5 Questions to Consider Before You Start Planning for 2024

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from building hundreds of annual marketing plans, it’s that proper planning requires a disciplined approach that evaluates the past and looks toward the future. This approach enables you to learn from past successes and failures, understand the changing market landscape, and align marketing strategies with your overall business objectives.

Setting aside time to consider these questions can enhance every part of your annual marketing plan — from setting more attainable goals to thinking more strategically about your annual budget.

5 Questions to Consider Before You Start Planning for 2024

Here are a few questions we ask our clients to help develop their annual marketing plan: 

1. What lessons were learned from the successes and failures of the current year’s marketing efforts?

Developing a marketing plan can be challenging for a variety of reasons. You can’t expect to implement the same ineffective tactics and strategies and generate different results. On the other hand, what worked last year isn’t guaranteed to work again. 

That’s why it’s helpful to truly dig into what worked and what didn’t. For example, let’s say that you ran a marketing campaign last year that was very successful. What made the campaign so successful? Was it the target audience? The messaging? The timing? Once you know what worked, you can replicate or change those elements in future marketing campaigns.

2. What are the overall business goals and objectives for the upcoming year?

As a business owner or marketer, you know that your marketing plan should be aligned with your overall business goals and objectives. That’s why it’s so important to ask yourself this question before you start building your plan. 

This is where getting insights and perspectives from stakeholders across the company can be valuable. For example, if your company has a goal to launch a new division or product, you’ll need to invest significant marketing resources toward that effort. If you’re interested in building your team and hiring more employees, you could incorporate that goal into your marketing efforts. 

3. What are the main challenges and opportunities in the market that you need to address?

New technologies are emerging, new competitors are entering the market, and customer expectations are evolving. Discover what your potential customers might be thinking as time goes on before you start building your marketing plan.

By understanding these challenges and opportunities, you can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. You might focus on developing more personalized marketing campaigns, or you might invest in new service offerings that can help you stay ahead of the competition.

4. How can you improve and ensure alignment between marketing and other departments within the organization?

In order for your marketing plan to be successful, you need to have alignment between marketing and other departments within your organization. Improving alignment between sales and marketing is an essential step. As you develop your plan for next year, be sure that your marketing and operations departments are working together to address any scalability issues. When everyone is working together in the same direction, you’re more likely to achieve your marketing goals and objectives.

5. How will you evaluate your efforts and pivot if needed? 

What are you going to do if your tactics fail or another opportunity arises? Knowing the answer to this question before you build your marketing plan can be incredibly helpful. It’s difficult to fix the plane if you have to build the instruction manual while it’s crashing. By building mechanisms for evaluation and adjustment, you create the opportunity to pivot your marketing efforts without abandoning your entire strategy.

Let Green Apple Strategy Help You Plan 

Need some help getting started on next year’s marketing goals? Check out this Green Apple guide to start planning!

Our team can help you build an effective strategy to help your brand achieve its business goals. Learn more about our process or connect with our team to start a conversation.

Marketing & Operations: 4 Keys to Successful Scalability

People sitting around a conference table with laptops

One of today’s business realities is that everything is marketing. Gone are the days when marketing and sales worked in their own silo. The effectiveness of your marketing department impacts other departments. At the same time, other departments have a direct impact on areas of marketing such as brand perception or customer experience.  

Over the years at Green Apple, we’ve found the connection between marketing and operations is one of the most important relationships in a business. On one hand, successful marketing should lead to more customers. More customers will naturally impact operational needs. On the other hand, many operations teams make decisions that directly impact marketing needs. Whether you’re the CEO of a company or a leader of a specific department, it’s essential to ensure both teams work together so that your company can thrive.

4 Keys to Successful Scalability with Marketing & Operations 

Here are a few specific ways marketing and operations can collaborate. That way, marketing is focused on the right areas of growth, and operations have what they need to scale the business:

1. Define your ideal customer. 

Operations are responsible for ensuring your company can fulfill the business it generates. Unfortunately, most marketing departments are only focused on generating leads… not how you’re going to serve them through the sales pipeline.  

