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May 10, 2007

Lead Nurturing – The Method Matters

Not all lead nurturing techniques are welcome by your prospects, and others [which might be welcomed at some point] are mis-timed.

A recent Web Buyer's Guide member study demonstrated how technology buyers generally value each of the follow-up methods of communication after downloading the vendor's content. Technology buyers found the following methods extremely or very valuable:



The take-away? While in-person and telephone discussions may seem alluring and powerful, they may not be particularly welcome by your prospects and may in fact hinder a sale if used alone. Instead, consider using a multi-touch approach that utilizes a variety of lead nurturing tactics, including the onsite and e-mail techniques that are most highly valued by technology buyers. By doing so, you’ll be adding value, context and meaning to your communications – and they will better set up that important telephone follow-up for appointment-setting purposes.

-BH

May 07, 2007

What does Tahiti have to do with IT security?

Beware of contests, premiums, giveaways and other types of "Trojan Horses" that are irrelevant to the business case for your product. Sure, if you offer people the chance to win an expensive all-inclusive trip to a remote location, you will increase the response to your marketing offer, but that will not translate into more highly-qualified sales ready leads. In fact, in my experience the opposite is true. You will, in fact, attract more non-qualified individuals who are interested only in your incentive. These additional responses will frustrate your sales team, reduce the productivity of your sales follow-up programs and otherwise become a burden [not an asset] to your company.

Twenty-five years ago, I ran the marketing for an International travel firm, and at that time, as today, the correct incentive was Tahiti. That incentive would lift the response rates and identify many adventure travelers with lots of disposable income. But, that incentive would not produce the same results for an IT security vendor. For IT security, consider a more relevant incentive -- for example, a free copy of your anti-virus product or free registration to a security event. Such giveaways aren't nearly as sexy as a trip to Tahiti, but they better support your security business case, they are relevant to the buyer's journey and the lift in response rates won't dissapoint your sales team.

Choose your incentives very carefully...

- BH

May 05, 2007

It takes more than white papers to generate demand

In today’s environment of increasingly complex technologies, buyers need more than a white paper to help them make their internal business case to purchase your products. While no one is denying the importance of the white paper, in a recent Ziff Davis Web Buyer's Guide Member Study, we found that 100% of our members engage with five or more types of content before making their purchasing decisions. In addition to white papers, we found that technology buyers rely heavily on product literature, trial downloads, research reports, product demos, case studies and other digital marketing assets.

Consider a syndication strategy for all your digital markeing assets as part of your demand generation strategy. By putting all these resources into your prospects hands, you’ll be moving them through the buying process much faster and you'll be positioning your company as a go-to resource for the supporting research and information for buyers at all stages of the buying cycle.

-BH