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If you’re thinking about launching a new marketing campaign, the first thing you need to do is check whether it’ll benefit your company or not. To measure how much revenue a certain campaign will generate, marketers check its ROI. ROI is an acronym for return on investment. It’s a common concept in the business world. To give a straightforward answer to the question from the title of this article - “What is ROI in marketing?” - we can say it’s a strategy that helps determine how much money you spend on a marketing project vs. the amount of revenue you gain from it. As this is one of the vital calculations in marketing, we’ll focus on its purpose and explain how you can analyze the marketing ROI for your company. The Importance of ROI in Marketing Marketing professionals and business owners, in general, rely on data-driven evaluations to help them decide how to assign their marketing budgets. And that is where ROI steps in, as it allows marketers to develop a more successful strategy by using their resources more effectively. Now let’s see what the key functions and the true purpose of ROI in marketing are. Prioritizing Projects By calculating the ROI of multiple marketing campaigns, you’ll be able to see which one of them brings you the most value, and that can help you correctly prioritize campaigns to boost your company’s revenue growth. ROI will also shed light on which projects aren’t bringing enough revenue and possibly hurt your business. Once you measure the ROI of each campaign, you’ll be able to decide whether to reevaluate your marketing strategy or end some of those projects.  Selecting Future Projects Once you learn how to prioritize your current projects, it’ll be easier to find a pattern to successfully target your audience in the future. Measuring ROI in marketing will help you learn from experience and develop new strategies when choosing your future projects. Understanding Your Audience One of the greatest advantages of knowing your ROI in marketing is that it allows you to better understand your audience and its behavior. It doesn’t just give you an insight into the numbers coming from various projects; it also shows which strategies have the best impact on your audience. Once you know that, it gets much easier to decide which type of advertising to go with to draw in new clients.  To fully answer the question “Why is marketing ROI important?” we shouldn’t overlook client satisfaction. If you work in a marketing agency and your clients are other businesses, one of the most important things to keep in mind when creating a new marketing strategy is how you’ll present it to your existing and potential clients. Apart from reliable CRM, which has already become a common practice among real estate companies, brokerages, and many other businesses, incorporating the predicted ROI of your campaign into the presentation is also something that can boost your clients’ trust. Understanding Competition Knowing how to define your ROI in marketing and measure it correctly can take you a long way. However, many experienced marketers go one step further and compare their marketing ROI with that of their competitors. This helps them determine how their marketing campaigns relate to others in the industry in terms of efficiency. Studying the business strategies of your competitors who have a higher ROI percentage can give you an idea how to improve your own business. Better Budget Allocation The ultimate goal of understanding ROI in marketing is better budget allocation. Marketing budgets are always lower than you’d like them to be, so learning how to use the funds you do have at your disposal wisely is essential. To achieve better results, you need to know which projects require less investment but bring more revenue. How To Calculate ROI in Marketing The easiest way to determine your marketing ROI is to compare your revenue to your marketing expenses.  One of the simplest equations for calculating ROI is: (Revenue − Investment) / Investment If, for example, you invest $10,000 in a particular project, and generate $20,000 from it, your ROI formula will look like this:  ($20,000 − $10,000) / $10,000 = 1 To calculate your marketing ROI percentage, you should multiply this final number by 100. In this case, your marketing ROI would be 100%.  There are a few things to keep in mind when calculating your marketing ROI. Here, we’ll go over each in more detail. Set a Time Frame One of the crucial things when determining your marketing ROI is to set an appropriate time frame for data gathering. If you wish to see if your latest marketing campaign was a success, you need to allow enough time for it to reach your clients before looking for a return on your investments. Also, be consistent and use data from the same business cycle. Measure the Marketing Cost and Sales Growth Now that you know the meaning of ROI in marketing and its importance, your next step should be to collect all the relevant financial data about your marketing project. If you need to calculate an ROI and have a large amount of data to process, seek help from the bookkeepers and accountants. Consider keeping a marketing record where you could enter all your ROI calculations to gain insight into which factors influence your marketing ROI the most. What Is a Good Marketing ROI?  Marketing ROIs are usually expressed in ratios. What is a good ROI ratio in marketing? You should aim for a 5:1 ratio at least. Anything below a 2:1 ratio is considered unprofitable; anything below 1:1 is negative ROI, while an ROI ratio above 5:1 is deemed to be strong for most businesses.  When calculating your ROI, you should factor in all the marketing costs your campaign will incur, including: Pay-per-click spend Media spend Content production costs Outside marketing and advertising agency fees Make sure you don’t overlook anything because understating your costs will result in an incorrectly calculated and unrealistic ROI.  Marketing ROI Examples and Strategies Now that you’re familiar with some basic reference values, let’s go through a couple of practical examples.  Pay-per-Click Campaigns PPC is an advertising model in which you pay a certain provider to promote your ad based on the number of user clicks on your ad, whether or not it leads to a sale. The ROI formula can help you track your ad performance and manage your PPC campaigns. For example, according to some PPC stats, Google search ads have an average ROI of 200% - for each dollar invested, marketers gain $2. Video Marketing For what else is ROI in marketing used for? For assessing the profitability of video marketing campaigns. Although video marketing can be pretty expensive and time-consuming, video marketing statistics indicate that 88% of marketers are satisfied with their social media video marketing ROI. Email Marketing Even though many think sending emails is outdated, it’s still one of the key marketing tools. Recent statistics show that email marketing is the most effective way to promote your business. This type of marketing brings $40 back for every $1 spent, so it comes as no surprise that many marketers see it as their number-one tool for revenue generation. Paid Social Media Promotions  We already know the importance and numerous benefits of ROI in marketing. Now let’s see what it can tell you about the effectiveness of your social media promotions. Suppose your company targets an audience that regularly uses social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. In that case, you might think about boosting your posts to get promoted on the newsfeeds of your targeted audience. Tracking the ROI of your campaign can help you see if this strategy works for you and determine the types of posts that lead to the revenue increase. If you look at social media marketing stats, you’ll notice that 94% of marketers use Facebook in their marketing campaigns. This isn’t surprising as Facebook is the biggest social media platform, with about 2.89 billion monthly active users. The Bottom Line Understanding ROI in marketing is a vital part of any marketing campaign. And even though calculating it might get complicated, it comes with great benefits. It enables you to gain a better insight into your marketing strategies, how they need to be tweaked, and determine your future marketing goals. Your marketing decisions and marketing budget should be based on fresh, verified, and detailed data - only then will you be able to calculate your ROI properly, adjust your business strategy, and ultimately, improve revenue growth.

