Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z
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Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z Document Transcript

  • Lead Generation Strategies: The Leader in Web 2.0 Marketing A-Z 60 methods and strategies for building a sustainable demand generation ecosystem for your business.
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z Table of Contents The Letter A................................................................................................................................................... 6 Auto responders ....................................................................................................................................... 6 Adwords .................................................................................................................................................... 6 Analysts ..................................................................................................................................................... 6 Awards ...................................................................................................................................................... 6 Advertising ................................................................................................................................................ 7 The Letter B ................................................................................................................................................... 7 Blogging..................................................................................................................................................... 7 Banner Ads ................................................................................................................................................ 7 Benchmarking Assessments ...................................................................................................................... 7 Breakfast Meetings ................................................................................................................................... 7 The Letter C ................................................................................................................................................... 8 Customers ................................................................................................................................................. 8 Content ..................................................................................................................................................... 8 Community................................................................................................................................................ 8 Co-Registration ......................................................................................................................................... 8 Conferences .............................................................................................................................................. 9 Chat ........................................................................................................................................................... 9 The Letter D .................................................................................................................................................. 9 Direct Mail................................................................................................................................................. 9 Deminar..................................................................................................................................................... 9 Database ................................................................................................................................................... 9 The Letter E ................................................................................................................................................. 10 Email........................................................................................................................................................ 10 Executive Briefings .................................................................................................................................. 10 Executive-To-Executive Campaigns ........................................................................................................ 10 The Letter F ................................................................................................................................................. 11 Feed Management .................................................................................................................................. 11 Flywheel .................................................................................................................................................. 11 © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 2 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z The Letter G ................................................................................................................................................ 11 Games ..................................................................................................................................................... 11 The Letter H ................................................................................................................................................ 12 Hosted Wikis ........................................................................................................................................... 12 The Letter I .................................................................................................................................................. 12 Incubation ............................................................................................................................................... 12 The Letter J.................................................................................................................................................. 13 Join Professional and Trade Associations ............................................................................................... 13 The Letter K ................................................................................................................................................. 13 Knowledge Center................................................................................................................................... 13 The Letter L ................................................................................................................................................. 13 Lead Scoring ............................................................................................................................................ 13 Lead Nurturing ........................................................................................................................................ 14 Linking ..................................................................................................................................................... 14 List Acquisition ........................................................................................................................................ 