Is lead generation the right strategy for your business?

Throw a stone into a sea of marketers and you’re sure to strike someone who’ll tell you that their priority for the year is lead generation, the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into someone who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service. With digital media bringing greater transparency to metrics, marketers are increasingly held to KPIs that have more impact on sales – namely, the number of qualified leads that can be handed over to the sales team.

How does lead generation work?

Lead generation can be achieved through a mix of inbound and outbound marketing tactics. Inbound marketing focuses on creating relevant content, such as SEO-friendly websites, the ubiquitous white paper, and ebooks or webinars, to “pull” the target audience towards the brand. These content assets are often gated online so users must fill in their contact details in exchange for the information they’re interested in. The contacts are then exported by marketers as leads for the sales team to follow up with.

White paper is evergreen. Source: LinkedIn

Outbound marketing, on the other hand, involves “pushing” messages out to the target audience regardless of whether they’ve indicated prior interest in the brand. These include methods such as cold calls, direct mail, events, prospecting emails and display advertising.

The most effective lead generation strategies nowadays put the customer’s needs at the centre of all marketing activity, and use a mix of inbound and outbound tactics at different stages of the customer journey to encourage greater interactions with a brand.

However, before you jump onto the bandwagon and spend a significant cut of your marketing budget on the latest marketing automation platform for lead generation, ask yourself this very pertinent question: is lead generation the right marketing strategy for your organisation?

It may seem like the answer is always yes, but in certain cases the answer is actually no.

How do I know if lead generation is right for my business?

It all comes down to how a business acquires customers. If the customer journey is slow and convoluted, with much consideration (e.g., booking a holiday or buying a car) or approval from multiple decision-makers required (e.g., a business looking for new software) before a purchase, a lead generation model could be suitable. Engaging with customers through lead generation strategies can increase trust and familiarity with the brand, encouraging them to proceed to the next stage of the customer journey. But, if a business is focused on making quick sales, an e-commerce model that revolves around a seamless user experience could be more effective for customer acquisition.

Even if lead generation is a suitable strategy based on business model, it is crucial to consider if it is the right strategy right now. Perhaps for a fresh start-up, more resources should be allocated to building brand awareness. Or, for a more mature business, maybe a recent issue means more effort should be placed on crisis communications and managing brand perception. Organisations experience peaks and valleys as they mature, and marketing methods have to change accordingly to be aligned with business priorities.

Now, if you have determined that lead generation is the way to go for your business, here are four pro tips to help you launch a successful lead generation initiative.

Know the answers to these questions before launch:

      • Who are your potential customers?: This forms the target audience for the campaign.
      • What do your customers value?: This helps identify relevant content that a brand can offer to foster customer engagement.
      • How will you measure success?: Using consistent metrics across similar lead generation campaigns allows for benchmarking and comparison. 

Qualify leads generated after launch

Once a campaign ends, it is imperative to follow through with, or “qualify”, the leads gathered. Leads can be qualified through lead scoring – a system that totals up “points” to determine how close a potential customer is to making a purchase – to ensure prospects meet the criteria necessary to be considered more likely to become customers.

Establish rapport between sales and marketing

Sales and marketing alignment is a challenge for many companies – and with the potential for 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates when sales and marketing teams cooperate, teamwork cannot be ignored. To generate higher revenue, marketers should work alongside salespeople to establish open communication channels, gain an in-depth understanding of the sales team’s needs, and provide targeted marketing collateral and qualified leads for sales to be able to contact speedily.

Measurement

With the emphasis on transparency and accountability, reporting is an essential part of any marketing campaign. Numbers speak louder than words – use the metrics identified before the campaign was launched to evaluate performance. Positive results can help marketing teams gain senior management buy-in for bigger marketing budgets in future.

Active lead generation initiatives empower brands to grow and scale, driving today’s performance and tomorrow’s progress. Just be sure to consider if it is the right strategy for your business right now.

Having trouble getting quality leads? We can help at hello@mutant.com.my

Is product placement right for your brand?

Remember that epic selfie Ellen DeGeneres took at the 2015 Academy Awards ceremony with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3? That tweet not only broke the record for retweets previously set by President Obama, but also caused Twitter’s servers to crash.

At this year’s Golden Globes, Fiji Water attempted a similar stunt by hiring model Kelleth Cuthbert, who spent most her time photobombing stars on the red carpet while holding a tray of Fiji Water bottles. The stunt worked: the hashtag #FijiWaterGirl trended on Twitter, and earned 98.9 million impressions on the platform.

As far as product placements go, Samsung is still the one to beat – but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for successful product placement. Brands are often torn between seamlessly integrating products into the broader narrative, or making it apparent enough to trigger a viral moment on social media.

So, how do you decide what’s right for your brand?

