Lead Generation Checklist - Part 1: Conversations, Not Campaigns

Lead generation tactis are changing rapidly. The previous transactional approach isn't working anymore, prospects dont want to be sold to but engaged in a conversation about their challenges and learn how a vendor can help solve problems. Think of lead generation as a series of conversations with your audience, not campaigns. Show your prospects that you understand their industry, and specific issues, and that you are interested in building a long term relationship.

As Brian Carroll in his excellent B2B Lead Generation Blog points out, this way you will become a trusted advisor rather than just another sales person. Brian has a series of great blogs on lead generation in the 21st century. I will feature them here over the next few days, starting today with "Lead Generation Checklist - Part 1: Conversations, not campaigns".

How to Make Your White Paper a Success

Here is an excellent article from The Bloom Group on how to write truly compelling white papers that create excitement in the marketplace. Making white papers more compelling isn't a mystery, but it does require a methodical approach: http://www.bloomgroup.com/content/reengineering-white-paper

Fixing the Crisis in Marketing

I ran across an interesting blog post "The Crisis in Marketing" by Erik Bower from MarketBright where he talks about current Marketing methodologies not keeping pace with the pressures in today’s business environments: volatile markets, pressure to prove marketing's impact on sales pipeline, reduced budgets and headcounts, new tactics such as social media, etc.

Bower takes a page from the shift in software development methodologies (agile development replacing waterfall model, etc over the last years) and applies it to marketing. This approach replaces the static, long timeframe planning approach common in most marketing departments today with an agile approach that emphasizes team collaboration over process, quick iterative adjustments to changes over plan adherence.

With agile marketing, quarterly plans shrink to six week sprints, daily reviews of program performance (similar to the daily build concept in software development) replace quarterly reviews, quick mid-course corrections based on testing and real-time market feedback are encouraged, and project plans allow for unforeseen issues and last minute additions.

This approach helps marketing not only remain relevant in today’s organizations but provide visibility into the value it provides to the company, aligning with the needs of the sales organization, and reducing the cost of marketing while increasing performance (http://bit.ly/5kVZzm). How are you managing marketing in your organization?

Technology Marketing Collateral Trends

Here is a recent survey report on B2B technology marketing collateral trends from Eccolo Media that you may find interesting: “Eccolo Media 2009 B2B Technology Collateral Survey Report”.

Key findings in the report:
• White papers – especially those that are long on expert content and light on sales jargon – continue to be the No. 1 form of collateral influencing technology purchasers. Product brochures and data sheets are the most frequently consumed, but white papers are considered the most influential type of content when making technology purchasing decisions
• People more than ever view collateral from their desktop – in fact, only 1 in 4 surveyed ever print an online marketing document – and most share them electronically with colleagues.
• Video is on the rise in terms of frequency of use by technology purchasers – especially video that features customers speaking about real experience using a product or service.

Looking for Social Media Policy Examples?

Do you hesitate to jump on the social media bandwagon with your company? Concerned about what happens when an employee shares insider information? Social media is inherently dynamic, even chaotic. Provide no guidance and you likely end up damaging your brand. Be too restrictive and your social media initiative will never take off, putting you at a competitive disadvantage. Clear policies help you better navigate this new communication channel and provide guidance to your audience as to what is ok to post and what isn't.

Here is a great collection of social media policies from 123 Social Media's web site to help you create a policy that works for your organization: http://bit.ly/2qYKjm