Are you hounded by email pitches offering access to all kinds of prospective business targets? I am, and I hate it. As a B2B marketer, I am always interested in new customer data sources, so I feel compelled to at least give them a listen. But when I ask a few questions—like where their data comes from—answers come back like “A variety of sources” or “Sorry, that’s our intellectual property.” So, over time, I have come up with a 9-point assessment strategy to help marketers determine the likely legitimacy of a potential vendor, using approaches that can be replicated by anyone, at arm’s length. [Read more...]
Customer Service – Your most powerful retention tool or your competitors most powerful acquisition tool?
It is often said that small actions lead to big results – some good and some bad, but the absence of action could create irreparable damage beyond your imagination. So when it comes to taking care of loyal ,profitable customers, why do so many companies pay lip service to the notion that the customer comes first? Is customer service your most powerful retention tool or your competitors’ most powerful acquisition tool? Let me share with you a real-world example of what I’m referring to: [Read more...]
The most reliable and scalable approach to finding new B2B customers is outbound communications–whether one is using mail, phone, or email, or using rented or purchased lists. B2B marketers typically select targets from prospecting lists based on such traditional variables as industry, company size, and job role/title. But new research indicates that B2B prospecting data is much more detailed these days and that it includes a plethora of variables to choose from: refining your targeting, for building predictive models, or picking your targets even more effectively. [Read more...]
The Number One rule in B2B marketing: Never, ever, pass an unqualified lead to your sales force. Why? Because they’ll hate you in the morning… But seriously, if the role of B2B marketing is to provide leverage to sales, then burdening a sales rep with a prospect who is not a realistic potential buyer is no help. The rep will reach out, find a prospect who is in the earliest stages of research or, worse, in a company that is never going to fit your solution, and a whole lot of time and effort has just been wasted. In this kind of situation, the lead should stay with the marketing team, where the relationship can be developed, and nurtured, until it’s ready to take up a salesperson’s valuable time. [Read more...]
I hate to pick on a company in particular, but I honestly think that many companies cross the line. From time to time, we all do a little manipulation of the facts to make our claim look just a little bit better. As Seth Godin says, “All Marketers Are Liars.” But just because that is normal doesn’t mean that it is a good idea. I would argue, that because it is normal, it is actually imperative that you do something different. You need to go out of your way to ensure that your claims stand up. Do you? [Read more...]