Do you have an internal marketing team? How about an internal sales and marketing team? Is your "team" or "committee" 1 person?
If you don't have anyone in house that's working on marketing your business, you're not alone. I'm always astonished at the number of decent sized companies that we work with that don't have a dedicated staff for marketing. When a company doesn't put thought into the nuts and bolts of how they get new clients, who they are, and how to best reach them, it creates a challenge for companies like ours.
Our recommendation for any business that doesn't have an in house marketing team is to put together a small team (or "committee") focused on getting marketing more formalized and front of mind in your organization. Not sure who to include on this small team? Check out #2 on this list of 10 Questions To Answer Before Starting Your Web Marketing Strategy.
It's important to think outside of the obvious choices for the list like your lead sales person. Because this team will be a new one, you'll need to have a kickoff meeting with them to get them off on the right foot. You want this meeting to go well and receive the buy-in necessary to make your teams' future efforts successful. To help make sure it's a great meeting consider the following agenda.
Inbound Marketing Meeting Agenda
All team members will be clear on the core business objectives that their efforts will support, and have a clear picture of what the future looks like with a solid web marketing strategy in place.
1 - Introductions And Overview/Why (Time/Duration: ________)
- In medium to large organizations, some of the team members may be meeting for the first time in this meeting. Make sure everyone knows everyone and their positions in the organization.
- Paint an overall picture of the environment you are currently operating in:
- Competitive landscape (online and offline)
- Overall sales projections and recent performance
- Details on current marketing efforts
- Share the big picture view of what will result from a solid inbound marketing effort and what you view as a successful outcome
- Briefly list some of the specific tactics you want to use (e.g., website, email, social media, SEO, PPC, etc...)
2 - Business Objectives You Want The Marketing Efforts To Support (Time/Duration: ________)
- If you haven't shared your company's goals for the year, 2-3 years, etc... do so now to the extent that you can.
- Be specific about goals if you can
3 - Group Discussion & Consensus List Of The Following Topics (Time/Duration: ________)
- What business are we really in from our current and future clients' perspective?
- Who isn't at the table that should be? e.g., who may have been missed for the team?
- What is the current buying criteria of our clients?
- How do we meet that criteria?
- How does that compare to our competition (unbiased answers)?
- How are we TRULY unique (everyone says we provide better service. How so?)
- How can we shift the buying criteria to be more in our favor?
- What market data (facts, data, support materials) exists or could we find to help educate our buyers about why our product/service solves their problems?
- What do our competitors do better than us? (remember, online competition may be completely different than offline)
- What are the characteristics of your best buyers? (what % of your current buyers fit into this profile?)
4 - Recap, Assignments, Due Dates, Next Meeting (Time/Duration: ________)
- At this point in the meeting you will have had quite a bit of discussion and as a byproduct come up with many ideas/questions. Recap them.
- Be sure it is VERY clear who's doing what for the next meeting (e.g., getting answer about this/that, finding current values for metrics a/b/c, etc...)
- Be sure it is VERY clear when you expect to have answers for each area, but let the team members have input on it.
- Schedule the next meeting to continue the process.
Your First Inbound Marketing Meeting Is An Important One!
Yes, that's a lot of information to go through. Yes, it's completely worth blocking off an afternoon (preferably not Friday) to go through this initial process. Remember, you want to build a vision for the team that shows a better future with these efforts. You also want to be a sponge during section 3 to get a true perspective. Don't dictate in this meeting, but guide. Good luck and keep your eye on the prize!
Editor's note: This post was originally published March 2014 and has been recently updated.