Tag Archives: marketing planning

Key Elements of a Successful TREW Marketing Plan What to Include in Your Marketing Planning Process to Reach Your Goals

June 16, 2015

Summer is here and many are dreaming about a cool drink while sitting in the sand. Here at TREW, we are ramping up for the marketing planning season. Most companies run on a fiscal schedule that is based on the calendar year so marketing planning kicks off at the end of summer into the fall. Some dread the process of building their yearly plan because it can be very overwhelming. Here are some key elements TREW puts into every marketing plan we build for our clients and why they are imperative to be successful.


Let’s start with some common mistakes many marketing departments make when doing their yearly planning:

  • Last year’s Plan 2.0: Many marketing departments pull out last year’s plan and tweak it slightly. This is the safe bet because you don’t rock the boat or need approval for new ideas. You still need to think through this process to determine if this is the best plan for your marketing.
  • Sales Teams Wish List: This is the marketing department that is only “reactive”. Sales needs something so they get it done. Trade shows, brochures, even ad placements are all dictated by sales without looking at the business and setting goals.
  • Follow the leader: Our competition is doing it so we need to do it too! It is imperative to keep your competition in your sights but just doing what they do won’t get you the win. You need to get ahead and be the leader not the follower.

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How to Manage Time Spent on Marketing The difference between efficiency and productivity

May 19, 2015

Would you say it is better to be efficient, or to be productive with your marketing efforts?

What is the difference?

Efficiency is the extent to which time, effort, or cost is well-used for an intended task or function.

Productivity is a measure of total efficiency of a production process and as such the objective to be maximized in production process.

I recently read an excerpt from the book, Two Awesome Hours by Josh David, Ph.D.

In his book, he discusses the difference between efficiency and productivity. He gives the example of Benjamin Franklin whom we all know as a brilliant inventor and hard-working man. According to Dr. David’s research, Benjamin Franklin was also a very productive person. He spent many hours in his personal life connecting with others and using those personal connections as career benefits. Benjamin Franklin rested when his body needed to rest so he could be at work in optimal shape. And when he was working, Franklin used his time wisely and exhibited ultimate productivity when he was on the job. Continue reading

Inspired Content Marketing: Brainstorming New Topics for Modern Digital Media

April 21, 2015

People think content marketing – creating and sharing media in order to acquire and retain customers – is just what good marketers have done before. But the truth is, the media landscape has changed. And thus, content marketing has changed. Mostly.

From the beginning of marketing, campaigns were successful when they offered something, and helped potential customers do their jobs better. The best campaigns connect buyers via their pain points to solutions rather than simply pitching a sale. Those practices still remain true. They are what good marketers have always done before, and what good marketers continue to do now.

However, digital media has changed the possibilities for content marketing.


Doug Kessler Content Marketing Institute

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Always Be Conversing: How to Gather Useful Customer Feedback

April 16, 2015



How often do you directly ask your customers for feedback on your products, services, marketing materials, and sales processes? If the answer is anything but “frequently,” you may need to step up your customer feedback game.

A 2014 study by MarketingSherpa, which you can download for free here, showed that the most successful companies were the ones who frequently asked their customers for feedback. Their data analysts based the companies’ success scores on factors such as financial metrics, site design and performance, customer orientation, internal resources and capabilities, and competitive comparisons.

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Mobilegeddon 2015: The Biggest Change yet to Google’s Search Algorithm

April 14, 2015

Google is known for making changes to it’s search algorithm from time to time, and now it’s making news with yet another algorithm change, known across the industry as “Mobilegeddon,” that will prove to have a big impact on SEO for websites. This time around, unfortunately, the change will negatively affect more than 40% of websites that are not prepared with a mobile-friendly design.

We know its a big deal when it makes national morning news

CBS Morning News reports "... it is a blow to small businesses whose sites have traditional layouts."

CBS News reports “… it is a blow to small businesses whose sites have traditional layouts.”

Google states that, “starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

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Website Analytics: Understanding the relationship between traffic and behavior

Posted March 10, 2015

B2B marketers struggle to prove the direct ROI of marketing activities, especially in the new age of digital marketing, including content and inbound marketing. Setting goals and measuring marketing practices is the key to proving the ROI. The latter piece is still a struggle among B2B marketers in the technical space due to the daunting task of translating website analytics from sources like Google Analytics and HubSpot. Most end up simply basing the success of their website on a standalone measurement, which can be misleading.

In order to accurately and effectively translate website analytics, it is important to understand what the measurements are, how to read each measurement, and how measurements support and affect one another.

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Boost Sales Email Performance with Research Data and Marketing Support

March 3, 2015

When it comes to following up on qualified leads, most companies begin with custom direct emails sent from a salesperson, with the goal of securing a first meeting. This critical communication step, often combined with phone call outreach, either ushers the contact further down the path to purchase, or casts them back up the funnel to marketing for more nurturing.

Using the latest research on sales email performance, data gleaned from your own marketing automation or CRM tool, and support from marketing, you have the opportunity to greatly improve your pipeline conversion rate and blow away your sales quota.

Here are a few tips for boosting sales email performance:

  1. Three times is a charm

While response rates for the first email are the highest, research shows that there are decent returns on emails #2 and #3, making it worth the extra effort. Test out different approaches in subsequent emails, such as a new subject line or offer, and try sending your email at a different day/time.

How marketing can help: share data on company marketing email performance and recommend improvements in sales email execution.

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Thurs. Trends: Are Your Customers a Mystery? Study Shows You’re Not Alone

It’s likely you know what type of customers are most valuable to your business, and that you have a solid understanding of their purchasing history and patterns. However, you may lack confidence in your knowledge of additional valuable information, such as these customers’ demographics, their path to purchase, product preferences, and how they go about getting their information.

