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Monday, July 06, 2009

If you're thinking of running a lead generation campaign, telemarketing is still an effective B2B marketing tactic to consider.

Obviously it's not the only lead generation tactic and, if you read the marketing press, you'd think that everyone had dropped telemarketing lead generation in favour of "social media" or "twitter". But, when it comes to ROI, telemarketing is still a solid direct marketing tactic for lead generation.

So, when is it best to use telemarketing for lead generation?

Here are 3 situations which make telemarketing an ideal tactic for lead generation:

1) In early stage markets - if you're selling new technology, or are in an early stage market, then you can guarantee that your prospects are not looking for you. That's not to say they're not looking for solutions to their particular problem, it's just that they don't yet know your product or service exists.

In these circumstances, you need to educate the market. A telemarketing lead generation campaign is ideal for this situation as it is all about starting a dialogue.

2) Against established competitors - unlike above, here there's an established market with existing "players". Very often these competitors are the "usual suspects" that prospects turn to when they are looking for RFP's or solutions.

In this situation, you need to break in and get their attention otherwise they'll simply continue with the people they know. Again, using telemarketing as a means of opening a dialogue is ideal.

You should note that each of the above examples needs a slightly different approach and objective. A campaign to build awareness for your business against incumbent competitors will be different to one where you are educating the market.

3) Targeting a "wish-list" - a third way to consider whether telemarketing is a suitable lead generation tactic is when you have a highly targeted "wish-list" of companies. Typically this implies a small list of businesses, less than 200 companies for example.

Why is this a good fit with telemarketing?

Well, if you know that your proposition is ideal for a very small target market (perhaps based on a number of firmographics such as turnover, ownership, etc) then you need to make sure that you maximise every possible opportunity available.

Essentially, you can't afford to sit back and wait for them to come to you.

In all three examples there's a common theme: control. Telemarketing is all about pushing out into the market and taking control of the lead generation process.

As I said at the beginning of this post, telemarketing is not fashionable at this time. Read the press and you'd believe that marketing today is only about "permission-based", "online" and "social media".

Google may be great, but if you're selling something that your audience is not looking for (yet) then all the adwords budget in the world will not deliver the leads you need.

Likewise, if you want to break into a competitive market with established, better resourced incumbents then you need to engage before the buying process starts.

In the right circumstances, telemarketing still remains an effective lead generation tactic.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 2:09 pm |   | Links to this post  

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