6 quick tips to improving the effectiveness of your lead generation
In the early days of marketing there were three ways to market to your audience and generate leads: direct marketing, tradeshows and PR. Now new networks, like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blogs, allow for millions of connections. The healthcare IT market remains an elusive target that is oversaturated with information, has a short attention span, and expect all products or services to be good and fast. As marketers, we all get caught up in trying to reach this target market and we often overlook the new rules that apply when developing lead generation programs to keep prospects engaged so they can move seamlessly from one stage of the sales cycle to the next. Here are six quick tips to get you thinking about them.
1. It’s a game of inches. There are no big silver bullets for lead generation programs today. You need to do lots of little things right to build your brand over time. And once you get a lead, nurture it until it becomes a client. You’ll be amazed how quickly the pipeline grows.
2. You’ll tire of your message before your market even hears it. Healthcare technology advances rapidly and as a result marketers get bored easily and their tendency is to change key messages every week, to mix it up and make it more interesting. Resist the temptation and stay on your core messages over and over and over again, in everything you do. Instead jump ramp up your message slightly when you introduce a new product or service to the market.
3. Your prospect can’t buy if they don’t know who you are. Amazingly, this point is often overlooked and in the B2B space, awareness is probably much lower than you would expect it to be. You’ll find that it doesn’t matter how good, fast or cheap your product is if your target has never heard of you. Focus on this key objective and make sure to develop ongoing campaigns that build awareness over time.
4. Pretend you’re a search algorithm. No matter your line of business, your market is looking for you on the Web. So, everything you do to generate leads needs to ask the question, “Will this activity improve my search engine page rankings and how can I make the rankings stronger?” Research the latest techniques that search engines use to serve up information to searchers when you’re developing relevant content to stay in front of prospects.
5. Size of the ideal target market: one. Amazon.com created the perfect algorithm for personalized marketing that can be duplicated in any industry: how can you refine your market and target your message to communicate with that prospect about what they need? The more personalized the message, the better chance of turning that lead into a prospect.
6. Don’t require your market to make a leap. Some products are hard to describe quickly. It’s easy to sell beer because everyone knows what it is. So saying “less filling” is not a hard concept to grasp. But trying to sell server virtualization? Not so easy. Marketers want to say “less filling” for everything, but unless the market already knows what your product or service is, how it can solve one of their problems and how to get it, the pitch falls on deaf ears. Don’t make your market have to figure out what you do. Tell them.
If you have your marketing and PR engines ready to go and you’re actively making conversation with the target, you’re on your way to generating awareness. And awareness turns into leads. And leads into sales.