What Do Marketers Really Care About?

What do marketers (a.k.a. advertising buyers) really care about? While every company has distinct and individual marketing goals, there are a few major categories that most marketing goals fall under. Internet advertising salespeople need to know which challenges marketers are aiming to overcome to be effective at selling solutions to them.

So today we offer an overview of some common marketing goals and what they mean to an advertising-funded site. Moreover, we’ll look into some commonly cited goals that ought to raise your skepticism just a bit.

At the end of the day, most marketers have a product or service to sell. But marketing goals are generally a tad more specific and more tactical than simply “sell product.” That’s because the marketer has looked into the sales challenges and identified specific end user actions likely to increase sales. These desired outcomes could include:

  • Increased awareness among a particular prospect set.

  • Lead generation by compelling prospective buyers to identify themselves.
  • Increased trial or sampling of a product (test drives, free sampling, trial usage periods) to encourage eventual sales.
  • Increased perception of value (to allow for higher price points or less competitive pressure).
  • Greater reach into secondary or marginal markets or geographies.
  • Incremental reach beyond that of traditional sales channels.
  • Greater word of mouth or referral coverage from current customers.
  • Reassuring current customers to remain loyal or buy more.
  • Lowering costs for acquiring new customers.
  • Increasing the renewal buying rates among current or former buyers.
  • Decreasing the number of sales calls, or time per sales conversation required to close a sale.
  • Increasing support for any variety of sales channel partner.

And the list goes on…

Notice how specific the above list is? Can you imagine how frustrating it is for a marketer, who, having invested resources in developing a strategy to accomplish one or more of these goals, keeps hearing from ad reps promising to “increase market share” or “drive more traffic to your site”?

Are you getting a sense of why so many marketers can’t be bothered interacting with ad reps? If reps aren’t speaking their language or taking the time to understand their jobs or worry about their objectives, why should marketers waste time?

The fact is, few marketers wake up in the morning wondering which Internet sites to buy banners on. That may be part of the job, but it’s a tactic, a small detail, compared with the specific results the company has identified as important to success. Buying ad inventory can be an essential part of reaching those same marketing goals listed above, but the purchase of ad inventory is not the way the marketer thinks about the problem.

Translate your site’s ability to perform into the terms your customer is thinking about, and you will be helping to solve problems. Sell eyeballs, and you’ll be just another vendor hustling inventory to a prospect who is tired of being pitched.

Which is the role you’d rather take? Where are the greater rewards, where is the greater job satisfaction? To us, it’s pretty clear that the ad sales job gets interesting and fun only when we are solving problems and thinking like marketers. Next week, more on understanding advertiser and ad agency goals.

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