By Milja September 24,2021

If you’re into sales or run a small-business company, you already know how difficult it might be to keep track of everything. Most small-business companies are using some form of CRM to help them keep on top of things and increase sales, but there are also some tactics that you can start implementing on your own. Cross-selling and upselling are the key strategies that can help grow your revenue by boosting the average order value. We will start this article by explaining what each of these terms actually means before discussing how cross-selling vs. upselling works.  Cross-selling definition and purpose Cross-selling is the strategy of offering customers additional items related to their initial purchase. By implementing this strategy, companies encourage customers to spend more money by purchasing additional items that complement their original purchase. In most cases, cross-selling includes products that users would buy anyway. As people sometimes tend to forget those items, it is beneficial for both sides to point them in the right direction. They will get all they need, and you will get your sales boosted. What is upselling? Upselling encourages customers to spend more money by purchasing a more expensive or upgraded version of their initial purchase. To apply the upsell, a salesperson needs to suggest an upgrade or persuade a customer to purchase add-ons. Upselling increases the average order value and helps customers get even more satisfied with their purchase.  The difference between cross-selling and upselling Now that we know what both of these terms stand for let's summarize their differences. Here is one of the upselling vs. cross-selling examples we have all experienced. When you’re at your local fast food buying a cheeseburger, the salesperson will always offer to add some fries with that. That is a clear example of a cross-sell, and it’s a win-win situation cause who would say no to fries? If they offer to supersize your meal instead, and you agree, you have just become a “victim” of an upsell.  How to successfully cross-sell and upsell There are a few things you should know if you wish to master the art of cross-selling and upselling. Learn all about your product. The most important thing to do before you start implementing cross-selling and upselling strategies is to get familiar with the product you’re offering. Make sure to look into all of your products and all of their features well to know how those products fit together. By combining two wrong products, you can turn the customer off instead of convincing them to purchase more.  Get to know your audience. Try to collect as much information about your customers as you can. Real estate companies use CRM to easily keep track of amenities a property might have to ensure they’re presenting the customer with the best option possible. Collecting demographic and psychographic information about your customers and paying close attention to their feedback will make place for the new cross-selling and upselling opportunities. In the long run, these tactics can help you enhance customer satisfaction, which is crucial for running any successful business. Keep things simple. Offering too many products might be overwhelming for the customers, and it can create unnecessary confusion. You should always strive to build a long-term relationship with the customers and target a few items that would provide a clear benefit for them. Offer loyalty perks. Based on your business model, you should try to establish a loyalty scheme for regular customers. Customers who buy more should enjoy some loyalty offerings and get rewarded for their commitment to your store. Do follow-ups. Although there is a clear distinction between upselling vs. cross-selling, you can find the opportunity to implement both of these selling techniques after the customer has already made their purchase. You can achieve this by doing a follow-up after each successful sale to ensure they are happy with the purchase, and if they are, you can easily suggest appropriate upsell or cross-sell products. Cross-selling and upselling in eCommerce eCommerce is probably the best environment for cross-selling and upselling. According to eCommerce stats, online retail shops generated 14.34 billion visits in March 2020. These numbers show how the shopping trends have changed over the years. Learning how to make the best out of the new trends is vital, as there are multiple benefits of cross-selling and upselling to consider. eCommerce gives you a great opportunity for cross-selling and upselling because you have access to customer data and their shopping history, which can help you come up with the targeted offers. It’s also great as you can insert different cross-sell and upsell products throughout the shopping process or in the post-purchase confirmation email.

By Milja September 24,2021

Both demand generation and lead generation are highly valuable marketing strategies that businesses need to employ in order to generate new leads and boost their customer base. In other words, a lead generation effort cannot be effective without a demand generation component.   As such, the demand generation vs. lead generation comparison can sometimes get a little confusing. But even though these two strategies work towards the same goal, they are fundamentally different. In a nutshell, demand generation involves activities that build awareness about your service or product, whereas its counterpart is tasked with turning that interest into leads.  In an effort to dispel some of the confusion, our guide delves deeper into the main characteristics of both strategies.   What Is Demand Generation? Demand generation or demand gen is the process of getting the public interested in your company’s products and/or services. The idea is to develop a targeted marketing program that drives awareness of what your business is offering and draws visitors to your website. Most people think that this comes down solely to improving the visibility of your content on different social media channels. However, a big part of demand generation is helping your target audience identify problems and then offering your service as the solution. For example, a demand generation strategy targeting small business owners who are uncomfortable with the idea of being their own bookkeeper will highlight the importance of focusing on growing one’s business while passing off this ‘confusing’ and ‘overwhelming’ task to bookkeeping service providers.   Demand generation, or rather awareness, is on top of every sales funnel, followed by lead generation strategies. Think about it as the starting point of a consumer’s journey through the sales funnel. Demand generation content comes in a variety of forms, including influencer posts that show how effective your services are or sharing free tools and articles. It’s important to note that B2B demand generation content is non-gated, meaning that your audience doesn’t need to provide personal information in order to engage with it.   What Is Lead Generation?  Unlike demand gen, which focuses on calling attention to the need for your product/service,  lead generation activities seek to convert your audience into leads. If implemented properly, the combination of lead generation and demand generation will bring in new clients and boost your consumer base.  Lead generation is built on demand gen marketing strategies. If your company has a successful demand generation program, the big pool of potential prospects is then directed to the lead generation team that will nurture them into leads. Lead generation relies on strategies that include collecting names and contact details from the audience that show some interest in the company’s services.  The contact creation process in the case of lead generation marketing involves free webinars and tutorials, product guides, whitepapers, ebooks, free trials, and other content that visitors can get access to if they disclose their personal details.  The Difference Between Demand Gen vs. Lead Gen  A B2B marketing strategy that blends demand gen and lead gen components enables the company’s sales team to convert more leads into prospective buyers and thus increase revenue. But if your business uses both strategies without knowing the purpose of each, you’ll probably end up with a poor audience pool. Even though demand gen and lead gen are similar processes and work hand in hand, businesses must acknowledge the clear distinction between the two in order to implement a successful funnel strategy.   In the lead generation vs demand generation comparison, the key difference comes down to the content being used. When it comes to demand generation, the purpose of the content is to generate brand awareness and capture an audience interested in the company’s products and services. The content created for lead generation is lead-oriented, and its purpose is to turn the audience into leads.  Simply put, demand generation produces content that is focused on demand, while lead generation produces content that’s focused on collecting information about leads.  Another key difference between demand generation vs lead generation is the marketing funnel and the way targeting is used in both cases. The most important thing to identify is the distinction between people who don’t know about your products or services and those familiar with your brand.   Demand generation is not about creating content that will reach as many people as possible but creating brand awareness and reaching those who actually might be interested in your products and services, and thus, most likely to become leads.  In the demand creation vs lead generation comparison, content promotion is also different. Demand generation programs don’t pay for sharing content with people who are familiar with the brand. Once you have a base of people who know about your products and services, lead generation programs enter the fray.  Bottom Line  If you want to run a successful marketing campaign, both demand gen and lead gen strategies must be incorporated. It’s pointless to drive the right traffic to your site if you don’t have the necessary tools for lead conversions and following up with prospective clients. And although these two components work towards the same objective, it’s important to remember that they play uniquely distinct roles in the sales process.

