Saturday, December 12, 2015

Success in 2016 will be due to pipeline marketing?

Smart healthcare vendors converted to pipeline marketing, and that may be the answer as to why you are losing sales and revenue.

And with solution value marketing, lead gen just doesn’t work very well.  Why may you ask? Simply put, in traditional lead generation marketing through plans, strategies and tactics create Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). In turn, the sales executives evaluate the lead to determine if they become Sales Accepted Leads (SALs).  

It’s akin to sales cold calling the difference being that marketing is driving the cold in calling. The “hook” is just using thought leadership, solution and value marketing to cast the widest possible audience in the hopes that someone will bite. Then when someone bites the marketing conversation goes something like this “Look we generated MQLs, and it only took 5 MQLs to get 1 SALs”. 
And I know because I did that too.

The measure of success is not how many MQLs were generated that became SALs for marketing, click through percentage or total touches.  The success measure is marketing’s impact on revenue and growth.  And that comes from pipeline marketing, not from lead gen marketing.

In pipeline marketing, the marketer prioritizes converting leads into revenue rather than generating leads.   Pipeline marketing is inclusive of all channels, campaigns, and activities.  Pipeline marketing is what you are doing, while content marketing, inbound marketing and growth hacking is how you do it.

The priority is on expanding the entire funnel and converting those opportunities into revenue. One uses down-funnel sales metrics as the measures of success not just the top of the funnel indicators.
The successful attributes of pipeline marketing include:

  • Complete marketing alignment with sales
  • Optimization of down-funnel sales metrics
  • Use of marketing automation tools, CRM and attribution models
  • An understanding of the customer persona, journey, and touch-points
  • A focus on content marketing, inbound marketing and growth hacking

I know it’s not just as simple as that. It takes a lot of work in changing the culture, interactions and process of an organization to successfully pipeline market.

Many will disagree with this, and some business development people I know will say marketing generates leads, period.

All I have to say is, have you looked at your financials lately? Just generating leads does not work.  You’re competitors have figured that out. Now it’s your turn.

For more topics and thought leading discussions like this, join Healthcare Marketing Leaders For Change, a LinkedIn Professional Group.

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