Develop Opportunities with an Integrated Marketing Campaign
When looking to sell more to existing customers and prospects, one of the most cost effective ways to do this is through what I call an integrated marketing campaign. It uses video, blog posts, emails, phone calls, webinar, followup, and cash to generate opportunities for the sales team in an integrated fashion. I used it very effectively at my company to generate good size sales opportunities, and you can too.
First off, we have to start by generating some content. I like to do that by making a short 5 to 15 minute video where I explain something that’s new and interesting to our customers and prospect base. I usually just stand in front of a whiteboard and explain the new and exciting things that are customer can do and how it can help their business.
After recording and editing that video, we upload it to YouTube.
That video is then used by our marketing team to generate additional follow up content. First off we create a blog post that has the YouTube video embedded in it, some key information on why it’s beneficial to the customer, and some links to specific information where they can go to find out more.
We also schedule a webinar where they can get more in-depth information on the topic, and have a chance to win some kind of prize that has a value of about $25. I like to keep it at that level because anybody, even in the public sector, can get a $25 gift.
We schedule the event about four weeks out because it takes that much time to run the rest of the campaign. The event is posted on our website under the events section of news. It has a registration link to our marketing automation systems where we can register the people that are going to be attending so we can track the signups. I like to do the event as a WebEx because we can then record the content while providing a good experience to the people that are attending.
So from the original video that I recorded, I can create 5 interesting emails. They have to have catchy subject lines, provide a little bit of information on how the topic can help the customer, and have some links to further information. Each email also has to contain information about the webinar event that we’re going to have as well as describe the $25 price that they get or attending and listening to the webinar. It can be as simple as an Amazon gift card which anybody would be happy to have.
Then we use our marketing automation system which is a fancy email system. We send the emails out to our customers and prospects over the next two weeks. Everything is building up to the webinar event.
Furthermore, we provide the same information to the sales reps. The sales reps then call out to their existing customer and prospect base, tell them about the webinar, and also provide information about the new item in question and how that can help our customers operate their business better.
The sales people like having something specific to call out on, and by scheduling the webinar on this topic it shows the customers that we are expert in that area, and it’s always nice to be able to offer people the opportunity to win a small prize. Getting the prize is not difficult either, because everyone who attends the webinar gets it.
We also send out the information emails to the vendor whose product were promoted. Many vendor sales reps then forward these emails for the webinar out to their customer base as well which can extend the amount of people that we get registered for these webinars.
By the time that the webinar comes around we usually have 40 and 60 people registered for it. That’s a lot more than most people have in our industry get for these webinars. We ask the salespeople to call out to the people who registered for the webinar to remind them that it’s going to be happening. We also send a reminder email the morning of the webinar so people don’t forget.
When we hold the webinar, usually about one third to one half of the people who register actually attend. That’s good turnout.
The follow up after the webinar is really important. We do this by sending emails to the customers that attended the webinar and copying their sales person. In that email we provide details on how they’re going to get their prize in about two weeks.
If the prospect is close, the salesperson will ask if they can take the prize out to them sooner than the two week timeframe. Because by this time we have built up a series of expectation and delivery actions, the prospect is more likely to say yes to a meeting. A meeting will give us the ability to talk with the prospect about the webinar topic as well as lots of other topics as well, usually giving us lots of sales opportunities.
The people who registered for the webinar but didn’t attend are also good prospects, and a third level of prospect are the ones who clicked on the invitations but didn’t register.
Because the webinar gets recorded we are then able to post that to our YouTube page and provide a link to the webinar in the event page on our website.
There’s multiple benefits that we get from this integrated marketing campaign:
- We show our prospects and customers that we are experts in the specific area that we discussed
- We have ongoing content on our website that gains us search rankings for the topic in question
- We get lots of specific prospects
- We give the sales people something to call out on to set appointments which is a lot easier than just ask them to call out and set up appointments without something to offer.
Marketing Development Fund Money from Vendors
This is actually a very cost effective marketing campaign to run. The most expensive part is the $25 handouts. If we get 50 people that register it cost us about $1,250 for the handouts. In many cases we can work with a vendor who will provide that money for the event. And over time as we provide specific documentation of the effectiveness of this campaign, and the opportunities and sales that they lead to, the vendors are even more eager to have integrated marketing campaigns run for their products.
Competitors and Non-Prospects
Obviously we that the attendee list and we don’t just give the $25 prize to anybody who signs up. We have had some of our competitors sign up, and other people just sign up that saw the invitation that had no ability to purchase any of our products or services so we made sure to follow up with them separately.
Another issue that we have run not run into yet is getting more attendees than the budget provides for. We could, I suppose, put in the fine print that the limit is 100 prizes and it is only for people who are valid prospective customers of our products and services, but we have not run into that issue yet.
And although this is structured for webinars, we have actually shifted all our marketing efforts to the integrated marketing campaign model. This works just as well when we are going to attend a trade show. We use the video, emailing, and calling structure for contacting prospects and letting him know that we’re going to be at the trade show and demonstrating a specific technology. For anybody that shows up at our booth and shows us a copy of the marketing email that we sent them we give them a $10 Amazon gift card.
Marketing Automation Emails
One of the most important things to make this work is having a good email prospects and customer list. It’s very helpful to have a marketing automation system that has an accurate database of contacts with the metadata of their interest, vertical market, and specific role so that we don’t always blast all invitations to everybody.