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Lead Generation

Better Lead Generation – an Action Plan and Guide Pt. 3

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This is the third and final part of a white paper -‘how to generate more leads’

Building Your Action Plan
Following on from the 2nd part of How To build your Lead Generation Action Plan here is the last part of MARKETING DIRECTOR CENTRE’s 11 Steps to Crafting a Powerful Lead Generation Action Plan.

1. Where do your prospects look for answers to the problems and where else do they hang out? (This may require some market research)

2. Design Offers Do this on your own or ideally with some of your people. Try and capture not just the logical part of how you solve your ideal prospects burning problem(s) but also use the work you did in step 3 to incorporate:

“What do you (as your ideal prospect) want the offer to say? What do you want to be promised? By whom?”

Pay special attention to the headlines. Can you say something in the headline that immediately shows your ideal prospect that you understand them in a deeper way than anyone else?

You will want to test your offers – there are many risk free ways of doing this but this can be a complex and context sensitive area, call us or email us if you need help with testing.

3. Identify Channels How can you get your offers in front of your ideal prospects in a compelling way that is also cost effective? There are many options here and the list gets bigger every year. Obviously one of the keys to identifying the best channels is “where are my ideal prospects looking for answers?”

Examples of channels include Google ads, LinkedIn ads, Facebook ads, webinars, seminars, trade association publications, speaking opportunities, PR activities and direct mail.

4. Build processes to match your offers As mentioned at the start of this document if you want reliable and repeatable lead generation then build processes and build them into into a system. Start as you intend to continue.

5. Create the content to support the offers and the processes Be ready to follow through with prospects who raise their hands. Remember that you are going to want to give your prospects repeated value without trying to sell then anything and without asking for money. And also remember that each time you deliver value to them do so with a new call to action that makes it easy for them to take the next obvious step in building a relationship with you.

6. Create a Sequence of Lead Generation Activities for the period being planned and build a lead generation calendar. This should map out who is accountable for doing what when.

7. Test and Measure and Fine Tune One of the absolute truths about all lead generation activities is that each can be improved – always. Markets change. Channels change. Your business changes.

Also the likelihood that you will get everything absolutely 100% right first time is very minimal. The best lead generation systems are initially built using 80/20 thinking with an ongoing process of continuous improvement.

Plan for formal reviews of your lead generation system – initially monthly with a view to moving eventually to 90 day reviews.

8. Measure and Monitor To support point 10 you need to ensure that all data for all processes is measured and that you build in triggers to generate alerts should there be a sudden change in any measure.

An escalation process needs to be designed to manage both measurements, monitoring and escalations.

There you have it, these are the steps to build a Lead Generation System that can deliver leads regularly and reliably. Following the steps in this Action Plan delivers significant step change performance in Lead Generation.

Should you have any questions or require any kind of assistance with your Lead Generation or Lead Generation Action Plan, contact Australia’s premier consulting firm in the Lead Generation space – MARKETING DIRECTOR CENTRE.

p: 1300 733 384 or e:

realperson@strategicspecialists.com.au

Better Lead Generation – an Action Plan and Guide Pt. 2

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This is the second part of a white paper ‘Lead Generation Action Plan’

Call To Action

If someone takes you up on your offer what is it that do they need to do? You want this action to be as easy as possible. For example click here or call this number or fill in this reply paid card. You want a single step easy call to action. And you want your call to action to be void of any hint of a sales person about to pounce – we all have built in radars to protect ourselves from sales people pouncing.

Provide Repeated Value (for free) & Call to Action

Think of this as a boxing match. Now whether you are a fan of boxing or not you probably know that it is unusual, very unusual, for a boxer to jump into the ring and land a knock blow with his first punch. Yet that is the approach that many businesses take with their lead generation.

They put something out there to attract prospects with an offer, a prospect responds. And bang.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

Buy me now. Buy me now. Buy me now.

This certainly doesn’t work now and even if it did work in the past was not the best way of doing things.

Imagine that you are a single person – easy to do if you are one. You go to a party. You see someone that you like the look of and they notice you too. You start chatting and you kind of hit it off. You think you like them and they seem to like you.

