Cliché or not cliché, that is the question.
When reading blogs and participating in discussions about sales and marketing, you inevitably stumble upon some phrases that get repeated so frequently that you may be inclined to just take them at face value. I thought it would be a good exercise to examine some of those potential clichés, for lack of a better word, and talk about whether they indeed still hold true.
1. “Content is King”
What it means:
The idea is that fresh, quality content is the cornerstone of inbound marketing. The greater your content, the more leads you’ll be able to generate.
Your content is the reason why people visit your site. It’s a reflection of your brand, your products, and your services. There is nothing better you can do for SEO than to provide relevant, helpful, and original content on a regular basis. Google’s updates to their search algorithm, which weighs the “freshness factor”, signalled the direction in which search engines are going. In addition, engagement has become a mandate for B2B and B2C businesses alike. In the age of social media, your audience expects that you interact with them. Only if your content is fresh, thought-provoking, and valuable can you foster communication and engagement with your target demographic. So while you still need effective ways to promote your content, you still need a good web design and information architecture, and of course, you still need to be able to provide top notch products and services, my verdict is that yes, content is king.
2. “ABC – Always be closing”
What it means:
This quote, uttered by Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross, has been the mantra of many a sales rep. The thought behind it is that a good sales person should have a single focus: selling.
Naturally, your ultimate goal is to have a thriving business and to grow your revenue. There’s nothing wrong with that. But the days of the traditional hard sell are over. Sure, you can be a successful sales rep by pushing your prospects to sign on the dotted line, but I dare say that by focusing on establishing great relationships based on trust you see better long term results. In fact, we subscribe to our own acronym: APV – Always provide value. Whether you show your audience how to solve a specific problem, give them pointers on best practices, inspire them, or provide them with a freebie – showing your audience that you genuinely care about them and want to help them will go a long way in terms of building a relationship, which will result in quality sales and partnerships. Therefore, my verdict is “ABC” is out, “APV” is in.
3. “Inbound is in, outbound is out”
What it means:
Several inbound marketing companies have said and continue to say that outbound marketing is dead and that inbound strategies are the only way to go. The idea is that the cost per lead for inbound is exponentially lower and the sales process easier when your prospects find you, instead of you searching for and reaching out to them.
There is no doubt that inbound marketing is an incredibly effective way to grow your business. We would not be in the inbound marketing industry if we didn’t firmly believe that it’s here to stay and that it has the ability to catapult companies of all sizes and in all verticals to the next level. But don’t expect your inbound success to happen over night. It takes commitment, patience, and a willingness to be agile to fully leverage the power of inbound campaigns. In addition, focusing on inbound doesn’t mean that you should or even need to eliminate outbound strategies. The two actually complement each other quite well. My verdict: I would be suspicious of an inbound marketer who cold called me and told me that outbound is dead.
That was fun. What are some other sales and marketing cliches that we can discuss?