Check out episode 4 of On The Same Landing Page, where Jason Morton takes us through how to begin your Inbound Marketing strategy.

This week, we speak to Jason Morton, Marketing Manager of Web Presence about the best way to start an Inbound Marketing campaign and how to utilise an agency during the planning stages..

Full episode available on Spotify here.

Astra: Today’s episode is going to look a little bit different than usual. Instead of having a guest on or client on, we are going to be interviewing our very own Marketing Manager, Jason Morton, about our inbound sales process.

Jason: I just did the creepiest wave.

Astra: A little bit about us, we’re Web Presence. We’re an Inbound Marketing agency in Macclesfield. Jason. I’ve introduced you as the Marketing Manager.

What’s an Inbound agency?

Jason: Was that in the script? Erm.. an Inbound agency?

Well, we focus on the whole thing. So from the moment that your customer is a stranger or your target audience, they’re strangers to your business. They just know they’ve got a bit of a problem solving that you help people solve.

We are trying to make sure that your message is in front of them and nurturing them and educating them from that point right the way through to them being a customer and then even using them as customers to get more customers.

Astra: So right the way down the funnel basically.

Jason: So, yeah that’s what an Inbound agency does. They look at the from the ads to the SEO, how you get your traffic to the email nurturing, how you nurture them further to NPS surveys and thereafter.

Astra: Thanks for joining us thats the end of the episode today guys. No.

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I’m just kidding so a little bit of a brief overview of Inbound Marketing, obviously it’s far more complex. So we’re going to dive into that a little bit. What sort of problems might people have you’ve touched on it there.

Astra: People come to us with a problem and we give them a solution. So what might be the problem?

Jason: Mostly, I think the most common story we get is that someone new has joined the business. That’s probably the key trigger for us in terms of a new project to work on.

Either they’ve got a new budget, they’re tired of their old agency or someone new has joined the business so that new person could be the person we work with, the Marketing Manager or Director, or it could be someone above that.

It could be the CEO or new Director. They feel like they need a new change and a new direction in terms of how they generate leads and grow the business and they’re asked therefore to get some support on that and get it from the experts and people that have done it a few times over.

Astra: So what we do is basically help them with that and help them figure out what their customer’s trigger points are.

Jason: What is it that gets them to need their services?

So what might be some of the internal problems, though, like yeah the Director might want a shake up. Yeah, there might be a Marketing Manager. What specific business issues can we help assist with?

Well, it kind of falls into about six stages. So first of all, your strategy, how you put together your plan so that you might be looking at your customer user journey, mapping that out, working out where your resources are, working out who your personas are, who your audience is, that your messaging needs to target, how you attract people. So how you get people in at the beginning. So that could be through SEO, through paid ads, through organic social, whatever it may be.

How you then convert them into people who are interested, that are leads and can be nurtured from that point.

How you close that business, how your sales team is supported by a marketing team to turn them into customers.

And then how you – I’m working out how far into the six I am – and then how you report on all of that. So, do you have analytical review set up so that you’re actually looking at the data and working out how you can attribute the success of those campaigns to the channels that bought them there.

I’m hoping I got six done if I didn’t I’ll put them in the notes after.

Astra: We’ll leave all of this in.

So what other than the issues that people have to deal with, why might someone seek out to work with an agency, particularly a Marketing Manager, for example.

Someone to hold accountable for to keep you accountable is one. A bit like maybe when you go to the gym and you might want a personal trainer, they can keep a stock of everything that you’re doing, why you’re doing it.

Question maybe when you’re feeling low, what it is that might be driving that and how you can measure success and what is success to you? It’s just having someone else there that’s kind of

I don’t want to say holding your hand because that sounds patronising, but is it the same is in the struggle with you because it is a bit of a struggle.

It starts off with all this energy.

Everyone’s excited.

You just got them, knew about you.

Whatever it is, is a lot of action, a lot of energy and then it very quickly becomes daunting because everything you do is seen by the whole company.

So if it’s you that’s the new person in the company, everything you do is going to be kind of questioned and criticised by… I mean, everyone’s got an opinion on the website, right?

