base your lead generation goals based on what your sales team needs to reach its goals, it makes sense. Sales cycles are lengthening significantly, and in some cases project budgets that seemed like a sure thing, are cut completely. Sales needs more leads to reach their goals, right?If you are responsible for generating leads for your sales team, I’ll bet you are facing demands for more and better leads. And, if you
But, can you really market your way out of a recession? I wouldn’t go that far, but smart marketing can get you through a recession with your sanity in tact.
What not to do
The last thing you want to do is just market harder. It’s likely to be the thing that your sales team wants to see. They want to see more campaigns, more direct mail pieces sent, more email marketing, more trade shows, more, more, more….
You can tell if your sales team is really desperate if they start threatening to just do it themselves. Forget arguing CAN-SPAM or marketing theory. So far, I have yet to work with anyone in sales who gives a darn what the CAN-SPAM laws allow you to do or whether their latest idea is a good one or not.
The downside of just doing more is significant:
- As mentioned, you run the risk of violating CanSpam, especially if your sales team starts sending bulk email themselves.
- You run the risk of irritating your regular customers. Here’s a great example on the Get to the Point! Marketing blog.
- If you’re not thinking and “just doing” you waste time and money on tactics that may not be working anymore.
- It sucks all the fun out of marketing.
What you can do
Now more than ever is the time to market smarter. There are a lot of things you can do to market smarter, but the first thing you must do is refine your target market. Instead of trying to reach everybody, focus your dollars and efforts on those target markets where you know you can be successful. These are the markets where your product fits, you have plenty of references, your current salespeople have experience in, and your competitors don’t.
The last one can be a bit tough as it seems that every market is dominated by one or two major competitors. But, while you may not win a war with your competitors, you can win individuals battles by micro-targeting. For example, if your major competitor is focused on “retailers”, you might want to focus your efforts on gift shops, or boutiques, or small independent shops… there are many different ways you could refine “retailers” into a sub-segment that you could own.
Finally, for as much as I am in favor of testing, refining your target market is not something you test. You might have more than one micro-market defined as all industries go trough ups and downs. But, once you decide on your targets there’s too much work involved to not commit whole-heartedly.
I wish everyone luck in weathering the current storm.
All the best!