When marketing and operations align, marketing understands the company’s capabilities and what it takes to follow through on what’s promised. This can help significantly when it comes to defining your ideal customer for better lead generation results

2. Align your technology and tools to optimize your processes. 

Most businesses function on an array of various technology platforms and software tools. In some cases, there might be more than a dozen platforms that support your marketing, sales, and operational efforts. While it’s not essential for there to be a seamless integration between all of your tools, it’s important to make sure the core components of your marketing technology stack are aligned with operational tools. 

When marketing and operations align in their technology strategy, they can run the race faster and farther for successful, scalable marketing.

3. Leverage data from both teams to make more informed decisions.

We have access to more data than ever before. Every marketing campaign provides dozens of analytics that can be measured. At the same time, the operations team has insights that can inform customer needs and marketing investment. But we all know there’s a difference between reporting on analytics and creating a data-driven culture for growing your businesses.

How can marketing and operations make sure they are collecting data in ways that can be used by everyone? Both teams need to agree on key business objectives and define which metrics are most helpful in evaluating success. 

4. Create open lines of communication between both teams

Effective communication breeds collaboration. That’s why consistent and candid conversations between the marketing and operations teams are vital. It’s not enough for marketing and operations to simply meet once a year or only collaborate if there’s a PR crisis. 

Instead, there needs to be a consistent feedback loop between marketing and operations. Operations can provide marketers with insight into what customers value. Marketing can inform operations about what’s being said about your business online. 

Need Help Getting Marketing & Operations on the Same Page?

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past decade, it’s that you can’t create your marketing plan in a vacuum. As we work alongside clients to develop a marketing strategy, we’ve found that having operations in the room for important marketing discussions is key to building a plan that supports your entire business. 

A rising tide should lift all boats without causing one to capsize. If you’re struggling to get marketing and operations on the same page, our team can help. Schedule a discovery call to learn more about the specific ways our team can help you design a marketing strategy that supports every area of your business.

How to Strategically Think About Your Annual Marketing Budget

Overhead shot of a group looking at charts

Creating and getting approval for your annual marketing budget is one of the most important (and often difficult) tasks for an in-house marketing team. It takes a lot of time to analyze results from the previous year, gather anticipated costs for new ideas, and finalize a budget that works within the limits of your business. The challenge becomes even greater in seasons of economic uncertainty, and the threat of a recession can create budget cuts at any point.

Over the past decade, we’ve had the opportunity to walk with dozens of clients through the budgeting process. We’ve helped start-ups looking for creative ways to maximize their resources. We’ve helped million-dollar companies navigate uncertainty during the pandemic and make marketing budget decisions during a recession. If you think of an issue or question, we’ve likely faced it. 

How to Strategically Think About Your Annual Marketing Budget

For this article, we’ve asked Senior Client Relations Specialist Marcie Prescott to share the wisdom and insight she’s learned from decades of experience developing marketing budgets. Here are the four best practices that Marcie shared to help you think more strategically about your annual marketing budget. Her tips can help ensure you stay on track toward your goals: 

1. Make sure your budget is connected to your objectives, goals, and key metrics. 

Your marketing budget should be closely integrated with your annual marketing plan. Every line item in your budget should be connected to a tactic. It’s also important to identify the success metrics you’re going to use to determine if your investment was worth it. 

If you can’t look at your budget and answer, “What are we wanting to achieve with this investment?” then take a step back and clarify your annual marketing goals and objectives.  