Then after 10 minutes the other person says “marry me.” At first you think it is an amusing complement then you realise they are deadly serious. And for the remainder of the night – or the part of the night that you are brave enough to stay at the party – they follow you round: “will you marry me, will you marry me.” Pretty quickly you would flee the scene and disappear into the night.

And so it is in lead generation. No-one likes being hunted or pushed to do something that they are not ready to do yet.

Before your lead goes any further with your business you need to get them to trust you.

The best way of doing this is to give them repeated value without trying to sell them anything and without asking for money.

Each time you deliver value to them do so with a new call to action that makes it easy for them to take the next obvious step in building a relationship with you.
Engage
The number of steps that will you need in giving them value will vary depending upon your target market, what you are selling, the price point of what you are selling and the risk to the buyer.

When you get to the last step in your giving them value process the final call to action will be ask them to engage with you in some meaningful way where some more of your value is exchanged for either time and effort on their part or for a small number of dollars. This is unlikely to be the “big final sale” and is more likely to be the bridging step between no financial engagement and a complete financial engagement.

Think engagement and not marriage at this stage.

At this stage you may do a small paid for study, or a paid for diagnostic or paid for design or an initial paid for trial period.

You want the steps in your engagement process to continue to educate, add value to your prospect, and earn their trust.

During this process you should be able to fully qualify your prospect to make sure that you want them as a client/customer.

When you have a qualified prospect who trusts you then the lead gets passed to sales and the start of the sales process begins.

Building Your Action Plan

To build your Lead Generation Action Plan here is MARKETING DIRECTOR CENTRE’s 11 Steps to Crafting a Powerful Lead Generation Action Plan.

  1. Identify a Narrow Target Market. The narrower the better. This may mean that you have several Target Markets – that is OK. The reason for wanting a narrow target market is that the wider you make your definition of your Target Market then the more difficult it is to identify specific burning problems that the Target Market desperately wants/needs to solve.
  2. Describe your ideal prospects in this Target Market. Your ideal prospect is one who absolutely should buy your product or service. It’s just perfect for them. They have the need, they have the money, they have the buy-in of any other stakeholders. You need to define who they are and where they are – the more detail the better. Here is an anonymised example from one of our IT clients:

The Managing Director of a training businesses in the Greater Sydney area. This type of training business is focussed on helping large corporates and medium sized businesses stay compliant with all forms of employment legislation. The MD needs more tightly integrated IT applications to support winning a bigger share of her client’s training budgets – at the moment the MDs unconnected IT apps are a barrier to this. The MD would ideally like a simple way for all their IT apps to work together and share the same data – this would unlock more revenue growth for them. The MD doesn’t want to ditch existing IT apps. Their revenue from training activities is at least $2M plus.

  1. Their Problems That You Solve The logical problems that you solve should be easy for you to document – go ahead and write them down. But to craft powerful Offers you need to go beyond the problem and solution statements to what it means for your ideal prospect to solve these problems. Start with a blank sheet of paper. (I recommend using pen and paper, not a computer, for this exercise). At the top of the paper, write the following:

If I could only…

Imagine you are your ideal prospect. What’s your name? (Really, give yourself a name. Don’t skip this because it seems silly). Age? Marital Status? Do you have kids – what ages? What do you believe? What communities do you belong to? What really annoys you? Who do you want to be like? What’s most important to you about your performance in your role? To be a hero? To avoid mistakes? To look good? To have fun? Now imagine your ideal prospect at the exact moment they are about to search Google for your main keyword. Complete (“If I could only …”) from the point of view of your prospect. What are you hoping for? What are you afraid of? How will you know when you’ve found the right solution?

Talk about the emotional as well as technical aspects of the problem and its solution. Is it fun? Something you’re looking forward to solving? Are you worried about failing? About making a mistake? Who might be judging or second-guessing you? What triggered your search?

Write as much as you can.

When you’re done, search Google for the keyword and look at the search results page from your ideal prospect’s eyes. Do any of the ads or organic listings really speak to them?

