The Smith Report - Operational Playbooks

Small Business Marketing – 10 Process Tips

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The vast majority of US enterprises (98%) employ less than 100 people. Specifically for that audience I’ve listed 10 quick tips to help you tell your story better across your marketing and sales teams.

10 Process Tips
  1. Break your collateral down into manageable sections: web site, blog, white papers (1000 word plus e-books or articles), product brochures, case studies, press releases, videos, competitive cheat sheets, technical data sheets, business results sheets, gallery images, product/service announcements and email campaigns.
  2. For each piece of collateral build a process for change. Whether you are editing an old piece of collateral or building a brand new piece, establish the editor, the writer, the story, the scope, the evidence and the expected action from the reader. Involve sales professionals in this process to ensure the narrative is real.
  3. In general product related collateral talks too much about you instead of the outcomes achievable by the prospect using your product or service.
  4. In general case studies are written as flat, boring texts of bragging rights. Inform the reader by explaining the difficulty of the challenge, the smart solution you deployed and the results achieved.
  5. Across all collateral check to see if your core values and story are shining through. You decide what those need to be but be consistent. Specifically that who you really are, your specific niche is spelled out.
  6. Be careful not to focus on one area excessively at the cost of collateral needed by the sales team in the field. Classically the web site is in constant flux and yet ROI % documents that would be helpful are never created. Bring balance to content production by forcing a weekly timetable on all collateral. Better to create one piece of content in most areas mentioned in 1 above than dozens of new web pages at the same time (unless of course you are launching a brand new web site).
  7. Walk through your sales process with your team and identify back up material they would find useful. This could include images of specific configurations of your product, sector case studies to support credibility, list of clients by sector or How To videos on YouTube.
  8. Look for an opportunity in all collateral to demonstrate how your products are used in the marketplace and the results they generate.
  9. Educate your sales team on your editorial calendar to allow them to tell their prospects of helpful new articles or white papers coming soon.
  10. Facilitate a regular feedback loop between marketing and sales on the performance of all marketing material including the web site. Share with the sales team the key metrics including unique page views, bounce rates, form fillers, trade show results, blog rankings, keyword rankings and total lead generation numbers. And of course explain the significance of the metrics.
By aligning your collateral with your big story. By bringing your sales team inside your process you will create compelling stories that resonate with your market. It’s not about the volume of collateral. It’s about the quality and relevance of it.
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About the Author

Ian founded The Portfolio Partnership (TPP) in 2010. TPP is an operational consultancy focused on scaling private businesses safely. He believes his resume of building 4 previous businesses from publishing, investment banking to software in Europe and the States gives him a unique set of skills and a sense of humor. He remains a competitive masters track & field athlete and in 2012 was ranked #2 indoors in the world for his age at 400m.

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  1. business owner tips  October 9, 2013

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