Given that it’s hot. The days are longer. It shouldn’t be surprising when even prospects in the office are more prone to browsing things like marketing content at a slower pace.
Why then is your B2B marketing campaign not taking this chance to change? If stock market investors have their own business-related summer plans, then so should your marketers. Given all the free time it’s supposed to entail, it’s not that hard figuring out a content strategy that would fit the lazier state of mind it creates.
Plan this early – If summer is such a hard time for your B2B marketing department then treat like a storm: prepare before it gets there. Find ways to survive the slow sales. Plan for the fall campaign. Outsource it and go on vacation. No matter what, the point is you need to start making plans now.
Use brighter colors – What do you do when you start packing for the beach? What catches your eye more often? Is it the swimsuit sale? Getaway packages? In case you didn’t notice, plenty of them make use of bright colors that go with the sunny season. Your local mall shouldn’t be the only business that tries to leave an eye-catching impression.
Make it like ice-cream – Whether its ice cream or lemonade, the heat’s more bearable with something cool in your mouth. Same principle applies when the summer lazy haze starts giving prospects a headache. Maybe instead of the usual white paper, do something a little more refreshing like a funny story or a funny infographic.
Set matching appointments – Instead of the usual conference room, why not use sales appointments as an excuse to get both yourself and your prospects out of the office? Or if you’re hosting an event, why not set it someplace cozy like near a beach instead of the usual convention hall?
Unlike winter or Easter, summer’s arguably the season when even professionals and managers have a lot more free time. Make that the key to blending the themes of your marketing campaign with the season. Try making things a little more relaxed but when they’re in their relaxed state of mind, make it easier for yourself to turn them into your next client.
Father’s Day doesn’t just celebrate biological ones. They include all father figures whether they’re uncles, grandfathers, teachers, and of course, bosses.
They’re the authority who wears the pants in the family, sets down the drafts of the rules, and traditionally commands the most respect. It can be assumed that plenty of males in senior management position are already fathers so don’t be surprised if they literally get their skills from the home front.
And with Father’s Day, expect gifts to be going around. But while everyone’s getting them golf clubs, evenings out, and gift certificates, how can B2B marketers reward the fatherly men in their prospect lists?
Summer usually means people heading out to the next tropical getaway. But increasingly, people are still finding themselves at work even on vacation. Throw in addictive internet technology, endless streams of notifications, emails, and calls. Is this what you’d call unplugged? Unplugging from your lead generation campaign doesn’t automatically mean the end of it if you’re prepared to put in safety measures and resist all forms of temptation to keep checking on in the office.
Sure you have the occasional emergency. But how can you call it occasional when you’re expecting it more than half the time?
Give advance notice, including to outsourced companies – If you’re working in any sales position, let your marketers know in advance that you won’t be making any appointments for an extended period of time. If you’ve outsourced your lead generation and marketing processes, it might even be better to let them know weeks before you take off. On a side note, get them to set some appointments for you in advance as well so that you’ll have some work when you get back.
Get your current workload done – By the time you get back, you obviously wouldn’t want any unfinished work piling up on any new tasks or engagements. Therefore, finish as much as you can. You can stop your lead generators from setting appointments after a certain date but why cancel the ones they’ve already qualified?
Have only one emergency contact – You’ll need someone to stand guard over your emergency to number. Why? Well obviously to make sure it’s only used for emergencies. If you expect such emergencies to happen more often than not, then something is seriously wrong with your contingency plan.
Leave a decent message behind– Create a sort of response template that your marketers and appointment setters can use to explain your absence. Your prospects already do the same with their gatekeepers so why should you be any different? On the other hand, make it more polite and have it express your eagerness to do business once you get back.
Disable all other channels – If you really want to a bit extreme, eliminate all other means of contacting you from work. Make it so that the emergency contact is your only means of communication.
You’d want to make the most of your vacation so it’s only natural that you’d go and try to remove all sorts of work-related temptations. But perhaps the real thing you need to resist is the tendency to worry about the worst while you’re away. Create your contingency plans without it so that you won’t have it taking the place of your vacation ones.
The printing press of old first made it possible to distribute information to large amounts of people in a shorter period of time. Today that technology holds nothing to the floods of e-mails, reports and other digital messages. Unfortunately, the biology of the human brain still hasn’t evolved to catch up with it. Given that B2B lead generation campaigns use varying forms of information technology, managing it can be a cure for both yourself and prospects.
Information overload is a problem that’s probably most unique to 21st century life. Those who handle it well tend to thrive in an era where the internet is a dominant force in business. Those who don’t suffer problems like paralyzed decision making that snowballs on already poor decisions.
But while many thought leaders have presented their own different cures, they do share common strategies for reducing the load:
Focus on information that provides actual value to business (whether it’s yours or a prospect’s). Set aside information that’s simply nice to know (or worse, not nice at all).
Let quality determine quantity. If you can drive the most essential points with just a few words in an email then don’t strain yourself to put in more.
Ask better questions. Don’t elaborate your problems when it’s much easier to ask what lies at the heart of them first.
Single focus. Multi-tasking isn’t a skill for everyone (especially those prone to losing focus). For the most part, practice focusing on one subject at a time.
Organize and control the information flowing. Separate work-related channels from casual conversations. Simply trying to stay on topic can be enough to save a good deal of time.
Some people rather skim a lot rather than read. It’s only more proof that the average human brain can handle so much information (especially information that’s already been processed ad nauseum).
Then again, there’s really no turning back. Everyone from the top of the C-suite to the cubicle accountant has grown dependent on the volume and the speed to solve their problems. That’s why today’s lead generation services grow more and more with each new innovation in IT. However, the best cure for information overload still comes in the form of skills, not just more tools.
In most video games, you may have heard of a term called event flags, the activation of certain events as you progress that also doubles as important points in a game’s plot or story. Example, when you bump into a girl on the street but it turns out they’re actually the princess/love interest/new party member etc. That point when you decide to talk is considered a flag.
Similar cases happen in real life and right within the process of B2B telemarketing. You hear stories of marketers struggling with a prospect but days later finally began communicating after another customer referred them. That’s a typical success story but one that certainly follows the event flag routine.
Like Christmas and Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day is a special occasion for meeting someone special. Perhaps the only real difference is the number of people. Think Romeo and Juliet, the Cowherd and the Weaver, or even Calypso and Davey Jones.
Even if not an official holiday, it’s certainly treated as the one day where couples forget what keeps them apart. Such a special occasion certainly merits plenty of planning.
But now that the day is over, don’t you think those planning skills can still have use beyond the holiday? B2B marketers and sales reps could certainly use them to avoid the consequences of missing vital appointments.
Cliché as this may sound; real love thrives beyond Valentine’s Day. In the same way, real business connections should grow more valuable after they are made. Leads and appointments aren’t one-night stands. Having many ‘connections’ doesn’t guarantee you anything. Unfortunately, there are still marketers who treat the appointment setting process as if it were a production line of potential customers.
If you were in the shoes of that potential customer, how would you feel? Not too hot. In fact, there those who even equate this with the slave trade. Yes everyone has quotas to meet. (You have your marketers, your salespeople, and ultimately everyone else who has a stake in your revenue.) That’s still no excuse to deny the humanity of those you’re making B2B connections with. Marketers are expected to be professionals, not professional skirt chasers.
In the Chinese zodiac, the year 2014 is the year of the Wooden Horse. Feng shui experts say that this is a lucky year for prosperity in business, love and family. But on that note, counting on all that luck tends to be a typical feature in Chinese culture. Why not put a different spin for your marketing strategy and get your sales horse up and kicking?