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What Do a Dinner Party and an Inbound Marketing Campaign Have in Common?

What do putting on a memorable dinner party and creating a great inbound marketing campaign have in common? Planning, details, and understanding who you are “cooking” for.

Both marketing and catering come down to the details.In my previous life as a chef, I spent a great deal of time designing a meal, including determining the right style for the menu. These are the questions I was faced with:

  •  What’s the reason for the dinner or event? A dinner party for 8 has quite a different look and feel from an outdoor barbeque for 100.
  • What should the meal look like?
  • How many courses is optimal for the style of the event?
  • Where does the event take place and what’s the most creative, unique way to serve and present the meal?
  • What is the budget?
  • How many people will be dining?
  • How will the food be served?
  • Are there dietary restrictions?
  • Is there a theme?

Understanding the answers to these questions was critical to the success of the event. I spent weeks gathering as many details as I could. 

Designing a great inbound marketing campaign is no different. To create a great campaign, you must first understand the goals and desired outcomes for the campaign. Who is the customer that you are trying to reach? What are their problems, concerns and needs? What kind of content are they looking for? How do they search for these answers? What content will you create to address these questions, and how will you make it unique and, most importantly, valuable to the customer?

And of course, what is the budget?

Just like catering an event, with careful planning, attention to detail, and a comprehensive understanding of the desired outcome, you can create a successful inbound campaign.

So, where to begin?

  • First, what is the reason for the campaign? Attracting new customers who are still researching their options requires different tools than nurturing customers who are already in the consideration stage and need to be encouraged along the way. Or is it a campaign intended to close deals with folks who have previously worked with you, but who have fallen off the radar recently? Know your goals.
  • What should the content look like? Understanding your customer helps you determine what kind of content would be the most helpful. Your content might be a series of blog posts about a particular area of expertise, or a series of emails with links to white papers or articles that demonstrates your understanding of a problem. Maybe you’ll develop a webinar or series of podcasts. It all depends on your customer’s needs.
  • How many emails and points of contact are optimal?
  • How many “leads” do you need to generate and what kind of ROI are you hoping to achieve?
  • What is your budget?
  • How will you measure the success of your marketing campaign?

Careful planning and the development of a clear, detailed plan can go a long way to ensuring a successful campaign and making your customers eager to order dessert.

 Bon appetit!

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