At the last Plastics News Women Breaking the Mold conference, I had the privilege of speaking to many professionals about How to Lead Marketing as an Everyday Habit. Toward the end of the session, I asked the audience to huddle around their area with others to begin the networking process with questions about what marketing challenge they are currently trying to overcome, in order to seek new ideas and elevate the discussion about today’s marketing trends and best practices. See below for several of the questions and my professional response.
1) What is the best way to market to new, young, talented employees and get them to want to work for your company?
If you want to attract new talent, understanding the priorities of young professionals today is crucial. Young employees are often interested in working for companies that align with their personal values, so it’s a good idea to emphasize your company’s culture and character in your recruitment efforts. They’re also looking for employers that will give them opportunities to learn, grow, and advance in their careers; make it clear that your company invests in its employees by way of professional development. Additionally, harness the power of social media. Younger generations are active on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter; using these platforms to showcase your company’s culture and values, career opportunities, and employee experiences.
2) What are the best platforms to understand what your customers are using in their buying process?
Google Analytics is one of the best and most comprehensive tools marketers use to help them understand customers going through the buyer’s journey, offering valuable insights into website visitors’ behavior. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, such as SalesForce and HubSpot, allow you to manage customer interactions and store customer data, helping you understand the customer’s buying process and identify opportunities for improvement. Marketing automation platforms, like Marketo and MailChimp, provide insights into the customer’s buying journey as well, including which emails they opened and links they clicked on. Other tools and platforms commonly used by marketing teams are Hotjar and Smartlook, which show heat maps and real-time snapshots of users interacting with a website, will go a long way in attracting the type of employees you’re looking for.
3) What is the difference between marketing and sales?
Marketing increases awareness of your business and brand among potential customers, while sales focus on developing leads into profitable customer relationships. The marketing goals of a business are aimed at creating a clear and effective promotion of its products, company, or brand. On the other hand, the sales goals of a business are focused on achieving quotes and financial targets to ensure the business remains successful.
4) What tips/tricks do you have to increase email open rates?
Email marketing is an excellent way for businesses to expand their reach. There are several methods for increasing open rates for e-blasts, including:
- Write a compelling subject line: The subject line is the first thing people see; keep it brief and punchy to entice recipients to open it.
- Keep it short and sweet: You’ll have the best results with a quick and direct email. Focus on offering solutions to customer issues rather than filling the email with unnecessary fluff.
- Optimize for mobile: Many people check their email on their phones, so make sure your emails are optimized for mobile viewing by using a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes.
- Track data: Keep an eye on the email campaign analytics to ensure your email marketing strategy is working!
5) What are your company’s best practices to include sales in marketing planning?
Sales should always be the end goal of a marketing plan, so including sales in marketing planning is essential. Bringing the sales team into the planning process early on ensures their input is included in the overall strategy. Setting shared goals to create a mutual understanding of what success looks like and establishing regular communication to collaborate on content creation, review progress, share updates, and adjust strategies as needed are also important.
6) How do you get more of your team on board with marketing initiatives?
Getting everyone on the same page starts by cultivating a positive, team-oriented work environment where collaboration is valued and encouraged. Clearly communicating the goals of the marketing initiatives to all employees and explaining how their contributions are critical to achieving success will help everyone see the big picture of business success and foster a sense of shared ownership and responsibility. And don’t forget to share the end results – providing regular updates on the impact of marketing initiatives is a great way to build excitement and foster support for future marketing efforts. For a deeper understanding, read Vive’s November ’22 blog titled Create Marketing Buy-in from Within.
7) Do you still believe in “paper” marketing vs. e-blasts?
Traditional marketing – print ads, billboards, and direct mailers – can still be effective for certain audiences and situations. Not every demographic is active on social media, for example, and nobody can scroll past a giant billboard when they’re driving on the highway. However, digital marketing has the edge over traditional marketing in today’s technology-filled world. It’s more affordable, easier to track ROI, offers a chance for customer interaction, and has the flexibility to fix mistakes quickly and easily without affecting the marketing campaign. Overall, it’s always best practice to utilize both forms of marketing to reach a wider audience.
8) What are the best practices to engage with sales with a more collaborative day-to-day marketing approach?
Don’t operate in silos! Establish regular, open lines of communication and align marketing and sales goals to ensure both teams are working towards the same objectives. Marketing tends to see objectives as generalizations, such as the number of leads generated, whereas sales typically have a more individualistic view, like a specific account they’re trying to close. By strategizing together, sales and marketing leaders can avoid the “blinders” they tend to have toward their own operations.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Teresa’s 3-part “You Asked. We Answered.” series. In the meantime, if you have any of these same questions and would like to chat more about them, contact us today!