As digital continues to become more popular within marketing departments, older techniques are evolving into more effective digital marketing practices.
This article compares older marketing methods such as product demonstrations, cold calls and lead qualification with their modern digital marketing counterparts.
Cold calling is a thing of the past, but social media is here to stay
Cold calling is not only intrusive and annoying for customers, but also an expensive and decreasingly effective practice for marketing departments – Whilst the telephone lives on, the way that they’re used has changed dramatically over the last ten years. With so few advocates and so many higher ROI alternatives out there it’s no wonder that cold calling has seen it’s day.
The alternative, it seems, is social media. The ability to communicate not only with individuals but also large groups and receiving inbound messages makes social media a much more diverse and effective option. When done properly social media marketing can start conversations with prospects that may have never heard of the brand.
There is an argument that social media may be “less personal” than traditional calls, but remember that it’s not called “cold calling” for nothing. Plus, if social media is done properly can leave only those who are interested with positive brand recognition whilst not affecting those who are not interested, whilst cold calling will (potentially) produce a much more negative sentiment (the measure of good vs. bad brand association) compared to social.
Product demonstrations are being replaced by educational content
Getting calls offering product demonstrations is something that I experience all too often. The opportunity to sit for forty minutes or more and listen to a salesman pitch an unfamiliar product to me whilst clicking around an oh-so-convenient software sandbox isn’t something I’d choose to be doing on a Monday afternoon. Above and beyond simply wasting everyone’s time, it’s quite unlikely that “I saw this software in a demo” is going to form the foundation of any successful business case (businesses buy solutions to problems).
By removing the sales pitch and shifting the focus to educating prospects, the process becomes a more natural and friendly affair. This may still involve a 1-to-1 or 1-to-many webinar, but the core aim is no longer to sell a product.
Through effective content marketing of educational information such as infographics, web elements and guides (See my article on the content marketing matrix for more ideas) you can drive prospects from awareness to purchase with a much stronger justification stitching the thing together. Ultimately that’s going to create a stronger connection between products and customers.
Traditional lead qualification has evolved into customer engagement
Finally there’s lead qualification. What was once calling a lead who’s basic information may already be on file is now engaging that same lead in multi-step and multi-channel campaigns. There’s no need to be so direct in asking for details, trusting that those details will be left if (A) the lead is genuinely interested and (B) the offer is right.
Ways to do this include a multi-channel campaign, which could automatically gather different details; perhaps social media details from a laptop and geographic details from a mobile. There are also multi-touch campaigns, which often see progressive forms ask a single lead for different information on each subsequent visit. There may be a webinar, product flyer and case study all related to the same campaign, but each presents an opportunity to gather additional information from a single lead.
Engaging leads in the content on offer increases the likelihood for that person to convert multiple times, which will naturally qualify leads not only by the data that they enter but also through analysis of what, when and how often they’re converting.