Lead generationHere’s a product you don’t see advertised very often: caskets. So when I saw a company advertising them one morning on national TV, it caught my attention. Unfortunately, I missed the company name — however, the biggest, most glaring FAIL is that they didn’t provide an offer to generate a lead; so unless you know for certain that you or someone you know is gonna take a dirt nap tomorrow, there is no reason to respond to the ad they ran.

Therein lies one of the biggest mistakes I see all advertisers making: ZERO efforts to capture the person who NOTICED your ad, had their curiosity or interest piqued, but then FAILED to take action because the only reason given to respond was to immediately buy, and they weren’t ready to pull the trigger in that moment. Since this is instructive, let’s explore it a bit further …

Missed opportunity

For starters, everyone is gonna need a casket eventually, unless you decide to go the pizza-oven route. But the key word here is eventually. This ad got my attention … but it failed to get a response. And since I can’t (now) remember the name of the company, even if I wanted to buy I have no way of doing that. However, if they had given a website and instructed people to go there to download a free report or a funeral planning guide or a picture book of the top 10 most unusual and unique caskets you can be buried in, or even three things you need to know about buying a casket that most funeral-home directors will never tell you, their chances of monetizing that ad would go up exponentially.

NOW they have a lead they can communicate with to build desire and (if they have a strategic follow-up process in place) to make a sale. They can make a case for buying the casket in advance from them (an objection I’m sure they’ll get). This process is not too dissimilar for IT services.

Taking the next step

If you run ANY marketing campaign — direct mail, LinkedIn, Facebook, e-mail, trade show, radio ad — and FAIL to include some type of lead generation offer, YOU are also missing out on the larger percentage of prospects who COULD be persuaded to look into hiring you, but, for whatever reason, can’t or won’t right at this time. HOWEVER …

Lead generation marketing is not JUST about getting someone to raise their hand. That is only the first step. If you don’t have a well-planned, strategic process for working that “shy yes” into a buying frenzy, following up with strategic communications specifically designed to build desire and compel them to take action, along with a longer-term plan for “drip” marketing to build relationship and familiarity so that YOU are the provider they call when they’re ready to buy, don’t bother.

Photo: Robert Hoetink/Shutterstock

Robin Robins

Posted by Robin Robins

Robin Robins is the CEO and Founder of TechnologyMarketingToolkit.com, the largest sales and marketing consulting firm in the IT channel, specializing in sales-generating marketing campaigns for MSPs, VARs, and solution providers. To date, over 7,000 IT services firms have enrolled in one or more of her programs. Visit her website for more information and to request a free one-on-one marketing consultation and marketing roadmap for your IT services firm.

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