The 21 Marketing and Sales Challenges of ICT Businesses
Challenge #1 – No Integrated Solution to Marketing and Sales
We have put together a series of 21 Marketing and Sales challenges that IT Professionals and IT Service Providers often have and how to overcome them and this is the first on the series.
Many businesses are not sure how to go about creating an integrated approach to marketing and sales. There are so many different options when looking at sales and marketing that most IT professionals struggle finding the right channel. How do you filter through all the advice and decide which of the following could work for you?
Watch the video and read the article below on how to overcome this challenge.
People saying you should:
- set up and publish to social media
- offer free downloads
- create a website that looks like …
- get referrals from networking
- seek client referrals
- be building alliances
- asking for leads from your supplier/s
- etc etc
All of these are valid, but often businesses get stuck or waste time and money trying to make one or two tactics work in isolation. Then in frustration, they give up and and rely on a limited trickle of inbound enquiries or referrals and never seem to get any growth traction.
So what does an integrated marketing solution look like? An Integrated solution is essentially a solution that combines all areas of your marketing in a cohesive system. Think of your Marketing and Sales process and activities working like a system – all elements need to be considered and work together
It’s a little like integrating all the different areas of your IT – all the elements need to be considered and work together for the technology to do it’s job properly. Your marketing and sales system is no different
Usual Approach # 1 – Lets focus on prospects who are ready to buy
Because there is no integrated approach, many businesses’ focus tends to be on using marketing tactics that target people who are ready to buy now, whether it be Google Adwords, Facebook, Referrals or Networking or just relying on organic enquiries.
With this approach you are always wanting to find someone who is ready to make a new technology purchase or change their existing IT supplier. Sounds like a great focus right? Well…
What’s the Problem with approach #1?
The main issue of this normal approach is that it doesn’t really work long term and it ignores the proven 3 step method of;
- Getting a lead
- Converting that lead into a customer
- Building long term clients through repeat customers.
By focusing only on number 2 (converting a lead to a customer) you are missing out on a whole lot of opportunities and also wasting marketing and sales efforts. In fact this means your marketing and sales efforts ignore the 90+ % of potential clients who are not yet ready to buy!
How do you solve this problem #1?
You need to think of your marketing and sales across all three stages above ie getting leads PLUS converting them into a customer PLUS building long term relationships.
While it may be difficult to juggle the efforts of buyers across three stages, having an integrated marketing plan will help keep you on top of this.
The Usual Approach # 2 – the “single approach” expert?
The second issue is a lot of IT and Tech companies will consult a ‘specialist’ in anything from SEO to Social Media to people who will help you get referrals. Now they are probably good at what they do (and may even get good results in the short term).
What’s the Problem with approach #2?
The problem with the “specialists” is that they only get one aspect of marketing (the area that they specialise in). So the specialist only understands the buyers from their perspective which means they can miss or ignore opportunities with potential clients that can be had by using a planned and diversified mix of marketing and sales strategies
If you had a person who was an expert in only one piece of software would you really trust them to design your whole IT Strategy?
How do you solve this problem #2?
You need to take the time to put together an integrated marketing strategy that considers all aspects of your marketing. That goes right through your business analysis, what products and services you offer, your key target customers, sales plan, branding, ongoing content, lead generation campaigns, digital marketing, social, offline marketing such as referrals and networking, what marketing tools you will use to systemise and a month by month calendar with dates and accountabilities.
By having an integrated marketing plan rather than just following up on one communication strategy you can make sure you get the right results for your IT or Tech business.
Get a free Guide to Integrated Marketing
For a free Guide to the key elements to consider in an Integrated Marketing Strategy, download our free Marketing Guide for IT and Tech Businesses
If you would like a no-obligation free “Marketing Roadmap” strategy session feel free to call us on 1300 676 448 or visit our website to request a time.