Fix It, or You're Fired!
By Russell Kern
Advertising agencies and marketing managers typically are held accountable for creating brand awareness and improving how the world perceives a company, its products and services. Most advertisers know brand building takes time, and that they may wait years to see a return on their investment.
Direct marketers do not live in this world of wait-and-see. A week or two after a mail campaign drops, it's either deemed successful or unsuccessful. If the campaign isn't working, it should be fixed immediately.
To accomplish this, however, B-to-B marketers must know how to quickly solve four common and costly problems:
Problem No. 1: Inability to meet your response, cost per acquisition, cost per lead or ROI financial targets.
Solution: The first place to look for a solution is your offer strategy. Ask yourself:
> Am I trying to tell too much?
> Am I selling the features of our product instead of focusing on the benefits of our offer?
> Do I have an offer that is so compelling that a reader is going to stop dead in his tracks and respond to it now?
A simple solution for a weak B-to-B offer is to add value through aggregation of content. This content includes creating an online resource center containing guides, business-value tools, and links to other resources. Then sell the value of visiting your center in your demand-generation campaigns.
Another source of your problem could be targeting. One of the fastest methods to improve results is to eliminate poor targets and increase the number of look-alike suspects. When you put together a lead generation mailing, have your data processing vendor run a count, by title, of your mailing list. At the same time, run a count of your customer titles. Then, compare the two samples.
How many of the right titles are in your mailing list in comparison to your customer file? How many titles like administrator and consultant have slipped onto your list of people who will respond, but never buy product?