Everyone’s got an opinion on the marketing and the messages, whether you’ve been trained in that or not or experiencing that. So it helps to have us on board because we can kind of lead back to data and best practice that’s been shared across other industries or even in the same industry.

I think it just gives you a little bit more to say.

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Astra: Pedigree.

Jason: I have never used that word… for a little bit more to your decision making processes based in size of office and kind of maybe opinion or ego.

Astra: Yeah, and more often than not, these big problems that people come with, they come off like a shopping list, right?

Jason: And it’s all it can be a bit daunting, a bit scary. Like you say, all eyes are on you. So how do we interpret their brief, if you like, and break it down, make it manageable, achievable, like what’s our planning strategy?

Yeah, I guess what I’d say, what this is going to be is a little bit of a cheat code for how to get the most out of an agency without even paying them any money.

This is all we need to do is go through that first stage.

When you’re new at the beginning of a project whereby you need to generate leads on the business, we need to grow, go to the agency and go through a discovery phase.

What you do… what you’ll get from that is a breakdown what you want.

You [the client] have a list of things that you want and with good reason that you’ve had internal discussions around.

What we [the agency] will do, if you have a good agency, is break down the reasons why.

Why do you want that particular thing?

Is it because you saw it on another competitor’s website?

Is it because you saw it or they saw it on a website that you really like it?

Or is it because you actually think that that will do the job?

Or are there other reasons too?

It is a revenue based reason to the decisions you’re making.

And what we would get from that is we will strip it right back down to the reasons for everything that are going into your marketing strategy.

And really try to base it back to your user experience and what your users are looking for and what kind of things can attract them and get them to join your business.

Astra: As a customer.

Jason: Yeah, I think this is about kind of making sensible decisions that are informed by and not just driven on ego.

So that it’s not so easy for people to say that their mate’s told them they’ve done something and that’s worked for them.

Astra: And we’re kind of like not talking them off the cliff edge, but just making them look at how high up they are and that kind of thing.

Jason: I think there’s a lot of times that I’ve been in rooms where people have said, you know my daughter loves this and it’s all about this at the moment or the reference people that really don’t fit their target customer or we, we should get on Tik Tok.

Astra: This is the most common one at the moment, right?

Jason: God, we hear that so much. And sometimes it’s like and it’s like to try and experiment new things. But a lot of the times, why are you asking that question?

Have you asked the question to experiment?

Because you know that it could work and you’ve got a really good kind of feeling and maybe your customers have been asking about it and that kind of thing, which is, I think, really good.

Or are you doing it because it feels like something new and exciting and it just makes the tedium of your job a little bit more interesting and you feel like you’re part of the movement that maybe works for your sons and daughters, but it doesn’t work if you’re selling building materials.

Astra: So we talked a little bit about inbound marketing strategy and the discovery.

What’s the difference between an inbound strategy versus a collection of campaigns?

Because so many people out there will run some digital ads around Christmas because they want a boost in sales or do a little bit of cigarettes, block this, that kind of thing.

So what’s the difference between those services together and an inbound strategy?

Jason: This is going to sound like I planned it, but I just I’ve extended an old analogy that I use.

It is like going to the doctors and you tell them you’re not feeling good and they ask you why.

What’s happened and how? How is it that you feel this way and when did it start and when did it finish?

And have you had this before?

And is it any of this in your family?

And they really understand the problem first before they go into the solution.

And that’s really what the kind of discovery process is like.

And the difference between inbound is that we give you treatment for the whole thing and we take into consideration every ailment you’ve had before and your whole diet and your whole kind of journey through that, as opposed to just selling you some throat lozenges.

You can tell I’ve got a great throat and so basically we just ask you, why do you think a landing page is needed?

Why do you think the website should look like this?

Is it because of your competitors?

Is it because you love other websites that are based on different audiences?

So why do you think the things you think? And they might be really valid…

They probably are. Most of the time they are.

There may also be some noise in there that actually makes it not the best approach and is based on maybe ego or opinion or it’s based on just your mates thoughts or if they’ve read a WebMD article and they’re telling you.

