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We have a successful business that does great with rolling over existing business, but fails miserably when it comes to acquiring new customers. We’ve tried paid SEO, and we received lots of top-of-funnel leads, but only ONE measly deal. Needless to say, all our effort didn’t even pay for itself. Then, we tried email marketing through one of our lead sources. These leads were supposedly considered ‘warm’, and guess what? …we got nothing from that campaign either.
We keep coming back to the study of LinkedIn as a viable lead mechanism; however, we’re jaded after going through two messy mishaps. We’re a true B2B play, and we have been struggling to obtain new business over the past few years. Frankly, we’re stuck in a rut right now, and we’re not sure how to proceed. We can’t survive like this much longer. We know we need new customers – and we’re willing to do what it takes to get there, we just don’t know exactly what that is… Can you offer any help or suggestions?
Director of Marketing at B2B firm, Seattle, WA
First off, take a breath. You have no trouble with customer retention, and that means you have a superior product that keeps your customers coming back for more. That’s great!
When it comes to generating new business, the first thing I’m going to tell you is to stop worrying about which channel will give you the most conversions and get back to the basics of demand generation. Get hyper-focused on your messaging and value proposition. The best messaging aligns your solutions capabilities with your clients’ challenges, regardless of the channel you’re using.
Trouble generating new business is a situation facing many of my clients over the years. In fact, I’m actually working with a client dealing with that issue right now. It always goes back to assessing the value you bring to your clients. Why should a client buy from you instead of your competitor? What unique and important benefit can they expect if they do business with you? It looks like you’ve tried several sales tactics, but have you sat down and considered your positioning strategy in the market?
You likely need a combination of good branding and demand generation activities.
Spending media money on under-optimized brands and messaging is not a good investment. Developing good branding and messaging involves the points mentioned above, plus much more.
Good demand-gen efforts use a combination of coordinated inbound, outbound and account-based marketing; better identification of your buyer journeys (with proper targeting of the right messages at the right time), plus some marketing automation tools. You’ll get far better ROI if these elements are done together.
Today’s buyer is sophisticated, with an unlimited amount of information at their fingertips.
Information overload combined with a complex buyer journey makes it challenging to know exactly when to engage your prospect. But don’t fret—I’ll cover the basics of how to build a technology enabled demand gen strategy that will enhance your outreach efforts.
The constant evolution in technology has created countless opportunities in the marketing world. Eight years ago, there were only 150 tech solutions in the market. Today there are over 7,000 to choose from. To tackle the sheer volume of options, having a well-developed plan of action will help weed out the ones that won’t meet your needs. Martech stacks are not one-size-fits-all, and you need to have right mix of technology and the human touch.
I’ve broken down the fundamentals of demand generation into four steps:
1. Align your goals to your strategy
To get started, first determine your goals and then design a strategy using a combination of people, processes, and technology. Let’s say you have a goal to grow by 10%, or maybe you need to generate $30M in net new business: what are the steps needed to get there? Keep in mind, technology is not the silver bullet—it’s only one piece, albeit an important one, of your overall strategy.
2. Assess your business – past and present
As you design and organize your strategy, consider analyzing the current state of your business before you can apply technology to solve a problem. Look at your target market and account list, personas, historical sales, and inbound components to create your Ideal Customer Profile.
3. Define how your target buyer likes to be reached.
Now think about how your customers want to hear from you and what they want to hear—it’s all about the buyer! Do you understand their wants and needs? Don’t just jump from channel to channel, waiting for your revenue numbers to soar, ask your customers directly where they like to receive information, and then meet your prospects where they’re at.
An effective method our customers appreciate is conducting win/loss analysis interviews or creating customer profiles with an ABM approach. The technology you use plays a big part in understanding your buyer and creating value-based content and messaging that calls for attention and keeps buyers engaged.
4. Assess what technology will help you reach your goals and your prospects.
Okay, so your strategy is in place, now how will you reach your buyer? A modern martech stack should be a dynamic mixture of technologies that fit with your strategy and address your overall goals.
All of these may or may not be important in creating your ideal tech stack, but how you combine them is important to get the best results:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) or chatbots
- Intent data
- Demand generation framework
- Marketing Automation Tools
- Sales enablement tools
- The human touch
Sometimes, the most challenging part of the buyer journey is understanding when your buyer is ready to engage. Technology enables earlier stages of interest, but when is the right time to reach out for a conversation? What kind of analytics and reporting can you use?
Creating a plan designed around data, technology, and the human touch keeps your buyers in mind and gives you signals to indicate the right time to engage, which can then fill your pipeline with net new prospects.
Leadless, I applaud you for reaching out and asking for help.
That is, of course, the first step. It’s clear you have the determination and desire to succeed; and with the right strategy in place, you’ll be generating new business in no time.
Wishing you a fantastic 2020 with lots of new leads,
Marketing Technology Manager, Televerde