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B2B Marketing for Lead Generation

Success in B2B Lead Generation

Business-to-business (B2B) marketing for lead generation is an important part of any business primed for growth in current and prospective customer base. One of the best ways is to expand reach into your market is through direct marketing. Direct marketing encompasses email, telemarketing, catalogues and more. Regardless of the form you choose, there are at least 3 key considerations to think about in a B2B marketing campaign strategy, these are : customer database, campaign and measurement

Customer Database

Your customer or even prospective database effectively encapsulates unique key profiles of those most ready, willing, and able to purchase your product or service. Key determinants usually align with features your product and service offer to solve as well as cost. The more complex your solution the more people will need to be involved. Even in an SMB environment where it may be just the owner and a vendor all parties will need to understand critical features and benefits that may impact current installation. The good news is that the longer you are engaged in discussions the probability of closing a sale goes up. There are obviously a myriad of options for selecting a database to run your direct marketing program from your own internal prospective list to an externally sourced list. If you are fielding the latter option do be reminded of your country’s legal framework regarding spamming and DNC requirements.
Sometimes when using a more generic database, basic information on current usage, brands, size and key future requirements may be harvested through a profiling exercise. Although finding a good generic database list to work on can be daunting good places to start looking for Asia are: DnB, Leadbook and Thomson Data (Singapore) and Intercall Marketing. Most database list providers will provide broad as well as specific category for your targeted campaign. Access to a customer database is the first step. The next step is to put together a campaign that enhances the experience with your brand. While it may be difficult to solicit a response from an unknown list but every impression counts. Areas to think about could be as follows:

Your customer or even prospective database effectively encapsulates unique key profiles of those most ready, willing, and able to purchase your product or service. Key determinants usually align with features your product and service offer to solve as well as cost. The more complex your solution the more people will need to be involved. Even in an SMB environment where it may be just the owner and a vendor all parties will need to understand critical features and benefits that may impact current installation. The good news is that the longer you are engaged in discussions the probability of closing a sale goes up. There are obviously a myriad of options for selecting a database to run your direct marketing program from your own internal prospective list to an externally sourced list. If you are fielding the latter option do be reminded of your country’s legal framework regarding spamming and DNC requirements.
Sometimes when using a more generic database, basic information on current usage, brands, size and key future requirements may be harvested through a profiling exercise. Although finding a good generic database list to work on can be daunting good places to start looking for Asia are: DnB, Leadbook and Thomson Data (Singapore) and Intercall Marketing. Most database list providers will provide broad as well as specific category for your targeted campaign. Access to a customer database is the first step. The next step is to put together a campaign that enhances the experience with your brand. While it may be difficult to solicit a response from an unknown list but every impression counts. Areas to think about could be as follows:

  • Well thought out messaging directed with a customised solution
  • Campaign Program flow has well trained frontline staffs as well supporting product experts. Reaction time should be measured in minutes or hours not days.
  • Effective feedback should be in place for key stakeholders held on regular basis. No plan goes flawlessly hence adjustments and tweaking should allow for better overall result.

Campaign

Email Marketing

One of the most difficult challenges in email marketing is delivery and open rate. While it seems that once the send button is engaged task of delivery is completed, however your email may not have gone through to the recipients, it may have been blocked or diverted to spam folders. Nevertheless, email marketing can be one of the most cost effective tactics to engage in as cost per lead is relatively low. Following are a few insights to improve on your open rate:
Your message should be short and to the point. Readers usually have about 2 seconds to decide if they want to engage with your message. Also, remember to personalised as well with ‘Dear Mr. Lee” nobody likes a cold “To whom it may concern…”.
Subject Headers should be enticing that prompts readers for impulse read. Just a few examples: “You are invited!”, “Customer Complaint”, “50% Off Deal Today only”
Call to Action. Have at least 2-3 parts in your email body that links to your offer calling readers to act now by clicking to your landing page. Immediacy is key to your click through rate success.
Avoid High Resolution graphic files. If possible, your email should be text base which keeps email size tiny. This will facilitate better delivery without prompting email servers to be overloaded or worst flagged. Keep your sensational html webpages on landing page instead.
Avoid Attachment. This is a no-brainer as it’s common knowledge that all email servers aggressively filters from unknown senders and attachments can be sources of malwares and viruses.
Use Reputable Email Servers. Good delivery rate depends on many variables but sending from a good server will go the distance for you as the probability of in-boxing will be high.

Online

Search Pay Per Click

Reach the right people at the right time with Search Engine Marketing. PPC or Pay Per Click should be part of a marketer’s repertoire for B2B lead generation in 2019. Known fact that if your webpage don’t appear on page 1 in Google Search your chances diminishes to less than 20% on page 2 and god forbids page 3. With mobile it is even more crucial to get listed on not just page 1 but in top 3 list.
PPC can be a very expensive exercise but necessary if you are in need of presence and growth. However, another cost-effective strategy is to utilise Search Engine Optimisation for your B2B lead generation plan. SEO is a long-term play think 6 to 12 months out before your webpages gets within page 5 to 10 in big G’s algo ranking. Key approaches in SEO is to build a reputable brand via understanding context of your targeted audiences’ conversations forming your keywords strategy from the generic to specific phrases where search may be made. If ‘must-win’ keywords appear on publications or news vendors’ site then a combination of sponsored pages and/or PPC banner ads should be a key part of your ongoing B2B lead generation effort.

Social Media Marketing

The holy grail in social media is to get your content viral. Successes are few but case in point but for 2019 is a tweet from Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa of Zozo Inc gathering 5 million retweets.

Your audience experiences, rather than products or services, are what people will find most memorable hence most likely to share with their associates which in turn energises the community and can help accelerate message distribution and keep discussion relevant.

Understanding public sentiment towards your brand is pivotal for companies in all industries. Find out how your brand is performing on social media via say a social media dashboard providing up-to-date insights to help you better understand your social media performance. Conduct regular audits on capability and attitudes, update content appropriately.
In B2B environment, storming viral effects in sharing will be much more muted compared to B2C counterpart but there are platforms that can help to get the shares into higher gear. Video remains popular and video training content will add further group discussion and provide the opportunity for Q&A. Training or educational video have proven to be an effective tool but besides content, personality is also an important factor to your success in this platform.

Measurement

While the objective for a marketing campaign is the rate of conversion to sales., however for marketers, it is vital to understand where leads are funnelled from for better effectiveness in future campaigns. Some key areas to look into are as follows:

  • Leads by platform (e.g. email, telemarketing, PPC, social)
  • Leads Progression by Stage
  • Leads Conversion Rate to Sales

Once you’ve identified your metrics, it’s important to monitor your data and to track your numbers consistently. You’ll be using this data to populate your systems and other analytics software used for measuring performance. These figures will influence what your next steps will be, how you’ll drive improvement, and what to do differently to correct any missteps.

All of this must be clearly communicated to every member of the team, and each employee must know how they can influence it. They should also know what steps to take in order to achieve them, and what level of performance is expected from them based on these metrics.

Finally, marketers should consider as part of their total program to run a small pre and post-program survey calibrating changes in attitudes and behaviors towards your brand and/or product and services.

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