2. Recognize the common pitfalls that sink your marketing budget.

A big part of managing your budget is knowing what obstacles and roadblocks to avoid. Here are a few common pitfalls that can sink your marketing budget:

  • Failing to identify your target market and audience. It doesn’t matter how big your marketing budget is if you don’t connect with potential customers. 
  • Putting too much effort into big budget marketing efforts. If you’re gambling with your marketing budget, you’re doing it wrong. Instead, it’s important to diversify your marketing spend so that you’re not putting too many eggs in one basket. 
  • Underestimating the amount of work involved in a marketing campaign. It’s easy to develop an annual marketing strategy and budget without recognizing all of the time, energy, and resources that it will take to implement. Before you finalize your budget, it’s important to ask, “Can we really do this?” Getting input from your team is also important.
3. View your marketing budget as a fluid asset. 

If there’s one lesson we’ve learned, it’s that your budget should be a fluid document that is reviewed and updated regularly. Neither your annual marketing strategy nor your budget should be written in stone. You can pivot your marketing without abandoning your entire strategy and make necessary changes to your budget. 

Fluid marketing budgets allow companies to redirect marketing to tactics that perform well and channels that suddenly offer new opportunities. This is even more important during a recession, when potential cuts may be required. 

4. Embrace a mindset of continuous improvement toward your strategy and budget.

Marketers should constantly be learning, testing new ideas, and finding ways to maximize the ROI of their budget. Rather than using last year’s budget or “institutional wisdom” to drive your decisions, embrace a mindset of continuous improvement to develop a marketing budget based on where your business is headed. Just because something worked well five years ago doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to connect with today’s customers.

You don’t have to wait until the end of the year to be more strategic with your marketing budget. Whether the year is winding to a close or just getting underway, it’s always a good time to think about your budget and consider how you can be more strategic with the resources you’ve allocated.

Copywriting Tips that Inspire Your Customers to Take Action

Two Women Typing on Laptops

Inspiring customers to take action is the goal of any marketing campaign. Achieving that goal requires knowing the words that will resonate with your audience and motivate them to take the appropriate next step. This is why copywriting is such a powerful part of marketing.

There are dozens of things to take into account whenever you’re writing marketing copy. You’re thinking about your audience, the medium you’re communicating through, and what you’re trying to achieve. You’re also trying to determine what will capture their attention and keep them engaged. Most people don’t realize how challenging it is to accomplish such a feat.  

How do you inspire your audience to take the action you want in a way that doesn’t come across as a hard sell? In this post, we wanted to highlight a few tips from our writers in Orchard when it comes to creating marketing copy that inspires people to take action. 

Copywriting Tips That Inspire Your Customers to Take Action

1. Identify and solve a problem.

Great marketing copy creates tension that resonates with the audience and then provides a release. During the attention-grabbing phase, it’s essential to identify your audience’s needs or problems so that you can ultimately present a solution.

2. Use short, simple sentences.

You need to make it easy for people to read your content. This is especially true for writing copy that will be published on digital platforms. Reading from a screen is hard. When you write long, meandering sentences, your readers have to work harder to make sense of it. 

3. Don’t bury the lead.

This old adage from journalism also applies to marketing copy. While creating tension is important, you also don’t want to lose your audience’s attention. If you want to inspire action,  it’s best to get to the point. Your audience should know the next step they should take to resolve their issue within a few minutes of reading. 

4. Make sure to emphasize the benefits your customer will experience. 

A common reason marketing copy doesn’t inspire action is that the focus shifts from the audience back to the product or service. While it may be important to highlight the unique features of your product or service, your audience cares more about how it will benefit them. 

It’s important to start with benefits before you dive into whatever features you want to highlight in your copy. 

5. Read what you write out loud before posting.

The best marketing copy makes you feel like you’re having a conversation. It’s personable, relatable, and easy to follow. Reading your copy out loud before you post it is one of the easiest ways to improve your copywriting skills. 

6. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. 

Many times, marketers can be so close to their product or service that they forget what it’s like for their audience to experience it. This is where it can be helpful to take a step back and try to read your content from your audience’s point of view.

As yourself…

  • Would I click this link?
  • Would I find this helpful?
  • Would I enjoy this content?

Any response other than a quick “yes” might indicate that you need to spend more time on your copy.

