For businesses across the United States, October means more than an overwhelming assortment of pumpkin everything. The countdown is on for the end of the year. It can be the beginning of the last-minute scramble to close every deal possible before year-end. Sales is hyper-focused on ending the year ahead of quota. Marketers are thinking about building a sales funnel and plans for the next year. The C-Suite is trying to finish the year on an upswing and enter the new year without missing a step. The fourth quarter in the calendar year can be hectic.
In the B2B technology marketplace, sales cycles are often longer than 90-days. If you want to impact revenue results for the fourth quarter, it can be tough for marketers to deliver new leads that will convert quickly. Tough, but not impossible.
ICE Worldwide is honored to work with some incredibly dynamic B2B technology companies. We’ve designed and executed many demand generation campaigns for our clients. Our team has also been in the trenches with company marketers during a scramble to meet the end of year goals. Ideally, the annual marketing strategy would enable a smooth walk into Q4, but everyone knows that in technology things can change very quickly. With that in mind, we are sharing our three favorite ideas for lead generation that can deliver rapid results. (Disclaimer … Every B2B marketing campaign is a little different based on the targeted buyer.)
Demand Generation that produces results:
- Hosting a virtual lunch-and-learn;
- Launching a survey; or
- Providing high-value content via a LinkedIn campaign.
Webinars are a great way to educate your prospects and customers. You have 30 – 45 minutes to engage with your prospects and customers to make sure they know how your solution will solve their specific pain points. For those companies that have invested the time and resources to understand their buyer’s persona—this is a terrific method to drive demand from attendees.
It can be daunting to set up a webinar, write and design compelling invites, manage registrations, and prepare your speaker. Not to mention the stress that can come from making sure you have the right audience attending the session. As those registrations start to come in—everyone worries about the number of targeted buyers attending the webinar.
It might sound a little gimmicky but turning the webinar into a virtual lunch-and-learn is an ideal way to attract those coveted buyers your sales team wants to reach. How? It is easier than you might think. Arranging the delivery of pizza or sandwiches to the registrant’s office is a great way to make sure they don’t forget about joining the webinar and have an extra incentive to register early.
Want to take your virtual lunch-and-learn to the next level? Send a pre-session survey with three questions. It shows you are paying attention and those that are expecting lunch will be sure to respond. Additionally, the more times you engage with a prospect, the more likely they are to make time to talk with your sales team.
Launch a Survey
What do our clients tell us is the constant pushback from sales on leads? Sales wants more information. What technology is already in place within the organization? Is the buyer thinking about upgrading in the near-term or is this more of an informational interest? Is the technology budget shrinking or growing in the coming year?
All great questions and there is no doubt this type of information helps sales better understand the targeted prospect. How do you turn this wish for details into reality? Launching a survey can be easier than you think.
Remember time is a precious commodity. If you offer a small incentive to participants, we have found that many business professionals are happy to answer questions about their strategy and share their view on technologies that matter to their business. It is hard to beat this level of additional detail from targeted buyers.
What else can you do with all this valuable information? While sales is the primary recipient, anonymizing the data and creating an infographic is a great way to share the results of the survey with other customers and prospects. If your team is interested in this type of information, it is very likely that your customers are also interested in what their peers are doing.
LinkedIn is our favorite B2B social channel. The social channel has changed a lot in the last year. Many features make LinkedIn our go-to social media platform for reaching buyers. The reporting functionality is now incredibly robust. The platform also offers the ability to execute campaigns only on LinkedIn or in combination with their partner networks. LinkedIn also started allowing marketers to use video for their campaigns. There are so many new LinkedIn Campaign features now available that we’ll dedicate a more thorough review of them in an upcoming post.
Our favorite LinkedIn Campaign demand generation tactic for the fourth quarter is harnessing the new targeting functionality. You can now upload a list of your target prospects and find them on LinkedIn with just their email address. That’s right. The database that you’ve spent countless hours building and refining just became more valuable.
Those prospects that joined your webinar or participated in your survey can now be nurtured on LinkedIn. Maybe you want to target those prospects that didn’t attend your session with another piece of high-value content or enticing offer. The possibilities are endless. Better still … our clients see results with LinkedIn Campaigns. Once you identify and understand your target audience, LinkedIn offers the ability to get in front of those buyers quickly. Historically, the price to harness basic LinkedIn Campaigns was $20,000 to use the LinkedIn Campaign manager. There is no longer an initial campaign commitment from LinkedIn.
These three demand generation ideas—virtual lunch-and-learns, surveys, and LinkedIn campaigns—can work independently, or they can be joined together forming a comprehensive demand generation strategy. Add in all your social media channels, landing pages, and emailers; you’ll have a robust program that extends over several months. Remember not to overwhelm prospects with everything at once.
With these tactics, you will be well on your way to creating a B2B demand generation campaign that delivers the leads sales wants and needs to be successful. If you aren’t sure how to launch these types of campaigns quickly or want to hear more about how we do it—get in touch.