By Danica Jovic September 23,2021

In an era where information sources are abundant, and competition is extreme, it’s becoming complicated for companies in any field to reach, track, and engage with potential clients. Traditional email blasts used to be enough to attract customers a decade or two ago. Nowadays, however, businesses need to implement smart lead generation strategies to attract potential customers. But what is lead generation, and how effective is it really? As a marketing technique that focuses on stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service with the aim of developing a sales pipeline, lead generation allows companies to nurture contacts until they’re ready to make a purchase. No matter if you run a B2B company or a B2C company, you’ll find lead generation beneficial. It helps increase brand awareness, build relationships, and ultimately close important business deals.  Lead generation marketing is important for real estate, eCommerce, and many other businesses, and email marketing is still one of the most effective digital marketing channels. Gathering potential customers’ contact info allows the company to market to them later, even if they do not make a purchase immediately. In online marketing, acquiring leads typically involves collecting a site visitor’s contact information (called a “lead”) via a web form. Before we dive deeper into explaining the benefits of implementing lead gen strategies and describing the process itself, let’s start by defining what a lead is and talking about different types of leads. What Is a Lead? In the context of sales and marketing, a person who indicates interest in a company's product or service is considered a lead. From customer referrals to digital marketing efforts, there’s a wide variety of sources that leads can come from. Whether they come through offline or online lead generation channels, leads usually learn about a business or organization after opening communication by themselves instead of receiving a random cold call from someone who purchased their contact information. This is generally done by submitting personal details while looking for a quote, trial, or subscription to a product or service. Still, given that people have different preferences and needs, not every contact is a lead. Many businesses make the mistake of marketing their products and services to a broad audience when they should instead focus on those individuals who have already shown interest in what the company has to offer.  Finding a New Business Lead Let's say an individual takes an online survey to learn about accounting and bookkeeping for a small business. A few days later, they receive an email from the accounting software provider who created the survey to generate leads. The information the accounting software company gathers about the prospective customers helps it personalize that opening communication to address their specific problems and challenges - and not waste time calling individuals who aren't interested in this type of business service. This process is a lot less intrusive than it would be if the accounting software company just got in touch with you out of the blue with no knowledge of whether you even run a business.   Leads are part of the lifecycle that consumers follow when they move on from the visitor to the customer stage. Still, not all leads are created equal. One of the most crucial lead generation tips we can give you is to determine whether your leads are “qualified”. So, what are qualified leads, you may wonder. Also referred to as quality leads, these are contacts who have taken a step showing they are considering a purchase. While some leads may be ready to do so right away, others may be taking a little more time to research their options.  Assuring the quality of leads you find using lead gen tools is essential. Sending the wrong message at the wrong time can waste your time and resources while ruining the relationship with a prospective customer. Here’s an overview of several different types of qualified leads: Marketing qualified leads: A marketing qualified lead, or MQL for short, is a contact who’s engaged with the efforts of a company’s marketing team but still isn’t ready for a sales call. Marketing leads are contacts who, for example, have stumbled upon your landing page and filled out a form to receive a downloadable guide.  Sales qualified leads: Contacts who have taken actions that show immediate interest in becoming paying customers are referred to as sales qualified leads or SQLs. A contact that fills out a form inquiring about a product or a service is an example of a SQL.  Product qualified leads: A product qualified lead (PQL) is a contact who has tested out a free or a limited version of your product. After signing up for a free trial, PQLs get in touch with your sales team to learn more about the features which are only available to paying customers. Service qualified leads: Lastly, service qualified leads have an active interest in your offerings as they already use the products or services and pay for them. These types of leads are customers who get in touch with a service representative with a request to upgrade their current subscription. Lead Generation and Inbound Marketing So, what is inbound marketing, and how is lead generation related to it? Inbound marketing is a type of marketing strategy that aims to attract customers by creating valuable content tailored to them, thus encouraging individuals to engage with the company’s brand actively. In contrast with outbound marketing which interrupts the audience with content they may or may not be interested in, inbound marketing offers solutions to problems your prospective customers already have. Implementing an inbound marketing strategy typically involves creating digital resources or content marketing materials such as newsletters, ebooks, blog posts, and social media posts that offer value to potential customers. Most inbound marketing efforts aim to raise awareness, build trust, and manage the relationship between customers and your brand. Although closely related, lead generation techniques and inbound marketing aren’t the same. In fact, lead generation is a part of a broader marketing strategy. While the process of creating leads helps bring more interested people to your company, inbound marketing efforts aim to nurture those prospective clients and turn them into paying customers that will eventually come back for more. In short, a synchronized implementation of the two practices ensures a sustainable approach to digital marketing. The Importance of Lead Generation Strategies When an individual shows interest in your company’s offerings without getting contacted first, the steps they take towards making a purchase seem more natural to them. After all, you’ve just helped them fulfill a need or solve a problem. On the other hand, if people show no interest in the products or services you provide yet you still try to convert them into customers, they may feel like they are being forced to spend their money on something they don’t need. This could ultimately hurt your brand’s reputation, which is far worse than losing a couple of leads. Using inbound lead generation techniques to find your target audience helps ensure that your brand is matched with the right customers in the right markets. Here’s an overview of some additional lead generation benefits : Increased awareness: Lead generation can be beneficial when it comes to building brand awareness and reputation.  Collecting prospect information: Another advantage of this practice is that it can gather vital marketing information from prospects. Being aware of your customers’ needs, wants, and preferences can prove invaluable when it comes to adjusting your product or service to suit your audience. Brand loyalty: A strong lead generation strategy can assist you in building larger communities of like-minded customers, thus improving overall customer loyalty. The Process of Lead Generation  Now that we’ve pointed out the importance of lead generation and explained how it fits into a company’s inbound marketing strategy, it’s time to walk through the actual process of generating leads online: First, a visitor discovers your business through your website, blog, social media page, or another social media channel.  In the next step of the lead generation process, the potential customer clicks on your call-to-action (CTA), which can be in the form of an image, button, or message that encourages website visitors to engage with your brand. After that, the visitor will be taken to a landing page - a web page designed to capture lead information in exchange for an offer (an ebook, a course, etc.) that visitors must perceive as valuable enough to submit their personal information in exchange. Once on the landing page, your prospective client takes the final step of filling out a form in exchange for the offer. That’s it - as long as you’re following the lead-capture form best practices, you should have a new lead in your CRM system. The process of generating leads is quite straightforward. Still, if you want to make sure that your efforts are rewarded with guaranteed success, here are a few more pieces of advice we suggest you follow:  Know your target audience: You won’t be able to target and market your product effectively unless you make sure to define your audience first. Skip this step, and you’ll find it much more difficult to engage with potential customers.  Provide value to users: As a part of an inbound marketing strategy, business lead generation is all about attracting potential clients to your company. To achieve that, you must be able to offer something valuable and helpful to them - free of charge. Depending on your target audience, options may include everything from free trials to freemium subscriptions, blog posts, and white papers. Define your lead magnet: Take some time to figure out what types of content or free products resonate the most with your target audience. Conduct A/B testing and make sure to experiment as much as you can with different lead magnets. Don’t forget to ask for feedback. After gathering all the needed information, focus on developing content that appeals to your target audience the most to improve your lead generation campaign. Develop relationships using newsletters: Once potential customers decide to share their contact information with you, remember to use that data wisely. Use email marketing to keep prospective customers aware of your brand and entice them to convert to paying clients. It is also an excellent tool for nurturing existing customer relationships. Be present on social media: Similarly to email marketing, you can use social media marketing strategies to your advantage. Not only will your presence on social media make it more difficult for a potential customer to forget about your brand, but it will also allow you to connect and engage with your target audience in real-time.  Common Problems Lead Generating Practices Can Solve By now, you’re probably aware that a simple batch and blast approach to advertising doesn’t appeal to most customers. However, having a solid lead generation system in place can help you navigate the complexities of finding prospective clients in today’s crowded market. Let’s take a look at a few common problems the concept of lead generation can help solve. Problem: You need to generate a high volume of leads.  Solution: What is lead generation good for? Generating lots of leads, of course. The great thing about it is that you can use this practice just as effectively if you’re just starting out or an experienced marketer with a thriving business. If you’re at the beginning, a lead generation program can result in increased brand awareness, improved relationships with your audience, higher quality leads, and, ultimately, more sales. If you’re looking to optimize an existing inbound marketing strategy, we suggest reevaluating your audience profiles, buyer journey roadmap, marketing tactics, and communication channels.  When developing a lead generation network, make sure to keep your goals, challenges, and customer concerns in mind at all times. That way, you’ll be able to create and deliver content that solves your target audience’s problems. Problem: You don’t know how to generate higher-quality leads.  Solution: There are several ways to explain why your sales team is struggling to convert leads into customers. Your sales and marketing teams should work together on planning lead generation strategies and agree on what constitutes a qualified lead. If the sales team approaches prospective clients too soon, they may feel put off. When it comes to sales lead generation, lead quality is of utmost importance, so we advise patience. Problem: You’ve figured out how to bring in leads but don’t know what to do next.  Solution: The act of generating customer leads is just one part of lead generation. Once you bring these contacts in, you must use lead scoring and nurturing to qualify leads before your sales team can step in and do their job. In other words, the best way to generate leads is to let your prospective buyers gather some information about your products or services on their own first.  Problem: Your lead generation program isn’t bringing results anymore.  Solution: If your lead generation efforts have yet to catch up to the age of the self-directed buyer, it’s time to rethink the whole strategy. Statistics reveal that companies using CRM successfully improve their sales by 29%. Why are we mentioning this? Let’s say you’re a real estate agent who uses a CRM software solution to collect and track buyer and seller data. Did you know that your CRM tool can be very useful as a sales lead generator? The insights these programs provide can help you choose the most effective way to nurture your leads. Focus on increasing the brand visibility of your brokerage but also look to capture leads’ interest with informational content. You can focus on topics such as home staging, applying for a mortgage, relocating to a different part of the county, and more.

