If your business is like most businesses out there, you may sporadically do some unconnected, unrelated promotions, but have no real master strategy.
As I'm sure you have discovered, this approach produces varying outcomes, and offers virtually no measurement or accountability.
And when these random promotions DO capture leads there's typically no system for handling them.
They'll get misplaced, left so long they go cold, or mishandled because there is no follow-up system and no one has been assigned responsibility..
This results in massive wastage of marketing pounds, and massive inefficiencies, and 'leakage' of sales opportunities that should have been in the bag.
Now, this may not accurately reflect your situation. But even if there is a shade of truth in this scenario, you need to fix it now!
TEN STEPS to a Lead Generation Master Strategy
A Lead Generation Master Strategy involves mapping out a series of highly logical steps, from lead to sale and beyond.
This should be done before even considering the 'creative' elements of the pieces.
1. Set Sales Targets.
How many new sales (as distinct from repeat customers) are required in a given period to achieve the revenue targets outlined in the overall marketing plan? Define this targeted figure and you can work backwards to determine the activity required to get it. Starting with...
2. How many leads are required?
Determine the conversion rate of leads-to-sales, which will determine how many LEADS must be generated to achieve the sales targeted in step 1.
3. Determine the 'acquisition allowable cost of a lead'.
As a simple example, if the company is prepared to invest £1,000 to get a SALE, and 1 in 10 leads turns into a sale, then the 'allowable' to get a LEAD is £100. Simple concept, but few companies know these figures.
4. One Step or Multi-step?
Clearly, the bigger the buying decision, the more steps will be needed from initial lead to serious prospect. EACH promotion will have its own strategy.
A website generated enquiry for example, may be followed by a qualifying phone call, sending of information with a promise to follow up, a follow up phone call, fact finding meeting, demonstration, proposal, further follow up call ... and so on.
It's a system, not ad hoc activity (see Creating a Marketing Machine).
5. Sales Processes.
What process will maximize sales? This depends on the nature of the product or service, and how 'warm' and 'pre-educated' the lead is.
6. Target Markets.
The correct selection of target markets impacts on your outcomes up to 1,000%. This one fact provides you with more leverage than virtually any other in your entire marketing thrust.
What are your best target markets for new leads? The logical ones are not necessarily the best.
7. The Matrix of Activities.
When the various media options are selected, a matrix can be drawn up. This matrix shows at a glance all the efforts to be tested, dates, response lead times, and most importantly, the cost per lead and cost per sale from EACH promotion.
Like the conductor of an orchestra (with the overall objectives as your music sheet), you can increase the intensity of various promotions, add new ones and reduce or fade out others as the individual performances are analyzed.
8. The Allocation of Responsibilities.
Once the processes have been flow charted, responsibilities need be established to ensure that the processes identified actually happen.
9. The 'Creative'.
Being creative is fun. But actually, it should be the LAST thing you focus on. Here's a key fundamental truth: once the strategy is right, the creative will come. But good creative with poor strategy will never work effectively.
10. The Review Process.
At key points in the implementation of the Master Plan, perhaps monthly for some objectives, perhaps campaign by campaign for others, review the outcomes. Are you achieving what your overall plan requires? If not, what change in direction do you need to take to get back on course?
This approach takes discipline and constant attention. But it's so analytical, and structured ... it forces you to be more successful in your marketing.
And how bad can that be?
Article by Chris Newton, founder of Results Corporation.