B2B Lead generation: Managing the campaign:

A well-planned and executed campaign not only does complete justice to the efforts that you have put in towards procuring the database, it also helps immensely in generating entirely new database on its own. A good campaign would also get you a large number of both ‘Interested’ and ‘Eligible’ leads, which need to work in tandem for your campaign to be successful.

a. A good ‘Creative’ makes all the difference:

A well-thought out creative catches people’s attention, and substantially increases the probability for him to respond or engage. I have experienced high responses to SMS campaigns (one of the cheapest marketing mediums as far as cost per unit is concerned) if the message tone and content looks ‘relevant’, ‘personalized’ and ‘urgent’. The same can happen in E-mailers which are otherwise expected to have extremely low open-rates. In the B2B space, there can often be a lack of credibility about your offering, due to low or non-existent brand awareness. One way of overcoming this is to adopt ‘Testimonials’ as one of your creative routes, where you show real life success cases for your offering. Needless to say, this needs to be portrayed in a different way than just a customer visual and quote. If you are using social media platforms, short but crisp videos should be able to garner more eyeballs and attention than just a photo or a static carousel ad.

b. Right ‘Offer’ and ‘Call to action’:

If I want my communication to generate responses rather than just create awareness, there needs to be a strong offer with a call-to-action like ‘Call now’ or ‘Sign up free’. An offer or promotion needs to be designed keeping in mind customer insights and learnings from the category. Most often, the ‘carrots’ that work are based on either ‘Greed’, ‘Urgency’ or ‘Discount’. Example: Hurry, first 50 registrations will get a 5 year free subscription to Harvard Business Review magazine! Or ‘Get 50% off on Processing fee if you apply for a loan by 23-Aug!’

c. Customization & Personalization:

While the profile of your target customers looks quite homogenous at first glance, there would be more than what meets the eye. Every broad profile is possible to be sub-grouped into micro-profiles in marketing. For example, restaurants can be of various kinds – Fine dining, Udupi, Snack bars, fast food stalls etc. The profiles of owners of each of these would also be quite different. Hence if your database allows you further segregation in terms of the information available, you should definitely try to customize your creative, communication, channel and offer targeting each sub-group. A fine-dining restaurant owner is likely to be more internet-savvy hence SEM and other advanced digital marketing tools might work for him, while for a Udipi owner the best way to reach might be through a Mobile SMS or an automated Voice message.

d. Choose the right medium:

Understanding the exposure and relevance of marketing channels for your target audience can be a key deciding factor for the success of your efforts. There are various mediums to choose from in B2B marketing, right from participation in exhibitions or trade shows to direct communication through mobile or digital channels. The first task is to identify and evaluate every medium available and then narrow down on the ones that look most beneficial in terms of cost per reach / response / conversion whichever your ultimate goal might be. It however, might pay to adopt more than just one channel to communicate to each segment. There are some unconventional mediums that an increasing number of smart B2B marketers are using, like a large color display ad insertion in the business classifieds section of a popular daily. This is high value-for-money as it is targeted towards the relevant business community while ensuring a much lower cost over the mainline section of the publication.

e. Execution to the T:

The proof of all your planning, database collection and other efforts boil down finally to the execution of the campaign. This must be handled by a professional if you have the budget to hire one, otherwise just stick to a few channels for execution which you can handle on your own, with a bit of external help. Both Mobile and Digital channels are somewhat manageable with a bit of time & effort. It is best to execute traditional or on-ground initiatives through an external agency, who would not only be experienced, but also be cost effective due their economies of scale. An important part of the execution is to monitor the performance with pin-pointed precision and take corrective actions whenever necessary, in order to optimize the campaign. Platforms like Facebook ads, LinkedIn, Instagram are quite easy to use and can be tweaked and fine-tuned in almost real time.