Finding new sources for leads is a big challenge for demand generation marketers. How do you know that you’re spending your budget on the right programs? Or that you haven’t missed a one because you just didn’t know about it? We’re all busy, but it’s important to invest time in creating a comprehensive program list.
I research target audience program options for a lot of clients and it is time consuming. But here are some hints on how to streamline the approach:
- First, document your target audience, your lead objectives, what offers are in your arsenal and what you can afford to spend for a lead or conversion. Use this to create a program brief to send to potential vendors. And to rate programs on how well they fit.
- Then look for possible venues. Ask colleagues who they’re using, wade through all the emails from sales people that show up in your inbox and those of your co-workers. Research the web for organizations that might reach your audience. Review your press list and trade show list to see if there are venues you’ve never reviewed. Add all of these to a “long list” to get you started.
- Then, add more by acting like a prospect. For example, if your company sells financial software, search the web like you’re looking for software. Besides your company’s ads and those of your competitors, what magazines, rating sites, newsletters, show up? Go beyond the first page of results and dig deep. You’ll be surprised how many venues you can add to your list.
- Then start reaching out to get more information. Knock out a spreadsheet to take notes on everything you learn with columns for name of venue, URL, rep’s contact info, cost per lead and notes. Having this will save you time in the future. Rate the programs into “yes” or “no” based on how well they fit your objectives. On the “yes” category, place them in priority order and when you have testing money, start at the top. On the “no” side, make notes on why they didn’t make the cut. That way, if they hit your radar again, you can tell at a glance what the concern was.
- Consider contacting an agency or consultant to help who specializes in lead generation programs to help you out. This maximizes your time and you also get the benefit of working with someone who knows which programs are working for other clients.
- Once you have your program list, systematically phase new programs into the mix. You should always have budget for testing. Don’t dive into full campaigns, but test as many as you can each month.
- Content is key to successful lead generation. (I wrote a blog on that too!) So, use your best performing content when testing new programs. And if you can, run your content by the publisher to see if they have any suggestions for the offer, the ad or the positioning. I’ve found that can bring success right out of the gate.
- Once programs are kicked off, track them and rate how they’re performing. Give a program a few cycles to warm up before determining if it’s a success or failure. How quickly did the leads come in? What is the conversion to opportunity or sale? What does sales say about them? Use all of these factors to rate success or failure.
- Keep your spreadsheet updated with the results. This saves you time day to day and also provides documentation that can become a valuable company resource if you move on or into another role.
- And then keep looking – smart demand gen marketers are always reviewing new sources.
Need help? Don’t know where to start? Give me a call.