Modern Business Development

If the terms list broker, paid subscriptions to online directories, and good old-fashioned cold calling strike fear in the heart of your Business Development sensibilities, you are not alone. Social media has presented a number of opportunities to reach a limitless audience if you can make sense of the advertising tools and back end platforms. It makes sense to take time tested lead generation sources and couple them with the applications that connect Baby Boomers, Genexers, and Millenials to create a whole new generation of product champions.

This is the first part in a series of blogs that will explore modern methodology for generating leads, developing their interest, and securing a mutually profitable relationship.  I’d like to introduce you to the Lead Ads tool designed and managed by Facebook. As we explore functionality within the tool, you will also learn how simply collecting data is not the end goal.

Lead Ads is a behind the scenes marketing objective that combines the data that fans have already shared within the platform into a formatted, scaled down, quick and easy  “web form”. Your fans will take the first step to translating their interest in your company to becoming loyal customers.

Stayed tuned to learn how Facebook’s Lead Ads tool exults the latent potential of a fan, a.k.a. warm lead, while the expertise of a development specialist from Connects Marketing Group will qualify those warms leads for targeted follow up.

-Written by Michelle Slater

Outbound Marketing: Are You Reaching Your Audience in Print?

The old adage is true:  Time is Money.  The more efficient your process is for developing customers, the higher the ROI on your marketing budget will be.

This month, we’re going to take a look at some of the traditional sources of leads and how much they cost.

How many times have you had the “print is dead” debate with other marketing colleagues? If you’re like me, it’s more times than you care to count.  Yes, there is something to be said for branding. The truth is, though, that your audience is increasingly moving online.

From Marketo:

Advertisers knew this trend was coming as more and more people started moving towards the online world. A recent report released by eMarketer earlier this year states that 2012 would be the year that spending for online advertising would surpass spending for print advertising. In 2011, online ad spending grew 23% in the US, just passing the $32 billion mark, and in 2012 the online ads will grow another 23% to nearly $40 billion. As the spending for online ads continues to grow, B2B marketing professionals need to watch for this development and catch on quickly because we live in an increasingly interactive world, and opportunities to market to your future customers may be lost if this is ignored.

As with anything in branding, the key to advertising is having a consistent presence. That’s hard to do in print if you don’t have a limitless budget. As an example, below is the 2013 rate schedule for one of the number one trade magazines in B2B manufacturing.

Let’s say you wanted to run one full-page ad per month in this trade magazine. Per your company’s brand standards, you are required to use at least a 4-color process. That puts your total spend at $42,855 for the year.

Now, for the sake of this example, let’s say you receive 50 inquiries per month based on your ads. We’re only going to calculate cost per lead, since the ROI on print advertising is so subjective.

  • Cost per Lead 42,855/ 600= $71.43

Stop the presses! (Pun definitely intended) That is an outstanding cost per lead. But let’s be real. Based on real-life experience, we know that 50 inquiries per month on a print ad is a bit high. Doable, but high. The bigger problem is the quality of these inquiries. After qualification, your number will probably drop to somewhere around 5-10 real, quality leads per month. 

This is more realistic (minus the cost for qualification):

  • Cost per Lead 42,855/ 120= $357.13

Yes, you can calculate ROI and cost per lead for print advertising, but it’s a bit tricky. Your ads need to contain some sort of call to action so that you can track clicks on a specified web page, or something similar. But even then, these are only prospects. They still need to be qualified.

The bottom line:

There is still value in print advertising from a branding perspective. For lead generation, however, it’s debatable. A click on your landing page is a formidable distance from a qualified lead.


Outbound Marketing: Are Trade Shows Eating Your Budget?

The old adage is true:  Time is Money.  The more efficient your process is for developing customers, the higher the ROI on your marketing budget will be.

This month, we’re going to take a look at some of the traditional sources of leads and how much they cost.

We’ll start with the beast in all marketing budgets: the trade show. Of course, depending on the size of your company and the money you have to spend, the size of your booth will vary.

For this, we’ll consider a 30 x 40 space at Process Expo 2013. That puts our price per square foot at about $32, including drayage. We’ll also assume that you have an existing booth, so our estimate excludes a new custom booth build or rental. However, according to the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association’s 2011 Economic Survey, current custom exhibit costs range from $144 to $160 per square foot.

Projected Cost

Knowing that the B2B sales cycle can be quite lengthy, it will take a few weeks or months before you know for sure what your gross profit was from the Process Expo. For our purposes, let’s say you had a gross profit of $200,000 with 98 leads generated. Remember that gross profit only includes sales that happened as a direct result of your company’s attendance at the Expo.

  • ROI    (200,000 – 134,787) / 134,787= 48.3%
  • Cost per Lead 137,787/ 98= $1,375.38

Wow! An ROI of 48.3% is amazing! But wait. Is that your true ROI? And a cost per lead of almost $1,400! Let’s back this truck up.

The one crucial piece of the puzzle missing here is this: how many of these leads were qualified, sales-ready leads? And how many were garbage? According to multiple industry resources, anywhere from 5% to 30% of your leads from a given trade show are qualified. Meaning that’s the percentage of leads that have full contact information and application needs, etc.

So for argument’s sake, we’ll say that 30% of your leads from the above show were qualified. That translates to about 29 leads that can be handed off to your sales people right out of the gate. If your sales people have time to jump right on these leads, that is.

The stats below are from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), particularly, their Exhibitor Sales Lead Capture and Follow-up Practice Trends research report released in October 2012.

  • The top two most common methods organizations use to capture leads are: lead retrieval system offered by an exhibition organizer, 74 percent, and paper-based lead form/collect business cards, 59 percent.
  • Qualifying leads is infrequent, with only 30 percent of exhibitors capturing demographics and other lead qualifier questions, in addition to contact information and product or service interest information.
  • Customized emails, 64 percent, and phone follow-up tailored to address attendee product or service interests, 59 percent, are the most common follow-up methods. Fulfillment of these efforts is completed within two weeks by over 70 percent of exhibitors using each method.

The point is this: pre- and post- show connections are a vital part of trade show lead generation success. This includes comprehensive marketing tactics to bring traffic to your booth in the first place. Even if you come out with 29 “qualified leads”, those prospects still need further qualification before they’re ready to be handed off to your sales people. To say nothing of the other 67 leads, which deserve to be vetted as well. When all is said and done, your ROI is going to be driven down and your cost per lead driven up.

The bottom line:

B2B companies are allocating 12 percent of their budgets to trade shows but only getting 9 percent of their leads from that them. (Source: HubSpot)  Is it worth it?