3 Common Sales Models for Consulting Firms

Posted by Russ Waddill on Feb 22, 2017 11:16:00 AM

As outsourcing and technology have become rapidly integrated into virtually every industry over the last decade, the opportunity for consulting firms in a variety of different niches has increased. Now more than ever, small and mid-size companies hire consultants to help them keep up with swiftly evolving regulations, environments, competition and technology. This continues to be a great opportunity for your consulting firm. The question is, however, are you organized to take advantage of it?

For specialized consulting firms to reach prospects, get opportunities to present their solutions, and deliver their services, firms must employ sales and marketing strategies that match current persona buying behaviors and their own human and financial resources.

While every consulting firm can be unique, here are the three most common sales models for consulting firms to consider:

  1. Partner Sales model
  2. Outsourced Sales model
  3. Specialist Sales model
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Topics: B2B Marketing Strategy

How the Adoption of HubSpot has Changed Neos Marketing

Posted by Russ Waddill on Nov 18, 2016 11:29:53 AM

In January of 2016, our small marketing agency made a big decision. We adopted HubSpot as a strategic partner.

For 11 years, Neos Marketing has been providing B2B marketing strategy, branding, and creative consulting and execution to companies in Houston. We've had a steady flow of clients and have endured a couple of economic downturns (one global financial and one Houston oil & gas) because of our flexible, scalable business model. Since our founding in 2005, Twitter was launched a year later. The first iPhone sold in 2007. In 2008, the first WordPress theme directory was launched and today 4.5% of the internet is powered by WordPress. Apple launched the first iPad in 2010. By 2015, search activity on mobile platforms surpassed desktop.

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3 Big Reasons DIY Website Builders Don't Work for B2B Websites

Posted by Russ Waddill on Nov 18, 2016 11:29:10 AM

You may be hearing a lot about Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and other do-it-yourself website builders. If you are doing research online or listening to radio and podcasts, you've probably come across their names. It is likely no surprise, since Wix.com has over 88 million websites published. Just because they are popular, however, does not mean they are right for you. After all, what do you want a website for? Most likely it is to generate awareness of your company and become easily found by your prospects. The sheer fact that Wix alone has 88 million websites on the internet means that having a Wix-built website doesn't differentiate you!

It takes more than a functional, handsome site to get noticed on the web. Here are 3 big reasons why website builders like these don't work for B2B websites if you considering just doing it yourself:

1. They are not all responsive

2. They are not less expensive once you factor in your time

3. Simply getting online isn't what it used to be

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Topics: Marketing Strategy, Website Design

Top 3 Ways Google is Changing Prospect Marketing and Lead Generation

Posted by Russ Waddill on Oct 11, 2016 11:01:26 AM

 

For several years now, we have been talking to our clients about SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing), and the role they should play in marketing and lead generation strategy. Many of those conversations, however, have resulted in blank stares, unreturned phone calls, or decisions not to pursue based on old information and perspectives.

Until now.

It appears that a confluence of information and enlightenment, combined with the realization that the stuff they have been doing for the last decade doesn’t work anymore, has resulted in business owners experiencing a shift towards a new approach in prospect marketing and generating leads for their business. Some might call it a ‘tipping point’.

A simple question might be ‘Why’? Here are 3 reasons why.


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Topics: Marketing Strategy, Website Design

5 Clear Ways To Strengthen Your Visual Identity

Posted by Robert Cook on Sep 29, 2016 8:34:00 AM

 

Your visual identity includes all of the visible elements of your brand. Color palette, uniform and authorized imagery, form and shape convey the symbolism that cannot be expressed through words. In a business brand experience, beyond the obvious documents of communications, your brand identity system should include elements such as interior and exterior architecture, signage, uniforms and vehicles.

It is old-fashioned to merely apply your logo with a hardline, regimented management style of policing the logo, color, fonts and image restrictions. All great brands periodically evaluate these areas of brand management in search of inconsistencies and potential improvements with an eye toward competitive advantage. And with today’s rates of disruption in markets, innovation and advances in technology, flexibility is one of the most important characteristics your brand management process can embrace. Your visual identity guide should cover these areas:

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Topics: Branding | Visual Identity, Website Design

What is a Content Map and How to Get Started (Part 2)

Posted by Frank Todaro on Sep 27, 2016 11:03:49 AM

Once you get past the generalities around what a content map is and how it works, you come face to face with just how big the task can get if you are not careful. As I mentioned before, I think it is wise to begin modestly and let things evolve over time. Otherwise, you can get overwhelmed and accomplish little.

