January 28, 2003 Volume 2 Issue 31
B-2-B Lead Generation ... 21st Century Style
The acknowledgment section of this book by biz friend Ruth Stevens told me her writing was going to be good.
Quote: "Apologies to anyone who is offended by my consistent use of
the masculine pronoun to refer to everyone ... I've taken the easy - but
politically indefensible - way out."
Since marketing is communication, when we let language get in the way, we may be opting to loose the point. Not Ruth - she goes for understanding.
The DMA Lead Generation Handbook is a collection of "how to ..." ideas. The last half of the book is key references. Books to read. Business-to-Business statistics courtesy of the Direct Marketing Association. An extensive glossary of business marketing terms. Plus a directory of suppliers - including yours truly. Although my telephone number area code is wrong.
The meat of the book is between the first 153 pages. Something I've not seen before is included in the introduction;
#1). How this book works on page 6. Including a chart that outlines the lead generation process. And,
#2). Getting the most out of this book on page 7. Where the 5 divisions of the book are summarized with a paragraph each. I'll talk about each the same way.
First is The Lead Generation Tool Kit.
As in everything Direct Marketing the base element is the database. No matter your business, marketplace, geography, budget, size, product or service. Ruth begins immediately talking about "the various players involved in the purchase process." i.e., people make decisions, not companies. Yes, with B-to-B, it is still people.
This book is not a database book. There is an assumption the reader knows a DB comes in many dimensions. And having one is not an option - it is mandatory. Well, Ruth, again, is right. How you keep track is not important ... that you do is.
There are a number of list, database and segmentation issues discussed. Each with key bullet points. And sufficient description to cover the issue - while not getting technical. For me, it is perfect!
Same with media ... beginning with direct mail in all its' formats. And the telephone - including a sample script. E-mail, with a great list of ideas on how to use it for lead generation, including E-newsletters. The Web as an internal and external tool ... search engines, affiliate programs, webinars and more. There's also a section on broadcast, trade shows and print.
Plus, good coverage on how they all work together. Not new ... we've done this since my earliest B-to-B days of two decades ago ... we still call it 'integrated marketing' .
Part Two is Lead Generation Strategies. Planning.
Ruth begins with a section titled Setting campaign objectives. What is key here is two-fold;
... first is you gotta have objectives - without there is no measure. There is a laundry list of ideas to help you set yours, and
... next, B-to-B DM is not a one-shot deal - it is a campaign. The world seems to understand advertising and public relations work best with repeated messages, using multi-media, each aimed at the prime marketplace. For reasons unknown many feel minimal efforts will get the job done with direct marketing. Of course, it just ain't so!
This section includes Analyzing the buying process, which is an interesting read. It climaxes with a chart summarizing buyers and sellers, what is important to each, and how the process works from beginning to end.
Offer development gets a thorough study. Because it is so important to success, Ruth covers the offer in detail. Much more than creative ... although there are some excellent reminder tips. Testing, how to handle response and analysis wrap it up. Oh, there is a mention of budget, too.
Part Three covers Response Management and Lead Conversion. Getting a lead is one thing ... turning it into paying business is something else.
Ruth calls response management inquiry handling. i.e., what you do once you get the lead. B-to-B leads come a number of ways. Through the work horse direct mail, by telephone, by fax, off a web site, by E-mail ... and from a field sales rep.
No matter the lead source, fulfillment must happen promptly. 24 hours is the suggested max time.
And then there is lead/inquiry qualification. All leads are not created equal ... some are more equal than others. Some are better prospects - some are more timely. Some need instant attention - some need continued follow-up.
Ruth is right in saying the outside field sales force should not qualify leads. Most often they have a view limited to their responsibility - not the entire company. The big picture is important.
Qualification by BANT ... Budget - Authority - Need - Time frame is a good way to put first prospects first. And to keep track of those in the loop that need to be - exiting others when it is time to move on.
Sample Q&A forms, record keeping sheets and the ever present collection of bullets make this section another good read. And useful.
This section is wrapped up with fictional, yet "real" case story.
