As a chief marketing officer, you must know the best marketing tools for selling your company’s products.

You’ll need to know when to use them, and the right mix of marketing tools required for your plan success. This is the first step in learning the tradecraft required to turn your company’s marketing strategy from a risky expense, into an investment in higher sales.

Define the best marketing methods, make use of all marketing tools

They’re usually one or more marketing methods that work quickly and well to sell a company’s product.  But these best approaches can only be found by using skillful marketing tradecraft and execution to test a variety of marketing methods.

These might include digital marketing, email marketing, landing pages, social media marketing, and content marketing. Once you find the one (sometimes two) best ways to generate sales response for your company. You must continue to test new marketing approaches and other marketing media.

Both as a means of continuing the process of building up your company’s marketing mix to increase your company sales response. And as a hedging strategy against a sudden decline in sales effectiveness of your best current marketing methods.

Marketing is a combination of different marketing campaigns. They are used in marketing media channels of trade publications, online advertising, email campaigns, trade shows, news coverage, and on the internet.

Some companies, in some markets, will spend most of their marketing dollars on direct email campaigns and trade shows. They spend less on print advertising.  And for these companies, advertising is used to reinforce the company’s main marketing email campaigns and trade show appearances.

marketing campaigns

Other companies focus their marketing efforts in support of their companies field sales force. The folks who carry most of the burden of selling the company’s products and use advertising, SEO, content marketing, sales funnels, lead nurturing campaigns, email campaigns, and other marketing tools to generate leads for their sales reps.

Some new SaaS software companies may generate most of the sales through their website visitors. For this type of company, it’s critical to drive more traffic, develop lead generation programs, and increase site conversion rates. This can be done with landing pages and type of content your target audience will consume, take action on, and share. Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a critical role in increasing website user visits.

In most cases, companies can only find the best ways to market their products by trying all ways, and then find out what works.

Developing a company’s best “marketing mix” is a result of the company’s experience in its industry, based on trial and error. Or, in well-established companies, is based on ways companies have always done it in their Industries.

Well-established companies tend to know the top trade publications in their field read by their prospects. What are their most attended trade shows, their best standard promotional mailings, and these companies become accustomed to marketing and selling their products in these ways.

Established companies usually continue to do well until they become complacent. And allow their marketing programs to become less effective in their impact and less relevant to their markets. When this happens, the company’s marketing plan becomes stagnant and unresponsive, it’s marketing deliver both soft and ineffective.

This provides the perfect opportunity for an upstart competitor. The startup can use more aggressive sales copy and more imaginative marketing techniques and delivered with faster execution. The results are to gain market share, snapping the older company out of its complacency.

You could be the chief marketing officer in this upstart competitor, or the newly hired chief marketing officer in the older, well-established company, charged with turning around the companies lagging sales. In either case, the marketing tools and techniques described in this post will help you to run effective marketing programs.

The need for fast, flexible, skillful execution is even greater for startups, in young, high-growth companies, and for new product launches established companies. Wherever marketing program must be created from scratch. You need knowledge of all the marketing tools of the trade. These must be combined with skills in their execution, develops marketing programs. Programs that generate leads and sell products.

Finding the best ways to market your company’s products

Any new marketing program begins with a three-step process:

  • Identify the best sales prospects for your company’s product or service
  • Locating these prospects wherever they are
  • Applying the best marketing tools to reach these prospects

Many companies have wasted billions of dollars in marketing expense.

Many companies have wasted billions of dollars in marketing expense.

They do this by making the wrong choice at any of these steps—or and not following them at all.

TIP: Dig into your Google Analytics and review essential metrics (visitors, sessions, page view, bounce rate, etc.)

PRO TIP: Dig into your Google Analytics and review essential metrics (visitors, sessions, page view, bounce rate, etc.)

Identifying your company’s sales prospects

As you read our blog, you will know the importance we stress by relying on your company sales reps as an invaluable source of information, advice, and direction to your work as a CMO.  They can help define your company’s best prospects.

It helps to think like a salesman who is just been given the responsibility of selling your company’s product or service. Hear the questions a salesman would typically ask when scoping out a new B2B sales assignment:

  • In what markets or industries would we find the most likely buyers of our products (target audience)?
  • Within these markets are industries, what are the types of companies who would be the most likely buyers?
  • Who are these companies, and where are they?
  • Within these companies, who would be the key person most likely to buy our product?
  • What are characteristics, such as job title, or a prior history of using or buying products similar to ours, that identifies these prospective buyers?
  • What social media platform are they on? What social media posts do the read and like?

If you’re new to your company, you can get answers to these questions as you conduct your sales rep debrief and the sales copying steps detailed in a prior post. Although there may be more than one or two best answers to the questions above.

You are looking for a consensus opinion from your company sales reps that points you to your company’s one or two best kinds of prospects. You don’t want a laundry list of all the prospects your company’s sales reps to call on. Just what will support your marketing tools and marketing plan.

marketing tools cmo

Locating your company’s sales prospects

Once these questions are answered, down to the level of identifying the likely prospects of your company’s product. The next set of questions relate specifically to your role in developing and executing marketing programs to reach these prospects:

  • What trade publications do these prospects subscribe to? What blogs do they read?
  • What trade shows in conferences do they attend each year? What trade associations and groups do they belong to?
  • What websites do these prospects linked to, or visit on a regular basis?
  • How do competitors currently market and sell their products to these prospects?
  • What other companies currently sell products, complementary to your company’s products, to these prospects?

These are the essential questions asked by an experienced chief marketing officer. The answers to these questions reveal the resources available to your marketing program, and the marketing tools required to reach these prospects.

Every newly hired chief marketing officer should spend their first week or two on the job collecting the information required to answer these questions. Once you have the information every successful chief marketing officer will carefully evaluate this information before developing their own marketing plan.

Applying the best marketing tools to reach the prospect in your company’s market

After defining your prospects, and identifying the relevant marketing media (such as trade publications, business publications, blogs, and email lists) and marketing tools used in these media to reach them. You are now ready to examine each marketing option available to you, and accessories marketing tools importance and priority in your marketing plan.

In my next two blog posts, I will outline the major marketing tools and marketing media use by trade and business-to-business marketers. How they’re used, their advantages and disadvantages, and the major issues and concerns for each.

marketing plan template

Wrap-up

You’ll need to know when to use them, and the right mix of marketing tools required for your plan success. The first step in learning your trade requires you to turn your company’s marketing campaign from a risky expense, into an investment in higher sales.

Start with asking the right questions to your sales reps. To get a feel for who your ideal prospects are,  where they are located, and where they get their information.

Give us your best tip for your marketing tools.

We’re listening.

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