14 The Letter M................................................................................................................................................ 15 Marketing Plan ........................................................................................................................................ 15 Measurement.......................................................................................................................................... 15 The Letter N ................................................................................................................................................ 15 Newsletter............................................................................................................................................... 15 Networking.............................................................................................................................................. 16 The Letter O ................................................................................................................................................ 16 Offers ...................................................................................................................................................... 16 Opportunity Marketing ........................................................................................................................... 16 Open Rate Resends ................................................................................................................................. 16 The Letter P ................................................................................................................................................. 16 Podcasts .................................................................................................................................................. 16 Personalization........................................................................................................................................ 17 Public Relations ....................................................................................................................................... 17 Partners/Channels .................................................................................................................................. 17 © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 3 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z Personas .................................................................................................................................................. 17 The Letter Q ................................................................................................................................................ 18 Questionnaire ......................................................................................................................................... 18 The Letter R ................................................................................................................................................. 18 RSS........................................................................................................................................................... 18 Reference Program ................................................................................................................................. 18 Recency ................................................................................................................................................... 18 The Letter S ................................................................................................................................................. 19 Search Engine Optimization .................................................................................................................... 19 Speaking .................................................................................................................................................. 19 Seminars.................................................................................................................................................. 19 Subscription Management...................................................................................................................... 19 The Letter T ................................................................................................................................................. 20 Text Messaging ....................................................................................................................................... 20 Telemarketing ......................................................................................................................................... 20 Trade Shows ............................................................................................................................................ 20 Testing ..................................................................................................................................................... 20 The Letter U ................................................................................................................................................ 20 User Groups ........................................................................................................................................ 20 The Letter V................................................................................................................................................. 21 Viral Marketing ....................................................................................................................................... 21 Virtual Worlds ......................................................................................................................................... 21 Virtual Tradeshows ................................................................................................................................. 21 The Letter W ............................................................................................................................................... 21 Website ................................................................................................................................................... 21 Webinars ................................................................................................................................................. 22 White Papers........................................................................................................................................... 22 The Letter X ................................................................................................................................................. 22 Xpert on Demand .................................................................................................................................... 22 The Letter Y ................................................................................................................................................. 22 © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 4 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z YouTube .................................................................................................................................................. 22 The Letter Z ................................................................................................................................................. 