Lead generation: “The generation of consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business”
Wouldn’t it be great if the statement above was as simple in practice as it sounds, especially for B2B companies? Nearly all B2B focused businesses carry out some form of lead generation for their marketing activities to bring in prospect customers. However, a recent study from Salesfusion shows that out of the 200 SME’s surveyed 90% were not happy with the amount of leads they generate. So, we have to ask ourselves, how are they getting it wrong?
As direct marketing specialists, we have come to the conclusion they are not targeting the right audiences. This can be a fatal mistake many SME B2B companies make as they may not completely understand what market they are in. This is a common mistake and one which can cost businesses thousands. For any lead generation to work successfully your company needs to go through 3 steps:
1. Identify your market
As already mentioned when businesses classify themselves within an industry they sometimes do not think outside the box or are very limiting to the market they want to serve. Categorizing the market you are in is key to step 2.
2. Segment your target audience
Choosing who should be classed as your prospect customers can be a daunting task, you don’t want to miss anyone out, but targeting and segmentation is important when running a successful campaign. So deciding who is likely to purchase your product or service or who the end consumer is should be top priority when looking at lead generation.
3. Select the perfect channel
Once you have your audience you need to decide the best channel to communicate with them, this may be via email, social, direct mail, mobile or face to face. Deciding on how to get your message across to your prospect customers is undoubtedly the most important aspect of generating leads for your business, choosing the wrong channel could mean your messages are not received which equals an unsuccessful campaign.
The last point differs between B2C and B2B businesses, for example LinkedIn is the perfect online space for B2B companies to build a reputation and community for their products or services, however Pintrest and Tumblr are B2C focused. Looking at other social media channels like Facebook and Twitter which originally were focused towards consumers but have rapidly turned into business forums for B2B companies to engage with each other and prospects.
By implementing these three steps your B2B company should be able to run a successful lead generation campaign, it is all about knowing who to target your product or service at, and how to get your message across to them. Relating back to the Salesfusion survey, the greatest area for increased investment is content marketing with 70% of B2B companies allocating more resources to their content strategies, if you would like to read our blog on content marketing click here.