7. Provide an appropriate call-to-action.

Part of our role as marketers is to guide people through the buying process. In the same way, you don’t ask someone to marry you on the first date, it’s important to know the appropriate “next step” to offer your audience. 

Writing copy that inspires customers to take action is both an art and a skill. It requires that you understand your audience’s core challenges and needs. It also involves knowing how to guide them toward the right next step. 

If you’ve struggled to inspire potential customers to take action or you suspect that your website copy might be a reason you’re not attracting new business, our team can help. You can subscribe to our newsletter for marketing tips or reach out to learn more about the ways we can support your marketing needs.  

How and Why You Should Upgrade to Google Analytics 4

google analytics results on cell phone

Last year, Google announced the most significant change in the history of Google Analytics: Google Analytics 4 (GA4). In essence, Google has been working to improve its analytics platform to provide a more powerful marketing tool that helps businesses make better decisions. Since the announcement, we’ve been walking our clients through the changes of how and why they should upgrade to Google Analytics 4.  

We recently interviewed Digital Marketing Strategist, Amanda Bihun, to get her take on why businesses should upgrade their analytics to GA4 and how to successfully implement it. Here are a few takeaways from that conversation. 

Why You Should Upgrade to Google Analytics 4

Reason #1:  Google Analytics 4 will become the primary platform soon.

The main reason to move to GA4 is that Google is no longer updating and supporting Universal Analytics. Just a couple of weeks ago, Google announced that Universal Analytics will officially stop processing data on July 1, 2023. At that point, we will all be forced to move to GA4. However, because the two platforms do not talk to each other, waiting to make the switch will keep you from accessing any legacy or historical data. The earlier you adapt to GA4 while still using Universal Analytics, the longer you have to build up that historical data. 

Why is this historical data important? Without it, you cannot show growth or decline. Numbers don’t have as much meaning without proper context. Capturing as much historical data as possible through GA4 will provide greater insights into the way the data changes over time. 

Reason #2: Google Analytics 4 provides advanced event tracking of goals and conversions.

GA4 is much more accurate and reliable in tracking goals because they are done through Google Tag Manager. This allows users to isolate an event specifically so we can determine how successful it was. For example, if you want to know how a specific email newsletter campaign worked to drive business development leads, that will be easier to do using Google Analytics 4. In Universal Analytics, goals were more loosely defined and often counted traffic to a page that wasn’t actually a lead or conversion. 

Reason #3: Google Analytics 4 provides more detailed engagement metrics.

GA4 got rid of bounce rates and other tactics we would use to try and measure engagement. Instead, it provides a standardized way to measure engagement rates and user engagement. This is important because overall success cannot only be measured by the number of people that visit the site. We need a more comprehensive view that connects the dots between how long they stay, how many pages they visit, what type of content they are consuming, what links they’re clicking on, and which forms they’re filling out. GA4’s updated metrics provide a new line of sight into how functional and user-friendly a website is and also how many people are interacting with it.

How to Upgrade to Google Analytics 4 

Before you officially make the switch to GA4, it’s important to understand your current analytics functionality and website capabilities. For example, are you setting up a new site or one that already exists? What type of site is it? That will help you set up and configure your new GA4 properly. Once you’ve determined those questions, here are a few helpful resources: 

  1. How to set up Google Analytics 4 on a new website or app

Already familiar with Google Analytics but want to set up Google Analytics 4 on a new website or app? Then this is the article for you!

  1. How to set up Google Analytics 4 on a CMS-hosted website

If you have a CMS-hosted website (like WordPress, Squarespace, or Shopify) and want to set up GA4, then this article will guide you through the process. 

  1. How to add Google Analytics 4 to a site that already has Analytics

Does your website already have Universal Analytics, and you’re ready to begin transitioning to GA4? This article outlines how to set up Google Analytics 4 alongside Universal Analytics

Taking analytics seriously is essential for developing a data-driven approach to marketing and business. If you have any questions about Google Analytics 4 or how to use it to create a more effective website, feel free to reach out to our team at any time. 