23 Zero in on active prospects and customers ............................................................................................ 23 © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 5 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z There are many different ways you can generate leads. The key to sustainable demand generation is to develop an ecosystem, leveraging multiple lead generation methods. We are all probably doing some of these, but can we do more? Which are the most cost effective? Which get the best results? Below is a listing of 60 methods from A-Z you can start to employ in your organization. The Letter A Auto responders We all know what they are, but do we always use them? Typically, this is a text email that you receive after you submit a form, but it can do so much more. This is a great chance to reinforce your brand and use some of your better templates along with strong calls to action. Many marketers view this as just a formality, but it is an excellent way to get another message across to someone that just expressed interest in your product or service. The best part is it doesn’t cost anything but the time to set it up initially and then you are set. Adwords Given a choice, and please don’t kill me Google, I would rather see marketers focus their efforts on search engine optimization first. Most of the heat map studies done by Marketing Sherpa and others show that the attention is being paid to the top few listings returned from the query. Seldom if ever do searchers go to page 2 or even view on the right. First, concentrate on getting the top listing for keywords in several categories. Once you have that down, it does make sense to invest in some highly targeted Adwords campaigns. Before you begin, ask your customers what words they use to search for your products and services. You may be surprised to find out they are quite different from the terms your marketing team uses. Analysts As respected third party advisors, analysts can be very useful in writing about your firm and getting you in the door with new prospects. One of the best ways to use them is to pay them for co-sponsored webcasts, webinars, or even paid interviews that you can podcast. That way, you can reuse the content repeatedly and make your website much more engaging. Awards How many of you are sponsoring awards for the markets you serve? Everyone loves to receive awards and sponsors will gladly pay premium dollars to be part of an event where their key target market is. Consider developing your own industry focused awards and then invite people to submit nominations for various categories. This is something that the press will pick up on as well and help you contribute to your Thought Leadership position in the marketplace. © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 6 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z Advertising Targeted ads in key industry verticals, both online and offline, especially when they can support a bi-line article or case study pack a good one-two punch. Instead of just putting the ad in, make sure you put a targeted URL in the ad so you can track which people came to your site as a result. For example, www.pedowitzgroup.com/wallstreetjournal [ed. note - this link won’t work] is much better than www.pedowitzgroup.com The Letter B Blogging This has become a must-have for any serious B2B marketer. Once considered a fad, or something too difficult to control, marketers now recognize the power in giving key stakeholders a voice and leveraging the internet as a platform. Blogging helps you reinforce your brand; develop your people as brands within your corporate structure and a useful medium to deliver targeted messaging. When combined with RSS, podcasting, and other Web 2.0 conventions, Blogging becomes a great way to generate demand. Makes sure every post has a relevant link, like this: www.pedowitzgroup.com/blog/blogger.html so that you can track how effective your blog is at driving traffic back towards your website. Banner Ads Typically these deliver less than a 0.5% response rate, but depending upon the site and the cost of the ad, they may be useful in reinforcing a targeted campaign. Again, make sure the landing page URL is unique to support the ad. Don’t send the respondent to your home page. Benchmarking Assessments Everyone loves to be benchmarked and see how well they stack up against the competition. When you can deliver a valuable assessment that rates a respondent in a critical business area, you build trust and confidence as a thought leader and then you can use that data to build a master database of highly relevant market data that you can repurpose. The people that fill out the assessments also generally provide much more information than just a white paper download, so you can feed this into your lead scoring program to determine how to handle. Most of your competitors won’t do this type of service, so if you are looking to distinguish yourself, this is a great area to do it. Breakfast Meetings The power lunch has moved to the power breakfast. Most executives are too busy to take long lunches, but getting an exclusive briefing first thing in the morning before the crazy day starts is always a good play. When you can have an analyst or top name customer join you © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 7 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z for the breakfast, you should have no trouble attracting some of those executives you have been coveting. The Letter C Customers We often concentrate so much on new logo acquisition that we forget about our most cherished asset - our customers. Studies like Reicheld’s Net Promoter concept clearly show a direct correlation between loyal customers and long term profitable growth. Most companies I talk to do not have any formal ongoing marketing programs that deal specifically with their customers. Instead, they are concentrating all of their money and attention on getting new customers. It is so much easier to focus on your existing customer base as a channel. Turning your customers into advocates will do a lot more for your net growth than any lead generation campaign. Content As long as you continue to produce timely, relevant content that helps your prospects and customers stay informed and make better business decisions, you will continue to generate new leads. Where do you get good content? It is all around you. For starters, you can set up an aggregation of all of the industry feeds right on your site. Everything that the analysts, industry pundits and third parties write can be showcased on your site for convenient access. Instead of always writing your content, consider a podcast series where you interview your customers, executives, industry luminaries. A 10 minute interview that can be streamed via your website will have lasting value. What about hiring college interns or developing a program with your local university’s business or journalism department? They get real-world experience and you get a slew of writers for no cost. There is also User Generated Content. Leverage the power of communities and have users generate their own content in support of a broader message. Community Some communities you may be very familiar with - eBay, LinkedIn, Facebook. Once just limited to B2C and personal relationships, many B2B marketers are now creating vertical communities that directly target their market and serve their customer