This is a guest post by Grace Frenson, who writes about business, tech, and finance for publications such as Mission Critical Magazine and Strategics360.
And just like that, face-to-face business became a thing of the past. No more flying from one end of the country to another for sales meetings. No more business lunches. No more handshaking.
As COVID-19 continues to take hold across the land, businesses are scrambling to come up with new strategies to keep going during this economic downturn. The companies that will survive are the ones that are open to new ways of attracting and connecting with potential customers. How can you do this when every major trade show has been canceled, and your company’s salespeople are quarantined at home? We propose that you switch your marketing strategy to utilize more performance-based and account-based approaches.
First, we will discuss what characterizes performance-based and account-based marketing campaigns. We will then discuss the benefits of using these marketing strategies during a pandemic (and during “normal” times as well). Finally, we will explain how to find help to implement this new, important marketing strategy for your company as soon as possible.
What Is Performance Marketing?
When you think of small businesses and medium enterprises investing in marketing, generally we are thinking of millions of dollars in the industry going towards marketing efforts. This can be tricky for a ton of businesses, as at the end of the day, the bottom line is what matters — and there is no guarantee that the cost per lead will be worth it.
That’s where performance marketing comes into the picture.
Through this marketing strategy, you are able to determine the action a user must take, and you will pay once that specific action has been completed. That means you can pay per click (PPC), pay per lead (PPL), and pay per sale (PPS), among others.
As you can imagine, this seems like a stable marketing strategy to implement if you have a sizable budget allocated to your marketing efforts for 2020.
What are the benefits of performance marketing?
- Easier to track performance.
- Low risk compared to other marketing strategies (only pay for what you get)
- Focused on return on investment, rather than stirring up general interest.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
When it comes to unique marketing strategies, affiliate marketing is probably one of the most well-known strategies that companies implement.
Of course, there is a reason for that.
Word of mouth has always been the way to go when it comes to growing your business market, and even penetrating new niche sub-markets. Affiliate marketing is just the carrot on the stick to motivate your customers to actively spread your company name and land you new customers in exchange for discounts, or financial compensation based off of a percentage of sales or leads, and so on.
Unlike other marketing strategies, this can be easily implemented, but rather hard to perfect. A few key considerations you should take into account:
- Defining your ideal affiliates.
- How to best engage with your affiliates
- The resources you will provide your affiliates to drive sales
- Determining the optimal commision package to pay affiliates.
- Making measurable assessments and progress analysis of your affiliates success.
What are the benefits of affiliate marketing?
- It’s a stable and effective marketing strategy. Affiliate marketing accounts for 15% of digital marketing revenue across all industries.
- It leads to improved reviews, and word-of-mouth boosts from your affiliate customers.
- It increases overall ROI from referred customers.
What Is Account-Based Marketing?
Simply speaking, account-based marketing campaigns are campaigns that reach out to specific customers who could benefit from your product or service. This is opposed to a traditional “blanket” approach, where you cover a wide area in hopes that someone that you have reached out to will need your product.
Account-based marketing is targeted. It’s like fishing with a spear as opposed to a net.
You may be thinking, “Wait, don’t we already do that?” You may have attended marketing planning meetings where you have identified your perfect customer. But even though you have embraced this strategy philosophically, is your marketing campaign actually targeting those specific accounts?
It’s much more complicated than one would think to target specific B2B accounts. After all, when purchases are made within a company, many people (holding different titles) are involved in the decision. When you create an account-based marketing campaign, you have to learn to appeal to each segment of the business.
While it is more complicated than you first realize to build an account-based marketing campaign, there are many benefits. Let’s discuss those now.
What are the benefits of account-based marketing?
- Encourages personal messaging.
- Speeds up the sale process.
- Can be more efficient than other marketing strategies.
- Improves the coordination between your sales and marketing team.
Performance-based and account-based marketing are going to be key business strategies in the coming months. Act now to embrace these strategies. Your business may depend upon it.
Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.