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Thursday, March 18, 2010

I've been following a number of discussions recently on LinkedIn about the integration of telemarketing with email, online and direct mail campaigns.

When I compare these discussions with some recent articles I read around highly targeted DM campaigns aimed at senior decision makers and I'm starting to see a pattern emerging.

You see, all these sexy and highly creative B2B campaigns seem to rely on the rather un-loved tactic of telemarketing as part of their success.

I'm not saying that they wouldn't succeed entirely without the telemarketing element but I would say that it's a critical element seems to be hugely under-valued.

For example, in February's B2B Marketing Magazine there's an article about a highly targeted DM campaign aimed at 200 senior decision makers within a specific geographical area.

The DM piece was sent out, 3 days later an email followed up tied into the main theme of the campaign. Lots of sexy stuff about micro-sites, etc. Finally, 2 days later, an outbound telemarketing call was placed to those targets that hadn't responded.

Unfortunately, whilst the article gives an overall conversion of 20%, it doesn't give any specifics about responses at each stage of the campaign.

To me, this is typical how today's integrated campaigns are reported.

Whether it's following up a DM piece or responding to an online trigger, telemarketing is always seen as the final bit tagged on the end. All the clever work is done up front and, oh well, let's hand it over to telemarketing to wrap it all up.

Having worked on these integrated campaigns before, and followed up some very clever creative work which clearly had no impact, you'll forgive me if I'm a little cynical.

We've been involved in large integrated campaigns where it's been down to the telemarketing effort to literally pull it back from the brink. When no-one's biting suddenly it's "get on the phones and make it happen".

Because, after all the creative messaging and output is sent out you're into the rather messy world of dealing with diary clashes, PA's, firewalls and over zealous post-rooms.

I agree 100% that a smarter, more integrated approach is the way to go for all B2B marketing campaigns. But I'd suggest that telemarketing plays a larger part of the process than most marketing agencies will admit.

Perhaps it's because you don't win many awards for telemarketing :-)

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Posted by: David Regler @ 2:38 pm |   | Links to this post  

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