I suggest starting with a simple map with just three stages in the buyer journey. Now this obviously is simplification - most B2B marketing and sales professionals would acknowledge that there six or more discrete steps. Nonetheless, three stages will let me illustrate the concept and you can expand on it to for your particular needs.

The three stages we will start with are:

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Topics: B2B Marketing Strategy, Website Design, Inbound Marketing

What is a Content Map and How to Get Started (Part 1)

Posted by Frank Todaro on Sep 21, 2016 8:00:00 AM

A content map is an integral part of any B2B inbound marketing campaign. At least that is what the pros say...and it seems right. After all, if you want to create great content that attracts and engages visitors to your website, you need to plan what content you want to create and publish.

The problem comes with the 'map' part--just what is a 'map' in this context? Before I answer that question, please note that I am writing as an experienced explorer in this wilderness, not necessarily as an expert guide. So much conversation around inbound marketing is written as if the writer is an expert bestowing his or her wisdom from on high. I freely admit to not being an expert, but rather a seasoned professional who has tried different approaches, had some success and some failures, and tried to learn from them both.

So back to our question. A map is something you use to prepare for a journey and to keep track of your progress as you go. A really good map will help you get back on the trail when you get lost.

Let's look at two issues while we answer 'what is a content map?'.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

4 Essential Skills for Today's Marketing Strategists

Posted by Russ Waddill on Sep 15, 2016 3:23:17 PM

 

The profession of marketing is being disrupted to levels not seen in decades...maybe ever. As with many professions and industries, technology is a key driver of that disruption, and obviously it is not just happening in marketing. Robots and automation are replacing engineers, manufacturing workers, and even some white-collar jobs like surgeons, lawyers, and financial analysts.  A 2013 report published by Oxford University stated that as many as 47% of U.S. jobs could be taken over by computers or automation by 2033. The good news is that there are ways to insulate yourself and your profession from technology disruption. Skills that include cleverness, negotiation, human interraction, and strategy development are all insulators from disruption.

So with that in mind, here are some essential skills that today's marketing strategists need to develop:

  • Embrace Technology
  • Understand C-Level Strategy
  • Master Customer Buying Process
  • Produce ROI
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Topics: B2B Marketing Strategy, Inbound Marketing

7 Things To Never Expect From Your Strategic Marketing Consulting Firm

Posted by Russ Waddill on Sep 7, 2016 5:09:13 PM

For consulting engagements to be successful, there has to be a problem faced by the client that can be diminished or solved by the consulting firm. There should also be a set of skills and expertise that are more efficiently acquired through a 3rd party engagement, rather than a client company trying to hire, train, and develop those skills and expertise in-house. Lastly, there needs to be an implied level of trust between the parties, as well as a commitment to the process so that both firms can accomplish their intended goals.

In an environment where technology is disrupting both B2B and B2C buying behaviors and decision-making paradigms, strategic marketing consulting certainly qualifies as a field where problems exist within certain companies to execute at a high level with existing resources in-house. For those companies that turn to a marketing agency or strategic marketing consulting firm to bridge the gap, there are some pitfalls to avoid.

Here are 7 things that you should never expect from that engagement:

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Topics: B2B Marketing Strategy, Strategic Marketing Planning, Inbound Marketing

What Is A Brand Identity System?

Posted by Robert Cook on Sep 6, 2016 11:00:00 AM

 

What is a Brand Identity System?

Brand is a term tossed about so much that it has lost it’s core meaning. But in the context of identity it has a very specific meaning. Brand Identity is how your customer perceives and experiences your business offering through our human senses. The emotions you hope to engage with your promise are affected through visual communication. Most likely, your brand will be seen before experienced.

In the B2B world, visual engagement is often the beginning of the experience. If one comes across the name of your business in content, or if a peer refers or recommends a potential customer to your company, odds are they will go to your website to check you out and develop an impression from there.

The best way to manage that process is with a Brand Identity System.

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Topics: Branding | Visual Identity