Financially Responsible Marketing

Building a marketing relationship is a wooing process

Posted by on Nov 21, 2017

You’ll need expertise, energy, discipline – and good timing


Decades before the dawn of the digital world, sales managers focused on keeping the sales funnel full. Continually bringing new prospects to the top of the funnel, with the qualified leads moving through to a closed sale.

Today, online, it’s the same story. But it’s now known as a TOFU-MOFU-BOFU world, and the steps to move qualified prospects on to a sale are more clearly defined and are connected to specific actions:

  • TOFU: top of the funnel – possible prospect
  • MOFU: middle of the funnel – interested but not committed
  • BOFU: bottom of the funnel – ready to purchase

This process is remarkably similar to building any relationship, business or personal.

Attracting prospects

To create opportunities, you want to find the right people. Outside of a business context, you’d go to the places you think your prospect might frequent. If you’re looking to date, it might be a bar, a baseball diamond or a dating site. For people looking to make business connections, it might be networking events or industry conferences

For a business ready to grow beyond the first stage of selling to already-known connections, you’re going to work online, using your website and social media. You’ll need to create opportunities to interact – the digital equivalent of calling or knocking on doors – to get your business, product, or service out there.

Marketing challenge

  • Need for an engaging, dynamic website
  • Using social media expertly & economically, to get the most bang for your buck

Next: TOFU

In person, you’d walk over, introduce yourself, and the two of you would have a get-to-know chat – who you are and what you do. For visitors to your website or social media outlets, the process is similar. However, the visitor is in control! Easily capable of (virtually) asking you a number of questions and then vanishing mysteriously into the night.

To make the relationship grow, the exchange of information has to be mutual. You need to offer a dynamic platform to maintain a connection. Newsletter or whitepaper signup forms, social media share and like buttons, even videos views, are just some of the ways to capture a visitor’s details.

Marketing challenge

  • Building strong landing pages to entice your visitors to download a whitepaper or watch a video
  • Building a content roster of appealing giveaways (e.g. whitepaper, tip sheet) to tempt the visitor to provide contact info, to build trust, and to help them see if there is a good fit

You hear back – MOFU

Great news – they offered up contact info! They’re interested in meeting again. Maybe you’ll take in a local game? Or get together at a downtown jazz bar, with small tables, a funky saxophonist, and low lighting. It’s your move.

And what do you do in the digital world, as a business, with this contact info?

You’ll send your new friend a tip list, or a whitepaper, or an invite to a webinar or newsletter. You’re getting to know each other. Remember, take it slow. Maybe you send each of these, one at a time; it’s a process. You may be ready to sell right now, but your prospect dictates the timing and might not jump at the first thing they receive. They’re still feeling their way around, seeing if there’s a fit.

Marketing challenge

  • To convert prospects into leads, provide them with enriched content like webinars or case studies to show how their -challenges can be solved with your solutions

BOFU: You get closer

Things are going well! You’ve talked with your new prospect on the phone, through a webinar, or in person. You have a better idea of what their issue / pain point / problem is. You may have an idea of budget and timing. You may have met other people on your prospect’s team. You may have learned, say, that your prospect’s biggest challenge is process inefficiencies, or turnover, or the low success level of IT projects. You may know what their goals are, their vision, and how you can help them get there.

You’re starting to ask the right questions, and your prospect begins to think you can work together.

Marketing challenge

  • Develop a demo or provide a comprehensive assessment of their pain points and how you’d address them to turn your lead into a qualified lead for your salespeople

You close the deal

Depending on the length of the sales cycle in your business, this can take anywhere from days to years. It’s important for your marketers and salespeople to stay in touch, keep the conversation going, and be mindful of the process your prospect needs to go through to make this decision – many people may be involved! Throughout this whole wooing process, your salesperson’s goal – rarely an easy one – is to be responsive to your lead’s needs and constraints, while maintaining momentum. And help them avoid regretting their decision!

Marketing challenge 

  • Continuing to build fresh content, to demonstrate thought leadership and maintain the connection with current and future customers

Top of the funnel to the bottom

In the personal world of building relationships, most of us don’t just muddle through on our own.   We rely on friends with similar experiences or relationship advisors for professional help to make the right moves and decisions along the journey.

Similarly, in the digital, professional world, it’s difficult to succeed without an expert partner. As just one example, PPC (pay-per-click) is simple in concept – hey, you only pay if they click on your ad! – but complex in execution. The leading experts can get you considerably more bang for your buck.

If you’re looking for marketing support today, consider the Imaginis working session. This complimentary service will help you understand where you are with your marketing today, identify your current hurdles, and provide some quick steps to help you maximize your lead generating opportunities.  You get expert advice and we get a chance to better understand your business and how we can support you.