What do you (as your ideal prospect) want the ad to say? What do you want to be promised? By whom?

For information on how to build a successful sales and marketing engine, contact Michael Butler on michaelb@mymarketingdirector.com.au or 1300 384 733

See you next time for part 3

Better Lead Generation – an Action Plan and Guide Pt. 1

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Part 1

What can I do to generate more leads with my business?

Good quality leads ultimately mean money and more sales. They are the key metric of how well your marketing is performing.

Businesses need a regular and reliable flow of new leads to remain healthy. In a recent survey that we read (late 2013) only 1in 10 marketers believed that they had effective lead generation processes or an effective lead generation system in their businesses.

Lead Generation System

Unfortunately more and more power now resides in buyers control. They can bypass your marketing and sales people and arrive at the selection of a provider or solution before ever making the first contact with a provider.

So your approach to lead generation needs to be sharper and more in alignment with your buyers priorities and research processes than ever before.

Here’s how to do it.

Firstly all lead generation activity needs to be thought of as part of a defined and documented set of processes. A successful lead generation engine can only be built, optimised and fine-tuned by knowing, and measuring, the key steps in each lead generation process.

Broadly speaking lead generation engines have four sub-processes that are tightly connected to each other.

Lead Gen

Attract

To begin attracting your ideal prospects and convincing them to take the first step with you ask the question: Where do my ideal prospects look? Not where do they look for you but where do they look for the solutions to the problems that you help them solve?

This means of course that you need to have a crystal clear understanding of what the burning problems are that you can solve for your ideal prospects and also how you solve them.

Also be aware that there are some subtle, and some not so subtle, differences between why people look in different places.

As an example:

  • A search engine user tends to be either in a problem/solution mindset or in a getting ready to buy mindset. Either they have a problem and they are searching for solutions. Or they have found the solution and are looking for suitable providers of that solution.
  • A blog reader is usually in a news getting or learning frame of mind. They are exploring a subject that interests them but they are not necessarily seeking the solution to a burning problem.
  • An email reader is usually in a “let’s be productive” or a “I wonder what’s up with Frank” or a “what’s entertaining to take my mind off what I’m meant to be doing” mindset.
  • Social media site readers(Facebook, Twitter etc.) are either looking for entertainment or some fun or some juicy gossip.
  • Yellow Pages or True Local browsers are looking for a local provider of service X that they need.

This list is not comprehensive nor obviously does it apply to everyone using each of those medium. However you get the point that depending upon where you find your ideal prospect, your message will have to have the right tone and the right context to attract them.

Also have a look at what your competitors and are doing to attract prospects – not to copy them as they may not have thought through their lead generation very thoroughly. Do this to build up a picture of the competitive landscape.

Offer

Offers can be education, product trials, diagnostics, samples of service etc. Always presented in compelling way. The critical thing here is not to fall into the cheesy or lazy “buy me now, buy me now” category.

It is easy to slap together an offer than gets rejected as irrelevant or way too ‘salesy’ or too pushy. In the past you could sometimes get away with this. But now we are all surrounded by marketing messages and lead generation offers. Each of us has become much more discriminating about what messages and offers are allowed through our “protect me from sales people” filters. This is true at work as well as at home.

The starting point to crafting your offer is to think through “if I were in the shoes of one of my prospects what are the burning issues and questions that I would want to have answered ?” In the case of MARKETING DIRECTOR CENTRE one of those burning questions in the minds of many of our ideal prospects is “how can I generate more leads – reliably and regularly?”

The document you are currently reading is one of our answers to that question and you received it by responding to an offer that we crafted.

You will find nothing in this document trying to sell you anything and you will find nothing in this document to buy.

The critical thing to take away from this is that you will find that the best performing offers give your best content to your ideal prospects freely. No obligation and no pitch to sell anything.

Your offer can be to give information, a product trial, a free diagnostic or free inspection, or educational material. The key, once more, is what does your prospect really want? Find this out and put it at the core of your offer.

For more information, contact Michael Butler on michaelb@mymarketingdirector.com.au or 1300 384733

To see how your business is really performing. Book a Discoverytime: three for free session with us today. Call 1300 384 733.

