32 Days. 32 Countries from around the world. It’s a month-and-a-day of global soccer mania that beats the excitement and fan frenzy of any other world sporting event. Personal and professional schedules are being carefully planned to catch the games we absolutely don’t want to miss. Bets, wagers and pools seem to be the order of the day in offices, residential neighbourhoods, even schools.
While most fans will pick their team to cheer before a FIFA game begins, the halftime analysis and score are key. A lot of discussion and pondering happens during those crucial 15 minutes of the half-time interval. You want to listen to what the expert commentators are saying, discuss the outcome with your buddies, and maybe rethink your forecast for the rest of the game. All other essential tasks, i.e. washroom break, drink refills and meals are wrapped up very hurriedly during halftime.
As we come to the halftime of 2014, this is a good opportunity to review your B2B lead generation efforts and analyze what’s working, what’s not. What are some important questions to ask as you conduct this review and assessment?
- Are we working towards enhancing the Lifetime Value (LTV) of our customers? It is typical to arrive at marketing costs stacked against the percentage of sales achieved. In our immensely empowered times of predictive analytics, however, a better way to calculate this would be to measure the Lifetime Value of our key customers. The next step then is to enhance that LTV, i.e. to nurture these key relationships and increase their dollar value as a result. One way to do this is through Growth Hacking—read more about it.
- Do we have a dependable measurement strategy in place to determine marketing effectiveness? Let’s look at the activities that are driving bottom line revenue. Consider whether or not our sales people are accepting and working the leads passed on by marketing. What lead conversion and closing rates are we achieving at an organizational level? In a recent piece in the CMO Spotlight Series, I talked about the different types of metrics for measuring marketing effectiveness.
- Is our B2B marketing and lead generation strategy forward-thinking and adaptive to change? Audiences are easily bored so we can’t let them. We must innovate and change before we have to. Read 5 Ways to Ignite B2B Demand Generation and Achieve Customer Delight.
- Have we established our brand promise within the content marketing landscape? Or is our B2B Content Killing Sales? We need to publish content that is both relevant and easily found by our prospective buyers at various touch points during the buying cycle.
- Which of our lead nurturing techniques are generating the most quality conversions? The keyword here is ‘quality’. Not only should we look at adding more customers but we need to look at bringing on more high net worth customers who are also strong influencers in their markets. For instance, if an email campaign with gated content such as a white paper helps to bring on those A level customers, then should we not be investing more time and resources doing more campaigns like that? Of course, we must also adopt a personalized approach that caters to different segments of our audience.
- Are we putting BIG Data to BIG use? Or is it simply another analytics and report-gathering exercise that is done because it is industry best practice?
- Do we have a 360° view of our lead generation campaigns? It is possible today to analyze buyer behaviour throughout the buying cycle and gather clues that are predictive of sales wins, referral business and repeat purchase. Does our lead generation program offer us a 360° view? If not, how are we monitoring and managing return on investment? Request a demo of the revolutionary, transformational lead generation program, MyLeads2Go.
- Is Omni-channel customer experience management merely on our wish list or have we put it into practice? If we want to offer a consistent customer experience across all channels, we need a responsive marketing strategy. What does this mean? In a nutshell, our website needs responsive design, our content must be mobile and multi-device friendly, we need branded apps to collect user data, our email campaigns need to be personalized and mobile friendly, and our channel partners need to be agile, flexible and responsive to gain an edge over the competition and win more sales.
- Who runs our marketing and sales? There is only one correct answer to that question—The Customer. Everything we do must be driven by customer need, expectation, behaviour and feedback. That’s the true meaning of personalization. Not only will personalization boost sales but in the long run, it will garner repeat business and customer referrals. Perhaps the most desired outcome of personalized lead generation and marketing is the ability to reduce cost per lead and increase speed to market.
- What’s left of our marketing and lead generation budget? And what’s the ROI on what we spent in the first half of the year? These questions must precede the common lament about an “insufficient budget”. The reality is, there will never be enough money to do all that we want to do, so let’s first aim to deliver on what the customer expects and the competitive landscape demands. The remaining budget for this year should be carefully utilized to fill the gaps in customer relationship and experience enhancement. The ‘wins’ that arise from these proactive efforts will drive next year’s budget as a ratio of increased Lifetime Values per customer. Here is an interesting piece on how to determine the ideal marketing budget.
What are some of the questions keeping you or your CMO up at night? Is B2B lead generation delivering the results your company is seeking? Think about some of the key changes you need to implement in the second half of the year to build more engagement, drive greater conversion and increase revenues. Feel free to share on my blog. You can also email or call me, Louis Foong, at (905) 709-3827.
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