By Caroline Bishop, VP Marketing, Web Reply
For B2B marketers, the process of delivering marketing campaigns to support quarterly sales goals is both an opportunity and a challenge. The focus on deadlines and execution usually detracts from “thinking time” — the time to take a step back, gain perspective and plan for the future. Continuing to deliver campaigns today while building a clear and concise strategy to improve effectiveness and lead quality, and to move beyond the quarterly scramble, is a constant challenge. How do we win this battle?
The answer starts with evaluating and planning your current offer content with a critical eye on the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities associated with each deliverable. Building an offer plan will enable you to leverage existing content, align high-value content with different segments and create a plan for one, two or even three quarters from now. The goal of a strong offer strategy is to identify the quality responders so sales doesn’t waste time on dead ends.
To create your own “Offer Planning Matrix,” roll up your sleeves and follow this simple four-step framework.
Step One: Prioritize - Organize and rank your existing offers by their value to the buyer. Make sure to assess the value of the content from the buyer’s perspective. We recommend using a simple ranking system such as: "Best, Good, Average, Poor." Next, weed out the low-ranking offers that fall into the “Poor” category. Then take the remaining viable offers and write a brief summary that describes the benefit of the content to the reader. Lastly, identify which target segment the offer is most appropriate for. An offer can be relevant to more than one target segment, but it may have different value to each segment.
Step Two: Place - Align your highest-value offers (Best, Good, Average) across the buy cycle for each target segment. The goal is to match each offer to the mindset of your buyers, depending upon where they are in their buy cycle. Properly mapping your offers has a direct impact on your results. If you send a Stage Three offer (such as a product demo) to a Stage One prospect (one who is still unaware of their problem), that prospect simply won’t respond -- and you'll waste time, money and an opportunity to make a good first impression. To map your offers, create a simple grid sheet with the four stages of the buyer’s mindset across the top ("Status Quo, Questioning, Committed to Change, Ready to Engage") and your segments down the side. Then take your list of prioritized offers from Step One and place the offers under each appropriate stage.
Step Three: Prepare – After Step Two, you will be able to identify offer gaps for each segment and buy stage. Once you identify the missing offer content, you can decide what content you need to develop for future programs. Get with your industry team to create a plan and budget for content development to fill the gaps. (Note: It’s common to identify limited lack of offer content for senior level titles. Most companies focus on creating great content for technical buyers or users, but they struggle with having enough high-value content for senior executives.)
Step Four: Plan - Use your “Offer Planning Matrix” to create your quarterly cadence and outline a plan for longer-term marketing programs to nurture different buyers’ mindsets.
Remember to stay informed about your new offers, and frequently update your Offer Matrix by continuously evaluating against these four steps. You’ll see the fruits of your efforts pay off in higher-quality responses, a more productive sales team, a reduction in campaign fire drills and more time to focus on marketing strategy beyond next quarter’s campaign.
To access WebReply’s offer matrix best practice worksheet, click here.
Caroline Bishop is VP Marketing at WebReply. She has more than 18 years of experience in B2B marketing, messaging strategy and demand generation. WebReply is database-marketing firm that specializes in improving its clients’ pipeline quality via reactive and adaptive individualized destination portals that deliver high value, relevant content on an ongoing basis. Contact Caroline at: email@example.com