base. Companies like Neighborhood America have software and services that help you establish communities pretty quickly. This strategy is rapidly gaining ground with many marketers who are trying to deliver relevant content to the right people at the right time. Co-Registration Easy and cost-effective, co-registration is the process of having people subscribe to your list when they sign up for another list. You may have seen these checkboxes from time to time when you have signed up on a particular form. They ask you if you would also like to register for another newsletter or list. By developing 10-12 good co-registration partners, you can build your © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 8 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z list through the efforts of others that are going after the same market. Ideally, find partners that complement your products or services. Of course, if you are really daring, you could partner with your competitors and help each other share the burden in acquiring leads. This lowers the cost of lead acquisition while helping to build a highly targeted and relevant list. I’m not sure of how many people would go for this, but it is a thought. Conferences Conferences can be a great way to network and develop new sources of leads. Instead of sponsoring, see if you can get one of the speaker slots. If that is not an option, come up with a highly impactful and relevant giveaway, like a wheel chart that you can distribute along with your business cards. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Chat Many B2B marketers are starting to warm up to the idea of using chat or Instant Messaging on their website. Not all people respond to email or phone. A chat window is another way to interact with your visitors in real time while they are on your website and showing interest. You can staff the function with your inside sales team, who in many cases would be qualifying the leads anyway. The Letter D Direct Mail An oldie but a goodie, many marketers have moved away from direct mail since email has become so cost effective. To make direct mail work for you in a Web 2.0 world, make sure that you add a personalized URL to each DM piece that takes the respondent to their own personalized microsite. Once there, you can tailor content based on title, industry, behavior and other characteristics to create a more compelling experience. Most marketers I have worked with see a 3-5X lift over their normal response metrics using this approach. Deminar At the end of the day, we still need to sell and people will want to view your products at one time or another. A deminar is a webinar that is exclusively focused on demoing your products and services. Make sure your marketing communication clearly outlines this. Those that attend will be a very targeted and segmented group. You can pre-record parts or all of this and then take Q&A live at the end to aid in scalability. Database What is 2.0 about your database? For starters, many of us are still at 1.0 with duplicate and stale data that is not properly segmented. The average B2B list turns over at least 25% per year. First, put a process in place that will continuously update and cleanse your database. Once that is © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 9 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z complete, you can use your database to develop key buying personas. Personas are representations of your ideal buyers and are easier to build marketing strategies around. You can then develop your website and supporting materials around those personas and track how each segment performs. The Letter E Email I know, this is kind of like “duh”, but it is amazing to me how poorly email is used as a medium. For starters, many marketers are still using either no permission or opt-out as the preferred subscription management, as opposed to double opt-in, the gold standard for list quality and performance. Marketers working with better permission and quality lists outperform their counterparts by more than 4 to 1 in response rates. Hardly anyone is doing testing. No one says you have to do something complicated like multivariate, but at least do an A/B split test with subject lines and calls to action on every email campaign. It doesn’t take much longer and can improve your performance by up to 400%. How about just good copywriting? With the ubiquity of blackberries, most executives are reading their email on mobile devices. That pretty HTML template with endless copy isn’t going to cut it anymore. The best thing you can do with email is get the respondent to the website as quickly as possible where you can engage and lead them through a more interactive experience. What about how you are using email? Are your auto responders optimized to have additional calls to action and relevant messaging, or are they just an afterthought? Are emails being used only for new prospect acquisition, or are you also leveraging them for customer education, knowledge management, lead nurturing, or a host of other options? Email is a very powerful medium, and when used to its fullest extent, can be a very valuable part of your Web 2.0 marketing mix. Executive Briefings Whether they are breakfast meetings, teleconferences, hosted summits, or a variety of other approaches you can take, executives like to network with other executives and learn from their peers. If you do not have some kind of high-level educational or thought leadership program that is targeted at senior level executives, consider adding one today. Executive-To-Executive Campaigns Put those Gatekeepers to work for you. Set up a quarterly research project where you interview 20-30 key executives in your industry about a relevant topic, letting them know that all the information conveyed specifically about their company will not be shared. Compile the data and ask for the opportunity to present the research exclusively with them before it is shared with the broader market. Most executives love being interviewed. Their assistants will be more than happy to facilitate vs. shutting you down because this is an interview, not a sales call. The © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 10 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z end result is great content that you can leverage for new campaigns, and high quality relationships at an executive level. The Letter F Feed Management Today, it’s all about syndication. With so many people tuning in to get their information from the Internet, you can’t afford not to distribute your content. Services like Feedburner, Attensa, Blogbridge, and more can help you package your content and distribute it to multiple audiences. The best part is most of these services don’t cost anything for you to leverage. The more people that see your content and why you are different, the more people you will be able to attract to your website. Good use of links within your content and feeds will also strengthen your position in search engine rankings. Flywheel In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins describes the flywheel effect, which is a metaphor for how big companies were able to achieve momentous growth. The concept of a flywheel is that it takes a while to get started, but once it gets rolling, it is almost unstoppable. Demand generation is the same thing. There is no one magic bullet that will help you generate leads, but if you build an ecosystem with multiple programs