22 July 2010

Crawl, walk, run - otherwise, prepare to trip

I've always loved to understand how things work - "this lever pushes this and this turns"...that sort of thing. Systems and logic and a healthy dose of OCD make me very happy.

But time and time again, I see marketers tripping in their delivery of campaigns/emails/phone calls/data management simply because they tried to run before they walked. Or worse yet, they are trying to run when they have not mastered crawling yet.

I think that everyone should aim high, dream big, wish for world domination. But one does not get there (and more importantly stay there), without a solid foundation of tested steps, logical sequences, and flawless delivery.

If you want to build a strong lead generation model, you must do a thorough due diligence of what you are trying to achieve, what your current tools are (and perhaps what you are lacking), and what goals do you want now (not five years down the road).

Once that is vetted, then you can start on the process.

If you do lead capture through a web form, make it the best damn web form it can possibly be. Worry about the traffic later. Worry about the annual renewal email later. Focus on the now. Once the web form is rockin' - then you have a couple of options: what happens after the form is filled out or how to get them to fill out the form.

My personal choice is sort of a hybrid:

  • You figure out enough of an infrastructure once they have filled out the form (straight into SFDC, start them in a drip campaign, do a phone call) that your prospect does not feel like a web form one-night stand. The follow-up does not have to be 1,000 steps (or dates) long - but at least cuddle with them for awhile.
  • Once that is in place, you can turn your attention to how to get the traffic you need to fill out the form: do you run banner ads or PPC, buy paid placements in 3rd party channels like newsletters, optimize your SEO, leverage social media channels, send mailers, buy a TV spot.....the list is endless.

Again, start by crawling. Leverage the channels most closely aligned to your buying market and max the heck out of them. Then start to walk by radiating outward to other channels that are similar. Run by fine-tuning timing/messages/tracking to really make things hum.

Building a rock solid lead generation plan encompasses the need to prioritize, organize, and optimize. If you aren't doing all three, you'll just waste resources, time, money, and sales cycles - and it becomes a "spray and pray" game.

The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker. ~Helen Keller

20 July 2010

Double Rainbow

If anyone is in doubt of the power of hashtags, social media, or YouTube - check out the term "Double Rainbow" in any of those locations.

You'll find celebrities tweeting, Wikipedia entries, and a whole gaggle of folks who mark their updates with #DR references.