How to Target Decision Makers
The goals of marketing generally boil down to a number of different things –
- Raise brand awareness
- Build product desire
- Reaching decision makers
- Informing and educating
- Increasing leads or sales
Depending on your sector the order of priority shifts. The standard argument is that developing leads and sales is the primary function of all marketing and maybe at a simplistic level this is true.
However without the education why would someone want your product? Without building a level of desire why will they want to learn about your product? Ultimately though your marketing needs to reach the decision makers.
The masters of B2C marketing are the likes of Apple who have built such a strong brand following that even when the latest release may not be considered up to par, they still willingly upgrade every time. As I write this, I have even heard from a developer friend of mine that he is going to a privately hosted Apple announcement party tonight for the eagerly awaited iPhone 6!
However within B2B this is far less likely to happen and as such your priorities may shift. You may not have the luxury of taking the time to build a following or create that desire, and let’s face it how often does desire come into the business decision making process. Especially with industries such as IT, law or accounting.
So how can you go about targeting the decision makers? As this is ultimately the strongest opportunity for building new qualified opportunities for leads and sales.
Manual resourcing of decision makers
Whilst laborious this will return the exact lists you want to target in addition to the opportunity to build relationships in the process, but what are the options for this?
Sites such as LinkedIn or Twitter can provide a great opportunity to identify the exact targets, you can see the company they work for, personal and or business website, industry data, personal interests, recent status updates and more. The insights to be gleaned here are potentially staggering but time consuming.
This has been a firm favourite within the business sector from CEO’s and Managing Directors to sales executives. Always the opportunity to build up contacts and develop relationships is powerful, even if the decision maker doesn’t attend the same events as you, one of their team may and they will be able to arrange the introductions. Just remember networking is not about the hard sale, it is about people.
Leveraging existing contacts is always another positive way of reaching decision makers, because again it involves people and real relationships. Over the years you will have built up a large contact base whether you realise it or not. Family, friends and business associates will all have contacts they can introduce you to, but the number of favours you can ask is often limited.
Marketing to decision makers
The problem with manual resourcing as we said previously is that it is either a time consuming process or has a very limited window of opportunity.
At this point stepping up to a dedicated marketing strategy is the logical choice, even if you are already in the marketing cycle going back to manual resourcing is always an option.
Scour your CRM for the most likely prospects and look at the information you have on that business, review past contacts as they may have received promotions or had additional responsibilities passed their way. Essentially keeping your CRM up to date will pay off.
Always check your database, keep it up to date, buy new data to add to it and use a data verification service to ensure the data is valid.
This is a great way to give your marketing database a boost with fresh opportunities. New companies are being started all the time, companies that may have been outside your target market due to size or turnover could now be prime for contact.
This is the perfect match for your database and CRM. By tailoring your message to meet your criteria and align with the selected prospects you can deliver the exact message to the right person at the right time.
We have talked about how events can help to build your marketing database before, but they are also a great way to deliver your USP in person to your key prospects. They can interact and ask questions allowing you to explain exactly why they need your product or service.
Telemarketing doesn’t have to be a one size fits all approach, but using the data from your other marketing activity (such as those listed above) you can define a very clear demographic for your telemarketing agency to target.
In doing so they will also improve the quality of your data and also develop new opportunities by bringing that human touch back to your marketing strategy.
You can either target for leads and sales or use an appointment setting service to keep your sales team on the road maintaining that human relationship.