By Milica Milenkovic September 24,2021

Recent from Small Business Stats & Facts

Women account for 50.8% of the US population, hold 57% of all undergraduate degrees, and approximately 60% of all master’s degrees. And even though they hold about 52% of all management-level jobs, American women cannot keep pace with men in terms of representation when it comes to top leadership roles.  As male vs. female CEO statistics show, it’s the profit and loss roles or P&L responsibilities such as leading a brand, unit, or division, that set executives on the track to becoming a CEO. On the other hand, women who advance into C-suites - the “chief” jobs in companies - typically take on the roles such as head of human resources, legal, or administration. Although all of these functions are extremely important, the line of work they focus on doesn’t involve profit-generating responsibilities, which rarely makes them a path to running a company. Why does the percentage of CEOs that are female remain low in all parts of the world? There isn’t a simple answer to this question. Several studies have shown that it’s the fusion of work-life constraints, early professional trade-offs, and firmly established attitudes towards women in power and the skills and traits that make a good leader that can explain why the careers of equally ambitious and capable men and women often take such different turns. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting findings. Male vs Female CEO Statistics - Editor’s Choice Female CEOs are running 41 Fortune 500 companies. There are two Black women among the Fortune 500 CEOs. Women made up only 5% of the CEOs appointed in 2020 globally. At the CEO level, men outnumber women by approximately 17 to one.  59% of male employees aspire to become CEOs versus 40% of women. 77% of women say the biggest obstacle to gender equity at the workplace is the lack of information on how to advance. Between 2015 and 2020, the share of women in senior vice president roles in the US increased from 23% to 28%. (McKinsey & Company) Over the same period, the percentage of women in the C-suite went up from 17% to 21%. All women, especially those of color, remained significantly outnumbered in senior management positions. However, prior to the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the representation of female workers in corporate America was slowly trending in the right direction.  According to 2020 statistics on female CEOs in the United States, 21% of C-suite members were women.  (McKinsey & Company)  Based on the survey results published by McKinsey & Company, there’s a leaky pipeline for women in leadership. In 2020, female workers accounted for 47% of entry-level positions, 38% of management roles, and 33% senior management/director roles. Women were entrusted with under one third (29%) of all vice president positions in American organizations. For every 100 men who got promoted to a managerial role, only 85 women advanced to the same position, based on the 2020 data.  (McKinsey & Company) This gap was even larger for women of color as only 71 Latinas, and 58 Black women received a promotion. Consequently, women remained underrepresented at the managerial level holding just 38% of manager positions, while men accounted for 62%. Male vs female CEO statistics from 2020 indicate that 39% of senior-level women burned out compared to 29% of men. (McKinsey & Company) Furthermore, 36% of women felt pressured to work more, in comparison with 27% of men. At the same time, 54% of C-suite women reported that they constantly felt exhausted, and so did 41% of men in similar positions. More than 50% of women in senior leadership roles promote gender and racial equality at work, in comparison with approximately 40% of male top executives. (McKinsey & Company) Women in leadership positions are more likely than men in senior-level roles to take a public stand on racial and gender diversity and champion the advancement of employee-friendly programs and policies. Women CEOs are also more likely to sponsor and mentor other female workers. According to the results of a recent survey, 38% of women in senior-level positions currently mentor or sponsor at least one woman of color, compared to only 23% of men in the same roles.   Female CEOs are running 41 Fortune 500 companies. (Fortune, Statista) In 2021, the number of women appointed to CEO positions in America's 500 highest-grossing companies reached an all-time high. However, the new record still only translates to approximately 8% of female representation at the top of the country's largest public businesses.  On the plus side, the number of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies almost doubled in comparison with 2018 when there were 24 females leading the nation’s biggest businesses. Calls for diversity and inclusion in the highest echelons of America’s business world are starting to bear fruit as the number of female Fortune 500 chief executive officers increased for the third consecutive year. The top five biggest female-led Fortune 500 businesses as of August 2021 are CVS Health (rank four), Walgreens Boots Alliance (rank 16), General Motors (rank 22), Anthem (rank 23), and Citigroup (rank 33).  Speaking of women in leadership roles, statistics show that there are two Black women among the Fortune 500 CEOs. (Fortune) For the first time, two Black women are running Fortune 500 businesses - Roz Brewer of Walgreens Boots Alliance (rank 16) and Thasunda Brown Duckett of TIAA (rank 79). Before Duckett and Brewer started their new jobs in 2021, only one Black woman - Ursula Burns, former Xerox chief - had ever been appointed CEO at a Fortune 500 business on a permanent basis. After Burnes stepped down from the role in 2017, and, with the exception of Bed Bath & Beyond's Mary Winston, who worked as interim chief for a few months in 2019, Black female chief executive officers have been missing from the Fortune 500 list ever since. Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser is the first woman to run a major Wall Street bank. (Fortune) Fraser’s appointment marked huge progress for the financial industry. Much like Dick's Sporting Goods chief Lauren Hobart, Clorox chief Linda Rendle, new Coty CEO Sue Nabi, Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Roz Brewer, Thasunda Brown Duckett of TIAA, and CVS’s CEO Karen Lynch, Fraser took over from a male CEO. Statistics on Fortune 500 CEOs by gender reveal that there were only 37 female and 463 male chiefs leading America’s highest earning businesses in 2000. (Fortune) The number of women in CEO positions in the Fortune 500 hasn’t been growing steadily throughout the last two decades. There were 24 female chiefs in 2015, 21 women CEOs in 2016, and 32 women running Fortune 500 businesses in 2017, while that number dropped to 24 in 2018.  At the median, 16 female CEOs earned $13.6 million in 2020, in comparison to $12.6 million for the 326 men included in a study. (Equilar) According to a study published in May 2021 comparing a male CEO salary vs. a female CEO salary, women have outpaced men in total pay but remained underrepresented in executive positions. Equilar’s study indicates that Lisa Su, the chief executive officer of Advanced Micro Devices, was the highest-paid woman for the second consecutive year and the highest-paid CEO overall in 2020.  Globally, women made up only 5% of the CEOs appointed in 2020. (Heidrick & Struggles) The highest percentage of newly-appointed female CEOs was in Ireland (15%), while the lowest was in Brazil (0%). This is according to a paper that analyzed the backgrounds of chief executives leading 965 of the largest companies in 20 markets around the world. It sought to identify the skills and experience that shaped their path to the top while taking different male vs. female CEO statistics into account.  At the CEO level, men outnumber women by approximately 17 to one.  (Morningstar) According to a study that explored the gender gap in US companies, the number of male executive officers is seven times higher than the number of women holding the same positions. More than 50% of the companies analyzed didn’t have a single female on their lists of executive officers. Jackie Cook, the author of the Morningstar report, found that online retail giant Amazon didn’t have any women among its highest-paid executives as of 2020.  Women who negotiate for raises and promotions are 30% more likely to be considered as "too aggressive" or "intimidating". (Business Insider) Speaking of male managers vs. female managers, statistics reveal that women who don’t negotiate at all are 67% less likely to receive the same negative feedback. The proportion of women in senior management roles increased from 20% in 2011 to 29% in 2020, globally. (Grant Thornton) As 2019 saw a jump of 5% compared to 2018 (amounting to a total of 29%), 2020 represents a leveling off of the progress made during the previous year. This lack of movement doesn’t necessarily reflect a failure of companies to address the existing gender gap. Globally, the proportion of companies with at least one woman in senior management was 87% in 2020.  (Grant Thornton) The number of female CEOs and senior managers has risen by almost 20 percentage points over the last few years. For comparison, this figure stood at 68% in 2015 and 68% in 2017.  77% of women say the biggest obstacle to gender equity in the workplace is the lack of information on how to advance. (Working Mother Research Institute) Only 41% of female survey participants, as opposed to 64% of male respondents, said they have a network of coaches, mentors, and sponsors offering them career guidance. 37% of women versus 64% of men said that their companies provide information on career paths that lead to executive roles. (Working Mother Research Institute) Additionally, women CEO statistics indicate that 74% of female employees understand what the specific requirements are for advancing to the highest-paying roles in their companies even though they don’t receive this type of information directly.  60% of women believe they have the same opportunities to advance as anyone else at their workplace versus 74% of men.  (Working Mother Research Institute) Similarly, 65% of women express they are satisfied with the way their careers are progressing, and so do 78% of men.  Male vs female CEO stats reveal that 59% of male employees aspire to become chief executives versus 40% of women.  (Working Mother Research Institute) Of those women who aspire to become CEOs, 6% are first-level managers (as opposed to 13% of men) and 39% are executives. The same goes for 40% of men hoping to take on the role of chief executive officer.  Businesses with high representations of women in leadership roles had a 35% higher return on equity and 34% higher total shareholder return in comparison with male-dominated companies.  (Catalyst) Female vs male CEO statistics compiled by an NGO during a review of 353 Fortune 500 companies show that the differences were most apparent in facial services, consumer discretionary, and consumer staples industries.

