Do you have a product or service that is ready for sale? You think it will be very successful and you feel that the world is at your feet, but you find a problem: you are not generating the sales you expected. You are not creating any Leads. You haven’t done adequate research or implemented a marketing plan yet, and this is hurting your ability to find and keep customers. How do you solve it? By getting leads, and nurturing them through the sales process.
But, what is a lead?
A lead is any person, individual or organization with an interest in what you’re selling. They are potential future customers, and your best asset to achieve better revenue. Not only are they interested in what you’re selling, but they’re also the right type of person who is likely to buy your product. They are not just a simple possibility to click on your website, but they are also involved in learning more and going deeper into the purchase.
Marketers face the challenge of finding and nurturing quality leads. For too long, marketers preferred quantity over quality, finding every possible lead and wasting energy on each one. There was no personalization, no distinguishing which lead was most likely to follow through with the purchase. This was because they had no idea who they wanted their leads to be. They never defined their target market and never pursued leads accordingly. But now, understanding your ideal customers is an important role in determining what the potential needs may be.
Here’s an example:
Imagine your company is the newest aviation company being developed, trying to compete with Boeing, and your competitive advantage lies in the fuel-saving benefits of the aircraft you develop. Are you going to target customers who might be interested in buying an aircraft? Or will you be looking for a more specific segment, such as for commercial uses / government uses? If you want to target commercially, a possible description of the ideal customer could be “companies that are tired of spending most of their money on gas, want to be more competitive in their markets and need a new solution with reliable aircraft”. One company that could take advantage of this opportunity would be Southwest Airlines, because they already know the benefits of spending less money on fuel. If the relationship with Southwest is positive, you can use this experience to sell even more to other companies and generate even more leads.
Once you’ve defined your target, it’s time to generate leads
You can generate a lead in a number of ways, including: showing prospects the value you can add to their lives, solving a problem they are facing, or creating content that is easy and quick to digest. The first two points relate to what you plan to sell rather than marketing efforts, and the last one relates entirely to marketing and the ability to capture the attention of your leads.
Still, the first two relate to what content should be present in your marketing materials. For example, if we go back to the model above, the new aviation company’s marketing materials should be sure to include their competitive advantage (fuel savings plans) and how that would benefit the companies that bought from them (solving the difficulties they have been facing). In the end the main aspect of lead generation is to work all these elements together.
In the world we live in, there is so much data and information to sort through, it can seem overwhelming. For this reason, the content your company produces within your marketing materials should be easy to understand and visually appealing. If your ads only have paragraphs of information, they will be easily forgotten.
If they have images, color and are easy to catch the eye, they will be much more memorable. Anything that can slow down your ideal customer, make them stop in their daily activities while they analyze the large amount of information that comes to them, will be useful for your company.
Lead generation worked so well it was wrong
One group that figured out how to get attention and used it extremely well helped promote the Fyre Festival. This festival, planned in 2016, turned into a complete disaster, but one that thousands of people paid to attend. The person in charge explained that you only have 1-2 seconds of time to get someone’s attention on social media (if you’re lucky).
So, the marketing team had to find a way to stand out: an all-orange mosaic posted on influencers’ Instagram pages, with a link to a 1-minute video of a place that could be paradise. This was the entire advertising campaign, and it worked.
From there, they had a social media presence, and although the festival didn’t even happen due to horrible organizational errors, there was no denying that their marketing plans had worked.
Now, ideally, your company won’t be producing marketing content for a product or service that hasn’t been fully realized. Nor will you be taking millennials’ money. But, the lesson learned is clear: you need to find a way to stand out, or your efforts will be drowned out by the content surrounding your customers.
This is very valid in the B2B market, because for a long time it has been the biggest differentiator among competitors. Having materials that make them stand out in a positive and memorable way from the rest will be key to winning more business.