For most Oil and Gas (O&G) service companies, marketing works like this. You put money into it, and if it works, you get some leads. Marketing is an ongoing expense instead of an asset. Stop spending, and you stop getting results.
Sales work much the same way. The biggest difference is it is primarily composed of people. If customers are spending somewhere and you want more sales, you either motivate your sales team a little more or hire additional sales people.
There are two common types of sales people everyone talks about – hunters and farmers. Hunters bring in new clients, and farmers get the most from existing customers. These are active sales functions.
We often overlook the third type.
Order-takers respond to requests from purchasers in the buying stage. They may already be clients who trust you or you may be selling a commodity. Order-takers don’t have to add much value to a transaction to make it happen. The key here is that we often confuse order-taking with farming.
Orders that come in without the extra effort required for hunting or farming are a bit like passive income. They are assets you’ve created through earlier sales efforts, goodwill, relationships, and delivering on your value. As long as you maintain them, the business keeps coming. Not every business is in this position.
Creating Marketing Assets
Most service companies have at least a basic website. You might also have company literature and some product brochures online and in print. These are minimalistic assets and, generally, provide little return. Most times they just reinforce the credibility of the sales teams.
Some of you may have tried generating regular online content, such as blogs or videos. You may be somewhat active in social media. The same applies to one-time SEO optimization projects. Again, results are sporadic and drop off when the activity stops.
The same goes for advertising, public relations (PR), and events. You spend, then awareness and some leads happen. You stop spending, and the results end.
These tactics either produce low-yielding assets or act as recurring expenses.
The Asset Creation Process
In the last post, I talked about ideal clients, personas, and understanding the buyer’s journey. When you shift your marketing from broad to highly targeted educational pieces, you increase the likelihood of creating ongoing engagement with a prospect.
These educational pieces are valuable enough that prospects are willing to exchange some basic contact information for them. They could include eBooks, white papers, case studies, checklists, etc.
Then you provide free content via blogs or video blogs that drive traffic to your website. A call to action offers your educational pieces in exchange for contact information.
You then promote your content and educational pieces via social media, your email lists, etc. Ultimately, you are going to drive traffic through search as well.
The end game is to automate the response process using an integrated marketing tool and email campaigns. The key is, this is not a generic newsletter or random content. The content is highly targeted based on the persona and how they’ve interacted with your marketing assets. They will want to consume this content because they are interested.
You now have a marketing factory that generates qualified leads. If you stopped putting resources into it, you would still generate leads. Just like a real factory, you have to spend time maintaining and improving it.
It becomes a growing asset.
Turbo Charged Sales and Marketing
At its final stage of elegance, the marketing and sales automation and teams work seamlessly together.
As prospects interact with your marketing assets, they start accumulating points. When they hit a trigger, your sales team can reach out to them directly to assist them through the rest of the buying process.
The sales team can see every interaction with the marketing tools within their CRM. So, that first call is not cold. It is well informed and ready to be helpful.
What Will You Change?
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” ~ Unknown (often incorrectly attributed to Albert Einstein)
This meme is only true if nothing external is impacting your business. The other reality is, in a changing world, you SHOULD expect a change in results if you keep doing the same thing over and over. In most cases, that change is not good for your business. Your competitors will replace you.
I don’t want to give the impression that pulling off a full-fledged, integrated marketing and sales system is easy or trivial. But, it is now within the budget of most small to medium service companies.
Now you know what is possible. What will you do next?