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

Gen Z: Marketing to digital natives

While everyone is focused on getting the attention of millennials, the next generation (Z) is already having an impact on the media and PR industry. But who is this Generation Z and what sets them apart? Their behaviour online and the way they consume content will be a crucial indicator for what direction the PR and media world is moving towards. Here is how they are already changing the game.

Internet & social media generation

Generation Z could easily be renamed the internet & social media generation, as they not only grow up with the internet as their primary form of communication, but they are also the first generation to use social media and the internet from a very early age onwards. In 2015, 77% of 12–17- year-olds owned a mobile phone, which is reflected in the estimated 150,000 educational apps, 10% of Apple’s App Store, aimed at them. Generation Z isn’t just media-savvy, but ‘being online’ is a given for the generation of ‘digital natives’. This means that PR folks and marketers don’t just need to stay up-to-date with the latest digital and social media trends, they need to be ahead of the curve.

No more Facebook?

Talking to people who were born at the turn of the century, you will be surprised that, although they have a Facebook account, their chosen social media channels are in fact Instagram and Snapchat. While the Facebook feed still works to amplify articles and news from websites and brands, the content form must adapt to new social media platforms. To be sure, brands and media platforms are already experimenting with Snapchat and Instagram. Airbnb, for example, used an inspirational travel video series for their Instagram Stories to create awareness and buzz for the launch of Experiences on Airbnb.

 

However, given that both platforms display content only for a limited amount of time, PR and media must adapt to craft and develop impactful content to capture the attention of these younglings.

Skipping Ads

Inundated with content, this generation has done particularly well to filter out ads and sponsored content. Simply put, they won’t react to an ad, unless it benefits them and adds value to their lives. Marketers and PR folks need to be smarter with Generation Z, but shouldn’t try to outsmart them. Advertising and sponsored posts need to camouflage themselves into something that this generation wants to see.

Struggling traditional media

This lot has little regard for traditional media and are more likely to be consuming content on social media, blogs and YouTube. Showcasing your content natively on social media and working with trusted influencers can help to make inroads with Gen Z.

Long term investment

Despite skipping ads and filtering content that doesn’t interest them, Generation Z tends to be more loyal than the generation that came before them. As Gen Z consumers stay loyal to the brands they shop at and are more likely to stick with them throughout their lives, it’s still worth making the investment as a brand.

Although the content they consume tends to be very short-lived, the investment of brands and PR agencies will be long-term. This is good news for everyone, as customer acquisition is becoming more important and might have longevity – despite constantly changing consumer behaviours.

 

Like what you’ve read? Drop a note at hello@mutant.com.my to talk about how to make your brand ready for the next generation. 

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Hey ho recruiters, it’s time to show the passive crowd some lovin’

News flash: Providing a tofu-smooth hiring and job seeking experience today serves as a no-brainer fundamental of a recruitment business.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably got a business sales target you’re not meeting and your team is close to exhausting your cold call list.

It’s convenient to revisit your list, but here are two possible consequences:

  1. An unmotivated sales team
  2. Annoyed, cold-called recipients who will remember you – for all the wrong reasons

In other news, most companies today already have a recruitment firm of choice that they turn to in times of need, as with job candidates. Until absolutely necessary, your compelling sales pitch alone is no longer enough to move them.

Today, most recruitment business strategies still revolve around the direct business audience – the active employers and jobseekers. When we look past them, there lies an oft-neglected crowd who does not need you yet, that you should set your sights on.

Hijack them

Of course, there are many ways to bring attention to your business – attending events and conferences, sales calling and advertising. But there are also other less intrusive and subtle alternatives to get the job done.

The trick is to gather gather leads – to get people interested in what you do and to know what you can do for them.

But I’m already spending heaps on advertising?  

Great job! Advertising is a surefire way of raising your brand’s visibility by leaps and bounds.

But did you also know that people are increasingly discerning about the content they consume, and that the use of ad-blocks is the heaviest amongst the millennials – the very people who are likely to be considering a career switch some time in the near future?

Now picture a portion of your marketing budget getting flushed down the toilet.

Make people come to you  

To do that, you would first need to give people what they need, and by that I don’t mean another sales pitch.

People know you’re a recruitment firm. It’s time you venture deeper into this relationship with some quality content pieces, sans the jargons.

Shy away from sales speak, and instead try telling people something they don’t already know about your business; perhaps IT is not the highest paying job in Singapore this year? Maybe wearing a floral shirt to a job interview is the worst idea ever? Should employers begin looking beyond paper qualifications when it comes to hiring?

What’s a hot topic to chat about right now? What do people want to know? Or even better still, bring about attention to a lesser known or discussed about topic.

Knowing how to effectively communicate these thoughts to your intended audience is crucial, and a great way to build trust for your brand – essentially generating more leads for your business.

Stretch that content

To get the most out of your content, spread it like wildfire across various platforms and formats. In one of our previous blog posts, we share in greater detail about how you can do more with a piece of your content by plastering it everywhere in a meaningful manner.

How are people responding to your content?

Leaving your content untouched once it goes live on your website is the biggest mistake you can make. You need to share it with the world.

Be sure to set time aside to monitor it’s performance and make use of free tools such as Facebook or Google Analytics, or even your back-end website analytical tools.

Some pointers to keep in mind:

  • What is the % increase of site traffic since the first content piece was published?
  • Who came through to your content via organic searches?
  • What is the best or worst performing content?
  • How long are people staying on your page for?
  • Where did they click next after landing on a piece of content?

While these clicks or figures do not always have a direct impact on sales targets, it speaks volumes about the level of engagement people have with your content, taking them one step ahead in their consideration process.

At the end of the day, it’s really about how you utilise the data to better tailor your content and business strategy to reach your target crowd, in this case, the dormant folks that matters.

Need help with your content? Drop a message to hello@mutant.com.my 

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