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.