running that support an overriding objective, you will be able to significantly outperform marketers over time, especially the ones that are principally relying on email to accomplish their lead generation objectives. The Letter G Games We all love to play them and are captivated for hours while we try to win. Websites like Click Software’s Service Tycoon can help reinforce the benefits of your value proposition while holding the visitor captive. Ideally, the game should be unique, relevant to your industry, and neither too simple nor too difficult to play. A competent player should be able to finish a complete game in about 10-15 minutes, preferably less. You have probably seen themed variations of first-person shooter or “whack-a-mole” games as they are fairly popular. If you do go this route, chances are your game won’t be too popular since it won’t stand out. The challenge here as with most things is to come up with something unique. Vodafone’s campaign is a good example of a unique twist. An interesting variant of online video games is industry-related trivia games, with prospect- qualifying questions mixed in. These are unlikely to get wide viral distribution, but more likely to appeal to people within your target market. In addition, these have multiple uses; for example, © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 11 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z they can be used effectively at trade shows to attract booth traffic while also pre-qualifying your show leads. The Letter H Hosted Wikis A wiki is a group-editable website. Wikis are composed of web pages you can write on, enabling fast and easy collaboration. It’s as easy to use as email. You might be familiar with www.wikipedia.org, the online encyclopedia. Wiki’s allow users to have socially relevant and contextual conversations. How does this help you build demand for your products and services? Hosting your own wiki around relevant industry information allows professionals within your space to network and collaborate with each other around specific topics. When you host the wiki, you have access to that network and are also viewed as a thought leader. People that end up using your wiki will be much more highly qualified than someone that just fills out a form for more information on your website. There are a number of free wiki tools out there like www.pbwiki.com, www.wetpaint.com and www.wikispaces.com. They are easy to set up and maintain and are also highly optimized by the search engines. Consider staring your own wiki today. The Letter I Incubation Incubation: also known as Lead Nurturing or Lead Harvesting. The challenge for most marketers is what happens to the leads after the pass them off to sales. Many times, these leads fall into the abyss, never to be heard from again. Worse is when the marketing team spends more money and campaign resources to reacquire the same lead again and again. Incubation takes leads that are not ready for sales and keeps them warm with a series of marketing messages over a period of time. Then, when the lead exhibits signs of buying behavior, marketing can move the lead back over to sales. Incubation can consist simply of a series of emails or phone calls over a fixed period of time. More experienced marketers use multiple channels such as direct mail and personalized landing pages to vary the pace and content of the incubation period. You will need a marketing automation platform to accomplish this on any type of scale. Companies such as Eloqua all have technology that can deliver the goods to varying degree. Incubation ensures that all leads get followed up on and your conversion rates will be higher down the line. © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 12 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z The Letter J Join Professional and Trade Associations As part of your lead generation strategy, you should map out all trade groups and associations that your target profile would be actively a part of. Look for niche organizations and other associations that your competitors wouldn’t necessarily be a part of. As you expand your sales and marketing teams, ensure that you have a local membership in every region that you have field personnel. Rather than just joining, consider offering your services as a board member. Many of these organizations are starving for people to help them out. A lot of times it is as simple as asking to be on the Board or to run a committee. Once on the board, you will have access to a much better network, and at events, attendees will seek you out rather than the other way around. If you can’t find a suitable association that meets your needs, how about starting your own? You get to call the shots and control the players and content. This is one of the most powerful ways to network. Why sit in the back of the room and fight everyone else for a valuable contact when you can stand up front and have people come to you? The Letter K Knowledge Center One of the best things you can do for your visitors and customers is to provide them with a central place to acquire knowledge and make informed decisions. Over 70% of B2B Decision Makers are now doing their primary research over the Internet. Why should they go to other sites when you can provide them everything in one destination? You can use RSS Syndication to bring in relevant content that is complimentary to your offerings and add them into the Knowledge Center. Intersperse this with your own white papers, interviews, podcasts, analyst briefings, tools, benchmarks, research and anything else relevant to help your buyers make a more informed decision. Consider gating your content. For simply supplying their email address, visitors can get access to good content that is valuable. For filling out a more detailed form that better profiles their buying intentions, you give them access to even higher value content. This will also signal to your sales team which prospects are showing much more serious buying behavior and they can then prioritize their time. The Letter L Lead Scoring Not all leads are created equal. In many cases, inbound leads are being sent directly to the sales team. Whether they are web to lead, or call to lead, sales teams are inundated with a large quantity of requests. From marketing’s standpoint, this is typically considered good, but from sales it isn’t because the majority of those requests are not sales-ready leads. Enter lead scoring. © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 13 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z Lead scoring is the process of automatically qualifying and screening inbound requests for the purposes of determining which requests are really leads and which ones aren’t. The sales ready leads are usually then sent either to the sales team or to an inside sales/telemarketing function for further qualification. Leads that are not ready to buy are held back in an incubation or nurturing program, until they exhibit signs of buying behavior. Lead scoring works by reducing the overall number of opportunities, but increasing the conversion rate, shortening the sales cycle, increasing average deal size and increasing overall revenue. The analogy is simple: give salespeople high quality at-bats, and more often than not they will knock it out of the park. Lead scoring works best when you marry both explicit data such as budget, authority, need and timeline with implicit behavior such as website visits, downloads, and