8
Aug

Implementing an Ongoing Integrated Direct Marketing Campaign for Complex Sales

We think that even small scale integrated direct marketing campaigns can yield productive discussions that may emerge, over time, as bonafide leads for complex sales. The least cost method available to distribute marketing communications, of course, is email. The most readily available follow up method is a telemarketing call. The trick is, as we have noted earlier in this blog, to follow up with recipients of direct marketing communications no later than 3 business days from mailing out the email message. We think it is particularly valuable to maintain an ongoing integrated direct marketing effort in 2012. After all, enterprise IT software buyers are presently reticent. Any engagement that may be in the offing will generally only take place should a buyer reach a point where contact is required — whether to place an order or, rarely, to present questions. Therefore, maintaining an ongoing integrated direct marketing effort makes sense as a way to provide markets with the information they require to fairly evaluate a product/service/integrated solution for procurement.

Where possible, it makes sense to use an email distribution service to manage posting for you. These services can let you know when an email has been opened by a specific recipient. Most, if not all of these services have very low thresholds as regards spam; therefore, it is absolutely essential that marketing communications collateral sent by email include either a request that recipients opt-in, or a method by which they can opt out.

Given the realities of dealing with a service like Constant Contact, or MailChimp for bulk email distribution, we do not even recommend using one of these services for the type of daily, incremental integrated direct marketing effort that we are focusing on in this post. For this type of daily activity we simply recommend clustering email messages, by telemarketer, into manageable groups that can be completely covered within the 3 business day freshness window that we alluded to above. Certainly, once some traction has been established it will likely make sense to include an opt-in opportunity. With a hefty number of opt-ins it will then make sense to utilize a service like Constant Contact, iContact, or MailChimp for bulk distribution.

If your products would benefit from a proactive, regular promotional effort, but you lack the internal resources to properly manage attaining your objective, please consider IMB Enterprises, Inc. We have the expertise that you require to put together a truly useful integrated direct marketing effort for your business. Please call Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Ira at imblonder@imbenterprises.com.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

19
Apr

A Cohesive and Integrated Direct Marketing Strategy is an Imperative for all Planned Events

One of our client recently subscribed to our recommendation to coordinate email newsletter campaigns with telemarketing outreach. As we have recently written in this blog, we pieced together much of our strategy in this area from Ernan Roman’s “Integrated Direct Marketing” published by NTC. We regret that this useful book has gone out of print. We did manage to obtain a used copy through Amazon and expect that others can do the same. Bottom line: we highly recommend reading this book and implementing the pieces of the strategy that makes sense for one’s business.

Our client enjoys a very high open rate on his email newsletters. He distributes his copy through iContact. When we accessed the receipt data we were amazed at some of the corporate names in the list of recipients. Our amazement arose from the fact that our client had been largely unaware of the important enterprise prospects (and even customers) that receive each of his publications without fail but, nevertheless, remain lurking on the periphery of his business focus. Now, with an added telemarketing follow up within no more than 72 hours of an email open, we are able to add considerable value to his publication by contacting the most important prospects from the group. All contact information is added to our client’s CRM.

We are pleased to say that the ratio of engagement with these leads has been far greater than is the general rule for unsolicited telemarketing outreach programs; therefore, we can confirm the statistics that Ernan Ronan includes in his book, approximately an engagement rate of 15-20% as measured against all outbound calls placed. We carefully scripted our presentation to recipients around a simple “thank you” for their interest in our client’s offering and an offer to field any/all questions that they may have about our client’s market message.

The result has been a bonanza of information. Our contact staff has strictly adhered to a diagnostic approach to the remainder of each of these calls, peppering prospect engagement conversations with many questions which have facilitated collection of invaluable information on our client’s value proposition, market place perception of his products, and areas of enormous potential still untapped but readily accessible. With specific regard to the latter, we identified a government agency with well in excess of 100K staff members where our client’s penetration, to date, has amounted to no more than sales to 20 of these staff members. Thankfully, the 20 customers are quite influential at this government agency, which sheds a favorable light on the likelihood of our client penetrating further into this opportunity. The old story “your best customer is your customer” still holds true.

If you would like to hear further about this success story, then please contact Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at imblonder@imbenterprises.com.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

5
Apr

An Integrated Marketing Method is the Best Solution for Ongoing Production of Sales Leads

In 2012 an integrated direct marketing method is the best option for tech innovators who need to sell products and/or services to enterprise business and large groups of technology users in the public sector.

What Is Integrated Direct Marketing in 2012
We use the term integrated direct marketing to refer to simultaneous implementation of the following 6 product promotional tools:

  • Online Content including so-called web 1.0 and web 2.0 activities
  • Search Engine Optimization for targeted key words
  • Product Promotion via Social Media
  • Direct Mail Product Promotion
  • Telephone prospect contact including telemarketing and teleprospecting
  • In person prospect contact including visits, conference participation, etc

We are confident that tech innovators, regardless of market engagement strategy (under the radar vs overt), can successfully build long term sales leads programs through a product marketing program that includes each of the above 6 components

Why are 4 of the 6 tools specific to electronic media?
As the result of substantial improvements in the quality of information delivery methods, principally over Internet data communications protocols, more potentially relevant information is available to buyers than ever before at substantially lower cost. This information cornucopia, together with several years of global economic downturn, has spawned the development of “new” buyer who generally will not engage with sales personnel until:

  1. Business needs have crystallized into a tangible form and
  2. An Initial set of potential solutions have been collected that can satisfy (1)

Therefore, tech innovators need to build and manage online content that will appeal, persuade, convince tech buyers in 2012 to reach out to establish contact. This imperative does not preclude the use of direct marketing tools like targeted email, direct mail and outbound telephone contact campaigns. Rather, this imperative provides a complement that, depending upon specific milestones in a business plan, may, in fact, prove to be essential to the success of a business plan. To put it simply, ignore online to your peril in 2012.

If you share our point of view, then you should be able to understand why the best method of addressing these market realities for enterprise tech products is to either install an internal function vested with oversight over this integrated marketing method, or to secure the services of a firm that can outsource this function for your business. We think it makes total sense (in terms of cost) for early stage, funded, tech innovators to opt to outsource this function. We welcome opportunities to discuss this method. Please contact Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at imblonder@imbenterprises.com.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved