This is part three of a six-part series on marketing essentials for IT Services Providers. Feel free to start with part one.
People have changed the way that they absorb information, research products and services, make purchasing decisions, and share their views and experiences. The customer has more power than ever, and tunes out traditional marketing and sales messages more and more frequently. But for some reason, businesses still rely on the same sales and marketing tactics that they have used for more than a decade.
Although there will always be a place for the writers, the photographers, and the designers, these should only make up a portion of the marketing team, not the entire department.
Changing the Way We Think of Marketing
In order to bring your traditional marketing department up to speed with the times, it's important to stop using the word “marketing” to describe every individual aspect of the process. For example, if we’re talking about promotion, why not say promotion? If it’s advertising that needs to happen, label it as advertising, not simply marketing. This might not seem important, but the psychological effect of calling things the right names has been known for many years.
To look at it another way: attorneys, accountants, and IT professionals all cost your organization money. This isn’t to say that the money isn’t well spent, or that these professionals don’t save corporations a lot of pain; it’s just that they often don’t produce revenue, and marketing does. This then begs the question as to why the law firms command a much higher retainer than marketing firms. The answer is that marketing has become known as the place that produces expensive brochures and ads, and hurts the company budget.
Transforming Your Marketing Center
The following seven steps outline how to change your marketing center from a place in your organization that is thought of as a money drain, to the primary center for growth and revenue that it truly is.
- Strategy – Having the right plan in place
- Team – The right people doing the right things
- Process – An agreed-upon way of taking leads from awareness to action
- Systems – Deciding on the right systems
- Content – Employing useful, creative, and thoughtful content
- Promotion – Creating a well-planned promotional agenda
- Measurement and Reporting – Tracking how you’re doing
This article is Part Three of a six-part series. Check out Part Four.