NASHVILLE MARKETING BLOG: Insights on strategic branding, marketing management, general business and Nashville marketing topics. By Monica Powers, Vanderbilt MBA and marketing consultant in Nashville, TN.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Target Your Marketing -- or don't market at all

(This came up in a conversation with a friend/small business owner who is looking to expand her client base. Kudos to her for going about it strategically.)

You're ready to bring some new clients on board. Fresh faces, new projects, more revenues, all good. But you've already networked your way around town. You've talked to all the usual suspects. Your inner circle of contacts is tapped out, and you need to go outside to find some brand new business leads.

You're faced with the bone-chilling option of the B2B COLD CALL.

"Cold" is most definitely a four-letter word. Contacting a potential client cold, whether through a phone call or a brochure mailing, can be tantamount to dumping your marketing money in the trash. Or worse, it can really annoy your prospects, particularly if you haven't done your homework.

So warm up your leads a little. Give yourself an edge by using targeted marketing, as follows:

Qualify your leads. Know who you're calling/mailing and why you want them as your clients. In this regard, business owners should take a cue from the direct mail industry, who are exceptional at selecting only the best and most desirable prospects for their marketing campaigns. Better to turn up a few great leads than dozens of questionable ones.

Personalize your offering. Educate yourself about the prospect's industry and their company's current position. What specific problem can you solve on their behalf? Include a personal letter with your marketing materials to show that you know. Make your brand relevant by speaking their language.

Find a mutual connection. The more you get out in the world, the more you realize how small it is. Smart people know other smart people within their industries. The Internet makes it practical to keep up with thought leaders and influencers in your field, as well as stay in touch with old friends. You can always break the ice with a new lead by identifying one person or idea that ties you together.

By doing your homework and warming up your leads, you can make your marketing much more efficient. Your payoff will be a higher marketing ROI.


Blogger argos said...

I totally agree about targeting.

You really have nothing to offer if you don't have someone, or some problem, very perculiar in mind to tell a story to or about, regarding your product or service.

In B2B cold-calling, the challenge is getting through to the right people who need to here your story. And when you do get through, all you are doing is presenting benefits. You already know you have a cure to some pain they are experiencing.

May 26, 2006 6:24 AM

Blogger Monica Powers said...

Yes. Finding the right person within the organization (the one with whom your message might resonate)is a challenge in itself.

Argos, how is the new business coming along?

May 26, 2006 2:51 PM

Blogger argos said...

I think with targeting a market, it's a natural instinct...who you want to talk to. Authenticity creates a vaccumm, you just sense when you are before the right people. Getting through to them today, i agree is often testing. everything just takes time.

Answering your's humbling and thrilling at the same time, to observe something that you deeply are interested in and care about, almost curate, command even, for so many years and then claim the space to do something about it. Iv'e always believed that ones gifts, they were not gifts meant for us, but gifts we are to give away to others. It could be looked at as a curse, really. Such is a calling though.

Though it's hard to wear so many hats everyday, the excitement, the passion and the belief guide you to becoming very patient and vigilant at once. It also causes you to take very good care of yourself. That's living to me, and when I feel like I'm living, I'm having the most fun.

May 26, 2006 9:30 PM


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