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Publisher's Outlook
March 2004


The Forgotten Link In
Savvy Marketing

By Nadji Tehrani,
Executive Group Publisher, Technology Marketing Corporation

Why Lead Generation?
If you follow the anatomy of a healthy organization, you will find that without exception, no company can exist without new business and simply stated, no company can remain in business without sales. It follows, therefore, that to generate sales, one must have sales leads because 'all sales begin with sales leads.'
As vital as lead generation is, it is mind-boggling that so many companies ignore this phenomenally important part of business and simply give it casual attention, if any at all.

Sources Of Leads
Leads can be generated from any or all of the following:

1. Trade shows,
2. Print advertising,
3. Telemarketing,
4. Channel marketing,
5. Web advertising,
6. Direct mail,
7. Integrated marketing (which is regarded as the most powerful method),
8. Effective response-driven campaigns (which begin with response-driven advertising),
9. Effective positioning (no marketing campaign could be functional without it),
10. Differentiation (again, no marketing campaign could be functional without it),
11. Public relations.
Without positioning and differentiation, the customer has no reason to buy from you, and in this extremely competitive environment, there is no room for mistakes in this area. In previous editorials during the last two years, we have provided extensive coverage of all of the above. I urge you to visit our Web site (www.tmcnet.com) and look for our past Publisher's Outlooks. Of particular importance, I highly recommend that you read an editorial entitled 'Every Company Wants To Be A Peacock In The Land Of Penguins, But Few Companies Know How To Do It Effectively' (http://www.tmcnet.com/cis/0902/0902po.htm).
Having said all of the above, one must keep in mind the following cardinal rules of marketing.

Marketing Is A Full-Time Job
There are many misguided, so-called marketing managers or CEOs of mom-and-pop companies who think of marketing as a necessary evil. Such companies are doomed to fail because you simply cannot exist without marketing. In plain English, marketing is not a part-time job. If you can't market full-time, just don't do it at all and simply get out of business.

Creative Marketing
In this world of mass-marketing and global marketing, each individ-
'Pub Outlook' continued from page 2

ual may be exposed to as many as 1,000 marketing messages via advertising, billboard, television, newspapers, magazines, etc. on a monthly basis. So the ones that will get consumers' attention are those that are extremely creative and attract the recipients' attention immediately. Such messages and marketing programs are usually benefit-driven so that consumers have a reason to call the company and ask for the product or service.

Innovation And Marketing
You would be wise to blend innovative marketing and creative marketing together because they both seem to be unusually effective in attention grabbing. For those who do not really appreciate the value of marketing, it is important to cite the famous comment by Peter Drucker, a leading marketing expert. He stated, 'Companies exist for two reasons: marketing and innovation.'
In this world of high technology, it is more normal for the technologist and the engineers to think of innovation and new technology and totally ignore marketing. At best, they usually consider marketing a necessary evil. Obviously, companies that put people with that mindset in charge of business decisions will not go very far because a better mousetrap in today's world does not attract anyone. Unfortunately, many engineers keep trying to build a better mousetrap only to find that the mouse died 15 years ago!

Lead Sourcing Is Vitally Important
The determination of the source of the lead is vital to your marketing success.
In any marketing program, you MUST be able to determine the ROI. Obviously, you cannot determine the success of any marketing campaign if you are not able to determine the source of leads. Once again, you must follow-up on all qualified leads immediately, otherwise they are useless.

Misconceptions In Advertising
And Marketing
In any business, every now and then, one encounters an entrepreneur who has no experience in marketing who likes to take on the role of a marketing manager, or one meets a marketing director who simply speaks at the direction of the entrepreneur who has no experience in marketing. Unfortunately, often in these cases, if they market and don't sell something for a short period, they cancel all of their marketing without investigating why they did not sell anything. Such people should know that only properly prepared marketing messages that speak to the audience in a benefit-driven manner, and which are properly placed in a magazine (or other media) that targets their audience, are the ones that will generate sales leads. In addition, unlike the common belief that all leads will turn into sales, sales leads, no matter how qualified, are worthless if you place them in the hands of unproven salespeople. In other words, a response-driven campaign that is properly developed, speaks to the audience with some-
'Pub Outlook' continued from page 4

thing to offer and is placed in an appropriate, targeted publication will generate leads and only sales leads, but no sales by itself. Consequently, sales leads should first be qualified and then must be placed in the hands of a good salesperson with appropriate closing techniques to sell the product/service and convert the sales leads into customers.
Sales leads need to be followed up in a timely manner, as well. Two-week-old leads are usually useless.

The Role Of CRM
Next comes the job of CRM (customer relationship management), the objective of which is to keep the customer satisfied by developing a strong relationship with the customer. As discussed in the February 2004 Publisher's Outlook, through this relationship and making your company indispensable to your customer, you can count on keeping them.
In short, the job of advertising is to generate sales leads and the job of salespeople is to close the sales and turn the leads into customers. The job of CRM is to keep the customers.

The Most Effective Way To Generate Leads
Integrated marketing and/or multimedia programs are effective ways to market and generate sales leads. In today's world, customers tend to react to advertising and marketing materials in different ways. In other words, some prefer voice (radio or telephone), others television, others magazine, others print advertising, others channel marketing, and others Internet advertising of several forms.
To conduct full-court marketing or a winning marketing program, you must consider integrated marketing as the vital point of your marketing program. Indeed, nearly 10 years ago, the tagline of Customer Inter@ction Solutions' was 'The Magazine Of Integrated Marketing.' That was a decade ago when we came to the realization that some day we must all consider integrated marketing because 'one-size-fits-all' does not work in marketing.

The Nature Of Incoming Leads
There has been an evolution in the nature of incoming leads. Having gone through direct mail via coupons, postcards, regular mail and bingo cards, the nature of incoming leads upgraded to telephone plus mail then to 80 percent via toll-free 800 numbers in the 80s and 90s.
No matter where you advertise, nowadays over 90 percent of the leads are coming via your Web site and the rest via toll-free inbound 800 numbers or regular phone.

The Quality Of Salespeople
And Timeliness
You also need a process to make sure the leads are immediately
'Pub Outlook' continued from page 6

entered into a database. They must then be e-mailed and/or called and/or mailed some information, then followed up by a salesperson.
Even if you conduct integrated marketing and generate the most qualified sales leads, placed in the hands of an unproven salesperson, no sales will result. In other words, if you don't keep in mind all of the above guidelines, such as appropriate integrated marketing, etc., you still may hit a point where your marketing campaign is not producing desired results. In that case, we suggest you keep in mind all of the above guidelines and develop a checklist to determine where there is a shortfall and misconnection in your marketing campaign and fix it.
In short, there is more to lead generation than meets the eye.
As usual, I welcome your valued comments. You may e-mail them to me at [email protected].

Sincerely yours,

Nadji Tehrani
Executive Group Publisher

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