Today's marketing and sales playbook has changed. In fact, at TMC we now call it a cookbook. Gone are the days of cold-calling and interrupting your prospects. Today's marketers and salespeople need to work smarter, leveraging online tools and social media in order to engage with buyers on their own time. ABC (Always Be Closing) is now ABH (Always Be Helping). Just this morning, I read another article about how the digital marketing medium is outpacing traditional advertising like TV, etc.
But let's face it, it's a difficult time for marketers. There is a technology gap that exists. Today's marketers need to be content creators, storytellers. They need to be analytical and measure KPIs like website traffic to leads ratios. Marketers didn't get to take courses in college to teach them these things. The digital marketer is learning on the job.
Foodservice manufacturers, reps, and dealers have choices to make; invest in their own marketing and sales academy to teach today's skills, OR partner with an agency who can help bridge the gap.
Below are three reasons why manufacturer businesses should partner with a HubSpot Certified Agency like TMC Digital Media:
1) Proven Methodology, Education, and Training
Before I knew much about inbound marketing in 2012, I spent some time consulting at a creative design agency and, separately, a web development company. What did they have in common after Google's Penguin and Panda hit? Generating leads. Their leads dried up. They asked me, "How do we get new business in the door?" like I had the magic bullet or something. That's when I learned of HubSpot, the company that founded Inbound Marketing and is the leader in marketing automation software. Yes, they are a software company at the core, but this is a company that walks the walk. They are educators. From my experience, their mission is to help agencies and their clients succeed.
Success to HubSpot is results - measurable, track-able ROI of marketing and sales efforts. With over 10,000 customers, rest assured they have proven how inbound marketing works to generate results in the B2B world. And what's cool about that is they pass along that knowledge to their agency partners. Certified agency partners go through rigorous annual training and must take (and pass) tests.
Look, I can't say I use much of anything I learned from college tests from some 20 years ago, but what I [and our team] have learned over the past few years is applied on a daily basis with HubSpot. The challenge? The digital marketing world is constantly changing and evolving. Rest assured, our team is staying current with our skills and knowledge to best deliver for our clients. Passing that knowledge to our clients is a big part of it.
2) Efficiency and Transparency
How many online tools are you using today as a marketer? 5? 10? Think about it. Just on the digital side of the house, you have to manage:
- Social media platforms
- Website content - blogs and landing pages
- SEO tools like Yoast
- Google Analytics
- Email platform (Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc.)
Before becoming a HubSpot Agency Partner, we were slow - blogging in WordPress, jumping from social platforms, using Hootsuite or SproutSocial, emailing out of MailChimp, looking at Google Analytics (and having to add filter after filter to get real numbers), content calendaring in spreadsheets, etc. Those of you that have been with TMC for 3+ years certainly can appreciate how efficient we have become by using an all-in-one HubSpot software tool. Streamlining campaign creation [blog posts, landing pages, thank you pages, emails, social publishing] and tracking of these campaigns is essential to generating results as quickly as possible.
HubSpot also provides transparency to our clients. We encourage and train our clients to use HubSpot as much or as little as they want, but the goal is for everyone from marketing directors to sales executives to CXOs to have complete visibility into our marketing campaigns, content, and results. It is with this transparency that we truly become 'partners' and work together on all cylinders to reach our clients' goals.
3) Personalization Backed With Data
The online experience is tricky and complex. There are a lot of websites and marketers doing it wrong, spamming us, alienating us. But it doesn't have to be this way for those that want to do it right and respect the buyer. Personalization of website content, emails, and social media builds trust in buyers. Whether they are just starting to get to know you or they are a long-time customer, the visitor is a person. They have a name. You should get to know them when they are engaging with you online.
HubSpot Agency Partners know the value of personalizing content based on where the buyer is in their 'buyer's journey'. Is a visitor really ready to buy yet? How do you know unless you ask them, track it, and have the workflow created with the right email content and context?
Look, inbound marketing is not rocket science, but it is science. Backed by numbers - data. The data has to be tracked and stored in a tool that gives visibility into the visitor's journey. Oh, and why do sales people love HubSpot Agency Partners? Because they receive the most qualified leads and data in real-time so they can close more business and make more money.