webinars attended. Lead Nurturing Lead Nurturing, Lead Incubation, Lead Harvesting is the process of continuously marketing to leads that are not sales ready. Many times after the sales team disqualifies a lead, it falls into a black abyss. Or worse, marketing spends more money and time to reacquire the same lead over and over again. With lead nurturing, you use marketing automation to leverage channels such as email, direct mail, Microsites and telemarketing to send a continuous series of messaging to your prospects. When the prospects display buying behavior, they are then routed to a salesperson for follow-up. Linking Linking is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website and optimize your position in search engine rankings. Identify complementary partners, associations, industry boards and other websites where it would make sense to have a link pointing back to your site. You then reciprocate. You have now turned the power of the web to your advantage by leveraging everyone else’s position to amplify your own. This is easy to do and very cost-effective. List Acquisition Ideally, you want to grow your house list organically. But sometimes, it does make sense to acquire a list if you are just starting out or entering a new market. There are a number of good list brokers out there. Do your homework and try to use as much criteria as you can to build a highly targeted and relevant list. Keep in mind that even the best lists will never be more than 80% accurate due to shifting patterns. Leverage off-shore calling centers for a few bucks per call to validate the names on the list and obtain email permission (usually about 20% of the time), or use Direct Mail with a good offer that gets people to respond and submit an updated profile. © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 14 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z The Letter M Marketing Plan Most marketers I talk to do not have a formal, written marketing plan or a demand generation plan. They have a budget, but there is usually not an overall plan to follow. A good marketing plan outlines the objectives and goals the team needs to follow that align with the corporate strategic direction. Things will change throughout the year, but just because you change direction doesn't mean you throw out the map. To drive sustainable revenue growth, your team needs to develop an annual plan with objectives, goals and tactics and then develop key performance indicators and controls to measure your performance. Your plan should be reviewed on a monthly basis with your team. It is too easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget about all the other things you need to be doing. Sustainable revenue growth companies operate consistently from a plan. Measurement How do you measure your marketing performance? Hint: It is not the creative awards, # of impressions, or clicks you get. It is all in financial terms. Your CFO and board only want to know a few things: 1) what is your Revenue per Marketing Spend? For every dollar they give you to spend in marketing, how many dollars in revenue are you returning against that dollar? 2) Lead to Customer Conversion Ratio - How many leads does it take to generate one customer 3) Lifetime value of a customer - how much revenue and referral revenue will a customer produce over its lifetime, and have you stratified these customers into tiers based upon that return? 4) Lead Portfolio - what is the average rate of return per given lead and how much does it cost to take one lead through to a sale. By concentrating on these financial drivers and looking at how much revenue marketing is producing, not the number of leads, you will align your team much better with sales and endear yourself to the Board. The Letter N Newsletter Everyone talks about it, but more often than not what starts off as an ambitious project often ends up in the project file that no one has time for. Finding new content, editing and layout all compete for precious time. How can you use Web 2.0 to make it easier to publish and make your newsletter more compelling at the same time? Audio and Video feeds. It is much easier to grab your CXO or customer and do a 5-10 minute interview than it is to ask someone to sit down and write an article. In this way, you make your newsletter more interactive and you don't have to spend as much time writing. A quick post to YouTube and setting up a podcast feed via Feedburner and you now have a syndicated newsletter to start driving demand to your website. © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 15 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z Add a little creativity and you can turn your monthly video newsletter into a TV or radio show, complete with themes and supporting story lines. Networking Instead of going to shows and being part of the masses, join the boards. Many of these organizations are starving for volunteers and would welcome your contribution. Have all of your sales and marketing people join at least one association in their area and serve on the board. Now at events, people will come up to you instead of the other way around. You will get much better leads this way. If you can't find a suitable group to join, start your own and make all the rules. How about running an online networking event? Social networking via community sites accomplishes this very well. The Letter O Offers The right offer at the right place at the right time will more often than not compel someone to action. Ensure that your offers and calls-to-action are relevant for your industry, products and services. Don’t give away a trip when a free consulting session with one of your executives will be much more valuable. Opportunity Marketing Integrating your CRM system with your Marketing system will give you the closed-loop reporting you have been looking for. It will also allow you to track opportunity step conversion and support the team by marketing to deals that are stuck in a phase for too long, move forwards or move backwards. You can now send relevant messaging that supports the prospect’s position in the funnel. Open Rate Resends Have you ever tried sending emails to non-opens within a day or two after the initial send? Studies have shown that there is no adverse effect in terms of unsubscribes and you will pick up additional conversions without doing more work other than changing the subject line. The Letter P Podcasts Podcasts are a great way to leverage the interactive medium of the Internet. There are many different formats and approaches you can take to provide meaningful content and drive demand for your business. Convert your newsletter series into interviews with your executives, customers, and analysts. Use a service like BlogTalkRadio and host your own radio show over © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 16 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z the internet where you can take live calls. Organize a themed approach, like episodes for a TV show and do a different podcast every week with actors. Convert all of your podcasts into transcripts so that visitors have the option to read or listen. If podcasts aren’t part of your demand generation arsenal, they should be. Personalization In the age of mass media and message bombardment, personalization reigns supreme. Now more than ever it is imperative that you are sending unique and relevant messages to individuals. Email, direct mail, landing pages – all