By Milica Milenkovic September 24,2021

Recent from Knowledge Base

If you’re thinking about launching a new marketing campaign, the first thing you need to do is check whether it’ll benefit your company or not. To measure how much revenue a certain campaign will generate, marketers check its ROI. ROI is an acronym for return on investment. It’s a common concept in the business world. To give a straightforward answer to the question from the title of this article - “What is ROI in marketing?” - we can say it’s a strategy that helps determine how much money you spend on a marketing project vs. the amount of revenue you gain from it. As this is one of the vital calculations in marketing, we’ll focus on its purpose and explain how you can analyze the marketing ROI for your company. The Importance of ROI in Marketing Marketing professionals and business owners, in general, rely on data-driven evaluations to help them decide how to assign their marketing budgets. And that is where ROI steps in, as it allows marketers to develop a more successful strategy by using their resources more effectively. Now let’s see what the key functions and the true purpose of ROI in marketing are. Prioritizing Projects By calculating the ROI of multiple marketing campaigns, you’ll be able to see which one of them brings you the most value, and that can help you correctly prioritize campaigns to boost your company’s revenue growth. ROI will also shed light on which projects aren’t bringing enough revenue and possibly hurt your business. Once you measure the ROI of each campaign, you’ll be able to decide whether to reevaluate your marketing strategy or end some of those projects.  Selecting Future Projects Once you learn how to prioritize your current projects, it’ll be easier to find a pattern to successfully target your audience in the future. Measuring ROI in marketing will help you learn from experience and develop new strategies when choosing your future projects. Understanding Your Audience One of the greatest advantages of knowing your ROI in marketing is that it allows you to better understand your audience and its behavior. It doesn’t just give you an insight into the numbers coming from various projects; it also shows which strategies have the best impact on your audience. Once you know that, it gets much easier to decide which type of advertising to go with to draw in new clients.  To fully answer the question “Why is marketing ROI important?” we shouldn’t overlook client satisfaction. If you work in a marketing agency and your clients are other businesses, one of the most important things to keep in mind when creating a new marketing strategy is how you’ll present it to your existing and potential clients. Apart from reliable CRM, which has already become a common practice among real estate companies, brokerages, and many other businesses, incorporating the predicted ROI of your campaign into the presentation is also something that can boost your clients’ trust. Understanding Competition Knowing how to define your ROI in marketing and measure it correctly can take you a long way. However, many experienced marketers go one step further and compare their marketing ROI with that of their competitors. This helps them determine how their marketing campaigns relate to others in the industry in terms of efficiency. Studying the business strategies of your competitors who have a higher ROI percentage can give you an idea how to improve your own business. Better Budget Allocation The ultimate goal of understanding ROI in marketing is better budget allocation. Marketing budgets are always lower than you’d like them to be, so learning how to use the funds you do have at your disposal wisely is essential. To achieve better results, you need to know which projects require less investment but bring more revenue. How To Calculate ROI in Marketing The easiest way to determine your marketing ROI is to compare your revenue to your marketing expenses.  One of the simplest equations for calculating ROI is: (Revenue − Investment) / Investment If, for example, you invest $10,000 in a particular project, and generate $20,000 from it, your ROI formula will look like this:  ($20,000 − $10,000) / $10,000 = 1 To calculate your marketing ROI percentage, you should multiply this final number by 100. In this case, your marketing ROI would be 100%.  There are a few things to keep in mind when calculating your marketing ROI. Here, we’ll go over each in more detail. Set a Time Frame One of the crucial things when determining your marketing ROI is to set an appropriate time frame for data gathering. If you wish to see if your latest marketing campaign was a success, you need to allow enough time for it to reach your clients before looking for a return on your investments. Also, be consistent and use data from the same business cycle. Measure the Marketing Cost and Sales Growth Now that you know the meaning of ROI in marketing and its importance, your next step should be to collect all the relevant financial data about your marketing project. If you need to calculate an ROI and have a large amount of data to process, seek help from the bookkeepers and accountants. Consider keeping a marketing record where you could enter all your ROI calculations to gain insight into which factors influence your marketing ROI the most. What Is a Good Marketing ROI?  Marketing ROIs are usually expressed in ratios. What is a good ROI ratio in marketing? You should aim for a 5:1 ratio at least. Anything below a 2:1 ratio is considered unprofitable; anything below 1:1 is negative ROI, while an ROI ratio above 5:1 is deemed to be strong for most businesses.  When calculating your ROI, you should factor in all the marketing costs your campaign will incur, including: Pay-per-click spend Media spend Content production costs Outside marketing and advertising agency fees Make sure you don’t overlook anything because understating your costs will result in an incorrectly calculated and unrealistic ROI.  Marketing ROI Examples and Strategies Now that you’re familiar with some basic reference values, let’s go through a couple of practical examples.  