I’ve got these symptoms of this condition.

Or you’ve watched a podcast and heard it from that. So that’s and that’s fine. We just want to work out the real reasons why and know what makes that.a business a successful business?

Actually, in terms of revenue, actually in terms of your audience. How do we speak to those people as opposed to just getting you traffic?

Because in the end we send you 100 people to your website.

What happens to them after?

You know, we can keep doing that, but eventually you might say to us, they’re bad leads.. they probably might be because we might not have done the work beforehand to work out what would make a good lead.

And then when a good lead comes, what keeps the good lead interested?

And nurtures them further?

So I think that’s kind of the difference for Inbound.

It’s the whole journey as opposed to just holding a sign up in a market and saying,

“Come and buy this.”

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Astra: So we’ve touched a little bit on the discovery process and to further extend the doctor metaphor, it’s just like going to the Doctors. It takes a bit longer to get to the crux of it sometimes because they’re really getting to know, like you say, your background, your ailments, etc.

So what sort of things do we ask the discovery process?

What’s the time scale, what happens next?

What are the next steps after that, I guess, is what I’m asking you.

Jason: This isn’t you going on an NHS rant again is it?

Astra: Shhhhh, no, no if you want to see my NHS rant, follow me on Youtube.

Jason: So yeah, month one is workshop and learning.

We’re not trying to give you any solutions at this point, which can be quite frustrating, but month one is what we would do in terms of a strategy generally, but it might not work for your particular business and your audience.

So month one is learning about your business and your audience. We get your sales teams who know a hell of a lot about your customer. We ask some questions about your audience and if we can do some research, it’s even better.

But we want to know who they are who is your best customer, the one that you wish you could just duplicate them five times over and business would be sweet. Maybe they’re low maintenance, they pay on time.

Where do they live and what do they look like?

And more so, not even what they look like.

What do they do and what triggers them to buy?

Digitally speaking, we’re not like stalking people’s houses, looking at their faces kind of thing.

Astra: Yeah, yeah.

Jason: Or, you’re not, this is how we get results, Astra.

Astra: So, this is the real story.

Jason: Yeah.

That’s my point is just finding out that we’ll build up buyer personas based on that and not stuff like do they have a dog named Tilly.

We’re just finding out that in February they’re {your audience] are worried about the budget and this is what they [your audience] do to fix that problem. You know like trigger behaviours that we can perhaps help with and get your name in their face really at the right time.

We also look at the systems you’ve got. The API that we’ll need to maybe build to make sure that everything sings together and the reporting and the data is good.

And then we’ll look at that keyword research which makes sure that we can do it.

To be honest, some of these discoveries and processes will happen and we’ll work out quite quickly that we can’t actually help because the keyword research just told us that there’s so much competition in terms of SEO and PPC.

Astra: Yeah, it’s too expensive for what you’re trying to sell to target those keywords.

Jason: So you can learn from that even. And that’s fine.

We can get to that point and work out if it’s not the right fit for the service, then it’s not the right fit.

But we’ll do that research discovery phase and then in month one we do extended research into that as well.

It’s to make sure that you’re getting the right traffic and that it’s the right people that are coming, that search those keywords.

Then in month two we will start with the strategy. We’ll produce the strategy and we’ll present it to you.

We’ll talk you through it, we’ll talk you through the plan for months three, four and five.

Month three would normally be the first big campaign and content piece, which we will write ourselves if that’s the package you’ve gone for and then we’ll review it in month four.

And that kind of changes with each client as to how quickly we go and depending on the budget.

But that’s kind of the timelines.

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Astra: And you touched little bit there that like sometimes the discovery process, we get to the nitty gritty, which is a phrase that I don’t like and I can’t believe it said it, but when we get down there and that it’s not the right fit, so what is, what’s a good fit for this kind of service?

