TopLine’s MD, Heather Baker, answers some common questions about B2B marketing.
Will PR and integrated marketing generate leads?
Yes. In fact, the whole point of your PR and marketing strategy should be to generate leads, or to make it much easier for your sales team to generate leads. But the key word here is ‘strategy’. Trialling a few marketing tactics to “see if they work” might capture a few leads, but will not deliver a sustainable lead generation programme.
If it’s leads you’re after you need to research your market, understand what drives your prospects’ buying behaviour, identify the best channels for reaching them and then design a multi-channel approach for engaging them at different stages in the buying cycle. Next, you need to implement, measure and refine your strategy repeatedly.
How will you track progress?
At the start of every contract, we agree objectives and KPIs and how these will be measured. We then research your target market and design a strategy roadmap to reach them directly. We measure progress weekly (using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods) and we report back every Friday in our tried and tested Results Framework.
Why should we choose TopLine?
We are one of the few truly integrated agencies in the UK and we expect to be judged by the impact we have on your business. Our team of outstanding PR and social media professionals has been trained in SEO, Google Analytics, Adwords and email marketing and we have studied the scientific principles that influence audience behaviour. We’re creative and results-driven and we have proven methods of digital lead generation.
But don’t take our word for it. Ask any of the 75 clients we’ve worked with – we are confident they will all give us a great reference.
How much involvement do we need to have in the programme?
For some clients, TopLine is the whole marketing department. For others, we provide valuable support to high-performing marketing teams. We know you’ve got a lot on your plate and we don’t expect you to write content, or develop your own campaign ideas.
However, a successful client-agency relationship requires commitment on both sides. For example, you need to tell us how you like to be contacted, be available to approve copy, and arrive punctually and prepared for meetings with analysts and journalists.
How does PR help SEO?
One of the most effective ways to optimise your website is to build links to it from other, relevant, high-authority sites, such as blogs and media websites. And the only way to do this is through great PR.
You can read more about this on our company blog.
What are the benefits of working with an agency, rather than hiring someone in-house?
A lot of companies come to us after their efforts to create a high performing in-house marketing department fail. Working with an agency, you benefit from:
- Years of experience without the commitment of employing someone long-term.
- Full continuity – your marketing doesn’t stop when your marketing manager goes on holiday (and you don’t have to retrain your team when someone leaves).
- Ongoing training and development – digital marketing is an enormous and rapidly evolving discipline. Agencies have to keep on top of changes in this market.
- Affordable access to software, tools and resources, the cost of which can be spread across multiple clients.
Here’s a post I wrote for Web Analytics World on the true cost of a digital marketing intern.
How quickly will we see results?
This is a difficult one to answer as each client is different. We usually spend a month designing your strategy to make sure we get it right. Then, from implementation, you can expect results to start coming through within a couple of weeks.
Is social media really that important in a B2B marketing strategy?
Usually it is, but the only way to find out is to research your target market. Do your prospects use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+? If so, then your strategy needs to take social into account. Social also plays an increasingly significant role in optimising your website, so even if it’s not core to reaching your prospects directly, it could still be important.
Can you service our requirements internationally?
Yes. And we can do so cost effectively. We currently have consultants working in the US, Australia, Canada, South Africa and across Europe.
Why shouldn’t we just send our press releases out on newswires?
We believe that in most (but not all) instances, newswires are a false economy. Read more about this on our award-winning blog.