Pay-per-Click Campaigns PPC is an advertising model in which you pay a certain provider to promote your ad based on the number of user clicks on your ad, whether or not it leads to a sale. The ROI formula can help you track your ad performance and manage your PPC campaigns. For example, according to some PPC stats, Google search ads have an average ROI of 200% - for each dollar invested, marketers gain $2. Video Marketing For what else is ROI in marketing used for? For assessing the profitability of video marketing campaigns. Although video marketing can be pretty expensive and time-consuming, video marketing statistics indicate that 88% of marketers are satisfied with their social media video marketing ROI. Email Marketing Even though many think sending emails is outdated, it’s still one of the key marketing tools. Recent statistics show that email marketing is the most effective way to promote your business. This type of marketing brings $40 back for every $1 spent, so it comes as no surprise that many marketers see it as their number-one tool for revenue generation. Paid Social Media Promotions  We already know the importance and numerous benefits of ROI in marketing. Now let’s see what it can tell you about the effectiveness of your social media promotions. Suppose your company targets an audience that regularly uses social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. In that case, you might think about boosting your posts to get promoted on the newsfeeds of your targeted audience. Tracking the ROI of your campaign can help you see if this strategy works for you and determine the types of posts that lead to the revenue increase. If you look at social media marketing stats, you’ll notice that 94% of marketers use Facebook in their marketing campaigns. This isn’t surprising as Facebook is the biggest social media platform, with about 2.89 billion monthly active users. The Bottom Line Understanding ROI in marketing is a vital part of any marketing campaign. And even though calculating it might get complicated, it comes with great benefits. It enables you to gain a better insight into your marketing strategies, how they need to be tweaked, and determine your future marketing goals. Your marketing decisions and marketing budget should be based on fresh, verified, and detailed data - only then will you be able to calculate your ROI properly, adjust your business strategy, and ultimately, improve revenue growth.

By Milja September 24,2021

If you’re into sales or run a small-business company, you already know how difficult it might be to keep track of everything. Most small-business companies are using some form of CRM to help them keep on top of things and increase sales, but there are also some tactics that you can start implementing on your own. Cross-selling and upselling are the key strategies that can help grow your revenue by boosting the average order value. We will start this article by explaining what each of these terms actually means before discussing how cross-selling vs. upselling works.  Cross-selling definition and purpose Cross-selling is the strategy of offering customers additional items related to their initial purchase. By implementing this strategy, companies encourage customers to spend more money by purchasing additional items that complement their original purchase. In most cases, cross-selling includes products that users would buy anyway. As people sometimes tend to forget those items, it is beneficial for both sides to point them in the right direction. They will get all they need, and you will get your sales boosted. What is upselling? Upselling encourages customers to spend more money by purchasing a more expensive or upgraded version of their initial purchase. To apply the upsell, a salesperson needs to suggest an upgrade or persuade a customer to purchase add-ons. Upselling increases the average order value and helps customers get even more satisfied with their purchase.  The difference between cross-selling and upselling Now that we know what both of these terms stand for let's summarize their differences. Here is one of the upselling vs. cross-selling examples we have all experienced. When you’re at your local fast food buying a cheeseburger, the salesperson will always offer to add some fries with that. That is a clear example of a cross-sell, and it’s a win-win situation cause who would say no to fries? If they offer to supersize your meal instead, and you agree, you have just become a “victim” of an upsell.  How to successfully cross-sell and upsell There are a few things you should know if you wish to master the art of cross-selling and upselling. Learn all about your product. The most important thing to do before you start implementing cross-selling and upselling strategies is to get familiar with the product you’re offering. Make sure to look into all of your products and all of their features well to know how those products fit together. By combining two wrong products, you can turn the customer off instead of convincing them to purchase more.  Get to know your audience. Try to collect as much information about your customers as you can. Real estate companies use CRM to easily keep track of amenities a property might have to ensure they’re presenting the customer with the best option possible. Collecting demographic and psychographic information about your customers and paying close attention to their feedback will make place for the new cross-selling and upselling opportunities. In the long run, these tactics can help you enhance customer satisfaction, which is crucial for running any successful business. Keep things simple. Offering too many products might be overwhelming for the customers, and it can create unnecessary confusion. You should always strive to build a long-term relationship with the customers and target a few items that would provide a clear benefit for them. Offer loyalty perks. Based on your business model, you should try to establish a loyalty scheme for regular customers. Customers who buy more should enjoy some loyalty offerings and get rewarded for their commitment to your store. Do follow-ups. Although there is a clear distinction between upselling vs. cross-selling, you can find the opportunity to implement both of these selling techniques after the customer has already made their purchase. You can achieve this by doing a follow-up after each successful sale to ensure they are happy with the purchase, and if they are, you can easily suggest appropriate upsell or cross-sell products. Cross-selling and upselling in eCommerce eCommerce is probably the best environment for cross-selling and upselling. According to eCommerce stats, online retail shops generated 14.34 billion visits in March 2020. These numbers show how the shopping trends have changed over the years. Learning how to make the best out of the new trends is vital, as there are multiple benefits of cross-selling and upselling to consider. eCommerce gives you a great opportunity for cross-selling and upselling because you have access to customer data and their shopping history, which can help you come up with the targeted offers. It’s also great as you can insert different cross-sell and upsell products throughout the shopping process or in the post-purchase confirmation email.