Part Four is all about Customer Retention. Which is a strange section for a lead generation book. As retention comes after the lead is converted to a sale. It's a back-end event.
Still, everyone knows it is much more profitable and much less expensive to keep a customer than get a new one. Two decades ago the airlines began what have become the largest loyalty programs. And everyone has seen the value. Of late, with the addition of the WWW into the mix, The customer experience has become more important. Long term vs. a project activity. Thus, retention is important.
Ruth includes a few marketing myths ... and a good collection of "how to ... " tactics to wrap-up.
Earlier I covered Part Five ... the last half of the book. All about resources, stats, supplier categories.
If you're in the Business to-Business marketplace this book should be on your desk. You can order your copy through all the usual sources. For more send an E-mail to Ruth at email@example.com. Or reach the DMA at www.the-dma.org.
Ad Rant by Larry Chase, publisher of Web Digest for Marketers E-zine ... and other marketing thoughts
Several months Mr. Chase penned these words. They are so-so good, I'm lifting them and sharing in total with you. EnJoy!
"Every so often I go off the deep end when I am exposed to an especially dumb piece of advertising. The latest run-in was just yesterday, when the public address system in the Rite Aid Pharmacy told me not to think them as a store, but rather as a "solution.""No," I thought, it isn't a solution, it's a store, and how absurd that someone would try to convince me or anyone else otherwise. Who comes up with these "slogans?" No one really expects me to start referring to Rite Aid as a solution, do they?
"Honey, I'm going to the solution, need anything?" I can't picture myself saying that, can you? Who sold Rite Aid on that concept? Was it an ad agency? Did they really do focus groups that backed up their assertion this would be successful?
Most commercial messaging is insulting to witness. Most commercial messaging doesn't work. No wonder marketing budgets have been slashed back in these hard times.
When you cut back ineffective marketing budgets and find you suffer little for that cutback, are you likely to reinstate said budgets when the money spigots are flowing again? DM Guru Mac Ross pondered this in front of me this week and I didn't find myself arguing the other side too strenuously.
Much of advertising and commercial messaging is broken. Until it's fixed, until it proves that it does actually work, I seriously doubt we'll see marketing budgets return in the way and to the levels of recent memory.
For more web marketing ideas E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The seriousness of the first loose thought opens the door for the silliness of this collection. These are actual bloopers from church bulletins.
Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done. • The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning. • The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth Into Joy." • Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community. • The eighth graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the church basement Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy. • Thursday night Potluck Supper. Prayer and medication to follow. • A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow. • Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance. • Tuesday at 4 PM there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early. • The Lutheran Men's group will meet at 6 PM. Steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread and dessert will be served for a nominal feel. • Don't let worry kill you, let the church help. • This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar. • Thursday at 5:00 pm there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All wishing to become little mothers, please see the minister in his study. • Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days. • Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa will be speaking tonight at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine. Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa. • The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind and they may be seen in the church basement Friday. • Announcement in the church bulletin for a National PRAYER & FASTING Conference: "The cost for attending the Fasting and Prayer conference includes meals." • Miss Charlene Mason sang "I will not pass this way again" giving obvious pleasure to the congregation. • Next Sunday is the family hay ride and bonfire at the Fowlers'. Bring your own hot dogs and guns. Friends are welcome! Everyone come for a fun time. • During the absence of our Pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J.F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit. • The church will host an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment, and gracious hostility. • This evening at 7 P.M. there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin. • Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don't forget your husbands.
Sometime way back when I meet the fine folks at Lortz Direct Marketing, Omaha, Nebraska. Had a chance to do several good things with them - it was good.
Recently, in their newsletter celebrating their 20th Anniversary, they included this quote from Anonymous.
"Doing what you like is freedom; liking what you do is happiness."
This is certainly true ... doubt that any would disagree.
For more quotations, anonymous and others, visit my archives ... "Quotes with Direction" ... (www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/index.htm). A new batch goes online every 4 weeks.
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
You can bring "It IS What's Next!"
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.