Start with a goal
The goal of any product placement is to reach your target audience, but having precise goals is key to ensuring success. Do you want to drive brand awareness? Is it higher recall you’re after, or are you aiming for greater brand loyalty? Answering these questions will not only inform your strategy and approach, but also help identify the metrics you use to measure success.

Whatever your objectives are, public relations can play a crucial role in reaching your desired audience, and then sparking and shaping conversations with them. There are many ways a strong PR strategy can do this – and tied with a content marketing approach it can go beyond awareness and actually drive leads for your business that you can track and measure.

Make it believable
Pulling off a product placement tie-in is only successful if it is believable. When deciding on a partnership, brands need to identify whether it’s a good fit and in line with its own tonality and values.

Don’t force your brand into a piece of content where it doesn’t feel right – because you will get called out. Reebok’s association with Jerry Maguire is a great example of product placement gone wrong. Reebok paid production company Tristar $1.5 million to feature its products, but the company somehow ended up being portrayed as a villain because of its refusal to sponsor Cuba Gooding Jr’s character. After some legal back and forth, the two companies reached a settlement, which included an ad for Reebok in the film’s credits.

Consider different content types
For most marketers, TV shows and movies are obvious product placement choices. But increasingly, we’re seeing brands experimenting with other formats, only to reap rich rewards. Coca Cola and Subway have both used video games to promote their brands, while musicians like Lady Gaga and Kanye West have seamlessly included brands in their music videos. For instance, brands such as Miracle Whip, Polaroid and Virgin Active made conspicuous appearances in her “Telephone” video, while West’s video for “Wolves” doubled as a promotional ad for fashion house Balmain.

As a marketing tactic, product placements can work incredibly well or backfire spectacularly – so be savvy and cover all your bases when considering a new association.

Want to put some cool products in your ad? We’ll tell you how to go about it when you email us at hello@mutant.com.my

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 things Kim Kardashian can teach us about a solid social media strategy

Kim Kardashian – love her or hate her, you can’t deny that she’s created a massive empire and cult following. Having recently won the Council of Fashion Designers of America influencer award, Kim is truly one of the biggest influencers of our time. With 113 million Instagram followers (that’s the sixth most followed in the world) and 60.2 million followers on Twitter (that’s more than Donald Trump), she is truly the Queen of social media. What really catapulted Kim into fame? How does she maintain such a large following and influence despite an equally notorious reputation, and what can brands learn from her?

Know your audience

Kim brands herself around glam, beauty and luxury. In fact, all of her ventures now are centered around these themes. This is what her audience knows her for and it’s what they expect her to share with them and thus creates personalised content for them. Diverting from this may cause a scattered brand identity that people are unable to understand or follow and result in lower followership. This means keeping in mind integrated marketing communications – a single brand image across all platforms.

Also, always listen! People like to promote products, but Kim thinks it’s equally (if not more) important to listen as well. To engage with your audience makes them feel like you’ve taken their thoughts into consideration. For all you know, your audience just might be your inspiration for the next big campaign!

Capitalise on opportunities

Opportunities don’t always come in pretty packages. Kim once supported a morning sickness prevention brand once and got a lot of flak (even from the Food and Drug Administration!) for not posting the drug’s side effects. However, Kim managed to turn the situation around by taking ownership for her actions. This moment garnered a lot of publicity (negative or not) that made people more interested in Kim’s life.

It’s all about taking the opportunities that have the potential to help you build brand awareness. Kim’s #breaktheinternet moment with Paper magazine was unpaid but was something that created buzz about one of her most famous assets – her butt. If that’s not capitalising on opportunities, I don’t know what is!

Stay authentic

This is a sure way to prevent a PR disaster. When you’re that well known around the world, people will be watching your every step. Post something that’s not true to you and people will immediately catch wind of it. That’s why it’s important for you to endorse items and posts that are true to your brand identity to prevent backlash. Kim always promotes products that she herself loves and uses so that she knows she’s promoting a good product to her audience.

For example, the first product Kim launched from her beauty line was a contour kit. This was done with the vision that she wants to sell products she believes in and uses often. This works hand in hand with knowing her audience. Kim wanted to be able to sell her famous contour look to her audience, who look to her for beauty inspiration.

Use every platform

Different platforms have different strengths and Kim capitalises on that to maximise the use of different social media outlets. According to Kim, each platform has a purpose to serve.

Facebook is good for click-throughs, snapchat showcases more of your private side, Instagram is good for showing the actual product and twitter is good for having a conversation with people. Based on what you are trying to accomplish with your brand, it’s important to keep this in mind while curating social media posts and do what will work best with your audience and keep them engaged.

Still not sure how to create content for your brand? Check out some tips here on how to create digital marketing gold.

Want to break the Internet like Kim? Drop us a message at hello@mutant.com.my