Distribution has always been a difficult part of the marketing mix, as it is always evolving as time rolls on. I would imagine that the first business to erect a neon sign at Time Square, NY, would have engaged huge interest to their brand from doing so. The same sign today would surely get lost in the sea of neon signs that are all competing for people's attention. I would imagine that the super-brands that advertise in Times Square in 2017 actually do so as a brand awareness exercise rather than chasing a pure lead generation outcome.
So what exactly is a lead generation campaign?
Getting your business' product or services in front of customers is as competitive now as it has always been.
A Lead Generation Campaign is a series of planned activities in the pursuit of identifying and cultivating potential customers for a business's products or services. These 'leads' can inquire to your business by either phoning or filling out a form requesting a call back.
Many businesses need a steady flow of qualified leads to keep their sales teams busy and sales growth on target. Competent online marketers try to get data on their own website traffic to understand browser's needs and wants often quite some time before reaching out to make contact with them.
Back in 2012, I read a story titled 'How Companies Learn Your Secrets' in The New York Times that was penned by Charles Duhigg, that was written after a public incident:
"An angry father marched into a Minnesota Target store, demanded to know why his teenage daughter received coupons for baby products, only to later find out that she was, in fact, pregnant. The retailer, it turned out, was able to predict her pregnancy and subsequently personalize the promotions she received, thanks in large part to a ton of (completely legal) data collection and analysis".
Creepy...................or great marketing?
Personally, I think both. I think it was great marketing but a touch creepy that a retail giant's marketing team knew the girl was pregnant before the father did.
We need to focus our marketing through the eyes of our customers
I saw a marketing activity recently that I thought was a bad strategy and not all that well thought out - I would love to see the data and understand the return on investment to see if it worked at all though.
I was entering the car-park of a large shopping centre in Sydney recently and pulled up at the boom gate to get my parking ticket. After I grabbed my ticket, I noticed a vinyl banner advertisement that was hanging off the actual boom. The ad belonged to car manufacturer Volkswagen that was promoting a new model in their line up.
Personally, I found it puzzling and many questions flooded my thoughts.
How many people visiting the shopping centre are in the market to buy a new car?
Even if there are a heap of visitors in the market for a new car, how many are looking for a Volkswagen?..............and for that new model?
If marketing is a battle for people's attention, then isn't this activity generating attention from lots of people that aren't the target market?
I am not sure of it worked as an activity but it seemed a bit 'off target' in my opinion.
I believe for any business, it would be wise to start looking for prospects and leads in places that your ideal customers are likely to be hanging out. We already have a clear idea of what a business' ideal Buyer Persona(s) would look like from research, data and educated assumptions based from historical facts.
I think Volkswagen would be better off having a more researched and intelligent approach - I could well be wrong though.
Here is a link to learn more about Inbound Marketing methodology and how you can start a Lead Generation campaign that is targeted and in your control - all the while using company owned assets to do so.