5 Ways to Attract Your Ideal Client to Your Website


You have a great website. So, why are people not finding it? If they are coming across your website, why aren’t they staying? Are these visitors even your target audience? These questions may have crossed your mind as you’ve been navigating through your digital marketing strategy. It’s common for businesses to feel like they’re doing everything they can, with little to no result. That’s where we come in. To help you attract your ideal client to your website, we’re sharing five elements of your strategy that can make all the difference. 

1. Know Who They Are (In Detail)

Before you go looking for your ideal client, you must determine who they are. You may feel like you already know, but even if you do, it’s important to delve further into the details. An essential tool for this process is the client profile. By asking yourself deeper questions about who your clients are, you can paint a picture of your client that will guide your marketing decisions moving forward, such as where to advertise your website, for example. Need help coming up with questions? Take a look at our recent article, 20 Questions to Ask Yourself that Will Improve Your Customer Profiles.

2. Speak to Their Current Challenges

Understanding your clients’ pain points—their current challenges—you can speak directly to them, making them feel seen and heard. What keeps them up at night? What is that one thing they need to hear? If you can identify those elements, you can grab your audience’s attention by showing them that you can offer the solution they’ve been searching for. Utilize this messaging throughout your website, social media captions, blog articles, and more to attract the client who needs exactly what you’re selling.

3. Show them the Type of Results You Can Deliver

People are attracted to results, and rightfully so. They want to know that they’re spending their hard-earned money on a service that will deliver the promised results. Show your clients what you’re capable of. Create case studies and curate a portfolio so that your prospects can see what you’ve done for others. This way, they’ll be able to imagine what you could do for them. 

4. Provide an Excellent User Experience

When a prospect visits your website, you want to make sure that their experience is top-notch. This is sometimes their first impression of your business, and therefore should be a tool used to begin solidifying your relationship with this visitor. If they have a tough time navigating the site or aren’t drawn in by it, that might be all they need to know to begin looking at your competitors. 

5. Use SEO Best Practices

If your prospects can’t find your website, all of your effort could go to waste. It’s vital that you implement SEO best practices, such as adding keywords, metadata, and backlinks to your website so that you rank higher in search results. SEO can be a complex element of your digital presence, so it’s often essential to have a marketing team on your side, but there are a few tactics that you can implement yourself. Check out this article for a bit of guidance: 4 Steps Your Small or Midsize Business Can Take to Improve SEO.

Attract Your Ideal Client with Green Apple Strategy

We can help you reach your target audience through a comprehensive set of marketing tactics. Want us to join your team? Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our team is happy to sit down with you to discuss your goals and how we can help you achieve each and every one of them.

How to Identify & Fix the Broken Parts of Your Marketing Funnel

person holding paper with data
If the goal of marketing is to guide people from discovering your brand for the first time to becoming a qualified potential customer, then understanding every part of that journey is essential. Most people refer to that process as the marketing funnel. In most of the conversations I have, it’s easy for business leaders and marketing professionals to know if their marketing funnel is broken. The more difficult task is identifying which part is broken and how to fix it. Your sales team might think you have a lead generation problem, but what is actually preventing them from hitting business development goals is that the leads they’re following aren’t ready to buy. This would be more of a lead nurturing issue. In this post, we highlight a few areas of the marketing funnel, share specific ways you can identify the problem area, and, more importantly, tell you how to fix it.

