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Lead Generation - 6 steps to target the right customers

A practical way of delivering better results

1) Identify

Establishing your target audience is a fundamental piece of successful marketing. At this stage its all about the company not the person. Ensuring that you know the people or persona comes later.

Collaboration between sales and operational areas is required when identifying your target accounts. If you are unable to correctly support the services you are selling this will be a knock out blow before you get stated. Quantitative analysis is the staring point to discover which ‘pots’ or ‘lists’ target customers fall into – company size, industry sector, location, revenue etc.. Market research is time consuming but makes for better execution of a strategy. The people within a business can also contribute from their experience and intuition. The human touch has a valid place when identifying your target audience.

2) Research your database.

With your targets now identified in terms of types of business you can begin to split them into pots. Much like a customer persona the targeted clients will have a common type of trait that you can build a plan for each list with detailed information.

By understanding these common traits, especially how to recognise the key decision makers within the company structure, will dictate how you build you message and communicate your products/services. You may already have this information within your database and to ensure the data is ‘clean’ don't discount applying additional time to check the details are up to date and conduct a more detailed piece of research, you’ll be thankful later!

For tips on completing a mini audit check out Fiona McLaren’s article on conducting a mini audit

LinkedIn might be the easiest resource location to start your search as it has some really useful and simple search tools. If you have access to the premium search filers in the LinkedIn Recruiter or Sales Navigator there are enhanced features to speed up the research.

3) Content creation

With your lists in place, companies and contacts identified its time to create new content for them. Using business pain points and explaining how your products and services provide a solution needs to speak to both the individual and the company needs.

The use of a ABM strategy to provide targeted messages for specific companies and employees will also produce content that can be used for more general use for inbound. Don't be afraid to sharpen up your website content following your research and content creation.

High quality, clear and compelling content is key. Ask yourself if you would take the time to consume the message and try it out on the people within your peer group.

4) Choose your channels.

At this point you worked hard to construct your targeted lists and created engaging content. Now its time to get your message out there and put the content to work. Choosing the right channels to promote it effectively will allow you to select individual or multiple channels –email. Social media, outbound activity. Base your decision on what will be the most effective medium for your targeted companies and people.

Here’s where it might be helpful to know where the specific people within each target “live” online. The Pew Research Center Demographics of Social Media Users does an excellent job of profiling the users of five major social media platforms -- Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. That should shed some light on which channels the people within each account are mostly likely using, and how they consume the content you’re custom-creating for each of them.

Handy guide to social media channels here.

5) Kick off your campaign.

Ready, steady….hang on just a moment. Before you execute your campaign be sure to check that your messaging has been coordinated to avoid clashes. Getting the right message to the right contacts without duplication or mixed messaging, if you have decided on a range of communications, will improve chances of success.

With a limited number of potential targets it's a common mistake to hit them with repetitive or conflicting messaging. So double check the data then get it out there.

6) Measure your results.

Even the very largest brands with what seems like a limitless marketing budget need to measure success of campaigns. There are a million ways with conflicting metrics out there but the one that's most important is how each of your campaigns performs against the last one. Be realistic and pragmatic when looking at the results and don't be afraid to tweak the messaging if its not delivering the results first expected, they seldom do. However, do stick with the plan and remain consistent with the core messaging and frequency of communications.

When measuring an ABM campaign high level questions to measure success might include:

·       Are we growing our list of known individuals within the target account? And is the data accurate?

·       Have there been any change to the way these accounts are engaging with our company and content? – Check web analytics and inbound platforms such as HubSpot and Lead Forensics to measure inbound visits.

·       How much revenue was generated from these target accounts?

Ready to Get Account-Based?

Any approach to driving leads and opportunity when split into manageable chunks if far more practical way of delivering results. Account based marketing for B2B fits into a fully formed strategy that includes inbound. ABM feels more pro-active, will engage your employees whatever their role in the sales process and gives your business the best opportunity to fuel your growth.

Of course you don't have to do this alone, we are on hand to provide further insight, advice and will work with you to develop your marketing strategy. We’d love to hear from you

Paul RichensComment