By Milja September 24,2021

Both demand generation and lead generation are highly valuable marketing strategies that businesses need to employ in order to generate new leads and boost their customer base. In other words, a lead generation effort cannot be effective without a demand generation component.   As such, the demand generation vs. lead generation comparison can sometimes get a little confusing. But even though these two strategies work towards the same goal, they are fundamentally different. In a nutshell, demand generation involves activities that build awareness about your service or product, whereas its counterpart is tasked with turning that interest into leads.  In an effort to dispel some of the confusion, our guide delves deeper into the main characteristics of both strategies.   What Is Demand Generation? Demand generation or demand gen is the process of getting the public interested in your company’s products and/or services. The idea is to develop a targeted marketing program that drives awareness of what your business is offering and draws visitors to your website. Most people think that this comes down solely to improving the visibility of your content on different social media channels. However, a big part of demand generation is helping your target audience identify problems and then offering your service as the solution. For example, a demand generation strategy targeting small business owners who are uncomfortable with the idea of being their own bookkeeper will highlight the importance of focusing on growing one’s business while passing off this ‘confusing’ and ‘overwhelming’ task to bookkeeping service providers.   Demand generation, or rather awareness, is on top of every sales funnel, followed by lead generation strategies. Think about it as the starting point of a consumer’s journey through the sales funnel. Demand generation content comes in a variety of forms, including influencer posts that show how effective your services are or sharing free tools and articles. It’s important to note that B2B demand generation content is non-gated, meaning that your audience doesn’t need to provide personal information in order to engage with it.   What Is Lead Generation?  Unlike demand gen, which focuses on calling attention to the need for your product/service,  lead generation activities seek to convert your audience into leads. If implemented properly, the combination of lead generation and demand generation will bring in new clients and boost your consumer base.  Lead generation is built on demand gen marketing strategies. If your company has a successful demand generation program, the big pool of potential prospects is then directed to the lead generation team that will nurture them into leads. Lead generation relies on strategies that include collecting names and contact details from the audience that show some interest in the company’s services.  The contact creation process in the case of lead generation marketing involves free webinars and tutorials, product guides, whitepapers, ebooks, free trials, and other content that visitors can get access to if they disclose their personal details.  The Difference Between Demand Gen vs. Lead Gen  A B2B marketing strategy that blends demand gen and lead gen components enables the company’s sales team to convert more leads into prospective buyers and thus increase revenue. But if your business uses both strategies without knowing the purpose of each, you’ll probably end up with a poor audience pool. Even though demand gen and lead gen are similar processes and work hand in hand, businesses must acknowledge the clear distinction between the two in order to implement a successful funnel strategy.   In the lead generation vs demand generation comparison, the key difference comes down to the content being used. When it comes to demand generation, the purpose of the content is to generate brand awareness and capture an audience interested in the company’s products and services. The content created for lead generation is lead-oriented, and its purpose is to turn the audience into leads.  Simply put, demand generation produces content that is focused on demand, while lead generation produces content that’s focused on collecting information about leads.  Another key difference between demand generation vs lead generation is the marketing funnel and the way targeting is used in both cases. The most important thing to identify is the distinction between people who don’t know about your products or services and those familiar with your brand.   Demand generation is not about creating content that will reach as many people as possible but creating brand awareness and reaching those who actually might be interested in your products and services, and thus, most likely to become leads.  In the demand creation vs lead generation comparison, content promotion is also different. Demand generation programs don’t pay for sharing content with people who are familiar with the brand. Once you have a base of people who know about your products and services, lead generation programs enter the fray.  Bottom Line  If you want to run a successful marketing campaign, both demand gen and lead gen strategies must be incorporated. It’s pointless to drive the right traffic to your site if you don’t have the necessary tools for lead conversions and following up with prospective clients. And although these two components work towards the same objective, it’s important to remember that they play uniquely distinct roles in the sales process.

