1 0 Archive | August, 2009

Lead Nurturing: Warming Up the Lead Pool

Creating a lead nurturing process may be on your list of marketing efforts to look into sometime in the future….when things are less hectic. The value of lead nurturing is simply an unknown to most and in today's market, professionals responsible for lead generation and sales need to know what their efforts will produce. Lead nurturing simply doesn't qualify. Right? Not so fast…..

5 reasons why lead nurturing is important within a marketing program.

  1. Lead nurturing 'fills in the gaps' for your prospects. Providing you a way to promote your entire offering while keeping each email specific to one subject. A much easier way to understand and digest information.
  2. Creating a lead nurturing program is efficient and effective!  Unlike typical email campaigns, once the process is set up, it's an automatic way to keep your brand in front of your target audience.
  3. It's intelligent! It's triggered by specific criteria, like a download of a white paper, so you have the opportunity to craft your messaging around that specific event, subject interest or industry.
  4. Lead nurturing programs offer you multiple yet separate opportunities to communicate with the same prospect – keeping your brand top-of-mind.
  5. Lead nurturing programs work by 'warming up the prospect' with information so that when a sales person contacts that prospect, their conversation can progress faster because they are spending less time educating and more time discussing your company's products and services.
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Make the Most of Your Trade Show Presence

Trade Shows shouldn't be your primary marketing strategy – however, if you are exhibiting at a show this year, there are things you can do to get the most mileage out of your presence there.

We all know trade shows are expensive -  the cost for booth space, promotions, staff travel, giveaways, etc. And on top of the expense, it's very hard to measure just how effective trade shows are at generating new business. 

To make your trade show presence as successful as it can be promote your presence at the show well ahead of time. Think about using banners and advertising in e-newsletters in places where your target audience goes online. You'll also want to send out marketing emails and direct mail pieces to your customers and potential customers exhibiting at the show, or that live or work in the area where the show is held.

Another idea is to hold a special event during the trade show that you can invite your customers and prospects to attend. Consider holding your event at the beginning or end of the show day to ensure highest attendance. Your event should provide not only a compelling educational program but an opportunity for socialization – like a cocktail party – as well. This will give your Sales force a chance to engage with attendees on a personal level.

Ensure that you publicize your event well in advance of the show through direct mail invitations and emails and get people to register to attend using a form on a specialized landing page – thus obtaining their contact information – making it easy to follow up with them if they did, or even did not, attend your event.

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Some Welcome News for Industrial Marketers

The Institute for Supply Management July 2009 Manufacturing ISM Report on Business indicated that the decline in manufacturing slowed in July. Some of the leading indicators – such as new orders and production – rose to their highest levels in two years and the new export orders index showed growth as well. The Chair of the Institute for Supply Chain Management, Norbert J. Ore, said the data suggests that we will see growth in the third quarter if the trends continue.  

This is welcome news in what has been a very difficult year for anyone in the industrial space. There have been layoffs and we’ve seen that personally, with many of our customer contacts changing over the past year. For those who were fortunate enough to retain their jobs, they’ve often been left to pick up all the work of departing colleagues. 

Despite prudent wisdom to maintain or increase your marketing presence during a down economy, marketing budgets were put on hold faster than calls to your HMO. When those budgets were finally released, they were often 20% – 30% smaller.  Industrial marketers have had to deal with fewer people and less money at a time when even more is needed to make up for reduced demand. 

It is back to school time, the leaves will be changing color and the end of year is not too far away.  Good riddance to 2009. There are signs of recovery and regardless of how fast that recovery comes, 2010 will be a better year.  The uncertainty of how bad is it going to get is behind us. Give yourself a pat on the back, stand a little taller and look forward to better times ahead.  And with that, start planning early for 2010. Scrutiny of budgets and ROI won’t go away, so have your ducks in a row to support your marketing plan.  This is also an excellent opportunity to cast off marketing methods and tactics that weren’t working before and revitalize your strategy.

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Seven Ways to Keep your Web Site Content Fresh

We’ve all heard the expression “Content is King.” This maxim especially holds true for your company Web site. Fresh, relevant and up-to-date content will help your site perform better in search engine rankings and will keep customers and prospects engaged and coming back.

The challenge is coming up with all this fresh content. As busy marketers, we don’t always have time to write or update copy, which is an important task but not always the most urgent. Sometimes it gets pushed down the to-do list and before you know it, your Web site hasn’t had a fresh posting in weeks or even months.

That brings us to recommendation #1 on how to keep your Web site content fresh.

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Beyond Lead Generation: Successful Lead Analysis and Management

Your company invests good money to generate leads for its sales team. And your sales team turns those leads into paying customers. In theory, that’s how it works. In reality, the story is often different.

Research shows that 80% of leads are ignored, lost or discarded. That’s not just some of the leads, that’s a vast majority. The reasons are many: poor handoff of leads from marketing to sales, lack of responsibility and accountability, no tracking of leads through the sales process, sales doesn’t like the leads that marketing generates, no agreed upon definition of what constitutes a lead, leads are followed-up with once and then forgotten if an immediate sale isn’t made … you get the picture.

To avoid these costly pitfalls and wasted resources, your marketing and sales teams must make a commitment to work together to agree upon the definition of a lead, manage leads once they come in the door, and track the outcome of leads that pass through your marketing and sales process.

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"Company Tours": A New Way to Generate Leads

Looking for a way to generate higher quality leads?  Who isn't? Why not consider featuring a "tour" of your business on your Web site or in your marketing emails?

A "tour" is a brief (usually about 3 minutes) presentation that provides an overview of who your company is and what your value proposition is to potential customers. It ensures that what you want conveyed about your company is done in a consistent manner. Your tour is also a good way to bring attention to additional offers you'd like to promote. And best of all – the main objective of the tour is to convert viewers into qualified prospects.

Leads are generated when tour viewers complete a registration form at any time during the tour . Registration provides them access to an array of offers – like White Papers, Articles, a Media Kit, etc., while providing you with their contact information.

To get an idea of how a tour looks and works, watch the GlobalSpec Tour here: http://www.globalspec.com/advertising/tour.

For more information on how to develop your own tour, feel free to contact Sapha, the company that developed GlobalSpec's Tour.

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Search friendly URL's can only help ranking

A lot of work goes into putting a web-site together: content creation, page design, and site architecture are all important elements. One element that may seem obvious but is often overlooked is the URL for each page. In his article URL Best Practices and Guidelines Reminder, Jody Nimetz of Enquiro Search Solutions Inc. offers a list of best practices to consider when creating and or revising the URL's for your site. Jody Nimtez is an on-line marketing specialist who offers tips and advice on his blog Marketing Jive.

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