I often get questions about a single unique marketing strategy, such as outdoor advertising or social media, and I find myself get into conversations of why businesses, especially in a B2B space should diversify their efforts across many campaigns. I see some regional tech companies putting a lot of emphasis on events or social media marketing as the dominant lead generation strategy. Many executives are arguing that since social is huge and everyone likes to attend events for in-person interaction, that today’s marketing departments just need to concentrate on one or both of these and the demand generation problem is solved.
I tend to think that any marketing effort should be more of an ecosystem, and cannot rely on a single strategy. I’m not suggesting that both of these areas aren’t of enormous value when used as part of an integrated plan, but building a sustainable lead generation mechanism can take time, and will surely require multiple touch points.
Your B2B Buyer: I truly believe that the key to success of any campaign is in identifying your target audience. In the case of consumer companies it is fairly easy – people tend to have similar demographics, behaviors and buying habits. When we get into the B2B space, however, the plot thickens – end user, influencer, purchasing agent, and decision maker – are usually played by different people – often as many as twenty, although very few would be entitled to make decisions. So, the rule of thumb is that a marketer has to create on average 7 campaign touches before a purchase is made.
Holistic Approach: a successful and sustainable lead generation pipeline should start with a good old integrated marketing plan that will also provide an incremental lift for your overall brand. A broad mix of campaigns, both digital and traditional is more likely to touch all stages of the sales cycle – from suspects – to prospects – to leads, thereby staying relevant and providing answers as and when the buyer asks them. Buyers might have different behaviors and could be engaging in many ways, be that at a conference, searching online, or listening to a podcast. Working with partners will also help – apart from providing additional avenues for lead generation; partners serve as a 3d party influencers and help lift the overall reputation of your brand. Through continuously measuring your integrated lead generation campaigns you can decide which dial to turn up as appropriate.
We are interested in your winning approaches to lead generation. What tools and strategies work for you?