Here are five actions that will always help your demand generation campaigns succeed.
Every formula for successful targeted campaigns requires two elements:
- Know your audience
- Drive an integrated approach between sales and marketing
But most of us need a few more specifics. Here are five actions always worth investing your time and resources in.
1. Tap your sales team to define buyers and influencers.
If your organization has already adopted persona-based marketing, you’re several steps ahead of the curve, but it’s important to validate this audience with sales: decision-makers, influencers and other key participants in the sales process.
If sales is the ultimate recipient of leads, you want to make sure they’re bought into your (marketing’s) prescriptive approach to targeting.
And if you’re not entirely sure who your audience is, sales can be a great place to start. A seasoned sales executive is on the front lines every day and has a considerable amount of insight they can lend.
2. Focus on developing audience insights.
If you haven’t yet adopted persona-based marketing, now is a good time to begin. Defining audience personas essentially means understanding who they are, what they care about, and how to talk with them, not at them. See my brief guide to persona development for busy B2B marketers to learn more.
3. Target identification.
You need to physically identify your target—decision-makers and influencers. Start with sales: Understand their priority accounts (either for prospecting or cross-sell opportunities), and which contacts within those accounts they’ve already identified. Some sales teams will have no problem pulling a targeted list of companies and 2-5 contacts (best case) within those organizations.
However, if you have no contacts at your targeted companies, there are several methods to build out a list. The most successful list-building methods will require time and effort to hand-build, leveraging a combination of data (available online, often for purchase) and calling (for validation).
4. Participate in an integrated touch strategy.
Even the most stellar marketing campaign—great offers, compelling visuals/call-to-action and persuasive messaging—won’t reach its full potential without sales support. When sales follows up on all inquiries immediately, there’s typically a significant increase in impact. And I’ve often found that buyers will be much more receptive to a proactive phone call after receiving a relevant and interesting package or offer.
5. Communicate impact.
This goes both ways. If you want to get sales jazzed about a campaign, it’s helpful to SHOW THEM THE $$. Let them understand your projected path to revenue. Identify where in the process they’ll have an opportunity to make an impact (see #4). Set up campaign codes in Salesforce.com or other CRM tools to indicate the source of leads, and keep track of their progress through the pipeline.
Since partnering with sales is clearly key to building successful targeted campaigns, see Five Tips for Bridging the Gap Between Sales and Marketing to give your campaigns a real depth charge.