P4M1 Intro To Lead Generation

Different Types of Marketing

  • Search marketing
    • The prospect is actively looking for a solution and your job is to be found
  • Outreach marketing
    • The marketer is reaching out to prospects
    • Speculative interruption marketing
    • Permission marketing

A customer buys something he or she needs or wants after either:

  1. Recognising the issue and deciding to search for a solution from potential suppliers. For example, if you decide you want a new car then you start visiting car dealers’ showrooms and websites. You are taking the initiative to contact businesses who can help.
  2. Being persuaded to act on an issue as a direct result of some kind of marketing or sales initiative.  For example, if you’ve always wanted a vintage Jaguar E Type convertible and you see an advertisement in your local newspaper which causes you to take action. This time the business took the first action to draw this desire to own an E Type to the top of your mind.

To recognise these two fundamentally different types of customer action, I split marketing and lead generation into two broad categories.

Search marketing and outreach marketing.

In search marketing the buyer is actively looking for a solution and the marketer’s job is to make sure that your business is discovered and contacted.

In outreach marketing the potential buyer is persuaded to take action as a result of communications from the business through sales and marketing. Marketing guru Seth Godin makes the distinction that this can be interruption marketing which is unsolicited or permission marketing where the customer has given his or her permission to be sent the marketing message.

In some ways it is the difference between being marketed to by friends or strangers.

Let’s look at each in a little more detail.

Search Marketing

  • Potential customers recognise they have a problem and are looking for solution
    • Internet / Marketplace 99designs.com
    • Yellow Pages – emergencies
    • Contacts – referrals
    • Exhibitions & retail stores
    • Classified Ads
  • Your job is to be found and considered credible enough to be contacted

It is the customers taking the initiative in search marketing because they recognise they have an issue which they are motivated to solve and are willing to spend money. At this stage they may not be well informed and they may have little idea of the costs so they are in an information gathering stage.

So where do potential customers of your product or service look to find solutions.

Twenty years ago when you wanted you may have only considered the local market so you turned to the Yellow Pages to find the most subtle suppliers in your area.

Since then the Internet has been commercialised and that has been the normal place to look for solutions and research. Depending on what you is being sold, solution providers mat be local, national or international which means there are many more choices to consider.

The Internet has also allowed special marketplaces to be created which bring together buyers and suppliers. Craigslist is a popular classified advertising website with local variations and there are even websites like this one which give Golden Retriever owners a chance to promote their puppies for sale.

For example, if you are looking for graphic design work, then www.99designs.com is a fascinating website where you can post your project and designers will share ideas with you until you select one to work with.

Yellow pages hasn’t gone away entirely since it is still used by more traditional people in local markets and is great for emergencies where you don’t have time to waste Googling around the world.

If you’ve got water coming through your ceiling, you need a plumber fast and Yellow Pages is the place many will still look unless they have existing contacts.

That leads onto the point that prospective customers looking to buy may ask their friends and relatives for their recommendations and experiences. These can be positive referrals or a warning against using a particular supplier or even generic solution to the problem.

Alternatively the buyer may want to take a physical look at the products or services before making contact and will visit retail stores for consumer products and exhibitions for commercial products before making contact with a select few.

Finally a search buyer can specifically look at magazines and newspapers – and especially the classified section – for the products and services you want to buy. If you want a part time gardener to work 4 hours a week to keep your garden tidy, then you might look in the local newspaper and if you were really keen, you may take out an advertisement yourself for “gardener wanted”.

Your job as a marketer is to be found, to be relevant and create the first contact.

What People Search For

  • Solutions to symptoms problems they have diagnosed
  • Suppliers they can trust
  • Online searches
    • Information – reviews, guides, opinions
    • Products they can’t find locally
    • Bargains and special offers on what they can get locally
  • Standards vary depending on how many answers found – competitors grouped together.

When searching, potential customers have a diagnosed problem or symptoms of a problem serious enough for them to recognise the need to take action and commit resources(time, energy and money) to finding a solution.

