I often use a simple analogy to emphasise that target audience definition is the most important factor in new business lead generation. It’s the story of the expected gold medalist in the shooting at the Olympics that fails to win the gold because he missed the target. He may be the best shot. He may have the best rifle that is precision engineered. However, poor aim means that someone else wins the prize. Is that what’s happening to your business? Do you have a great proposition but fail to win new business because your target market doesn’t get to hear about it due to poor targeting?
This may seem over simplistic. However, we undertake lead generation campaigns for our clients all the time and the factor that most impedes or enhances success is targeting. That means:
- Identification of a sector or industry that needs your offering
- Clarification of which job role holds budget and the power to make decisions
- Sourcing a bona fide list that is sizeable, clean and recently compiled
- Compiling a compelling message that the target may respond to
I accept that timing and all manner of other factors play a part in lead generation. It’s unlikely that you will win that large contract if you have no credentials, no credibility based on similar clients and past work or if your business lacks testimonials. Let’s be realistic. Big companies don’t take too many risks.
When undertaking telemarketing, we sometimes spend a lot of time asking questions such as to ‘can you tell me the best person to speak to regarding……’ Now, this is not a good question for a number of reasons.
- It slows us down
- It triggers blocks and no name policies
- It absorbs cost for our clients through slower results
Outbound marketing lives or dies by data quality. Whether the marketing campaign is an expensive stand out mailer that never reaches its intended recipient or an email that gets junked or a phone call that gets blocked, ROI will be enhanced by the quality and appropriateness of the data and by the relevance of the message for the audience. If you can reach the right person to buy your services quickly and you have something they need, your chances of success and improved ROI for your marketing campaigns are magnified.
So, what to do?
Our recommendation is to think about 5 factors that will enhance your targeting:
- Look at your current customer base, past and present, and identify the profile of company that buys your services. Think about this by size, location, sector and so on.
- Research the job role for your prime decision makers. The more you can focus this, the easier it is to purchase or compile bespoke lists
- Purchase a list based on the above criteria and / or gather a list using LinkedIn, Google, industry publications and so on. Make calls into the companies to validate the contacts before the campaign.
- Build a robust enough list to give your marketing a chance. It is still a numbers game and a list of 20 companies might be extremely well targeted but is it enough for a decent campaign and what are your chances of success? A list of several hundred is preferable.
- Research and define a reason for them to engage with you now as opposed to at some future time that might never come. Find out who has got the pain and needs your solution with the funds to pay for it. If you don’t know, ask your current customers or do some formal market research.
The above often isn’t easy but who said large clients come easy? If you focus your outbound marketing efforts in this way, you will magnify your chances of generating more leads for your business.