The worst thing you could do going into 2017 is to create a budget based on the way you do things today. Oh sure, you’re looking at conversion rates and reallocating what you are spending on the least successful channels to the most successful, but what about the things you haven’t yet tried?
Here are 7 growth hacks to try in 2017 that can have a big impact on your lead generation.
If you are like many companies, you’ve seen paid search get more expensive while volume and quality is decreasing. Don’t give up on paid search yet, just think about it differently. Take a look at who owns the top organic spot for your highest quality terms. Chances are it is a third party site like a product listing/review site or a publication or educational site. Reach out to these sites and see if there is a way to be listed on the page that is ranking, either as a banner ad or an in-text link. You might even find that some of those sites have paid search programs of their own (which I like to call paid search inception). Bottom line, you can get more clicks by paying for a listing on the top ranked organic site.
Most likely, you have multiple people in your organization brainstorming how to improve your customer experience. If you’ve got the tools and time, I highly recommend providing a personalized experience on your website. Basically, this is providing a “personalized” experience to a returning website visitor based on what page(s) they visited the last time they were on your site. B2C has been using it for a while to get people to make purchases they’ve been considering. B2B can use it to get the right content in front of a researching prospective buyer so that they raise their hand to become a lead in your system.
Creating a personalized journey once a prospective buyer has become a lead is basically smart lead nurturing. Here you can have an email triggered to be sent to an individual that takes an action or combination of actions. Many marketing automation tools now have this capability. For example, someone who watched a webinar on a particular product/feature, then visited your pricing page gets sent an email talking about why your product/feature is differentiated and providing a relevant asset. Effort in this area will increase your lead conversion rates; which proves you don’t always need to spend more to get more leads.
ABM (Account Based Marketing) campaigns are a hot topic for marketers, and there’s a good reason behind that. Marketers and salespeople see that the outcomes from sales prospecting has decreased significantly over the past few years. If sales is responsible for bringing a significant percentage of SQLs into the pipeline, they are going to need your help. Work with sales to brainstorm ways to get the attention of a targeted list of accounts. First, generate the list in conjunction with sales. The list can be of their assigned target accounts or a subset of cold leads or a new list fitting your buyer profile. Then think of a deliverable that you can personalize at scale that would be of benefit to these targets. It could be a business assessment, an offer of training or even a personalized video to get their attention. Help create a “cookie cutter” so that sales can then execute the campaign one target at a time. The effort will be well worth it as you’ll see many more SQLs than what is coming out of cold prospecting today.
I guarantee that someone in your organization is work on improving “the customer journey”. There is a lot of buzz in the industry about being more strategic and thoughtful in our communications with customer across every stage of their interaction with us and interaction across departments/roles. Customer delight is a powerful thing, but did you know that a key part of this effort is also to leverage customers for lead generation? B2B companies are finding big success by leveraging referral programs to harness customers to provide personal introductions from people in their network who are a fit for your product or service. Referral programs don’t work for every company, take this quick quiz (no lead form) to see if referrals are a fit for your business. If they are, I definitely recommend you put some focus here in 2017.
If you are like most demand generation marketers, partner marketers are people you are vaguely aware exist, but never really work with. You should definitely change that! All of the opportunity you have to run a customer referral program also applies to partners. In fact, partner referral programs are the highest producing referral programs. Have lunch with a partner marketer and see what they are doing to get lead flow from partners. If they tell you they are struggling with ad hoc productivity or with underperforming reseller arrangements, it just makes sense to work with them to automate partner relationships for a consistent flow of high-quality leads. You can learn more about automating partner lead gen here.
No matter which activities you tackle in 2017, make sure you are focused on how many closed deals you are getting from each channel. I think most marketers have gotten past volume of leads as a measure of success, but now we need to push much further to validate spending. Go past MQLs and SQLs, soar past Opps and get direct measurement/attribution of Closed Won. Ultimately, nothing else matters so make sure you focus on activities that give you that direct link to impact on revenue. Otherwise, you could be wasting money on generating leads/opportunities that never make a purchase.
Trisha Winter brings 20 years of technology marketing and management experience to her role as CMO at Amplifinity. With a lifelong passion for brand advocacy and referral marketing, Trisha provides strategic leadership to Amplifinity’s brand presence and oversees a full range of marketing initiatives across industry sectors. She shares her expertise on the transformation of marketing as a speaker and author of numerous articles, blog posts, and white papers. When not being awesome in the office, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading and doing laps at the pool. Contact her at @Trishawinter