With 60% to 70% of the buyer’s journey and decision making process now over before potential data center clients are ready to engage, it’s critical for your firm to get found by the right decision makers, in the right places, at the right time, and in the right context.
In this blog post, excerpted from the eBook “Inbound Marketing for Colocation Data Centers,” you’ll learn how to set client acquisition and revenue-generation goals, and how to explain those goals to other stakeholders in your data center company.
Design an End-to-End Solution That Obsessively Focuses on Your SMART Goals
If you’re like most CEOs of data centers, you’ve certainly heard about and may even know a little about writing blog posts, optimizing website pages for search engines, and building a following on social media channels.
And that’s where the problem starts: Just knowing a little bit is no longer good enough when so much of the traditional marketing playbook, sales process, and buyer’s journey has been disrupted by mobile devices, search and social going mainstream, consumerization of IT, and the Cloud.
For your data center company to be successful with Inbound marketing, your marketing and sales plan must cover the entire Inbound Methodology:
- Attract (strangers into engaged website visitors)
- Convert (engaged website visitors into highly-qualified leads)
- Close (highly-qualified leads into new clients/tenants)
- Delight (clients/tenants into promoters and volunteer evangelists) ‒ to attract more good-fit strangers, so you can repeat the cycle
If all your data center is doing is some piecemeal search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click advertising (PPC), or social media marketing (SMM), and completely neglecting the rest of the funnel, you simply will not be successful. Why? Because you’re only addressing a very small portion of today’s modern buyer’s journey.
Today, evaluators and decision makers for data center services have a heck of a lot more control over the buyer’s journey than you and your sales team do. This presents a lot of challenges. But this lack of control also presents a huge opportunity if your firm can get found early enough during the sales process to establish trusted advisor status.
The way to achieve this? Creating and promoting highly remarkable content.
Inbound Marketing through the Lens of Major League Baseball
Let’s look at this disruption and sea change in terms very relatable to baseball fans.
So the New York Yankees fly up to Fenway Park to play the Boston Red Sox.
Just before the national anthem is sung at game time, as expected, the Red Sox have all 25 players on their active roster ready to play, either sitting in the dugout or available to pitch out of the bullpen. However, no one really knows why the Yankees only brought along a starting pitcher and a catcher.
So, what do you think is going to happen in that game -- both offensively and defensively?
The Yankees won’t stand a chance as it only has one player who can swing a baseball bat well and only two players who can take the field, compared to the nine Red Sox players on the field. And as the game goes on, and the likelihood of fatigue or injuries increases, what then?
Without a plan for convert, close, and delight, there’s no way to scale lead generation. There’s no predictable way to nurture leads into clients. And there’s no systematic way to delight clients for long-term retention and social media evangelism.
Along the same lines, all data center marketing and sales activities must focus on goals -- and not just any goals, SMART goals that are:
- Time bound
Often, marketing and sales directors at data center companies kick around vague goals like generating more leads or growing revenue. But frankly, those vague, unaccountable goals aren’t going to cut it.
In order to analyze return on investment (ROI), your goals must be super-specific.
- Generate 1,000 marketing qualified leads (MQLs) by the end of this calendar year
- Generate $1.2 million of new monthly recurring revenue (MRR) by a specific date
- Increase average revenue per client from $200,000 to $800,000
If you’ve been using the same marketing and sales playbook at your data center for the past several years – and it hasn’t seen a significant refresh recently – there’s a good chance that your marketing and sales process no longer resonates with the ideal clients that you crave most.
The rise and mainstream adoption of mobile, search, social, and cloud technologies has been a complete game-changer that empowers potential clients to do massive amounts of research before they’re ready to talk with you.
Because of this, as much as 60% to 90% of their mind may already be made up by the time you hear from a prospect. So it’s critical to find a way to get found in these early stage searches that help frame buying criteria.
By establishing SMART goals that focus your data center company’s growth plan, you’ll take a very important first step to being able to attract, convert, close, and delight your ideal clients.
What are the most important SMART goals that you’re focusing on? Let us know your take in the Comments box below.
And to learn how to attract, convert, close, and delight your ideal clients and tenants for your colocation data center company, be sure to download your free copy of the eBook on “Inbound Marketing for Colocation Data Centers.”