Once upon a time..
Lead generation marketing was about creating a most fantastic and mind-blowing presentation about your product.
And then finding the most visible spot and advertising it. On a corner of a road or a banner on a site.
But then consumers got smarter, and advertising was everywhere. It was ignored. Customer wanted what was relevant to their problem and their situation. They wanted to be educated and make informed decisions.
Thus began the decline of traditional marketing and advertising.
In the age of information if you want new customers, you must engage them by offering something useful and valuable. So let's start designing your marketing campaign that generates leads.
Pre-Game Step: Develop Customer Personas
What hasn't really changed between pre-internet era and modern era marketing is making sure you know whom your customers really are as humans (as oppose to as a company). These are called Customer Personas.
For example, Software Testing outsourcing service is purchased and used by Software Makers. But upon a closer look, we see that there are two types of people inside Software Makers that purchase Software Testing services. e.g.
Procurement Managers and Test Directors.
Now that you understand that, you might consider separating your potential customers into two personas. Test Directors persona could be called “Test Mary” and Procurement Manager persona could be called “Procurement Dave”. Now we could go and find out common characteristics, issues, wants, needs, problems, and desires for Test Mary and Procurement Dave.
For remainder of this paper, let’s assume that as a Software Testing outsourcing company, you want to generate a little more interest from Test Mary.
Seven Easy Steps to Campaign Design and Management
Let us devise the process of designing and running your marketing campaign into 7 steps:
- Set Goals - set measurable and realistic goals for your marketing campaign.
- Develop an Offer - a piece of content that interest your potential customer e.g. E-book.
- Host the Offer - put that content somewhere your customers can download / view and give your their contact info in exchange.
- Promote on Social Media - let customers know that you have an offer for them.
- Promote Via Email campaign - email still works when done intelligently.
- Track, Nurture and Follow up - connect with people reading and viewing your offer
- Close Sale and Delight - make your customers happy by helping them getting the most out of your product / service.
Note: the "offer" here is not your product offer or discount or specials, but an intelligent insight in the form of a content of some type about a problem you customer might face and potential solution to that problem. You can describe how your product/service would be a good solution, but don't oversell.
Step 1 - Set Goals
It is important to set measurable, specific, and realistic goals for your marketing campaign. Your goals depend on your state of marketing and sales. Your goal might be to drive more traffic to your site, increase your page read rate, generate more leads, or convert leads to customers. State your goal in plain language so it is understood by all in your team. Some examples of goals could be:
- To generate 20 new leads for Test Outsourcing business by June 30th.
- Increase site visits by 20% by August 15th.
- Increase Per User Time on Website to 6 minutes by April 20th.
Step 2 – Develop an offer
Start with developing an offer that customers (e.g. Test Mary) can’t refuse.
- An E-Book.
- A Webinar.
- An Info-graph.
- A Visual Presentation.
- An in person presentation (host an event, participate in an event)
A modern-era marketing offer: A piece of collateral that helps customers get educated and make an informed decision about purchase.
Step 3 – Host the offer
Place your offer somewhere, like a promotional page on your website, where you can request potential customer’s contact information. Offer your piece for download if its digital, and request their contact info in exchange. If it is an event, get people to register for it. Or announce in your presentation where potential customers can go get additional information i.e. your promotion page.
Write a blog entry or two about your offer. Keep search keywords in mind when writing content of your offer and blog. This will help people find your offer via search engine.
Step 4 – Promote the offer on Social Media
Promote your offer. Invite customers to visit your offer’s promotional page.
- Put a little banner on your homepage.
- Send a status update on LinkedIn.
- Send a Tweet on Twitter about your offer.
- Post a note on your Facebook page about your offer.
Step 5 – Promote the offer via Email Campaign
Segment your email list based on your customer personas. Put all your existing Test Directors/Test Managers/VP Tests type customers in a list and label it “Test Mary”. Send an email through email campaign software to Test Mary list about your offer with a link to your offer page. Request them to forward email to anyone else that might be interested.
Step 6 – Track and Nurture
Now that you have started to run your campaign, you want to track everything. E.g.
- Who is opening your email?
- Who is looking through your social media?
- Who is downloading your offer?
An email follow up from a sales rep at ExactTarget as a result of me downloading their e-book.
You want to design your sales funnel and make intelligent decisions about when to contact and follow up with your customers via email or a phone call. E.g. If customer downloaded your offer (an e-book) or viewed your Webinar, you might follow up via email after a couple of days.
Step 7 – Delight and upsell
As a next step, once you have made the sale, you want to think of offers (e-books, downloads, visuals, webinars) that your existing customers will love. E.g.
- How to get most out of services they already bought
- Other complimentary products and services that increase productivity of previously sold stuff.
Then essentially you loop through all the steps laid out here. I recommend running marketing campaigns as on monthly basis as lean style sprints.
Next: Meet & Prepare
Identify all stakeholders that have interest and set up a meeting. As marketing lead (Consultant, CMO, Product Manager, Director Marketing, etc.) define all possible products and services your organization offers, and define Buyer Personas for each. Choose a buyer persona to focus on in your marketing campaign. Then define the offer (content that’s interesting for customer, not just your product), pick a platform and loop through Steps 1 – 6 laid out here.
What's laid out above is the core engine for modern era marketing efforts. You can run these campaigns using a variety of tools and platforms. Though, you can run all your marketing campaign and track on Excel or Google spreadsheets, I recommend looking at all-in-one platforms such as Marketo, HubSpot, ExactTarget, HootSuite, Moz.com, and Parrot. My personal favorite among these is HubSpot. I found HubSpot implementation straightforward and most money and time saving. Here is a screenshot of what HubSpot might give you to track your success with marketing efforts.
Note: I am not paid by any of these agencies to write these recommendations. These are my personal views and will change as new offerings come to market.
Got Questions? Consult with Incrementum