1. Launch a lead nurturing program.
Don’t get me wrong: lead nurturing is a worthy investment for most companies, but making lead nurturing a goal for the new year is akin to saying you want to do more marketing. It just means too many things to different people. Lead nurturing is a means to an end, a program in the service of a goal. And it’s that end goal, the business objective, that should be the true measuring stick for the year.
Ask yourself: why lead nurturing? (Hopefully it’s not because you just bought a new marketing automation platform and need to justify the investment.) What business processes are you hoping to improve? What sales and marketing metrics are you hoping to impact? Quantitative and measurable goals will guide the type and scale of lead nurturing program you put in place. Examples might include:
Increase the number of daily live contacts (phone conversations) recorded by inside sales.
Increase the percentage of raw inquiries that ultimately convert into opportunities.
Reduce the number of leads rejected by field sales.
Generate 10 deals per quarter from contacts already in our CRM database.
2. Create a social media campaign.
Why? What is about social media that you think will extend and improve your demand generation mix? Social media can do many things but, like lead nurturing (see above), it’s only merits investment if you have a firm idea of what you hope to accomplish. Otherwise, especially because social media can be labor intensive, you may be wasting precious marketing resources on tactics and channels that at best will provide little measurable impact and at worst will hurt your brand.
Identify the very specific areas where you feel social media can make a difference, and focus on how those incremental activities can be measured, not just in terms of “likes” or followers, but in leads, opportunities and sales. With the right tools in place, you should be able to quantify the precise impact in reach, inquiries, and ultimately revenue. A client of ours was able to show how their new blog generated a 700 percent ROI last year based on opportunities that originated with, or were influenced by, that program. Imagine the budgets you could secure with those kinds of results!
3. Host one Webinar per month.
Webinars can be an important part of the demand generation mix, and Sales loves them because they’re viewed as generating more “qualified” leads. But Webinars can be overvalued. For one, they’re a lot of work. Secondly, they require 45 minutes or more of your prospect’s time, on a specific day and time, and as a result they can sometimes generate only half the response compared to a similar campaign that offers simple, downloadable content, like a white paper.
Aim for a broader mix of demand generation content. Think about ebooks, videos, solution briefs, case studies, or surveys. Repurpose and recycle every piece of new content so that you maximize the return on the investment it took to create. For a new white paper, create an infographic that summarizes the key data points. Then excerpt the white paper in a blog post and link to a registration form where people can download the full version. And so on.
Besides, simply producing campaigns isn’t a goal. Strive for results. Your prospects will respond better if you present a mix of offers, not all of which require 45 minutes of their time. Put in place an effective lead nurturing program, and almost any offer can generate qualified leads over time.