Most people you meet have hundreds of contacts, which means that virtually anyone you might want to contact or meet is only four to five people away from you. Effective networking is therefore vital to your success. Most people are poor networkers, but you can quickly learn how to get out; meet people; make new contacts; develop quality business relationships based on trust; polish your communication skills; educate the people you meet about what you do and the benefits offered by your product or service; create a lasting impression; quickly build your network, use your contacts database effectively, enjoy your new contacts …and maximise your chances of success.
The outbound method involves a proactive attempt to reach out to your audience. This usually begins with purchasing lead lists. You then contact these leads by calling them directly (cold calling) or sending them physical mails (direct mail). For a wider reach, businesses look beyond lead lists and use billboards, print ads, television ads, and radio ads. The emphasis here is on budget, media connections, and how much marketing muscle you can flex.
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On the Internet, Web sites and search engines can be excellent sources of leads, although the process can be time consuming. Web sites, such as TechTarget.com, have evolved for the specific purpose of making it easy for personnel to obtain leads. Companies have emerged that specialize in lead generation for a fee. They perform the research, and then provide the client with a list of leads. Services of this kind have been used by insurance companies, real estate agents, wholesalers, marketing firms, private investigators, research scientists and educational institutions.
An MQL is one step higher than a lead, in terms of the level of engagement with your business. An MQL typically performs an activity, like downloading your ebook, which is a clear indication of their interest in your business. Sometimes an MQL can also be determined based on their demographic profile. MQLs are ready to be nurtured, but they’re not ready to buy just yet. They’re usually handed over by the marketing team to the sales team.
PPC is a popular method of generating leads because it allows you to target very specific phrases. For example, if you sell blue industrial tractors with mower attachments, you can create an ad that appears when that phrase (or a similar one) is searched. So if someone searches for "blue industrial tractor with mower attachment," chances are they’re going to see your ad and click. You may pay a few dollars for that click – but if that person goes on to become a customer, and spends a few thousand dollars, don’t you think it’s worth it?
ToFu: Leads at the top of the funnel need awareness. They know nothing about what you offer and what domain you operate in, so you’ll need to create a conversation around both these focus points—without selling your product up front. If you sell CRMs, you attract ToFu leads by talking about how SDRs (sales development representatives) can do their job better using CRM software. Blogs, ebooks and guides are content types that work well at this stage.
The quality of your prospect list is the single most important influencing factor in your marketing success because it can eliminate virtually all marketing waste. A list of well qualified prospects can be a priceless gem because if you exploit it properly it will produce tremendous amount of revenue for you from people who have a proven interest in your product or service. Thousands of properly qualified lists are readily available for virtually any marketing purpose and can give you many times more sales. These lists identify the specific businesses, key decision makers and demographic characteristics you desire, within the geographic areas you specify. You can focus only on prospects who are more likely than not your primary target audience for your product or service.
Cost per thousand (e.g. CPM Group, Advertising.com), also known as cost per mille (CPM), uses pricing models that charge advertisers for impressions — i.e. the number of times people view an advertisement. Display advertising is commonly sold on a CPM pricing model. The problem with CPM advertising is that advertisers are charged even if the target audience does not click on (or even view) the advertisement.