One of the biggest challenges B2B marketers face is how to generate qualified leads with the most effective marketing channels.
So, what’s the secret?
Well, the truth is, there is no holy grail or perfect answer. (Trust me, I’d be shouting it from the rooftops if it were that easy!) But there are a few great tips and tricks to facilitate an effective lead generation process, and I’m here to share them with you.
#1 – Stop searching for answers from the outside world and start looking inward.
My number one tip is to stop looking at what other people are doing and start focusing on what you have in your arsenal already. Use data analytics to understand what works and what doesn’t work based on your own marketing outreach. Be honest and transparent about the results.
#2 – Know your customer!
It sounds like a no-brainer, but many businesses don’t take the time to really understand their clientele. What do they want? What do they need? How can you serve them better? These are all questions you need to ask as you develop your marketing plan and channels.
A great way to start answering these questions is to develop buyer personas. Now, this is just the first step; having buyer personas doesn’t mean you fully understand your customers.
Learn how to create a detailed buyer persona here.
As an additional exercise, I often ask my clients to write 500-word essays to shed light on how much we understand our own customers. Writing provides clarity and allows you to uncover areas where you need to do more research to bridge the gap between your marketing and your customers.
#3 – Have a holistic view of your marketing plan and channels
Coupling your own assessment of marketing performance and a deeper understanding of your customer, you need to redefine your marketing plan. Having a solid strategy matters. Check out my blog post “Update your marketing strategy” here.
You can also take a page using the templates I shared in this blog post: How to create a scalable global content marketing strategy.
A well-thought-out marketing plan guides the integration of marketing channels and execution among different functions.
Your plan should answer questions such as: How do you reach out to your customers? How can you maximize the channels that are most effective?
Have points of view on what you do.
#4 – Test and optimize, test and optimize
Even if you have points of view, you still need to validate your tactics on a timely basis. My clients and I love the creative side of marketing, but we’ve found that we spend a lot of our time talking about customer data and campaign performance. Testing and optimizing is a must in the digital marketing realm for this reason.
It’s also important to note that while we’ve spent more time talking about analytics when discussing headline options, messaging statements, and creative options, we do try to find the balance between science (what the data says) and art (what our gut tells us).
#5 – Prepare for the long-haul, because getting leads and demand gen is a never-ending journey
Lead gen is an ongoing process because (just like everything else in the world) things change, including (and especially) your customers’ wants and needs. For example, just take this past year; businesses needed to drastically adapt to meet their customers’ needs during the pandemic. So while some of our routines are returning to “normal,” a lot of the new adaptations are here to stay and will likely evolve again and again. #drama
Learn more about how the pandemic altered the course of lead generation history here.
So, don’t hit cruise control; stay agile and constantly evaluate your plan and execution, making necessary changes as you go.
#6 – There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach, so throw that notion out the window!
Every company does marketing differently, even though they all use the same channels. That’s why it’s important to note that while the best practices presented by others might work great for them, that doesn’t mean you’ll see the same results for your company, your customers, or even your marketing outreach.
Even if you want to emulate best practices, you need to modify your creative content and messaging, retooling your processes as you go. A cookie-cutter approach doesn’t work well in the digital marketing world, so if you seek inspiration elsewhere, be sure to tweak it to make it suitable for your own needs.
You might consider checking out ideas like these from Forbes, for example, but remember to incorporate your own identity as much as possible.
Working with many clients over the years, I’ve never provided the same solutions, even if they ask me the same questions or are facing the same challenges. Instead, I tailor my recommendations based on my understanding of their specific situations.
If you need advice on how you can boost demand gen and lead generation process that fits like a glove, feel free to book a call with me. It’s complimentary.
#7 – Be yourself because everyone else is already taken!
I love the statement “Know Thyself.” It’s simple yet profound. It applies not only to individuals who seek meaning and fulfillment in their lives but also applies to B2B marketers who are looking for ways to improve their marketing efforts better.
Know your customers, know your products and services, and most importantly, know what you can do for your customers. Then, just keep going at it and continue to refine your lead generation process as you go.
Trust me; you got this! #cando