Working on the chain gang…

Working on the chain gang…

Although a career in telco marketing sometimes feels like a life-sentence, don’t worry! (actually, it is a life sentence, but that’s another story and it’s not where we’re going with this blog). That said, however, one of the crimes against marketing humanity that’s all too often committed by marketers bears examination under the microscope. It’s this: the failure to understand that lead generation involves not isolated campaigns but, rather, leveraging multiple links in a continuing chain.

Here’s why. Telco marketers leverage a lot of sources to generate leads. These range from the cheap-to-execute (for instance, blind e-mail campaigns targeted at large databases) to the expensive (for example, webinars with recognised media partners). And that’s it. There’s a campaign. It works or it doesn’t. End of story. Particularly with activities in the latter category, like webinars, this means an enormous investment of both budget and time stands or falls on registration for the event and a couple of follow-up e-mails.

Which is madness. Seriously. It’s nuts.

By way of rough example why, a webinar with a media partner is likely to cost in the region of $10,000, sometimes more and sometimes less. That’s a fairly significant marketing investment. Roughly speaking what results is that the average vendor might expect to attract 125 registrants (note: this is a very general number culled from years of experience) of whom 40-50 might then show up to listen to the live event and a similar number will listen to the on-demand recording made available later. All 125, including the complete “no shows” will get a follow-up mailing or two post-event and their names will be passed on to sales (and entered into the marketing database) at which point marketing and sales will move on, save for usual argument over whether or not actual, qualified leads have been delivered.

Did I say earlier “this is madness”? Or nuts?

It may be somewhat ironic that the more that’s invested into a marketing effort, the more it follows that further investment will be required if a payoff is to be achieved. If you’ve spent $10,000 to identify 125 prospects, where’s the sense in failing to qualify their interest further?

In our many years of experience, a personalised and clearly articulated telemarketing campaign has few rivals when it comes to capitalising on the webinar investment and turning names (which in the greater scheme of things are relatively useless) into actual, qualified leads. Yes, taking this approach will add costs to your campaign, but the corollary benefit is that cost per qualified lead (which is what marketers really want) will go down.

This activity falls under the most important but often most overlooked component in the marketing chain of all: nurturing. Marketers broadly tend to do a good marketing. Their programmes generate leads. And sales does a good job selling, presuming they close some of those leads. The breakdown all too often lies in nurturing the raw material of sales (unqualified leads) into becoming the raw material of viable deals. A webinar registration isn’t a lead; it’s an expression of interest. Telemarketing is what turns it into an actual, qualified sales opportunity.

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