Many industrial marketing professionals spend a great proportion of their time creating lead generation campaigns. After all, if nothing comes into the top of the sales funnel nothing will come out of the bottom. Because I am over 50 years old, I clearly remember the pre-internet days when lead generation for industrial companies was largely done with direct mail, advertising, and trade shows. I also have witnessed the rise of online marketing in all of its perpetually changing glory.
While I am quite well-versed in the various online marketing techniques I think it is important to consider the needs of your specific audience. In other words where do they go for their information? Your painstakingly crafted lead generation campaigns are strictly focused toward online media you may well be missing out on a lot of opportunities.
Drop the misconceptions about your target market
One of the most dangerous misconceptions any industrial marketing professional can hold is because they spend endless amounts of time online their prospects do the same. Now at the risk of starting a firestorm I believe it is important to point out that most of the key executives I know in manufacturing spend very little time online. Their time is largely taken up with meetings, strategic thinking, and taking care of the innumerable fires that crop up on a daily basis.
Drop the misconceptions about media selection
The second aspect is that while anyone who believes that online marketing is not important is foolish, anyone who believes online marketing more important than any other type of marketing is equally foolish. There is a time and a place for online marketing, for offline marketing, or for both. As the old saying goes “your results may vary.” As always, you need to test various forms of media to determine what works best for your company. Remember, smart industrial marketing professionals know it’s all about optimization. Test small, fail fast, modify, discard, or roll out.
They won’t bite without the right bait
If you want to catch a particular type of fish you will get best results if you use a particular type of bait. Your prospects are no exception. Let’s say you decide to use direct mail for lead generation purposes. You get 1,000 company brochures printed up, stuff them into envelopes and mail them out. Within a few weeks you are mortified to discover that you did not receive a single response. The conclusion you arrive at is that direct mail does not work. Your conclusion is incorrect. Direct mail does work but you need to use the right bait.
Write a sales letter with a link to a special report or video that solves a particular problem that drives your target market crazy and you will then be fishing with the right bait. Your lead generation campaign will be successful and you will then arrive at the correct conclusion that when done right direct mail really is effective.