As the digital marketing train wreck grew over the last few years, it became more and more obvious that, for most companies, the investment was wasted. Most programs just produced junk leads.
So what did they do? They did what any good marketer would do:
They re-branded their junk as a "Marketing Qualified Lead".
Get it through your heads people: There is no such thing as a Marketing Qualified Lead. If Sales doesn't want it, it's junk.
With that out of the way, we can now talk about what you ought to be doing, and how to do it.
By now, everyone has heard about the so-called "study" proving that 57% of the buyer's decision is made before they ever engage with a sales rep.
The statistic has been used to justify spending billions of dollars on Inbound Marketing.
But did you know it's completely bogus?
It turns out that they never actually did a study - which I found out by talking to a secretary at the originating company. It was a made-up number from a casual conversation. But they threw it in their pitch deck, and it eventually went viral. And here we are.
But here's how you know it's nonsense:
If it were true, how would anyone ever sell something where the buyer hadn't previously been aware of their need????
Deciding on what promotional tactics to use before you've really worked out an effective marketing strategy is one of the leading causes of business failure.
We see it all the time: A business has a great idea for a new product or service. They invest in building it. And then they put together - often with the help of a so-called "marketing expert" - a plan to promote it.
And then it fails to get traction.
Companies often become enamored with the latest-and-greatest marketing tool or technique. When they combine that with their enthusiasm for their product, they become blinded to the real challenges of the market: How to break through the clutter and get people's attention, how to stimulate their interest, and how to get prospects to actually want to talk to you. It's a recipe for disaster.
One thing is clear: A good marketing strategy isn't just a bunch of marketing tactics strung together. Developing the strategy comes first, and it often requires doing market research, and classic market planning. But it's a whole separate exercise. And it's often the critical step on the path to success.
As a business owner you're faced with a virtual tsunami of marketing options. Everyone is selling the next big thing, the newest way to generate leads, or the one tool you absolutely need to grow your business.
Email marketing! Data mining! Pay-per-lead! AI! Content marketing! SEO!
"Just use our solution and the world will beat a path to your door", they scream.
Well, here's the reality: It's all nonsense, because none of it works - at least not for you.
When it comes to marketing, if you think that you need to be doing "X", you've already lost the battle.
And there are lots of names for it: Grasping at straws. Throwing a bunch of you-know-what against the wall and seeing what sticks. And "hope as a strategy" are just a few.
If you want to win the game, you have to start with the fundamentals. You have to work through your value proposition and your positioning, your targeting, and how to actually create awareness and stimulate interest with potential buyers.
Only then should you consider what tools you need.
The problem isn’t that Marketing isn’t a legitimate function. So what is the problem then?
It’s that everyone is convinced that it’s not accountable for sales. How’s that working out?
Are you frustrated with expensive marketing solutions that fail to deliver? Do you need real sales leads?
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The Lead Generator is a powerful platform where you can generate qualified sales leads, while saving money on everything you buy.
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