Designing New Worlds

Generating Leads with Digital Marketing

Once upon a time.. 

Once 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. Then democracy came to technology access and the game changed. 

Present

Consumers have gotten smarter, and advertising is everywhere. It is ignored. It is hand-waving when you have nothing real to say. Customer wants what was relevant to their issues and their situation. They don't want tips and tricks flashing in their face but real people with serious conversations. 

Now begins the decline of modernist marketing and advertising. 

Today, if you want new customers, you must start by offering them something.

So let's start designing your marketing campaign that generates interest . 

First Develop Customer Personas

First priority is making sure you know who your customers really are as humans and what are their concerns. 

Let's call them 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:

  1. Set Goals - set measurable and realistic goals for your marketing campaign. (this is problematic if you are not listening to customers) 
  2. Develop an Offer - a piece of content that interest your potential customer e.g. E-book.
  3. Host the Offer - put that content somewhere your customers can download / view and give your their contact info in exchange. 
  4. Promote on Social Media - let customers know that you have an offer for them. 
  5. Promote Via Email campaign - email still works when done intelligently. 
  6. Track, Nurture and Follow up - connect with people reading and viewing your offer
  7. 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 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. 

 

Platform Choices

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.