If this is a struggle for you or your marketing team, you’re not alone. A recent study by Regalix shows that less than half of B2B marketers surveyed feel they have a strong knowledge of their customers’ demographic makeup, product/service preferences, wants/needs/likes/interests, journey to purchase, and channel preferences.

chart from study showing B2B marketers confidence in their knowledge of their target audience

Source: State of B2B Customer Experience, 2104, Regalix

This gap in knowledge can directly hamper your marketing efforts, as these data points directly inform your marketing plans, including what content you publish, what key messages (such as pain points, benefits, etc.) you lead with for each audience, and what channels you prioritize to reach specific segments.

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Thurs. Trends: B2B Content Marketing Leads to a Successful Marketing Strategy

As B2B marketers, we have begun to see the positive effects of incorporating B2B content marketing into our marketing efforts. Although we have started to see the positive impact that B2B content marketing can have in our marketing strategy, we are still struggling to obtain concrete ROI results.

Results from a study found in Interactive Advertising Bureau, 93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing within their marketing strategy.  (Source: 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends-North America: Content Marketing Institue/MarketingProfs)

2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs

2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs

The majority of B2B marketers have confirmed that they utilize content marketing within their marketing strategy, even if they’re not seeing the explicit overall effectiveness of their content marketing.

Proving the Effectiveness of B2B Content Marketing Through Documentation

According to the Content Marketing Institute eBook, The Essentials of a Documented Content Marketing Strategy: 36 Questions to AnswerB2B marketers who document their content marketing are far more likely to consider their content marketing efforts as being effective. Due to the documentation process, these B2B marketers also consider their content marketing to be less challenging.

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Thurs Trends: B2B Inbound Marketing Hacks for 2015 You Should Start Now

As the end of the year sneaks up on us, marketers are beginning to think of their 2015 marketing plans and budgets – or at least, they should be. Here are a few important strategies to have in place before 2015 planning even begins:

Figure out your marketing-sales alignment, and test it now.
One of the biggest challenges every marketer faces is agreeing with their sales team on what success looks like. According to The State of Inbound in 2014, by HubSpot, “more than 25% of respondents reported that their organizations’ sales teams practice inbound.” And with technology following suit – its important that sales and marketing teams have a service-level-agreement (SLA) in place and set realistic goals.

Read the “4 Steps to Tear Down the Wall between Marketing and Sales” by TREW Marketing

An SLA between marketing and sales teams is a ‘hand-shake’ between the two teams, and includes measurable strategies for both parties, achievable goals, and realistic timelines for those goals. Putting together an SLA now, and measuring the success of both teams, gives you knowledge you’ll need to tweak your SLA for 2015.

Caption: According to HubSpot, “Inbound budgets positively correlate to the presence of a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between marketing and sales.”

Caption: According to HubSpot, “Inbound budgets positively correlate to the presence of a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between marketing and sales.”

Marry your B2B inbound and outbound strategies – and TEST THEM NOW!
B2B marketers have slowly let go of some outbound tactics to make room for inbound ones, yet some outbound tactics are here to stay – at least for the next few years.

For example, B2B marketers still find tradeshows to be a good source of leads, when executed properly. No longer can you simply scan 300 badges of your booth visitors and expect all 300 to answer the phone and sign up for a product demo and quote. You have to utilize the outbound interaction in outbound tactics to improve upon your inbound ones.

Outbound tactics, such as PR and tradeshows, can be complemented with inbound techniques such as social media, email automation, and good content and SEO on your blog and website. And either can come first. For example, sometimes a press release is the first thing people see; so don’t forget SEO best practices for finding later. Add content to your site to compliment the press release so when they get to your site, they have something else to read – and convert on. Incorporating inbound techniques with your outbound tactics are essential in completing the full circle of modern marketing.

Decide on your preferred marketing technology… and train on it!
In a study by Ascend2 featured in MarketingProfs, 45% of marketers agree that the lack of an effective marketing strategy hinders the success of marketing automation, and 40% agree that the lack of skilled end users is another challenge in marketing automation success. Marketing automation makes inbound marketing efficient and effective, but most importantly, provides marketers with the metrics needed to improve upon the ongoing strategy.

Read TREW’s post “Thurs. Trends: Marketing Automation Trends among B2B Marketers

Caption: Ascend2 Marketing Automation Survey, “What are the MOST CHALLENGING OBSTACLES to marketing automation success?”

Caption: Ascend2 Marketing Automation Survey, “What are the MOST CHALLENGING OBSTACLES to marketing automation success?”

According to MarketingProfs, the two most important factors in choosing a marketing automation platform is analytics/reporting and ease of use. Which means you not only need to strategize the use of the tool, but you need to train your team how to use it! Take the time to make sure both marketing and sales users understand the full scope of what the tool can do, as well as what your company uses it for.

Caption: Ascend2 Marketing Automation Survey, "What are the MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS in choosing a marketing automation system?"

Caption: Ascend2 Marketing Automation Survey, “What are the MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS in choosing a marketing automation system?”

In conclusion
Planning your B2B marketing strategy for 2015 shouldn’t put a hold on Q4 of 2014. Use this time to test and train on the new marketing strategy you are implementing in January – and stay ahead of the trends.

Redesigning your website for 2015?
Download TREW’s eBook, Smart Marketing for Engineers: Website Redesign”

Interested in a Marketing Plan for 2015? See the bundles offered by TREW Marketing.

Related Reading:
Top 3 B2B Marketing Trends to Prioritize for 2015 – http://www.trewmarketing.com/smartmarketingblog/marketing-trends/2015-marketing-trends-to-prioritize/