Archive for December, 2009
While a sale is always the ultimate conversion, generating a lead is the next best thing. By creating an “intermediate conversion” measurable opportunities are created that didn’t exist before.
An “intermediate conversion” is simply offering an opportunity for a prospect to request more info, discounts, membership into a community, survey info, opting-in to a list or in some other method to indicate interest.
Offers must provide real value to the customer and have little or no barrier to entry — which includes the amount of information that prospects must provide in order to receive whatever it is they are requesting.
It’s a simple step that many forget about or choose to ignore in the rush to closing a deal. Marketers can not only generate more leads, but can also learn a great deal about their prospects and what their interests are. It provides the opportunity to open a conversation with their prospects and find out what’s really on their minds. Understanding why a prospect chooses NOT to become a customer can often be more valuable to a marketer than why they do.
Additionally, allowing prospects to self-select into specific segments and areas of interest they are indicating which topics might interest them for follow up contacts. In short, it provides another opportunity for the marketer to get to know their prospects better, begin a relationship and can potentially fill a pipeline with new prospects that might otherwise have been lost.
Interim conversions are a basic, measurable, knowledge gathering, customer-centric marketing practice that’s a win-win for everyone — but it’s a sometimes overlooked solution.
Let us know what you think.
Call it what you want. Social Marketing. Viral marketing. Buzz marketing. Word of Mouth Marketing. They all have the same goal — to get people talking about a product or brand. I just call it “C2C” which simply means Consumer to Consumer, or Customer to Customer marketing, and it doesn’t get any better than that.
Setting a brand on fire
What makes viral and buzz marketing catch on is usually it’s association with something timely, extremely unique or otherwise memorable. In some way it touches people personally and specifically. It’s the way a brand solves a customer’s problem. For example it may be that a product was delivered faster than expected, the service rep went way above and beyond or the customer recognized greater value after the sale. C2C is simply providing your customers with a consistent brand image, value and experience that they appreciate and it is unique enough to talk about.
No Special Equipment Needed
There are no new strategies or tactics to talk about here, just basic marketing and business acumen. Good marketing and advertising brings value to the customer by providing information, entertainment or validation.
Marketing in any form is still all about helping people solve their needs. Often “needs” they didn’t even know they had. Whether they “need” that hot new perfume, a cereal their kids will like, or a new computer system with brand new features, the customer has a need. Marketing should be all about creating a consistent brand message across marketing channels that customers associate with a solution to that need. That kind of marketing creates a more personal sort of recall and gets talked about in the form of social exchanges and recommendations both online and off. That’s C2C.
B2B is still about C
The immense popularity of social media, specifically B2B social media confirms what I’m saying here — people will talk about brands that interest them, inform them or entertain them. Selling to a business is still selling to people — the main difference is in the needs that they have and what makes them personal.
So while your looking at strategies and creative for B2B and B2C marketing, don’t forget about the C2C effect.
What do you think?
Where would Travelocity be without their commercials? How is Apple’s web traffic affected when they aren’t running their memorable “I’m a Mac” campaign? And would Barack Obama have made history if he had to choose between online and offline media?
It seems that even with all of the talk about the demise of the 30 second spot, many of the most popular web sites would suffer without mass market advertising.
Just because it’s hard to measure the connection between traditional media and online, that doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Traditional and online advertising play very different roles, and both are needed to compliment one another.
All target markets have one thing in common….they’re all made up of people. And people have diverse lives. They don’t just live online or off. The same people that are online also watch TV, read newspapers or magazines, pass billboards on the road or ride on a public bus from time to time.
The messages and the branding people are exposed to through traditional media have a very real effect, even if it is subtle at times. And that subtlety can make the difference between a casual interest and active consideration or between a simple familiarity and a sale.
If marketing was a sport, I think it would be most like basketball. A team effort, actively passing the responsibility back and forth until as a group, you score — but always staying focused on the customer.