By Danica Jovic September 23,2021

In an era where information sources are abundant, and competition is extreme, it’s becoming complicated for companies in any field to reach, track, and engage with potential clients. Traditional email blasts used to be enough to attract customers a decade or two ago. Nowadays, however, businesses need to implement smart lead generation strategies to attract potential customers. But what is lead generation, and how effective is it really? As a marketing technique that focuses on stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service with the aim of developing a sales pipeline, lead generation allows companies to nurture contacts until they’re ready to make a purchase. No matter if you run a B2B company or a B2C company, you’ll find lead generation beneficial. It helps increase brand awareness, build relationships, and ultimately close important business deals.  Lead generation marketing is important for real estate, eCommerce, and many other businesses, and email marketing is still one of the most effective digital marketing channels. Gathering potential customers’ contact info allows the company to market to them later, even if they do not make a purchase immediately. In online marketing, acquiring leads typically involves collecting a site visitor’s contact information (called a “lead”) via a web form. Before we dive deeper into explaining the benefits of implementing lead gen strategies and describing the process itself, let’s start by defining what a lead is and talking about different types of leads. What Is a Lead? In the context of sales and marketing, a person who indicates interest in a company's product or service is considered a lead. From customer referrals to digital marketing efforts, there’s a wide variety of sources that leads can come from. Whether they come through offline or online lead generation channels, leads usually learn about a business or organization after opening communication by themselves instead of receiving a random cold call from someone who purchased their contact information. This is generally done by submitting personal details while looking for a quote, trial, or subscription to a product or service. Still, given that people have different preferences and needs, not every contact is a lead. Many businesses make the mistake of marketing their products and services to a broad audience when they should instead focus on those individuals who have already shown interest in what the company has to offer.  Finding a New Business Lead Let's say an individual takes an online survey to learn about accounting and bookkeeping for a small business. A few days later, they receive an email from the accounting software provider who created the survey to generate leads. The information the accounting software company gathers about the prospective customers helps it personalize that opening communication to address their specific problems and challenges - and not waste time calling individuals who aren't interested in this type of business service. This process is a lot less intrusive than it would be if the accounting software company just got in touch with you out of the blue with no knowledge of whether you even run a business.   Leads are part of the lifecycle that consumers follow when they move on from the visitor to the customer stage. Still, not all leads are created equal. One of the most crucial lead generation tips we can give you is to determine whether your leads are “qualified”. So, what are qualified leads, you may wonder. Also referred to as quality leads, these are contacts who have taken a step showing they are considering a purchase. While some leads may be ready to do so right away, others may be taking a little more time to research their options.  Assuring the quality of leads you find using lead gen tools is essential. Sending the wrong message at the wrong time can waste your time and resources while ruining the relationship with a prospective customer. Here’s an overview of several different types of qualified leads: Marketing qualified leads: A marketing qualified lead, or MQL for short, is a contact who’s engaged with the efforts of a company’s marketing team but still isn’t ready for a sales call. Marketing leads are contacts who, for example, have stumbled upon your landing page and filled out a form to receive a downloadable guide.  Sales qualified leads: Contacts who have taken actions that show immediate interest in becoming paying customers are referred to as sales qualified leads or SQLs. A contact that fills out a form inquiring about a product or a service is an example of a SQL.  Product qualified leads: A product qualified lead (PQL) is a contact who has tested out a free or a limited version of your product. After signing up for a free trial, PQLs get in touch with your sales team to learn more about the features which are only available to paying customers. Service qualified leads: Lastly, service qualified leads have an active interest in your offerings as they already use the products or services and pay for them. These types of leads are customers who get in touch with a service representative with a request to upgrade their current subscription. Lead Generation and Inbound Marketing So, what is inbound marketing, and how is lead generation related to it? Inbound marketing is a type of marketing strategy that aims to attract customers by creating valuable content tailored to them, thus encouraging individuals to engage with the company’s brand actively. In contrast with outbound marketing which interrupts the audience with content they may or may not be interested in, inbound marketing offers solutions to problems your prospective customers already have. Implementing an inbound marketing strategy typically involves creating digital resources or content marketing materials such as newsletters, ebooks, blog posts, and social media posts that offer value to potential customers. Most inbound marketing efforts aim to raise awareness, build trust, and manage the relationship between customers and your brand. Although closely related, lead generation techniques and inbound marketing aren’t the same. In fact, lead generation is a part of a broader marketing strategy. While the process of creating leads helps bring more interested people to your company, inbound marketing efforts aim to nurture those prospective clients and turn them into paying customers that will eventually come back for more. In short, a synchronized implementation of the two practices ensures a sustainable approach to digital marketing. The Importance of Lead Generation Strategies When an individual shows interest in your company’s offerings without getting contacted first, the steps they take towards making a purchase seem more natural to them. After all, you’ve just helped them fulfill a need or solve a problem. On the other hand, if people show no interest in the products or services you provide yet you still try to convert them into customers, they may feel like they are being forced to spend their money on something they don’t need. This could ultimately hurt your brand’s reputation, which is far worse than losing a couple of leads. Using inbound lead generation techniques to find your target audience helps ensure that your brand is matched with the right customers in the right markets. Here’s an overview of some additional lead generation benefits : Increased awareness: Lead generation can be beneficial when it comes to building brand awareness and reputation.  Collecting prospect information: Another advantage of this practice is that it can gather vital marketing information from prospects. Being aware of your customers’ needs, wants, and preferences can prove invaluable when it comes to adjusting your product or service to suit your audience. Brand loyalty: A strong lead generation strategy can assist you in building larger communities of like-minded customers, thus improving overall customer loyalty. The Process of Lead Generation  Now that we’ve pointed out the importance of lead generation and explained how it fits into a company’s inbound marketing strategy, it’s time to walk through the actual process of generating leads online: First, a visitor discovers your business through your website, blog, social media page, or another social media channel.  In the next step of the lead generation process, the potential customer clicks on your call-to-action (CTA), which can be in the form of an image, button, or message that encourages website visitors to engage with your brand. After that, the visitor will be taken to a landing page - a web page designed to capture lead information in exchange for an offer (an ebook, a course, etc.) that visitors must perceive as valuable enough to submit their personal information in exchange. Once on the landing page, your prospective client takes the final step of filling out a form in exchange for the offer. That’s it - as long as you’re following the lead-capture form best practices, you should have a new lead in your CRM system. The process of generating leads is quite straightforward. Still, if you want to make sure that your efforts are rewarded with guaranteed success, here are a few more pieces of advice we suggest you follow:  Know your target audience: You won’t be able to target and market your product effectively unless you make sure to define your audience first. Skip this step, and you’ll find it much more difficult to engage with potential customers.  Provide value to users: As a part of an inbound marketing strategy, business lead generation is all about attracting potential clients to your company. To achieve that, you must be able to offer something valuable and helpful to them - free of charge. Depending on your target audience, options may include everything from free trials to freemium subscriptions, blog posts, and white papers. Define your lead magnet: Take some time to figure out what types of content or free products resonate the most with your target audience. Conduct A/B testing and make sure to experiment as much as you can with different lead magnets. Don’t forget to ask for feedback. After gathering all the needed information, focus on developing content that appeals to your target audience the most to improve your lead generation campaign. Develop relationships using newsletters: Once potential customers decide to share their contact information with you, remember to use that data wisely. Use email marketing to keep prospective customers aware of your brand and entice them to convert to paying clients. It is also an excellent tool for nurturing existing customer relationships. Be present on social media: Similarly to email marketing, you can use social media marketing strategies to your advantage. Not only will your presence on social media make it more difficult for a potential customer to forget about your brand, but it will also allow you to connect and engage with your target audience in real-time.  Common Problems Lead Generating Practices Can Solve By now, you’re probably aware that a simple batch and blast approach to advertising doesn’t appeal to most customers. However, having a solid lead generation system in place can help you navigate the complexities of finding prospective clients in today’s crowded market. Let’s take a look at a few common problems the concept of lead generation can help solve. Problem: You need to generate a high volume of leads.  Solution: What is lead generation good for? Generating lots of leads, of course. The great thing about it is that you can use this practice just as effectively if you’re just starting out or an experienced marketer with a thriving business. If you’re at the beginning, a lead generation program can result in increased brand awareness, improved relationships with your audience, higher quality leads, and, ultimately, more sales. If you’re looking to optimize an existing inbound marketing strategy, we suggest reevaluating your audience profiles, buyer journey roadmap, marketing tactics, and communication channels.  When developing a lead generation network, make sure to keep your goals, challenges, and customer concerns in mind at all times. That way, you’ll be able to create and deliver content that solves your target audience’s problems. Problem: You don’t know how to generate higher-quality leads.  Solution: There are several ways to explain why your sales team is struggling to convert leads into customers. Your sales and marketing teams should work together on planning lead generation strategies and agree on what constitutes a qualified lead. If the sales team approaches prospective clients too soon, they may feel put off. When it comes to sales lead generation, lead quality is of utmost importance, so we advise patience. Problem: You’ve figured out how to bring in leads but don’t know what to do next.  Solution: The act of generating customer leads is just one part of lead generation. Once you bring these contacts in, you must use lead scoring and nurturing to qualify leads before your sales team can step in and do their job. In other words, the best way to generate leads is to let your prospective buyers gather some information about your products or services on their own first.  Problem: Your lead generation program isn’t bringing results anymore.  Solution: If your lead generation efforts have yet to catch up to the age of the self-directed buyer, it’s time to rethink the whole strategy. Statistics reveal that companies using CRM successfully improve their sales by 29%. Why are we mentioning this? Let’s say you’re a real estate agent who uses a CRM software solution to collect and track buyer and seller data. Did you know that your CRM tool can be very useful as a sales lead generator? The insights these programs provide can help you choose the most effective way to nurture your leads. Focus on increasing the brand visibility of your brokerage but also look to capture leads’ interest with informational content. You can focus on topics such as home staging, applying for a mortgage, relocating to a different part of the county, and more.

By Milica Milenkovic September 24,2021