How Marketers Can Yield Big Results Without High Tech

ToolsI think we, as marketers, are guilty these days of thinking and acting a bit too strategically, leaning on the substantial technology investments (marketing automation, analytics suites, etc.) that every organization is, or should be, making. Too much big-picture thinking has resulted in inaction – we all too often neglect the little, tactical tricks we can implement to increase our data quality, lead velocity and generate real business value.

I think you’ll agree:

  • Marketing and IT are becoming (read my last post about the Marketing + IT love train) as closely aligned as any two departments within an organization but the dev queue is building and already a mile long. Do what you can to not add to that black box.
  • Sales and marketing’s tenuous relationship is getting better because of lead insights and analytics (or at least you’ve been told at conferences, read on blogs and heard from peers)
  • You’re still collecting spreadsheets of leads from at least some of your sources
  • You have no idea which sources generate the best conversion to your KPI by campaign

You know what works, but do you know what doesn’t?

I imagine your sales team is begging for more search traffic, trial downloads and prospects who register at No surprise, these down-funnel activities afford the fastest velocity from lead to piped opportunity, but the only thing you can scale is the ample paid supply sources such as content syndication, sponsored email and telemarketing campaigns. These activities move through the pipeline at a much slower rate, but you may be treating them equally to the quickly converting lead sources. Consider a few stop-gap measures that require no IT or dev work yet often produce a more functional lead bucketing system.

1) It’s just math—paid efforts are top-funnel activities and thus produce higher volume. Wouldn’t you agree, therefore, that there’s an inverse relationship between quantity and readiness (whether refined to the point of marketing or sales follow-up)?

So if you’re skewing to the former, incorporate a custom question to quickly refine your lead pipeline: “How would you like us to interact with you?” Answers: “Call,” “Nurture,” “Nothing” – it may be harsh news, but you’ll bucket very quickly – and find sources who justify more budget by the answer.

Have you tried to challenge sales to generate their Named Account Target List? Run named account only campaigns. Every lead should be worth more than a general campaign, because it’s at a targeted account. And though each lead will cost more, you’ll likely find a significant reduction in your cost per customer acquisition and an increase in your customer lifetime value. This immediately bolsters marketing’s overall business value.

2) Let the Buyer take their journey, because you can’t force them to be on your path. This really comes down to content. When did you last map your content portfolio? Here’s a simple guide:

  1. Top-of-funnel content – ”What are you doing about XXX (problem identification)”
  2. Mid-funnel content – “How XXX technology solves for Y (problem solution)”
  3. Down-funnel content – “Company XXX saved Y {their butts, money, etc.} (use case)

Now map the asset type to the kind of registration they should commit to (qualification):

  1. Top of funnel – No registration but cookie and retarget with Mid Funnel Content
  2. Mid-funnel – Progressive registration or basic business card info
  3. Down-funnel – Basic business card info + custom questions

Lead nurturing, predictive analytics and big data are all without question here to stay. We marketers of the world are getting better and better every single day. Sales needs numbers today. We are increasingly more responsible for driving revenue. Low-tech solutions and tactical tweaks will only complement and generate more value out of the large-tech investments your marketing organization is making. Challenge your vendors to accept custom questions. Change your own forms to reflect the level of commitment you’re asking for from your prospects. Profit from the relationships.

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