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Monday, June 08, 2009

I've recently finished reading the excellent Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin.

In his book Seth maps out 14 trends that are shaping the business world and suggests that the winners will be the companies which align their business model with what he calls "New Marketing".

Unsurprisingly, since this book is from the guru of permission marketing, Seth says in the executive summary that Old Marketing tactics such as telemarketing and cold calling "are all in trouble"

I didn't exactly spit out my coffee at that point but it did make me sit up :-)

The thing is that Seth's talking about telemarketing as a "mass marketing" media, since he compares it with Network TV and newspapers.

And in that sense, he's absolutely right.

Mass-market telemarketing, which is typically B2C, is dead. As I've posted about previously (see Ethical Telemarketing Companies? Now I know we're in trouble!) unsolicited cold calling to consumers just doesn't work any more.

But let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.

Telemarketing can still be extremely effective as a marketing tactic and, in certain situations, can deliver far better results than other, often over-hyped, digital marketing tactics.

As long as it's highly targeted and relevant then outbound telemarketing can not only be effective but it can also be well received (I posted about this a year ago Google ads show us the future of cold-calling).

My view is that telemarketing is already shifting to higher value, more complex sales propositions where it can still deliver a strong ROI.

Will telemarketing ever become extinct as a marketing tactic?

I guess that if it no longer delivers a return-on-investment then the answer's yes. Or if legislation comes out to ban it's use in business-to-business.

At the moment, though, if you need to reach senior decision makers and key influencers in business, high-targeted telemarketing can still deliver.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 12:36 pm |   | Links to this post  

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  1. Feedback At 10:54 am ~ Blogger RSWAF said...

    I tend to agree with what David says here, but then I would, as the MD of RSW (www.rsw.co.uk) a specialist outbound new business lead generation company! But joking aside, we all need to accept that the telephone is just one of the tools available to us as "outreach" experts. The good old fashioned letter in the post, followed by a call and then an email (after having checked with a PA that that it will be OK - BTW mention the name of the PA you spoke to in the subject line!) works wonders. Cold-calling by itself is far less effective than it was say five years ago. But another thing that we're seeing is that although the number of "meetings per call" has dropped, the number of "sales per meeting" has increased. Why is this? I'd say it was obvious - those who DO agree to meet these days are meeting because they have a genuine interest, those who don't WANT to speak to you can more easily avoid you.

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