develop and maintain thought leadership. One of those methods is by publishing and sharing content that inspires your audience and speaks to their pain points.

Leveraging partner networks to ensure you’re able to reach a larger audience and appear up-to-par with other industry leaders is another approach to thought leadership.

For instance, building an external community through outreach and guest blogging is great for working with other trusted and reputable brands in the industry to create valuable content.

As you build your thought leadership strategy, consistency becomes essential to maintaining it. Publishing and sharing your content consistently is important to continue to appear relevant and forward-thinking in your industry.

Alternatively, you might consider hosting a webinar or panel discussion with other major industry leaders.

How do you measure thought leadership?

Similar to brand awareness, thought leadership can be tricky to measure.

One way to do it is through media mentions. If your brand is mentioned often in relation to your industry, that’s a good indicator that you have a strong thought leadership program. A high branded search volume and a high number of backlinks can also be indicators of success.

To learn more about thought leadership, take a look at The Content Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership.

6. Increase customer value.

The marketing conversation has moved well beyond simply generating new business. Today, it’s more important than ever that you’re delighting your existing customer base, keeping the people your business depends on happy and, whenever possible, helping them to promote you.

Delighted people won’t just buy from you again — they’ll also refer you to their friends and colleagues, too.

If your goal is to help retain and grow your existing customers, there’s plenty you can be doing to achieve it:

  • Get your customer data in order, from purchases to net promoter score.
  • Build a loyalty program where customers can get early access to products and discounts.
  • Launch a referral program.
  • Share customer success stories.

How can you tell if you’re increasing customer value?

You’ll want to measure your upsell targets or retention targets to evaluate whether you’re increasing customer value and loyalty over time.

Additionally, closely monitor what content you share with customers that influenced the most deals, or the last piece of content they interacted with before a deal closed. This will help you visualize which content is most valuable to your existing and new customers.

7. Boost brand engagement.

Brand engagement tells you that your audience is listening to you and enjoys your content. What’s better than that?

Boosting brand engagement won’t happen overnight. In fact, it can take months to see the impact of your efforts. However, when it does happen, you can see strong results on your reach and more importantly, your revenue.

Here are the steps you can take to do so:

  1. Identify what your audience cares about.
  2. Be consistent about sharing valuable content.
  3. Encourage action by initiating conversation and inviting your audience to join.
  4. Host giveaways and contests.
  5. Personalize communications when possible.

What you’re doing through these steps is building a community. A loyal community will engage with your audience and better yet, they’ll spread the word to others.

How can you tell if you’re boosting brand engagement?

This will depend on the channel you’re checking and where on the funnel you’re focusing on. For instance, on social media, likes, shares, comments, and retweets are considered engagement.

With email, engagement will look like opens and clicks.

These are channels mostly used for top- to mid-funnel engagement. For customers, engagement metrics can be:

  • Net promoter scores (NPS)
  • Customer satisfaction score
  • Referrals
  • Average website session duration

8. Increase revenue.

According to 2021 HubSpot Blog Research data 43% of marketers surveyed say their primary goal when running marketing campaigns in 2021 was increasing revenue – making it the second highest goal behind brand awareness.

Marketing can play a huge role in increasing revenue as they can target consumers at every stage of the funnel.

Here are some marketing strategies you can use at every stage:

  • Top of the funnel – Build a strong digital presence on social media and web, create content your audience cares about on the channels they consume, develop content offers to turn visitors into leads.
  • Middle of the funnel – Identify signals that turn prospects into MQLs, automating lead nurturing emails, retargeting campaigns.
  • Bottom of the funnel – Create tutorials, share product demos and customer success stories.
  • After-purchase – Build a customer loyalty program.

Keep in mind that this list isn’t exhaustive but it can help you get started.

What are some metrics to track increasing revenue?

  • Annual Recurring Revenue
  • Average Revenue Per User
  • Quota Attainment
  • Win Rate

10. Improve internal brand.

Increasingly, marketing teams are also taking on responsibilities around internal communications and educating employees across the business on the tools and resources they need to succeed when selling or providing service to customers.

Do your colleagues understand your brand’s target personas and what they need at their respective stage in the buyer’s journey?

It’s important to ensure all employees are given what they need in order to talk about the business with confidence to prospects and customers and become ambassadors for your brand.

How can you tell if you’re empowering colleagues?

If you’ve delivered an internal newsletter, review its performance data to determine whether or not your colleagues across the company are actually opening it and clicking through the relevant resources contained within.

Alternatively, was your goal to educate the team about a new product or updated messaging?

A company-wide survey can take very little time to create and can provide you — and the rest of your team — with valuable feedback on your efforts.

By now, you should be well on your way to setting and achieving your own SMART marketing goals.

Remember, whichever goals you set for yourself and your team, they have to serve a purpose and benefit the business as a whole.

Whether that means generating high-quality leads for sales or stepping up your brand awareness game, you’ll be ready to increase revenue and enable your business to grow better in no time.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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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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