Raise your hand if you've ever been a victim of a pummeled proposal. Or a shutdown suggestion. Or an ill-received idea.
You're not alone.
So many of us in the marketing field work with team members from across other departments: sales associates, oversight from the c-suite, creative compadres, and more. We might find an incredible idea from a big thinker like Gary Vaynerchuck or Rand Fishkin––but getting that idea from concept --> proposed strategy --> approved is not always easy.
I recently had coffee with a friend who is a one-woman-lady-boss marketing department at a regional IT services company. She reports directly to her CEO, and says he only approves about half of the ideas she brings to him.
We talked through some of the proposals she had put forward, and came to the conclusion that they just weren't in the same mindset of lifecycle marketing. She wanted to work through buyer personas, create new lead generation strategies targeted at all stages of her funnel, and invest in a marketing automation tool like HubSpot. He, on the other hand, was thinking more in the realm of ads at local baseball stadiums that sent everyone directly to sales.
It was clear she was missing some *punch* in her arsenal. She needed hard data and facts to help him understand the millennial shift in the way buyers research and chose products. He didn't understand lifecycle marketing and how marketers have become aware of the difference between all parts of the buyer's journey.
She needed statistics that illustrated the story of sales in 2017––stats that were impressive enough to convince her boss that it was valuable to invest in lifecycle marketing that could create, educate, and nurture leads at all stages of their problem-solving.
So this one's for you, #ladyboss! Here are 7 of my favorite punch-packing statistics you can use to get your boss on the same page when it comes to inbound marketing and sales:
1. 67% of the buyer's journey is now done digitally––before a lead ever contacts your sales department. (SiriusDecisions)
Most of us in the inbound realm have heard this number. But it's critical for establishing the why behind lifecycle marketing. If you're not talking to your visitor online and answering their questions in the "Awareness" stage, they'll never find you. They won't come to you for help and answers. They could care less about your website or your product. And they sure as darn heck won't come to you when they are ready to buy.
Your brand needs to have a strong online presence. You need to create real, valuable content that your ideal buyers are looking for when they first want to identify their problems and gather possible solutions.
Your salesmen are no long the all-holy-gatekeepers of information like they were in the '90s. Those days are gone. Your competitors are giving away free answers online via blog posts, eBooks, guides, free downloads, and more––so if you're not feeding this digital journey with your expertise, you'll be left in the dust.
2. 61% of modern B2B marketers send leads directly to sales. But only 27% of those leads will be qualified. (MarketingSherpa)
This means most of us take all of our leads and dump them in one basket. We take a fresh new player and send them to the biggest boss of the whole game. And of course, the boss intimidates them––and most of them run.
If you do the math, how many of your leads get turned off by your insta-sales tactics? How much valuable time does your sales team waste tracking down and talking to leads who are incredibly unqualified and not ready to talk? What does that translate to in wasted manpower and resources?
Lifecycle marketing solves this pitfall by allowing you, as a marketer, to stop sending leads directly to sales. Instead, you set out the many paths a visitor could take, and let them self-identify––an Awareness Stage guide about how to nail down their big gaps in phone security on their current network. Or a Consideration Stage offer that gives them a custom analysis of the 4 best ways they could close those gaps with a solution like yours. And finally, a Decision Stage free demo of your security solution that lets them try the platform for free for an entire month.
With this lifecycle marketing strategy, you send all leads exactly where they want to go. To whatever is most relevant to them. And your sales team only spends time talking to qualified leads who have already identified their problem and considered their options!
3. Content marketing costs 66% less than traditional marketing efforts––but it now generates 3x more leads than those expensive traditional routes. And 88% of marketers practice content marketing. (Demand Gen Report)
This stat would be extremely helpful for my friend above because she and her boss differ in how they view and quantify traditional marketing efforts versus modern ones. She could use this report to show him that A) trying content marketing would be a cost-effective way to test a new method of marketing, B) if those tactics were successful, they would see a huge increase in the number of leads in their pipeline, and C) they would be ahead-of or equal-to the level of their competitors' marketing teams.
Sometimes it just takes a little hard numbers to show stakeholders that trying something new isn't synonymous with taking a big, expensive risk.
4. You know what? Let's just make #4 this whole damn Demand Gen report.
I went there. If you're looking for some of the most convincing statistics that lifecycle marketing and it's best pal content are worth the investment for your company, that infographic has it all. Print that bad boy out, and you can map your pain points as a marketing to the statistics that help you make your case the best.
If you battle the question, "But isn't this still too much of a new-fangled idea?", clap back with 78% of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing in general.
Or if you face, "But isn't this simple sales sheet all we need?", ask for investment in graphics with support. Content with visuals gets 94% more views than text-only content.
Now Who's Fired Up!?
Please raise your hand if you've ever felt empowered by data to charge forward into marketing innovation.
When you're making your case for why you need resources to create interesting content for all of your leads to consume, you'll need ammunition. Hopefully these statistics can help you justify why your company should invest in lifecycle marketing to garner leads, share your expertise with quality content, and allow buyers to move at their own pace through your funnel.