Cutting through the clutter and getting prospects’ attention is a major challenge in B2B lead generation today.
“Every channel is so clogged with bad marketing,” says Matt Heinz, president of Heinz Marketing. “We need to break through the perception that marketers don’t have anything to say.”
Attribution is also a major challenge, especially in multichannel campaigns for products with long sales cycles, he notes. The tools to bridge the cross-channel gap are improving, but marketers also need to look beyond pure leads to generating solid sales opportunities.
“I like a marketer who thinks about sales numbers,” says Heinz. “To be successful in B2B marketing, you have to work with your sales counterparts and agree on a common set of metrics and definitions about what is a qualified lead or opportunity. When you have the same goals, you’re able to work more coherently.”
Instead of doing “random acts of marketing” to try and connect with potential prospects, Heinz recommends creating a consistent message for your target audience. No matter what delivery mechanism you use—direct mail, email, social media—concentrate on what you can give the prospect. What is in it for them? What will your solution do to make them smarter and deliver more value to their organization?
“The message has to be solid,” he says. “You can’t just pitch your product without providing context for the value.”
Direct mail has made comeback in some sectors, particularly in big ticket sales with complex sales cycles, Heinz says. It can help marketers get past the gatekeeper to the c-suite. Some B2B companies have been successful actually targeting the executive assistant with mailings—the assistant know their boss’s agenda and what they need to be focused on, and can be invaluable in cutting through the clutter to make that introduction.
Of coruse, the smartest campaigns are omnichannel. Multiple impressions will increase the chances of your prospect responding and opening a dialogue. “You need to focus on the bottom and middle of the pipeline, and not just the top,” he says.
When investing in tech for B2B lead generation needs, Heinz says the first step is making sure that sexy new tech you want actually fits into your strategy.
“Look at the obstacles that are keeping you from being successful and then focus on the tools for that,” he says. “Then, make sure you have the resources to implement those tools.”
Heinz moderated the session “Lead Generation Confidential: The Secret to Generating Leads That Will Convert” at B2B LeadsCon, Aug, 22-24 at the New York Hilton. Along with panelists Jeff Reekers of Handshake Corp. and Rebecca Stone of LiveRamp, he explored the types of media and content that connect best with B2B prospects now, how buyer personas fit into the mix and ways to successfully engage the right leads.