If starting from symptoms, they may be open-minded about potential solutions or they may have decided on the cause of the symptoms (rightly or wrongly) and look for a solution to their diagnosis.

A business owner may decide that sales are too low and attribute the cause to either:

  • Not getting enough leads – so the solution is some kind of marketing support
  • Not converting enough leads already achieved – and the diagnosis is sales training

An independent analysis may diagnose the problem as poor levels of repeat business because of a customer service problem involving late deliveries because of bad production scheduling and poor stock control which will need very different help. In fact, bringing more volume in will make the problems worse.

Sometimes what the customer wants and what the customer needs is different and if you’re committed to selling in a way that builds long term relationships, you need to recognise that an easy sale may not always be the right sale to make for your customer or for you. That’s why qualifying leads is such an important step in the sales process.

The buyer is looking for suppliers and solutions he or she can trust and are relevant to the problems and symptoms the customer is looking to solve or the identified solution. You should look to meet your prospective customer where they are – especially on websites – rather than expect them to jump to where you’d like them to be.

When a buyer is searching, it starts with a general information search to find out more and consumer guides, review sites and people expressing opinions are very useful and will shape the buyer’s impression of your business. This is one of the reasons why social media can be so important or can do so much damage.

Two hours ago I was looking for a machine machine repair service, typed a local search in Google and click on the nearest one to me shown on Google Maps. One bad review (and no good ones) was enough to cause me to0 move along to another supplier.

People will also search for products that they can’t find locally and are prepared to pay shipment costs where relevant. I collect classic rock CDs which used to mean spending too much time in dingy record shops. Now my browsing is done online through Amazon, eBay and other websites.

Finally buyers will search for bargains and special prices and promotions, especially if the underlying product is a commodity. Price comparison sites are common in the insurance market although they need to be used with care. Other websites like Kelkoo.co.uk exist for comparing prices on commodity products and there is always eBay to use.

As a buyer, you will know from your own experience, this search can be an enjoyable or extremely frustrating experience depending on whether things easy, logical and it feels right.

Search brings you together with your competitors. You just need to look at a popular Yellow Pages section like plumbers or roofing contractors and you’ll quickly find yourself asking “how do I choose?”.

Your challenge in promoting your business in search marketing is to be included on the short-list for every qualified prospective who looks.

Outreach Marketing

  • You take proactive steps to get a response from a prospective customer.
  • Traditional marketing
    • Direct response – call for action so you can measure results
    • Brand building – build awareness & familiarity
    • TV, radio, magazines, direct mail, telemarketing, posters & billboards
  • Move from annoying pest to welcomed guest

If success in search marketing means the telephone rings or the email pings regularly with enquiries, then outreach marketing is more proactive. The marketer has to do stuff to make it happen by interrupting the prospective customer and catching their attention with an interesting offer.

Traditional marketing is split into two very different categories:

  1. Direct response advertising – think mail order and infomercials which are designed to make the sale there and then so the customer is ready to send their money immediately. Any delay kills mail order success because of the “out of sight, out of mind” problem.
  2. Brand building advertising – this is how big companies work with constant repetition of their brand name and sensory images to link the name into feelings. It works but it costs a huge amount of money. Repeat exposures make brands known and name familiarity can justify a price premium.

If you are a small business, I believe you must use direct response advertising. Yes it can look brash and ugly. How far you go is up to you but your marketing needs to be written to create a reaction now… and not at some distant time in the future. That way you get great feedback on which aspects of your marketing are working and which are not.

In direct response and brand building, you are hoping to interrupt the potential buyer and move his or her agenda to yours i.e. you want them to develop a yearning to buy your products and services when they didn’t have that desire before.

I love Dan Kennedy’s expression of needing to move from “unwelcomed pest to welcomed guest.” From junk mail, spam email or irritating phone call to an irresistible offer which you buy.

