Feb 13

Written by: Laurie Wakefield
Thursday, February 13, 2014  RssIcon

Some Lead Generation Campaigns Can Be Like a Box of Candy

Did you ever receive a box of Conversation Hearts for Valentines Day? The traditional colorful heart-shaped candies were enticing; each had a Valentine message stamped on it. But didn't your interest quickly fade when you realized that the collection of nonsensical messages meant nothing at all?

Like many lead generation campaigns, these hearts have some great qualities but clear communication is lacking. They're fun, the packaging is bright, colorful and attracts attention. Although each piece represents an opportunity to reinforce a message, after recipients read a few of the disjointed stamped words, they may actually be confused or left with the wrong impression and the sender’s credibility may be damaged.

Many marketers today are using the power of the Internet, clever software applications and some creativity to blast frequent campaigns that may attract attention like a box of colorful candy, only to disappoint by leaving a bad taste in the mouths of their target audiences.

Lead Generation is Like Match Making

Too many marketers are still using the Internet like a broadcast medium, blasting one message in one way to all audiences and missing the opportunity to support and reinforce their live marketing efforts. By joining and creating common interest groups online, marketers can learn from their target audiences and accomplish much more than attracting attention. By listening and contributing relevant perspectives and information within interested groups, we can represent brands, gain respect, establish and maintain authority and attract a qualified and attentive following.

Beyond the Tactics - Lead Generation is a Courtship

Many marketers may have mastered some of the technology and even a few charming techniques to help their campaigns get noticed. But when campaigns lack substance and sensitivity to the needs and interests of the target audience, they can actually cause more harm than good. Prospects can be lost with a single click. Marketers that regularly attract or even demand attention without delivering meaningful and relevant content may actually be campaigning to be ignored. However, through strategic use of the Internet and a variety of marketing applications we can attract and engage target audiences, building meaningful and lasting relationships.

Communicate Like You Care

Without attention to relationships, social media sites and e-mail programs can be sources of SPAM, causing recipients to opt-out and unsubscribe. Database-driven applications can help us improve communication and serve audiences better by observing traffic, reporting and learning by measuring interest and results. When we segment distribution lists we can deliver just the information that subscribers expect, e-mails become respected sources of information and leads are nurtured. When e-mail content is developed with the recipient’s perspective in mind, we can gain their respect, encourage viral sharing and equip them to help us tell our story.

Lasting and fruitful relationships can be established through industry organizations and online communities where we can attract and nurture more qualified leads. By approaching marketing efforts with community and matchmaking perspectives, marketers can attract more interested followers and subscribers, nurture leads by sending meaningful follow on communication, identify the most qualified leads, and engage sales team members for more personal attention.

Share the Love - Use Technology And Act Like a Human

Be Interested

Know your audience, follow them and join them in the places where they meet, share, ask questions and even complain. Learn from them and respond.

Be A Matchmaker

Match the appropriate channels and tactics for reaching the right audiences with the right messages. Make perfect matches by preparing, packaging and sharing accurate, credible and relevant information.

Be a Story Teller

Tell stories about applications and why products and services matter to your audiences. Use graphics and pictures that impact, engage, entertain and convey the message clearly.

Be Attractive

Join the conversation and remember that it’s not all about you, your company and products all the time. Remain respectful and don’t waste precious attention by sharing irrelevant information, negativity or complaints. Address concerns with positive action and don’t trick your audience with false promises to get their attention. Demonstrate your experience and community involvement by acknowledging and celebrating success and progress, even when it isn’t about you and your products.

Be Credible

Pause before you post or send and be deliberate in your communication. Ask yourself whether the content is valuable and relevant to the audience. Consider whether the distribution channel or network is right for the subject or whether other tactics, even one-to-one communication about the topic may be appropriate.

Technology Doesn't Build Lasting Relationships - People Do

When marketers become enamored with technology and tactics, they can loose site of their customers' point of view. Many websites are still like online brochures, parked online with bland company, product and service descriptions. Some businesses are beginning to include blogs and incorporate social media but articles, tweets and posts are often self-serving and read like company bulletin boards. The opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and interest in the customers’ needs and requirements is still getting missed. To leverage the power of the Internet, serve customers, encourage referrals and continually attract qualified new prospects, marketers must remember that lead generation is a courtship. To build and nurture business relationships we must respect and care about others' interests, remember to think and act like human beings, and contribute and behave online as we do in the rest of our lives.

Copyright ©2014 Laurie Wakefield

1 comment(s) so far...


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Laurie Wakefield, a communications professional with more than 30 years of experience, blogs about Public Relations and Marketing Communications, highlighting programs and techniques that attract and engage, leaving lasting impressions and inspiring action.
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