should have tailored content that speaks to who people are and what they are interested in. You will see exponential improvement in your conversion ratios if you take the time to personalize your content and segment your lists. Public Relations PR has been around forever. Traditionally, all PR firms could do was tell you how many impressions were generated. With website tracking, you can now add specific URLs in every release and track how well each release performs. Get specific with codes so you can know whether traditional print is outpulling online syndication. By tracking website hits and knowing how website traffic affects your revenue, you will be able to gauge how well PR is doing to drive demand. It is still one of the most cost-effective channels and yields 8X the results of print ads. Optimize your PR by adding it to a variety of RSS feeds. Partners/Channels Building a partner and channel ecosystem is a great way to scale your business and drive revenue over the long term. There are many types of partners – resellers, OEM’s, consulting partners, referral partners, technology partners – the mix and amount is different for every business. Keep in mind that not every partner wants to aggressively sell for you or be held to a quota. There can be good synergies with a variety of partners without expecting them to sell for you – but they will help add value for you in the marketplace. If you are looking for your partners to drive specific revenue numbers, focus on those that want to be resellers. Also, give it 18-24 months. A successful channel program takes time to coalesce, and it will require dedicated resources on your end. But it is a great way to grow revenue and scale your business over time. Personas Personas are representations of buyers and profiles their behavior. Just because two men are 50 years old, CIO’s at software companies and have 2 children and play golf, doesn’t mean that they look at things the same way or buy the same way. Personas look at their behavior and group people into predictive models. Developing 4-6 key buying personas for your business will allow you to focus all of your marketing efforts, segment your lists and get better results. © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 17 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z The Letter Q Questionnaire Questionnaires and survey are excellent tools to develop content, capture interest and drive traffic to your website. Organize your questionnaires around a theme. Ideally they can rate a company’s proficiency in a given area that is relevant to your industry. You can then share the results of the survey and show how companies compare against each other. You can also use questionnaires to survey what people want for product and service improvements or what their business concerns are. Whatever theme you go with, ensure that you push out the questionnaires on a regular and consistent basis so that people will look for them. The Letter R RSS RSS, or Really Simple Syndication is a means by which users can control what content they want to receive. As the publisher, you can leverage your content and use a feeder to make it available to a wide audience. Subscribers can anonymously add your feed to their favorite content. This is different than email, where you know who is getting your content. RSS is the fastest growing medium on the Internet, outpacing Blogs and growing faster than the early days of email adoption. Because it is such a fast-growing channel, it is imperative that you develop several feeds and syndicate your content to reach a larger audience and drive traffic back to your website. You can also publish other people’s content by posting their feeds on your website. This gives you fresh content every day, optimizes your site for search engines, and increases traffic and lead flow. Reference Program Reference programs tap into your best lead source – your customers. A good reference program is proactive. Shoot videos of your customers and break them down into video segments by question. Post the segments on your website and then track which questions are drawing the biggest response. Sales can now drive prospects seeking references to the website instead of endless phone calls to your biggest reference accounts. This moves the reference process to the beginning of the sales cycle instead of the end, shortening the overall cycle. Recency Following up with leads any more than 24 hours after it is received will result in a very poor demand generation program. People are way too busy today to even remember where or what they were doing yesterday let alone last week. If you have not done so, implement processes today that will ensure all leads are followed upon within 2 hours. Simple things such as an © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 18 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z autoresponder and auto-voicemail will improve the service level. Use lead scoring to determine which leads should be forwarded to sales, and work with the sales team so that they follow upon all leads that they receive from marketing. For leads that will go into your lead nurturing program, send a follow-up email that is more personalized than the autoresponder (this can be automated as well). Don’t let leads you spent good money on fall into the cracks. The Letter S Search Engine Optimization With more and more buyers turning to the Internet to start their research, it is imperative that you have an ongoing SEO program in place. Both natural and paid search have their place, but natural listings should dominate the majority of your effort and budget. A combination of in- house and consulting resources can work well to ensure you have a good mix of best practice expertise and company/industry specific knowledge. Most B2B marketers spend a considerable portion of their budget on this tactic. Speaking Speaking at events is an excellent way to build your Thought Leadership in the marketplace. In addition to having your executives speak, consider using sales and marketing personnel at local and regional events. Your marketing team can prepare 3-4 standard presentations, and then have your team that is virtually located speak on them cost-effectively. Turn your organization into a team of speakers and Thought Leaders and reap the returns. Seminars Running live seminars is another way to build Thought Leadership. Focus on education and teaching and down play the product pitch. If you do a good job of providing content and transferring knowledge, the sales will take care of themselves – especially if you mix your customers and prospects at the same event! Subscription Management Instead of ‘spray and pray’, give your subscribers the option to choose what content they want to receive and when they want to receive it. You can start by categorizing your content into simple groups such as events, product and service updates, newsletter, etc. Over time, you can get more sophisticated as you gauge how subscribers respond. You will see a much better response from your lists by taking this approach. © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 19 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z The Letter T Text Messaging More and more B2B marketers are turning to this medium. The younger generation is entering the workforce, and Text ranks #1 as the preferred communication choice ahead of Instant Messaging and Email. Texting provides a real-time and interactive experience. The