Permission Marketing

  • “Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” Seth Godin
  • E.g. special offers for Cruise holidays
  • Attention is precious – it needs to be treated with respect – value for time
    • You work to win it
    • You work to keep it

Author Seth Godin wrote  the book “Permission Marketing” many years ago and predicted many of the changes we’ve seen in how companies and consumers fit together.

He defined permission marketing as

“Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.”

Marketing communications can be useful or create value for the potential customer.

I like going on cruise holidays so if I’m thinking about organising a holiday, I welcome emails on cheap cruise deals. They may only be relevant for about three months of the year but at the right time, they help me appreciate what’s happening in the buyer.

When you’ve got the attention of a customer or a potential customer, then you need to recognise that this a special privilege and recognise that you must respect the other person’s time. Think of it as if each contact adds or takes away relationship points based on the value and relevance in the message. You also lose relationship points if the break between messages is too long and your prospective customer forgets about you at their time of need.

Capturing attention can be tough and keeping it can be tougher unless you follow the right procedures.

Contact Management

  • Capture details of every lead in a book, cards, CRM system
  • Track progress from lead to customer
  • Record source of lead – primary & secondary
  • Contact details
  • Key actions, contacts and requests
  • Personal details eg birthdays, company details
  • Purchases – date, what, how much, value

It also starts with capturing your customer details in a database so you can maintain when you want.

How you record leads and customer details – on index cards, in a lead book, a spreadsheet or in a fancy customer relationship management (CRM) system will depend on the size of your business and the number of customers you deal with. It doesn’t need to be too complicated.

The important thing is to track progress from the first contact or lead through to initial purchase and then ongoing details of what’s happening in the relationship.

You should always ask about the source of the lead to help you to understand which parts of your lead generation system are working best. Sometimes it can be multiple causes so I can find it useful to distinguish between the main or primary source of the lead and secondary causes.

For example, a buyer may respond to a particular email offer but it was a PR published in the local newspaper which attracted the buyer to your permission marketing system in the first place.

Contact details are essential – address, telephone number, email address – if you are going to stay in touch and messages through multiple channels are more powerful than over-use of once medium like email or the telephone.

The advantage of using a simple CRM system like Act is that you can record notes, key actions and issues so that it is presented in front of you before your next contact. If more than one person talks to the customer, everyone can be kept up-to-date with what’s been said.

You may also want to start collecting personal information (look out for any data protection compliance issues) but recording birthdays, wife’s and kids names etc can help make the buyer think you’ve remembered more than you have.

Finally if your customer database can be linked to your accounting records, it gets even better since you can see what’s been bought, how many, when and how much. You can even have exception reports to highlight customers who break trends as an early warning system.

“Show Me The Money”

  • Pillar 1 – track your incoming leads from different sources and your conversion rates turning leads into customers
  • Double Your Profits – what improvement assumption did you make to double your profit?
  • What happens to profit if you double your leads?
  • Set your goal for what you want to achieve in lead generation. Do you commit to it?
  • Stop Start More Less grid

In Pillar 1 I talked about tracking incoming leads from different sources to help you identify which lead generation techniques are most productive. I also encourage that you track from leads to orders since they can be a big difference in quality of leads which is shown up by the lead conversion ratio.

Next I want you to crunch through some numbers to understand what needs to change in lead generation terms for you to double your profits.

In Pillar 1 you were asked to target a percentage improvement in lead generation as part of the double your profit campaign. Remind yourself what that percentage was.

Then see what happens to your profit forecast if you double your leads and keep all your other key profit drivers.

Yes it is a demanding target but I want you to see what is possible with the information available to you in Pillar 4 and your commitment to implement the ideas. It really helps to see the prize possible if you move from relying on one main lead generation technique to having multiple sources which work.

Now set your new target for your improvement in lead generation and commit to it.

You’re now ready to start your Start Stop More Less Grid as you work through the remaining modules in Pillar 4.

First let’s look at some of the marketing mindset issues needed for success with P4M2 Why is Marketing So Difficult.

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