Zach Heller Marketing Week in Review

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Don’t let your emotions get in the way of making a good decision. This is good advice in any situation, but especially in the workplace. It is great that you are passionate about what you do. It is even better that you have opinions and believe strongly in them. But not everyone is right all the time, and if you don’t allow yourself to be wrong some of the time, you will end up hurting your organization. When making a decision, use logic, not emotions. Weigh the pros and cons, look at the data, and conduct the necessary research. Just because you think something should be done a certain way doesn’t mean it should be.

Here are last week’s posts, in case you missed them:

  1. New Series – Top Resources for Marketers
  2. How to Turn More Facebook Followers into Paying Customers
  3. Align Incentives with Company Goals

Happy Saturday!

Two Ways to Boost Your Marketing Knowledge:

  1. Subscribe to the blog and never miss another marketing post
  2. Subscribe to the monthly newsletter to get a curated list of the top marketing articles from around the web

Align Incentives with Company Goals

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Some examples of employee incentives that I have come across in the recent past:

  1. A social media manager who receives a bonus based on growth in total followership
  2. A search engine marketer who receives a bonus based on lowering cost per lead
  3. An email marketing specialist who receives a bonus based on open and click thru rate improvements
  4. A sales team leader who receives a bonus based on conversion rate of leads to sales on outbound sales calls

From the list above, do any of the incentives stand out to you? Can you think of any reason why those incentives should not be in place?

On first look, they all seem to make sense. A social media manager should aim to grow the reach of the brand. A search engine marketer should take efforts to lower marginal costs. An email marketer should push for higher engagement. And a sales manager should value his team’s ability to close more sales.

But remember, what you measure matters. And if an employee at any level of the organization has all or part of their pay tied to certain metrics, those are the metrics that will matter to them. Even if they are not metrics that are tied back to the overall performance of the company.

That in mind, let’s find the problem with each of the above incentives.

  1. A social media manager who receives a bonus based on growth in total followership. This is all well and good except that how do we know that followership helps the business? You can increase followership by spending money to promote the brand page, or by buying lists. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to lead to an increase in brand engagement, loyalty or sales. Wouldn’t it be better to measure something that ties revenue back to social media activities?
     
  2. A search engine marketer who receives a bonus based on lowering cost per lead. While it might be good if a business drove more leads for the same amount of money, who is to say that those leads will be of the same quality. You can drive down lead cost by bidding on weaker terms, or spending more money on lesser search engines or content networks. That doesn’t mean that sales and revenue will go up as a result. Wouldn’t it be better to measure profitability of the advertising dollars over time?
     
  3. An email marketing specialist who receives a bonus based on open and click thru rate improvements. One might assume that more people opening and clicking on your emails is a good thing, but not if those people don’t end up becoming customers. The ultimate goal of any email campaign is not just an open and a click. It’s something else – a donation, a sale, a referral, greater loyalty or retention. Wouldn’t it be better to measure those outcomes?
     
  4. A sales team leader who receives a bonus based on conversion rate of leads to sales on outbound sales calls. This one seems like the most reasonable at first blush, but it too has its issues. One way to get to a higher conversion rate would be to pre-sort prospects and call only the easy sales. Another way would be to apply aggressive tactics over the phone in an attempt to pressure more people to purchase. These efforts can lead to lower sales and satisfaction, and higher cancels and refunds down the road. Wouldn’t it be better to measure a lifetime revenue metric and aim for higher total revenue per dollar spent on selling/calling?

Aligning individual incentives to the larger company goals is the only way to make sure everyone is working toward the same mission.

How to Turn More Facebook Followers into Paying Customers

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If you’re like most companies today, you have a Facebook page. You also are not 100% sure why you have a Facebook page. You may have a few vague answers if someone were to ask you why you have a Facebook page:

  1. It’s part of our social strategy
  2. It’s 2017, everyone has a Facebook page
  3. We use it to build a sense of community around our brand

But deep down, you probably want to know how to turn more of those people who follow you and engage with you on Facebook into paying customers. As marketers, we want to know the ROI.

There are two problems with this desire of ours. First, the strategies that have worked for us on other digital channels are almost definitely not going to work on Facebook. Second, the way we measure the success of other channels won’t work on Facebook.

To solve for the first problem, we must build a new strategy. And to solve for the second, we have to change the way we measure success.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to Facebook for brands. But the actions listed below are key parts of the most successful strategies that have been developed to solve these problems to date:

  1. Give people a reason to engage with your brand – perhaps you offer the kind of content they can’t get anywhere else. Perhaps you offer special deals, discounts, contests, and other promotions. Perhaps you highlight their work or lives in some way. Whatever it is, you have to give them a reason to come after you build it.
     
  2. Spend the money necessary to grow your reach – many marketers don’t want to hear this but nowadays it’s almost impossible to significantly grow your audience on Facebook without paying to advertising or boost your content. The key is to be smart about how you spend that money, targeting the right content and ad types to your target customers.
     
  3. Drive people to your website – it’s all well and good to create a piece of content, or engage with fans in ways that are contained to Facebook’s platform. But the real impact to your business will come when you get people off of Facebook and onto your website. You can do this with links to content or new product information.
     
  4. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) – the path to conversion on your website should be well thought through and constantly tested for weaknesses. Conversion rate optimization is the process of fine tuning this path so that more of the people who land on your website turn into customers. Start by analyzing the data you already have and see where people are most likely to drop off. Get an outsider to traverse your site and find out how to do it. Then start filling in the gaps and making it easier for visitors to find what they need.
     
  5. Drive sales with promotions – though Facebook is not, and should not be treated as, a sales channel, that does not mean you can drive business with valuable offers. Take advantage of post and ad types that highlight discounts and time-specific offers that are exclusive to your Facebook followers.

New Series – Top Resources for Marketers

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Learning is a lifelong process. I have always believed that and have made every effort to practice it in my own life. Whether for personal gain, career preparation and advancement, or corporate learning, the life of a marketer should be filled beginning to end with learning.

Without learning and development, we flounder. Technology passes us by. Potential lies undiscovered and dormant. Old skills stagnate and new ones fail ever to form.

Your value as a contributor and a leader decreases each day you are not learning something new.

With all that in mind, we are excited to introduce our new weekly blog series. Each Monday, we will highlight a great resource for marketers who are looking to learn new skills, technologies, and tools. Whether they are events to attend, training resources, or bloggers and experts to follow, these resources will be aimed at the lifelong learner.

Stay tuned next week, when we will present our first resource. We hope that you enjoy.

Zach Heller Marketing Week in Review

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Your marketing gets stale after a while. The tactics get stale. The message gets stale. It no longer resonates with people. The same things you have always done start to bring in fewer customers at a higher price. Even the most iconic brands update their look and messaging, the way they communicate with potential customers, and how they engage their fans every once in a while. That’s what allows them to continue succeeding and growing. The marketer’s job is never done. There is always something in need of improving.

Here are last week’s posts, in case you missed them:

  1. Top Branding Blog Posts
  2. Finding Customers with No Brand Loyalty
  3. How to Achieve a Higher Click-through Rate on PPC Ads

Happy Saturday!

Two Ways to Boost Your Marketing Knowledge:

  1. Subscribe to the blog and never miss another marketing post
  2. Subscribe to the monthly newsletter to get a curated list of the top marketing articles from around the web