more conservative marketers have subscribers texting in a code to get a promotional offer or be redirected to a landing page. Other marketers are gaining opt-in permission and adding texting to a rich, multi-channel approach to campaigning. Texting should be tested as part of your marketing plans this year. Telemarketing Many B2B marketers are using Telemarketing and/or Inside Sales as a viable lead generation function. Other uses include organizational mapping - calling into a company and determining all key contacts for your product and service; data validation, opt-in for mailing lists, and surveys. Savvy marketers who track their website visitors, pass on unknown visitors in real-time to a telemarketer who then uses a reverse DNS lookup of the visitor to call into the target company and gain contact and lead information. Trade Shows Many tradeshows don't give the same return as they once did, which is why so many marketers opt to not do them or go to very few. Instead of paying money for a booth, consider being a panelist or speaker at the event, hosting your own cocktail party, or doing a guerilla 'on-floor' promotion, passing out coupons and using SMS with contest codes to draw attendees. Any of these approaches will yield a much better return on investment . Testing Taking just a few extra minutes on every campaign to test will yield a much better response rate. Simple A/B split testing, comparing subject lines, calls to action, or content headers can help you optimize every campaign. Start with 10% of your list and perform the test. After a few hours (with email or phone) you will have enough of a gauge to determine which version you should send the other 90% to. Doing this within the campaign, as opposed to waiting until the next one will produce a much better outcome. The Letter U User Groups User groups are another effective way to generate more demand for your products and services. You can have different groups for executives, who want to discuss strategy, resourcing, process – and practitioners, who want to discuss product roadmap, how-to, hear case studies, etc. © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 20 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z Providing valuable content and giving your user community the opportunity to interact on a regular basis strengthens support for your brand and gives you a chance to highlight other services and products your users may not be aware of. The Letter V Viral Marketing Viral marketing can be a simple video, story, or podcast. It can also be a game, or an immersive experience. Backup Trauma (www.backuptrauma.com) by LiveVault is an excellent example of how to build a compelling experience that takes a humorous approach, while highlighting the strengths of the company. This particular version generated millions of downloads for LiveVault. The key to a successful viral campaign is to tap into the emotional element – make it funny, controversial – something people just have to watch and pass on. A good viral approach can drive more demand than almost anything else on this list. Virtual Worlds Virtual worlds haven’t been really embraced by B2B marketers yet. They involve using Avatars (representations of you in a character form), having an online experience in an alternative , 3-D virtual world. The most common approach has been game form, where Advertisers design games and experiences that take the visitor through different scenarios while highlighting their brand. Second Life is the best know vendor in this space. If you really have a creative bent and some time on your hands, this is another approach that really leverages the interactive nature of the Internet. Virtual Tradeshows Growing in popularity, virtual tradeshows offer visitors the experience of going to a tradeshow without leaving the comfort of their office. They typically support an actual live event. While online, you can check in for sessions, viewing them in webcast form, post questions, visit ‘virtual tradeshow booths’ and network with other online visitors. This is an inexpensive way to reach many people – typically they cost $5000-$20,000 to promote. Consider adding one of these to your arsenal this year. The Letter W Website What better way to drive leads then by leveraging the power of your website? This is your most important asset, bar none. Your site should be fully optimized, highly interactive, and post fresh content on a regular basis. Knowledge Centers, games, podcast series, online testimonials, video and audio – all should be elements incorporated into your site. Ensure that every page © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 21 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z has a strong call to action and that your forms link directly to a marketing automation system and can notify sales reps in real-time when online valuable behavior is occurring. Top off your website with good chat functionality and reach your visitors in more ways than ever before. Webinars Webinars are still a preferred method of B2B marketers for driving demand. Interview formats and guest speakers are two of the better ways to showcase good content and drive visitors. Make your webinars more effective by automating the pre-event marketing and post-event follow-up. This will allow you to scale and host more events on a go forward basis. White Papers Especially useful for early stages of the buy cycle, white papers can explore relevant industry topics in-depth. White Papers help position your company as Thought Leaders. Make sure that the paper is really a good examination of a business problem, not an extended brochure that promotes your specific product or service. Scheduling a new white paper for every quarter will keep your company’s image fresh and ensure you are taking a Thought Leadership position in the marketplace. The Letter X Xpert on Demand If you are really well known for expertise within your marketplace, why not have an ‘Xpert on Demand’ function on your website. Rotate several people throughout the week and allow visitors to call or chat in real-time with an Industry Expert to have their questions asked. Then, archive the questions, post them to a F.A.Q. section on your website, and add this content to a RSS feed. Now your expertise will be heard around the world! The Letter Y YouTube Taking the planet by storm, YouTube has become the ultimate way for users to express themselves and for creative marketers to reach a broader audience. Simple humorous videos or stories under 5 minutes in length work well. Strike the right chord and you can reach hundreds of thousands of people very quickly. Finish the video with a simple URL that directs people back to a dedicated landing page. If you are short on resources, consider working with a local college or university drama department. They will get a real-world experience and do the job for free and your company gains the benefit. © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 22 of 23
  • Lead Generation Strategies: A-Z The Letter Z Zero in on active prospects and customers Leverage the power of cookies and page tagging to monitor the individual patterns of visitors on your website. Develop profiles based on activity levels, navigation patterns, and content downloads. This will allow you to segment your list better and offer more personalized relevant content that will convert your leads at a higher rate. © 2008. The Pedowitz Group. www.pedowitzgroup.com Page 23 of 23