See you next month for part 2

Why Social Eazie Has Just Made Content Automation Much Eazier

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The majority of Australian businesses value their social media channels above all else when it comes to marketing. Facebook, Twitter and the like are worthy avenues to not only engage with current customers but to also reach a much broader (and often much more profitable) audience. Reaching this audience and providing them with the right content at the right time could lead to a significant growth in profit for your business, should you get the content and timing right.

Enter Social Eazie, a simple and effective way to manage all your social media from one outlet. As well as scheduling original content through various social media channels, you can discover and follow engaging blogs and influencers that may be relevant to your audience and re-post as much content as you deem valuable. For example, you might follow articles from Entrepreneur, view one titled “5 Reasons Machine Learning Is the Future of Marketing”, re-schedule it weeks (up to months) in advance, edit the tag line so it speaks to your audience and finally, track the post analytics.

Co-founder, Peter Karanicolas has nailed the process on the head after realising that businesses were finding social media management difficult. The number one issue faced by clients was ‘I don’t know what to post’, and even if they did, they couldn’t think of 3-4 posts per day to keep a maintained social media presence in place. Searching and managing content for various channels can chew up time and resources and isn’t worthwhile for any business if it’s not done thoroughly.

Social Eazie was built around three pillars (see below) to ensure businesses could find, search and follow content that would add to their social media presence and persona.

1. Content: you can find and follow hundreds of businesses, hashtags, influencers and interests and repurpose their content for your own social channels.

2. Time: you can find content easily, publish your own content and schedule weeks in advance.

3. Ease: the UI and UX design is simple to use and easy to navigate which makes managing your social media easy.

Good communicators know how to time what they say to coincide with when their audience is most receptive. Whether it’s online or offline conversations, the end goal is to create relationships with your audience and to highlight the value of your product or service to your customers through the type of content you post.

Social Eazie encourages the relationship between business and customer and is offering a free month trial on their website, as well as a free training sessionwith co-founder Pete – so you can see for yourself how ‘eazie’ managing your social media channels can be.

Click here to learn more and chat to Pete.

Brand v. Lead Generation

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There seems to be a lot of confusion out there between brand and lead generation, and the importance of either or both.

When we talk to clients about brand, we sometimes see nervous shuffling of papers, shifty glances around the table and quiet coughs. “What time is lunch?” they ask. No, branding is for the big boys, the banks, automotive and beer companies with huge advertising budgets to play with. Definitely not for a business like ours.

Start the conversation around lead generation and we’re all ears. Ah yes, what should we try? How’s our eDM campaign fairing these days, should we split test headlines or even try a new copywriter? We did try hiring a Sri Lankan telemarketing team, but that didn’t seem to get us anywhere, what can you suggest?

Marketing Director Centre is currently writing an e-Book on brand because I feel – and so do all of our marketing directors, that brand is the most misunderstood term in marketing (or even business); unimportant, expensive and should definitely be delayed until we can afford a new logo (we only redid our website last year after all).

Lead generation on the other hand, is always at the top of the agenda. Send us more clients. Is that it?

Take for example the major Child Care Centre that spent millions on advertising, but were constantly losing enrolments. The centre’s were relatively full most of the time, but stop the advertising for a month and the story quickly changed. When we began to look at their churn, we noticed that up to 50% of parents withdrew their children within 6 months of enrolling. They simple weren’t happy. I know, let’s ask them why they’re unhappy and see if we can address some of the issues. Let’s put in place an online engagement system that continually surveys clients ongoing and gives us a temperature gauge of how each centre is performing against key criteria – and highlights the areas to improve. Let’s look at our brand for a change.

Won’t that all cost money? Well yes, but so does expensive (and unnecessary) advertising.

Like so many, the business was not concerned about brand, they were concerned about getting new leads in through the door. It worked to some extent, but – and this is the crux of brand, it was expensive and spelled disaster when things went wrong.

So often I see it, companies spending large amounts on generating leads without ever considering the essence of their brand. Give consideration to your brand it is a valuable asset.

Ph: 1300 384 733