Value propositions should be experienced. In the content-centric marketing model, the three classes of content that facilitate the scientist’s own buying journey are also intended to influence them to adopt the company’s way of thinking. This requires translating the value proposition into an engineered experience for audiences.
In this issue of Linus Report, we leverage the principles of content-centric marketing and describe the planning needed to build robust marketing campaign strategies.
The primary objective of marketing is to systematically condition the market to generate opportunities.
If opportunity generation is the ultimate objective of marketing, then marketers first need to create a roadmap for arriving at this destination.
The first step in creating any opportunity is to systematically define the appropriate milestones that will guide marketers toward the goal. As illustrated in Figure 1, a pro forma funnel is an appropriate tool for focusing on each milestone by winnowing down from the audience size, to leads, to nurture/cultivation, to opportunity, and finally to sales.
Figure 1: Each step in the pro forma funnel should be attached to a specific, quantifiable milestone that pushes the overall campaign forward toward the ultimate objective.
This step requires marketers to explore and commit to a definite path for supporting the sales target, and apply performance metrics to determine how to achieve these targets. Without this necessary initial analysis, marketing campaigns may be designed with incorrect focus on the wrong milestones and yield suboptimal results.
The pro forma funnel begins with estimating the number of decision-makers that constitute the target audience. In contrast to market size, which is typically expressed in dollars, the audience size is a census and represents an extrinsic factor in the funnel. Managers should then address the funnel in reverse chronological order, starting from sales and moving upward, by answering the following questions:
- How many customers do we want?
- What is the success rate of sales?
- What education will prime these opportunities?
- How many decision-makers within the audience do we have to get to know? How many must we reach?
An example will better illustrate this process. Figure 2 demonstrates the pro forma funnel for a fictitious product line.
Figure 2: The pro forma funnel calculation illustrates the targets for each milestone of the campaign, and whether the numbers are constants or variables in the revenue-generation equation.
These numbers bear explanation. Working backwards from the goal, the revenue targets need to be translated into the required number of new customers to derive the sales target.
Next, determining the sales success rate—the historical conversion of qualified opportunities by the sales team—as a percentage of qualified opportunities, will allow marketers to calculate how many opportunities are required to meet the desired sales goal. As the example in Figure 2 illustrates, based on the sales success rate of 33%, the marketing team determined that to meet the target of 500 new customers, they would need to generate 1,500 qualified opportunities. However, the most difficult part of developing the pro forma funnel is determining how to cultivate the opportunities.