Inbound Marketing and Demand Generation: An Overview
Internet marketing, regardless of what you call it (inbound marketing, online marketing, digital marketing, e-marketing…) is real, and is critical when it comes to growing business. Like other strategic business activities, it must be planned, and it must be aligned with the goals and vision of the business. Before you begin, or even if you are already entrenched in the Internet Marketing process, you need to take a step back and look at your marketing from a broader point of view. The questions below will help you at least start the process of building a plan that will be the basis of your strategy.
Question #1: What is the vision for your organization? What is the ideal or desired goal of the business?
Understanding the overall goal of the organization will allow you to be far more effective at building a marketing strategy to support and assist in achieving that vision.
Question #2: How do your marketing activities and, specifically, your IM activities, support the growth and strategic business objectives of your company or organization?
If the marketing and IM activities that you have planned or in motion do not fully support that vision, well, you might want to reconsider them…. I know that may sound obvious, but you would be amazed at the number of companies that have marketing plans and strategies that are completely misaligned with the overall goal of the company.
Question #3: What marketing activities are you tracking / measuring, and are they relevant?
Be sure that all marketing, including IM is in alignment with, and supports the overall growth strategy and corporate targets. Take the time to establish metrics or KPI’s (key performance indicators) that are directly linked to the overall business objectives. Some examples are: new customer growth, sales and revenue growth, profit growth, product launches, etc… Also make sure that the things that you are tracking are relevant.
The planning process and creating your objectives is not an event that takes place once a year. It’s something that needs to be in a constant state of review and modification. Once you have your marketing objectives, review them often. If something changes in your market or industry, adjust.