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Four Steps To Get Your Marketing Back on Track

September is a month of new beginnings. Summer is over, students are starting a new year and Microsoft employees are figuring out how they are going to hit their 2014 number.

Whether your spring campaign plans got sidetracked helping those same Microsoft employees close last quarter's business or, for some reason, marketing is always the last item on your task list, this is a great time to get back on track.

Build on Your Strengths
Most partners get the bulk of their business from unsolicited referrals. Your clients tell their business associates how you helped solve a problem or improved a process. Those referrals reflect your strengths and should provide the foundation of each of these four steps that will get your marketing back on track.  

  1. Decide whom to target. Define the common qualities of your best customers and use those to narrow your focus on the customers you can help the most. Build your contact list with a variety of sources including your in-house e-mail list and purchased lists.

  2. Define the problem that you are going to solve. What is the challenge that most of the customers in Step 1 are dealing with that you can solve? Describe what the problem is and how you can solve it (use simple, non-technical terms). You now have your messaging.

  3. Choose your delivery method. This one has two parts. Choose the form of your message -- blog posts, whitepapers, e-books, in-person events or webinars. Then decide how you are going to offer it to your target customers -- e-mail newsletters, e-mail invitations, pay-per-click or social channels. Use the resources on Microsoft's Ready-to-Go site to augment and simplify your efforts.

  4. Execute and repeat. A marketing campaign is not a single transaction...ever. Send out the e-mail or post on LinkedIn and then repeat, again and again. For best results, continue to create new forms for your message and use multiple tactics to distribute. For example:

    • Send out a monthly newsletter summarizing your blog posts, then offer a whitepaper.

    • Hold an in-person event with Microsoft's Community Connections, then send a monthly newsletter to all attendees.

    • Create an e-book to promote on LinkedIn and Twitter, then send out a series of e-mails highlighting each point in the e-book.

Build Your Momentum
One of the toughest issues for technology-driven, results-oriented partners is the "squishy" nature of marketing results. No matter what the marketing technologists say, it's very challenging to clearly track the success of your investments -- both time and money -- in marketing.

Yes, tracking leads and measuring success is important, but that is Step 5. Focus on the first four steps and let Step 5 take care of itself for a little while. You've got to have something to measure in order to measure. Take the simplest route to get momentum on your side and results will follow.

How are you building marketing momentum? Add a comment below or send me a note and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on September 09, 2013 at 5:30 AM