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Three Tips for Finding the Lead-Gen Pot o' Gold

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A guest post by Maribeth Ross of NetProspex.

For St. Patrick's Day, let's talk about the only pot of gold more coveted (at least by B2B marketers) than the leprechaun’s at the end of the rainbow: qualified B2B leads. For B2B marketers, this lead-gen pot of gold can seem impossible to find. 

Here are three suggestions to help you reach your own lead-gen pot of gold.

1. Create buyer personas. The four-leaf-clover for your lead-generation strategy and the core of your messaging is a solid set of buyer personas. Creating personas alongside the sales department will help you both get on the same page about who buys your products. Strive to identify the pain points of your customers, their likes, their dislikes---even their personalities!

As part of your efforts to get to know buyers, you should understand how they buy and what information they require to make a decision. Understand what gets them to consider, evaluate, and select your product. Aligning your value to each buyer persona helps you talk to them about what they truly care about. Hint: Make sure that you talk to real buyers to ensure you’re on the right track. Relevance is critical in getting folks to pay attention, and more attention means your programs are more successful.

2. Clean the data. Clean marketing data will make a huge difference in the performance of your programs. With your marketing database decaying at a rate of 2% or more per month, you have to start somewhere.

Begin with a thorough cleansing. Remove records of folks who aren’t your target buyers or don’t influence the sale; normalize your data in terms of capitalization and formats of fields, such as phone, title, etc. Also, append information to incomplete records. And don’t forget to get rid of records that have bounced or unsubscribed.

None of this is easy, and it can be quite time-consuming. Be prepared to invest some time into it or identify a trusted data partner that can manage the process. A better-performing database aligned to your target buyer will have a positive, long-term impact, and it's worth the investment.

3. Have a flexible content library. Blimey, marketing has evolved! The days of features and benefits are over. We are living in a world full of solutions and value-adds, where it is essential for you to differentiate from the competition in meaningful ways.

With your target buyer firmly established and a database of clean prospects, the next step is to develop a library of relevant and educational content that demonstrates your thought leadership regarding the problems your company solves. This is much more than tapping your 45 different whitepapers, though. You’ll want content that is written in such a way that the piece can be broken down into snackable content and recycled in the form of tweets, handy checklists, and best-practices pieces. Having content developed this way will stretch further for you, getting more exposure to your content and generating more leads.

When put together, the steps above create the basis for a successful lead-gen program that can then be expanded over time. With a better idea of your personas, the right data to reach them, and the content to appeal to them, the smart marketer behind the transformation no longer needs the “luck of the Irish.”

Maribeth Ross is vice president of marketing at NetProspex.

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  • by Amber King Sun Mar 18, 2012 via blog

    Understanding your target market is really important to any lead generation campaign. Of course a clean database is also another thing. Get rid of those leads that have no interest at all. They will only clutter your database.

    Wonderful tips here Maribeth.

  • by Liz McCormick Fri Mar 23, 2012 via blog

    I think one of the most overlooked step, especially B2B marketers, is the content piece. Often times we spend our hard earned money and resources on elaborate white papers and lengthy guides. While the information is valuable, most consumers of information have lost their appetite to sit down and read a 10 or 20 page document.

    Translating that great information into snackable content is the key to keeping your audience's attention. And, you can take one piece (that long white paper) and suddenly have 10 new pieces of content--blog posts, tweets, and checklists!

    All great points, Maribeth. I look forward to seeing more articles from you!

  • by Ann Handley Sat Mar 24, 2012 via blog

    +1 to your comment, Liz. Couldn't agree more! The key is reimagining that lengthy, bulky, expensive, huge document into smaller, more digestible content assets.

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