When it comes to business communications, you may have heard the term ‘lead generation’ – and while this particular buzz word is prevalent in everyday professional talk, it’s surprising just how unacquainted many companies are with this terminology. Quite simply, it’s the procedure whereby new contacts are made; however, too much significance is placed on the quantity of the leads as opposed to its quality.
Thankfully, this is where pipeline marketing comes in: imagine the process shaped like a funnel – with so much pressure put on attaining leads, volume goals surpass quality goals and a large majority of leads never actually convert into real customers. But how do you form a successful marketing strategy to ensure your pipeline marketing efforts pay off? By utilising the following four valuable sources of internal data to your advantage:
Minimising your expenses gives way to maximising your profits – so be sure to review your finances regularly to help you monitor essential fiscal details such as overheads and production costs. Keep tabs of your cash flow reports, as this will give you a good estimation on how much you have available to undergo an extensive marketing strategy – from materials needed to sufficient manpower required.
How often do you deal with customers? Do you find certain days pull in a substantial amount of queries? If so, which types of mediums do you commonly use to engage with your audience? Keep tabs on customer interaction – so for instance, if you find you get a better response to an email marketing campaign on a Tuesday, take note of these metrics and follow this trend. For those interacting with customers via social media, see how your language or content performs (for example, if you find that images are garnering more likes on Facebook, keep textual posts to a minimum – and note the results to help shape future social posts). Don’t just rely on the odd test here and there though - continual testing is the best way to find the optimal processes for your business.
It’s a wise idea to invest in CRM software to enable you to connect with your customers and understand how best to help them. Connecting sales and marketing data is the future to making profitable marketing decisions in your organization, so use this data together. Look for consumer behaviors or market trends that key teams could work together on, using certain strengths and industry knowledge to provide an in-depth marketing campaign. Additionally, use the power of two to compare and contrast – look at your existing customer base compared to your prospective customer base, and identify how you can tap into your desired demographic using existing knowledge as well as future trends.
Take a look at your current offerings – do you think your company has everything it has to offer? Or is there a gap in the market your business could tap into? Take stock – literally – by reviewing your inventory. List all your available resources (suppliers, services etc) and see how this can benefit your marketing strategy – and be sure to test your strategies periodically, so you can see what works and what doesn’t. A couple of good examples include using overstock as part of a promotional campaign, or taking industry-related supplies and extending outreach (for example, sending out stationery to university campuses to celebrate the start of a new academic year).
Remember, knowledge is power – and by recognizing which sources of internal data add the most worth to your business, will enable your organization to lead a successful marketing strategy.
About the Author: Rob Mead is a politics graduate turned marketing aspirant, and the primary contributor to the Parcel2Go blog. He believes that in a field where so much raw data is available to manipulate, putting it to work should be the starting point for any marketing strategy.