Lead Generation is just a fancy term for finding new customers. But building, maintaining, and actively working through a solid lead generation plan is no easy task. No matter what type of business you own or operate, understanding where and how to find new customers can be challenging. If we go a step farther, lead generation also encompasses repeat business from your customers.
Both of these concepts require a deep analysis of the product or service offered, target customer, competition, value proposition (why your product or service is better than the rest), and opportunities to scale the business.
At BridgeHouse Marketing we believe one rule is more important than all others when it comes to working with your business. In order to make precise marketing decisions, we must first understand how your business operates and what your goals are. Fortunately for you, we have extensive experience in multiple trades and we love business!
LEAD GENERATION STRATEGY
Who is your customer? Understanding your customer is critical because let's face it, without them, you don't have a business. And if you are in the business of serving customers, it should be the top priority without discussion.
Your existing customer base is the key to unlocking a new lead generation process that will scale business. Are your customers male or female? What is their general income range? What part of the country do they live in? What are their buying habits for other non-competing products and services?
Answering these questions will help your business accomplish two very important goals. First, how to use surgical precision to find new customers. And second, how to develop loyalty from those customers so they keep coming back for more.
Where do you find new leads? Looking for a needle in a haystack is a lot easier with a metal detector. But do you even know where the haystack is? Once you locate the haystack, it's time to break out the metal detector. The point is you need the right tools and know-how to get the job done right.
With so many options in print, TV, radio, and web advertising, you could literally spend yourself into debt running experiments to find new customers and keep existing ones returning. Before throwing money to the wind, you will need to break down what you know about customer habits.
With a clear picture of where the customer resides, messaging and the delivery platform can be created. The messaging must deliver notable value to the customer or it risks falling flat with little or no impact.
What do your customers want? Knowing how to differentiate what it is you want and what it is your customer wants will help reduce frustration and waste (both time and money).
There is a pendulum swing in business that cannot be overlooked. On one end, there is a valuable product or service to offer but more information is needed regarding how, where, or who to sell it to. On the opposite end, there is working knowledge of the customer, perhaps from initial demand, a problem needing solution, or a competitor. In the middle of the pendulum swing is the convergence of each side, where all businesses should live.
That is, a healthy reciprocal relationship between your product or service and your customer. Feedback from customers will fuel R&D, and that research will fuel product innovation.
When is it the right time to launch, scale, or refine? Things change, that much we know, but timing change in conjunction with your business offerings can be a challenge. Admittedly, there is some luck involved.
As with all major business decisions, the more you wrap your head around the goal and everything it will take to accomplish that goal, the more likely you are to achieve it.
But the real answer to the when question is based on first developing a keen understanding of who and what. With a clear vision of the target customer and what it is they want from your business, a game plan is easier to build and schedule. This is particularly important for seasonal products and services, as well as long sales cycles.
Why should you maintain a lead generation strategy? Businesses that have consistent, sustainable sales that require no marketing expense are like Eagles. Sure they exist, but it's on rare occasion that you actually see one face to face in real life.
Constructing and maintaining a good lead generation strategy, first and foremost, allows your business to convert sales and broaden the customer base. Secondarily, it is a continual way to learn more about your customer and can alert you to times when interest in product and service offerings is waning.
Once the sales cycle is analyzed, we can adjust lead prospecting to match. This fills gaps in revenue, effectively the lifeblood of your business.
How do you know where to find new leads? For anyone over the age of 25 years or so this is a double-edged equation. With today's technology, we have a vast amount of resources and platforms to cultivate leads. But before the digital age put everything at our finger tips, the process was more simplified.
Before the dawn of the Internet, Yellow Page advertising in the phone book was where a business had to be. To expand, there were bigger ads. For bigger budgets, there were newspapers, TV, and radio. Today, some of these platforms are a sure-fire way of going broke.
Cultivating leads now requires constant education and the ability to leverage the successes and failures on one platform today onto another one that may show up tomorrow. Divide and conquer.