An effective marketing plan will form the backbone of any business’s promotions.. Many of the tactics and campaigns involved in a marketing strategy will take time to plan and execute, and though the results for those tactics will be worth the time put in, sometimes a business needs to see fast results.
Though a good marketing strategy should be able to maintain sustainable and solid growth, there are tactics that can be used to boost a business in a quick time-frame.
Whether you love it or hate it, telemarketing works – when it’s planned, prepared and professional.
Make sure your opening pitch can be delivered within thirty seconds. At GMA we have a framework which enables us to do this, and we’ve seen great success when we begin a conversation with a prospect by asking them if they will listen to us for just thirty seconds. An approach that slots perfectly into the new age of GDPR, this tactic is called permission-based marketing, and as author Seth Godin describes it, ”You don’t start by asking for the sale at first impression. You earn the right over time, bit by bit.”
While you may not ask for the sale at first impression, it’s vital to make sure the first impression is a good one. A telemarketer needs to be professional in their approach, while remaining friendly and congenial. However, while a friendly manner is essential, a telemarketing conversation must be a structured one to be successful.
A pre-qualification list will prevent your telemarketing team from wasting time – both their own and their audience’s. A pre-qualification list is precisely what it sounds like: a list of factors a prospect should meet prior to being pitched to. These qualifications include:
Your telemarketing team could spend twenty minutes pitching and selling to an employee at a lower level who does not have control over their company’s buying decisions. Once that employee is excited about the service or product on offer, they will have to sell it on your behalf to their manager or another member of the company. At that point, you have lost control of the pitch. Make sure your telemarketing team is able to connect with someone who has the power to say yes to a buying decision, or at least a senior influencer..
A conversation does not have to end with simply a “yes” or a “no”. The product or service your telemarketing team is selling may have a payment plan, or an alternative at a lower or higher price. It may replace other elements in the company’s budget, making it a more cost-efficient solution. Understanding a prospect’s budget needs opens up the conversation to more opportunities. However, while budget is an important factor, make sure your telemarketing team understands their audience – a prospect may be more interested in the technical capabilities of a product or service, or in its time efficiency, than its price. As we said in our piece on How to Create a USP, cost is a factor in any buying decision, but it is not the only factor.
Remember to build value into your cost. Look at Starbucks and Costa for a great example of overcharging people for a cup of milk and a spoonful of coffee! For example, if you have a product and it is more expensive than the competitive products, does it last longer, therefore giving your client a better cost of ownership, even though the initial price is higher. An example of this is Apple iPhone chargers and leads, which last 3-4 times longer that the cheaper equivalents on Amazon!
The job of a telemarketer is not to be an expert, but to open the door for your technical sales team to walk through. It’s vital to take detailed notes during calls, as sometimes a telemarketing team will need to call back a prospect four or even five times before they are ready to buy. An ideal set-up for the next stage after a telemarketing engagement is a telephone appointment or face-to-face meeting with one of your sales executives – at GMA we set up all of our telemarketing to proceed in this fashion.
As with all elements of your marketing strategy, review your progress. Monitor and measure your telemarketing success – don’t waste time on a pitch that isn’t working.
The database of people that you are calling is paramount to your success. Are you using a 10-year old database which goes out of date by over 20% year on year? Did you buy data in from a data broker with MD’s contacts when you are actually wanting to speak with the production manager? At GMA we tend to only run telemarketing campaigns to hand-picked data, which we farm for our clients, and then we focus on where they have engaged from some of our collateral, such as a click-through on an email campaign or a visit to the website using advanced tracking code to see the business that has visited.
Being able to promote on the social media feed of a person you have targeted as a potentially interested party is incredibly powerful. With a single click, a prospect can be taken to a landing page with all of the information they will ever need to make a purchasing decision. In fact, this engagement – from first viewing the advert to completing the sale or sending an enquiry – can take as little as thirty seconds.
LinkedIn and Facebook* are two ideal platforms for social media marketing, with the targeting options for advertisements on both sites being extremely powerful. *At the time of updating this blog, Facebook has reduced some of its search filters by job title and currently LinkedIn is the best option for service based B2B advertising, whilst Facebook is still strong for B2C product-based marketing built around ‘interests’.
From being able to target prospects by location, age, and gender, to narrowing the field by only targeting individuals or companies in a particular industry or with a specific focus, the possibilities are limitless.