Jason: Typically speaking, if you are selling a business, a service or a product that takes anything after maybe two months to sell or you know, there’s a consideration period, maybe even 12 weeks, anything more than that…erm.. Is? Yes, two months is less than 12 weeks yes…

Basically a complex buying process in the sense that it might involve a lot of different stakeholders in the company that will be buying from you and it’s normally quite pricey.

That’s why it’s complex, right?

A lot of people need to sign it off first. For those kind of things this is perfect. Because we’re providing digital touchpoints for people that are being educated on it.

So you’re early, you’re known by the customer early on in the process and they can start building that trust with you.

If you’re buying a T-shirt, for example, or some trainers, you don’t necessarily need that.

There’s been some brand awareness stuff from the brand that you’re buying from but you know, what style you like and you can just pay for it. Then, you know, you’ll join the newsletter and these newsletters will kind of market to you and influence you as well.

But it doesn’t justify the offer that we have with the inbound marketing approach. It doesn’t justify the revenue that they will end up bringing your business.

It will be like £5 up to £100.

We’re working in really complex sales cycles and we’re trying to nurture them along that journey as well as their colleagues as well.

So when it comes to the decision of…

“Shall we go with your company or someone else?”

Everyone around that decision-making table has heard of you before and says

“Well, we know these guys put the right content out on this, they’re the knowledge experts, lets buy from them.”

Astra: So you kind of become an extension of the team, I guess, rather than just a service provider who gets leads. So kind of in the same vein as that question.

That wasn’t a question, it was a statement. The next question is what is the difference in people who go for this kind of service get in terms of results, relationship, things like that.

Jason: The transparency.

We really do understand a lot more about the business, and we’ve come to understand your client.

So that’s why we’re doing a lot of promoting at the moment so that we can pick clients that we want.

Because we do end up knowing a lot about it [your business] in the moment. Whether that be building materials and manufacturing processes.

Astra: We’re dead dull in the pub.

Jason: I think it makes solutions better because they’re well researched.

Astra: We’re not copying and pasting what works.

Jason: We can be influenced by best practices, but we’re not just saying this will work for this company, so you’re going to have this and then just kind of putting someone really junior on it and saying, well, just copy this and paste it to this company.

You know, what we’re doing is getting the whole team around and focussing on what makes your audience tick and working out the strategy from there.

So they’re kind of data-driven decisions and it sounds a bit like a catch phrase, but it’s making sure we’re doing things because they are right, not because they feel good.

They’re proven not because they just seem like that’s where the industry is going.

It’s looking at the data and also you just get better results, really.

If you can go through this result, through this route and seeing us as a partner, is obviously good for us because we can experiment with different things and we’ve got the freedom to try things that we think will work.

Astra: So we’ve talked a lot about the inbound process.

We’ve covered all of it.

I know I’m not the expert by any means.

So as the in-house inbound marketing specialist, have I missed anything?

Jason: I guess just. Yeah, just the plug.

I think you will lose nothing except a little bit of time from speaking to an agency. Lay your cards on the table. Say what you’ve tried or you haven’t tried and have the conversation if you’ve got enough budget.

If you’ve got growth targets and you want to grow by £100,000 in a year and you’re not sure how you can do that.

Or maybe you’re a small team and you’re working with a company that has got a lot of non-marketing trained people in it.

Yeah, speak to an agency… you’re perfect for it.

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What they’ll do is in the discovery phase, you learn so much about it and even if you don’t do the inbound marketing afterwards, you will learn so much about how you can approach the process.

It will change you from looking at a collection of safe campaigns that maybe you won’t get fired and probably won’t get fired for but they also may never really get you a promotion.

Often, people aren’t giving the algorithms and processes long enough to learn and wield their power.

There’s not enough data under one roof way and you haven’t got an agency also keeping on top of it and helping you keep on top of it.

And it’s a lot to do as a small marketing team.

So start the conversation.

And I don’t think any agency is going to hate you for having that conversation with you. When we do that and people end up changing their minds and don’t do the work it’s fine – we all learn.

We just consider them a lead that we continue to nurture in the same way as you do probably with your own businesses, your own kind of prospects.

So yeah, just have a conversation with an agency. We actually happen to be one, so get in touch with us.

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