How to Identify & Fix the Broken Parts of Your Marketing Funnel

Brand Awareness
How can you tell if your “top of the funnel” marketing efforts aren’t working? The signs of a brand awareness problem are easy to see—if you’re looking. Most awareness problems fall into this category: Your brand can’t capture its target audience. Analyzing metrics such as website traffic or foot traffic (if you’re a local shop or retail store) can be a great way to determine if enough people know who you are. Fixing this issue could include more digitally-oriented marketing tactics such as social media, SEO, or SEM.
Lead Generation
Maybe you’re getting a decent amount of traffic to your website, but you have a hard time identifying who is visiting and if they could be a potential customer. Many factors make generating leads difficult. Are you offering a lead generation that people care about? Are you asking for the right information? Are you making it easy for people to find your lead generation resources and take action? Never underestimate the power of addressing your lead generation challenge; leads are the lifeblood of your marketing funnel.
Lead Qualification
The biggest challenge I hear from business leaders isn’t about lead quantity; it’s lead quality. To convert marketing leads to customers, you need to make sure you’re talking with the right people. Alongside your sales team, you should make sure you understand who you’re trying to reach. If you’re struggling to generate quality leads, it’s important to define buyer personas. This strategy helps you establish a compelling value proposition that educates people about how you can help them right now.
Lead Nurturing
What do we do with the leads that might be qualified but aren’t ready to buy? Many business development professionals toss these leads to the side—neglecting them until the person raises their hand again and expresses interest. If you’re struggling to convert qualified marketing leads (those with the power to make a purchase decision), then you might rethink how you’re nurturing them throughout the buying process. Many potential customers are exploring your brand, but they might not be ready to buy. This doesn’t mean you should ignore them.
Lead Hand-Off to Sales
The hand-off between marketing and sales is one of the easiest tasks to ruin in the demand generation process. As in a relay race, the lead hand-off should be an actual hand-off, not a toss. If you feel like your sales team isn’t following up with quality leads, it’s crucial to have a documented process that is agreed upon by both sales and marketing. Just as a doctor diagnoses which system in your body is causing illness, it’s vital to determine which areas of your marketing funnel are causing your lead issue. Without identifying the specific area that needs attention, you can’t create a truly healthy funnel.

How Marketing Can Directly Impact Revenue with Sales Enablement

coworkers sitting next to each other in a meeting while man uses expressive hand motions behind his open laptop

Directly tying your marketing efforts to revenue generation is a challenge for almost every business leader and marketing manager. In today’s world, there are so many factors that influence a potential customer’s decision, so utilizing proper marketing tactics is essential. It’s the only way to know if the time, energy, and resources you invest are making an impact on the bottom line. 

One of the simplest and most effective ways for marketing to directly impact revenue is to focus on sales enablement. Essentially, sales enablement is equipping your business development team with assets that make them more efficient and effective. This includes content that helps prospects to answer the questions they ask, solve their problems, and build the case internally with their team.

But, what’s the best thing about sales enablement? All of it can be tracked, measured, and attributed to the bottom line. 

How to Create Sales-Enablement Tools That Directly Impact Revenue

How can marketing equip your sales team with resources that make them smarter and more efficient and effective? Here are a few important considerations when creating your sales-enablement assets: 

  1. Sales Enablement That Answers Potential Customers’ Biggest Questions. The most effective sales-enablement tools proactively answer the questions of prospective customers. This includes assets such as answers to frequently asked questions, at-a-glance competitor comparisons, and statistics that add credibility.
  2. Sales Enablement That Comes in Different Formats. Every customer is different in how they prefer to consume content. The good news is that you don’t have to create all of these resources from scratch. Re-organizing the content you create into various formats is one of the simplest ways to maximize your content marketing efforts. Equipping your sales team with content in various formats such as ebooks, case studies, blog posts, videos, webinars, and infographics is key.
  3. Sales Enablement That Is Easy to Find and Simple to Use. Sales enablement tools are effective if your business development team actually uses them. That’s why it’s critically important to create sales enablement tools that your team can use. Make sure everything you create is easily accessible, consumable, and shareable.
  4. Sales Enablement That Makes Your Business Development Team More Efficient. Marketing automation and technology have opened the door for new levels of sales enablement. Not only can you create resources for sales to use, but you can also send it on their behalf. Finding simple ways to leverage marketing automation to support your sales team will save them a tremendous amount of time and enable them to focus on having meaningful conversations with potential customers. 