There can be a fairly short engagement path from ad to sale by using landing pages. A landing page is a single web page that has no menu structure to it, just a funnelled approach to taking the reader through the message journey in your order and at your pace. It’s a great partner for a social media advertising campaign.
There is some planning, time and effort involved in driving prospects to an event, seminar or a webinar, but the warm fuzzy feeling they will get when they’re being pampered at your event will give you a significantly higher conversion rate than for any other marketing activity. In fact, your conversion rate can easily double – or even triple.
Once a prospect is at your event, you have a captive audience for a period of hours, rather than minutes or seconds. You also have an ample opportunity to show off your premises, your knowledgeable team, your culture, and your range of products and services. While these events are a perfect chance to network, the presence of multiple industry professionals in the same space has an added benefit for you – it creates peer pressure. When a prospect sees their competitors buying your services or products, it encourages them to recognise the value, and do the same.
The pure volume of buyers in the same place is also a major benefit. How many other opportunities do you have in marketing to achieve this?
A prospect may be interested in the knowledge you have to offer, but unable to physically attend an event. Webinars (a seminar, presentation or workshop streamed live online) are growing in popularity as a way to reach these prospects. A webinar gives you an unlimited marketplace with a global reach – the only restriction is possible time differences. However, by recording your webinars and uploading the video online or including it in an email at a later date, even time differences can be overcome, giving you a truly worldwide audience.
*At the time of writing an update to the blog, 2021 has hit us and so has COVID for over 12 months. Most events are on hold and therefore this section is not valid for quick-win marketing. I am not sure what the future holds for physical events in general, but businesses are getting better at creating their own online presence for events through webinars and video. We are actually building a video open day for a client to deliver ‘On Demand’ to their market, a little like we take in World news on a daily basis on a Sky or BBC app.
PPC advertising is a good way to drive viewers and visitors to your website or landing page, but if you don’t understand how to run a PPC campaign you can end up haemorrhaging most of your budget with PPC advertising. Most PPC advertising mistakes are made when businesses throw an unlimited budget at too many keywords. Watch out for saturated key phrases and keywords, where you will be bidding against competitors with a far greater budget than your own.
The most effective way to get the most out of your PPC campaign is by thinking through which keywords you want to target. When choosing your keywords and key searches, target a very specific sector or area for the optimum results. For example, if you are supplying IT services to SME (small or medium-sized enterprises) businesses, try running a PPC campaign targeting a particular specialist area such as “IT services for software businesses”. The competition will shrink dramatically, and though your overall impressions will be reduced, your click-through and conversion rate will increase substantially.
Here at GMA we run a lot of quarterly PPC campaigns, meaning we can target a particular sector for one quarter, followed by different sectors for the second, third, and fourth quarters. By taking this approach, we can capture different audiences – whether it’s companies in a variety of industries, or individuals with a mix of different interests – while still keeping our target focused enough to hit a bullseye.
Video marketing is the fastest growing marketing activity of the moment – and it’s becoming more accessible. With the improvement in mobile phone technology, Smartphone camera and video quality has risen to a commercially acceptable quality and resolution. This means that you don’t necessarily need an expensive video set-up or an expert videographer to create engaging video content to market your business.
Filmed and even edited on your phone, video collateral for video blogs, events, or snippets for social media are easily shareable through YouTube and all your social media platforms. Within a matter of minutes, you could have shot a video, uploaded it, shared it with your prospective marketplace and your contacts, and seen it become viral. Versatile and eye-catching, videos can sit in almost every piece of marketing collateral you have, from websites and landing pages to email campaigns and online publications.
Google has its own search functionality for video, and its video search uses a different algorithm to the main Google algorithm for textual content. This means that even if your website doesn’t rank no.1 in a Google search, your videos can. The YouTube algorithm is based around popularity for ongoing success, so getting people to subscribe to your channel, like and comment on your videos counts towards that score.
The success of your videos will be decided by their content – put yourself into the shoes of your prospects and try to envisage what they would want from one of your videos. Give away trade secrets, make special offers, or share case studies that can sway your market into making a purchase from you.
At GMA we’ve seen the results a well-crafted video shared through social media can bring, which is why in addition to creating high-quality commercial video campaigns, we can also provide insight and training on how a business can create engaging and attractive videos of their own, using only a Smartphone and our advice.
Be mindful of the fact that a sustainable marketing strategy will consider the short-term and the long-term – though these tactics can be used to give your company a quick and effective boost, don’t forget to consider and incorporate tactics that may take longer to pay off into your overall strategy.