You have the obvious lead sources well in hand. Inbound, outbound, online and in person – your marketing organization is plugging along.
But it’s time to boost your leads to make your numbers in the second half.
New marketing channels are popping up every day. It can be difficult to determine which ones are legitimate lead generation sources.
Here’s how to simplify the process and ensure you’re not wasting marketing dollars.
Start by Grouping Lead Sources.
Before you add more lead sources to your organization’s plate, analyze current sources. For each current campaign:
- Do a year-over-year comparison
- Evaluate the performance and look for erosion
Once you have this data, decide which sources to keep and which to abandon. What worked for you in the past might not work for you now. Relinquishing eroded sources will free your team to pursue new, more profitable sources.
Download and review our Lead Source Proforma. This spreadsheet will help you get a clear view of lead source performance. It will help you avoid the “cost per lead” trap and focus on the right success factors.
Collaborate to Find Out What You’re Missing
Your marketing managers should constantly be building relationships. Not just with colleagues and clients, but with peers in complementary and adjacent companies.
These relationships will be incredibly helpful as you seek new lead generation sources. Encourage your team to reach out to their contacts and find out their results. What marketing channels are working (and not working) for them?
For example, we did this when my team considered sponsored tweets. We reached out to peers at other companies and found something surprising. We found that it had been a waste of money for them. They got very little return on their investment. That knowledge saved us a lot of time and expense.
If you’re not already, encourage your team members to network at conferences and events. Have them trade information with their peers at other companies. Make this a condition of approving their trip.
Another good practice is for each marketing manager to establish 3 peer partners. With these partners they can:
- Trade marketing plans
- Look for emerging marketing opportunities
- Get an inside scoop on lead generation sources before spending time and money
Polish Your Personas:
It’s a best practice to constantly update your buyer personas. As a CMO, you are no doubt already making your organization do this. But have you thought to ask buyers about their content preferences?
Ask them questions like:
- How do you consume information? (For example: Do you read blogs? Do you listen to podcasts? Do you prefer to watch informational videos?)
- What were the last two sales calls that you accepted? How did they reach you, and why did you take the call?
With this kind of information, you can map a persona ecosystem. You can identify influencers, opinion leaders, and new sites and sources. You can determine a content strategy that plays to your buyers’ preferences.
Next, figure out how those sources are communicating with their audiences. And finally, determine how you can get your company’s information there.
Lower Your Risk of Testing New Sources
Finding a new marketing channel is exciting. There is high first-mover potential. But there is also huge risk. Your team must tread carefully to avoid wasting marketing budget.
First, approach each source rationally. It is easy to be swayed by helpful sales reps at lead source companies. Take the emotional element out of it.
Then, develop criteria to compare traditional lead generation sources to new ones. Determine what has made past sources successful. Then evaluate possible new sources against that scale.
Taking these two steps will help lower your risk. It will also streamline the process of testing new lead generation sources.