The great thing about sales enablement is that all of it can be tracked. You can see what potential customers are consuming. You can know what content is influencing their decisions. You can share that information with your sales team to help them be even more effective. While marketing might not be able to take complete credit for “closing the deal,” empowering your business development team with sales-enablement tools that can be tracked and measured is a meaningful way to directly tie your marketing efforts to the bottom line

How Marketing Can Become a “Secret, Strategic Weapon” for Sales

One of the best definitions of marketing I’ve heard was that marketing exists to be a secret, strategic asset for business development. Whether it’s building brand awareness or developing strategies to accelerate the sales cycle, everything you do in marketing exists to grow your business. The good news (for marketers and sales professionals) is that such a broad definition creates new ways of thinking when it comes to the role marketing plays. Rather than compartmentalizing marketing into its traditional definition of primarily advertising and brand awareness, we can discover new ways in which marketing can play a more “behind-the-scenes” role in business development. How Marketing Can Become a “Secret, Strategic Weapon” for Sales Here are a few of my favorite ways in which marketing can become a secret, strategic weapon for business development:
  1. Write story-driven case studies for your sales team. Someone once said the best stories happen to brands who know how to tell them. And, marketers are natural storytellers. That’s why story-driven case studies are so valuable. Crafting case studies that help prospects see themselves in the work you’ve done with clients is one of the best ways to equip your sales team to be successful.    
  2. Create a repository of easily accessible, relevant statistics. Statistics and numbers can play a significant role in the buying decision. As marketers, we have the opportunity to sit at the unique intersection of having insights on industry-related statistics and data points that are specific to our business. By compiling all the relevant statistics into one easily-accessible location, marketing can help sales teams save a tremendous amount of time.
  3. Research and report what your competitors are doing. Salespeople want to know what competitors are doing and how your organization compares. As a marketer, you can make them more confident and informed by conducting competitive intel. This includes anything from one-pagers that outline competitors’ weaknesses and strengths to links of unfavorable reviews about competitors.
None of these projects require a lot of heavy lifting, but each has the potential to make or break a sale for your business. If you want your marketing to have a direct impact on your business development goals, consider how you can start investing a portion of your week fleshing out one of these three ideas for your sales team.

4 Marketing Skills Every Business Development Professional Needs

Remember when the only thing that news reporters had to think about was writing a story that would work for the morning paper? Today, reporters need a working knowledge of best practices for creating digital content, leveraging social media, and building their platforms to connect directly with their audience. In the same way, the traditional “sales” role is evolving. For most industries, gone are the days where salespeople simply show up, get a list of prospects, and execute the same sales pitch over and over again. Today’s business development professionals must be more savvy, especially when it comes to understanding marketing. 4 Marketing Skills Every Business Development Professional Needs So what are the marketing skills that are becoming more and more important for business development professionals? Here are four I’m noticing: 1. Writing No matter what you’re selling, you need writing skills to succeed as a salesperson. Email is just one example of how this plays out for many of today’s business development professionals. Clear, concise writing is an invaluable skill to communicate effectively and be understood. 2. Social Media Social media marketing is an important skill to help you find clients or increase your influence in the industry. It’s not something that’s solely a responsibility of marketing anymore. Learning how to use social media to listen to potential customers, build relationships, and add value to your industry has become a critically important skill. 3. Storytelling Marketers have always been great at storytelling. For salespeople, learning how to tell stories can be an incredibly valuable skill. In the book Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath note that 63% of attendees remember stories after a sales presentation. Only 5% remember statistics. 4. Using Analytics Marketing analytics such web behavior data, website engagement, purchase history, etc. is incredibly valuable information for salespeople. Knowing how to draw actionable insights from analytics data to become more attractive to potential employers has become an essential aspect of selling for business development professionals. Taking the time to develop these skills will not only improve your ability to close more deals, it will also make you a more valuable salesperson. What are some other marketing-related skills that have become increasingly important for business development professionals?