B2B Marketing: Drive Leads & Sales With A “Get It Done” Attitude
I think most business-to-business marketers should aim for “get it out” and “good enough” rather than aim for perfection when it comes to marketing to drive leads and sales.
Because aiming for perfection, in addition to being nearly impossible to achieve, results in your marketing campaigns and materials spending far too much time in the concept and development stages, causes significant delays in delivering your lead generating messages to prospective customers.
Or worse, your marketing messages never get delivered at all.
With all this in mind, here are some ideas and resources to consider for your marketing:
• Instead of constantly re-inventing the marketing wheel, consider re-purposing or refreshing your existing materials.
The reasons someone should engage your company are often the same as in the past, so why not update the marketing materials that were successful in the past. We are usually sick of our marketing materials long before they stop working with our prospects.
• Instead of trying to come up with oh-so-clever copy, focus on crafting clear, well-targeted headlines and messages, which offer real solutions to your prospective customers’ problems or pains.
If you think you have a knack for writing, a great book on the subject is The Copywriter's Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells by Robert W. Bly. Or you can find copywriters who can do the job for you by searching on the Internet using phrases like “B2B copywriter” or “direct mail copywriter.”
• Avoid typos and grammatical errors by using a proofreading service like proofreadnow.com.
• Instead of using costly give-aways, make compelling “how-to” information offers or “buy now” calls-to-action that will get prospective customers to respond.
Mark Joyner’s book, The Irresistible Offer: How to Sell Your Product or Service in 3 Seconds or Less is worth reading.
• Instead of spending a lot of time creating fancy, expensive mailers, fire up your laser printer and send personalized letters to your prospects. Then use window envelopes so the address on the letter shows through to avoid having to address the envelopes too.
Or use one of the online lettershop services like mailersclub.com or usps.com/netpost to mail-merge, print and mail your business letters.
Remember, longer copy that is easy to skim (i.e. using subheads, bullets, call-outs, boldface, etc.) works with both those prospects who prefer to read all the details and those who prefer to get right to the bottom line.
You can also use postcards as a less costly alternative. Companies like amazingmail.com, modernpostcard.com or touchpointmail.com can help you get your postcards designed, printed and mailed cost-effectively.
E-mails to your opt-in list of prospects are another option to developing more costly mailers. For a comprehensive listing of email service providers, see page 26 of BtoB’s Marketers Resource Guide-2006 available at BtoBonline.com
• Instead of creating printed brochures, consider printing pages from your Web site instead. If you’re worried about your company’s image, place them in a glossy file folder, imprinted with your logo.
• Instead of developing seminars, workshops, or executive briefings on your own, consider partnering-up with another company to or organization to co-produce an event, or simply take your prospects as your guest to Microsoft or other large organization events on the subject.
• Instead of paying for custom photography, consider low-cost stock photo websites like istockphoto.com or photos.com.
• In addition to hiring full-time people, consider part-timers to help get the marketing job done.
As my oldest daughter just started kindergarten, I’ve met a number of moms (and a few Mr. Moms) who are ready to go back to work after taking a few years off to raise their children, but now only want to work part-time.
If you need specialized expertise on a project-by-project basis, consider hiring independent contactors like copywriters, designers or event coordinators.
And if you’re willing to trade experience for enthusiasm, consider hiring one or more interns from your local college or university.
So, next time you find yourself thinking about how to make your marketing perfect, I challenge you to think instead about what constitutes being good enough, and how to get it done sooner rather than later. After all, no one can respond to your business-to-business marketing if it doesn’t reach them in time, or even worse – never at all.
About the Author: As one of today’s leading business-to-business marketing consultants, M. H. “Mac” McIntosh uses the latest in lead-multiplying tactics and strategies that are working NOW to drive up leads and sales. As an expert on the subject of B2B lead generation, he can help you increase your bottom line by converting more sales leads into actual sales. Get his Free Sales Lead Report® newsletter at http://www.sales-lead-experts.com