Tips to ensure your marketing communications aren’t disregarded – or worse
by Jennifer Marsnik
Whether your organization operates in the reality of lengthy sales cycles where you need to keep the process moving, or in more transactional, quicker sales requiring you to always stay top of mind among your target audience, ongoing outreach to prospective clients is a priority.
For many sales professionals, that outreach has traditionally come in the form of in-person connections. Effective sales executives often point to strong personal relationships as their keys to success; but, without handshakes and hugs, lunches and dinners, and other events to share face time with clients and prospects over the past year, sales teams have had to rely on virtual meetings and digital communications to stay connected with their target audiences.
We all were forced to adapt to new ways of working last year but pivoting from in-person events to more emails and Zoom calls hasn’t come easy to everyone. For people who rely on face-to-face connections for professional success, it’s been especially challenging, in some cases with unfortunate results.
In an article published recently by Law.com’s Legaltech News, Frank Ready reports an increase in what’s being described as “aggressive” and “demeaning” behavior being used by technology sales professionals over the past year. Sources quoted in the article point to infractions beyond an unwelcome volume of unsolicited email, but worse: Communications that are tone deaf and pressure-filled.
These are certainly not the words any business leader wants to think may be used to describe their team or their company.
What should you do if your communications aren’t hitting the right note with your target audiences? Here are a few places to start:
- Revisit your core messaging platform. Ensure the language used to describe your company’s purpose, value proposition, and competitive differentiators, is not only up to date, but still resonates with the people you’re trying to reach. Circulate the platform internally and encourage its consistent use for all communications.
- Reassess your buyer personas. What impact – temporary or permanent – did pandemic-forced changes have on your target audiences? Are your buyers the same people? Have their job responsibilities, their pain points, or their priorities changed? Update your messaging and the channels used to reach them to reflect any significant changes they’ve experienced that might impact their decision-making process.
- Validate contact lists and respect the wishes of any who have requested to opt-out of marketing emails by updating their preferences accordingly. It’s not worth risking a disgruntled email recipient who may report noncompliant outreach practices.
- Reconnect sales and marketing. Even in organizations where these departments collaborate, working remotely may have caused a disconnect between the sales executives and the marketing team, whose job it is to drive communications, support them with events and activities that generate leads, help nurture prospects through the sales funnel, and assist with longer-term client satisfaction initiatives. Make sure they’re all still rowing the boat in the same direction.
Every team member has a role, each bringing different talents, so remember use them. Don’t assume your most highly skilled sales executives are also expert copywriters. Take advantage of your marketers who focus on strategy and positioning, as well as tactical concepts, choosing words carefully to ensure communications reflect the company’s key messages in the professional, respectful tone your target audiences expect and deserve.
Follow these tips to keep your teams working together and ensure your sales and marketing communications aren’t disregarded – or worse.
About the Author
With Edge Marketing since 2007, Jennifer Marsnik specializes in helping clients develop and implement strategic plans that support their overall business goals. She lives in the Twin Cities area with her husband and two daughters, and enjoys golf and cheering on the Twins, Vikings, and U of M Gophers.