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Tracking marketing impact and sales.

Make Your Marketing Reflect How You Sell

Nov. 1, 2022
There are different types of sales, so evaluate your most profitable sales and create marketing options and tools that support those successes.

A business’s Sales team needs the Marketing staff, whether or not the sales side will admit it. The purpose of marketing is to tell the story of the brand - who the company is and what solutions are offered - to potential customers. And this brand story plays out whether it’s directed by your company or not. Customers, prospects, and employees are creating your brand every day. Marketing is a guide for that brand creation. While the marketing department doesn’t make sales happen, marketing efforts support sales efforts.

There are many different kinds of marketing activities: SEO, digital, outbound, inbound, lead generation, demand generation, and others. There are even more platforms for executing those marketing efforts: email, social media, podcasts, video, case studies, etc. I like to think of these as options and tools. You select the option and tool to support your more effective business growth efforts.

Different marketing options and tools nurture the sales process. In this marketer’s opinion, there are four kinds of sales and each of the four types requires different marketing tools and channels for optimal sales support. The four types of sales are:
  Hunt
  Nurture
  Buzz
  Repeat

A repeat sale is exactly what it sounds like. It is a repeat customer buying the same product or additional products/services. A repeat customer is an invested audience, so communication marketing best supports that type of sale. What is communication marketing? It is stay-in-touch marketing.

Communication marketing could include social media, customer emails or digital retarget ads, or even print newsletters or invitations to customers events. The goal is to create communication opportunities with the ability to expand the brand story or explore other aspects of the company’s offer to showcase what else the customer could purchase.

A buzz sale is one that results from word-of-mouth influence. Typically this is the result of a current customer’s recommendation or introduction, and the prospect seeks out your company. The kind of marketing that is helpful to support a buzz sale is often termed “demand generation marketing” and includes: case studies, testimonials (video, podcast, or written), implementation or process documentation and FAQs. The goal is to answer questions, provide answers and examples that support the recommendation they received from a trusted source.

Nurture sales are the most resource-intensive. (Sometimes this is called drip marketing, as you nurture the prospect with “drips”, to avoid information overload.) Marketing might provide collateral information that supports the purchase track, such as financial or ROI information, FAQs, project or implementation steps and expectations. For large capital purchases, nurture sales support may even include meetings with other customers for in-person recommendations.

One of the common ways to kick off a nurture sale process is meeting at a tradeshow or industry event. The goal for nurture sale marketing is to provide supporting information to aid the prospects as they make their choices.

Hunt sales begin with brand- or product-focused marketing that shows your product or service to customers as they hunt for a solution. It could start with an SEO implementation plan and digital marketing, which brings customers with a specific problem to your website. It might start by establishing knowledge leadership – with interviews, thought leadership articles, podcast interviews or panel presentations – showcasing a company's solution to industry issues. In a hunt sale, the potential customer comes to you. The goal is to be known well enough to be found as a solution provider.

Nurture or hunt sales can lead to repeat sales. Repeat, nurture, or hunt sales can lead to buzz sales. And the product/service information made for any sales type may be used for the others, although the presentation or tone may differ. Each avenue of marketing supports the others. A hunt prospect or repeat sale may check out the company’s social media and follow up on a specific offer. Cross-over happens.

Depending on available marketing resources (in-house staff and expertise or external agency support), trying to do all types of marketing could leave your brand presence stretched too thin to be effective. A good first step to any marketing expenditure is to evaluate how each of those sale types – hunt, nurture, buzz, and repeat – might fit your company sales model or product type. Choose the marketing efforts that best supports your preferred sales type and the brand you want to create.

Alexandria Trusov is the Global Marketing Director at Alpha Resources and a B2B marketing consultant to manufacturers and other B2B companies. Contact her at [email protected] or visit www.truinsightsconsulting.com.

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