Data

Now Available: Research Summary on Enterprise IT Buying in the Era Cloud Era

Wavelength Market Analytics recently partnered with Winn Technology Group to conduct a cloud computing research study.  While many recent studies size the market, we wanted to help our vendor clients better understand to whom they need to sell.  In our study, we sought to understand the differences between organizations that are currently adopting or planning some type of cloud computing solution from those that are not.

Study characteristics:

▫         IT decision-makers to include IT VPs and directors

▫         Sample size = 126 surveys collected summer 2010

▫         Large and medium-sized enterprises

▫         Three distinct buyer groups to include Pioneers who are using or testing a cloud solution, Planners who are actively planning for a cloud solution and Stragglers who have no cloud plans at this time.

▫         Complete results in a full-length presentation and report to be available March 2011.

We found that 41% are Pioneering with their Cloud apps, and another 17% are actively planning for a cloud solution.  A total of 58% are doing something in the cloud, meaning that the majority of participating enterprises have some kind of cloud project.


To find out more, a short summary, Generating Demand: A Summary on Enterprise IT Buying in the Early Cloud Era, is available on SlideShare. You can download it at http://www.slideshare.net/khealy/winn-wl-cloudstudysummaryv22.  The full report will be available the second week of March.

You may also want to participate in our latest Webinar Leveraging Data for Demand Generation Success -Wednesday, February 16, 2011 1:00 PM and find out how you can substantially increase lead rates through data analytics best practices in demand generation campaigns.

Click on this link to REGISTER https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/404109176

Data

Installed Base Marketing –Focus on Your Company’s Most Important Asset!

When I work with clients to build their outbound programs I always start with first things first…their installed base. The reasons to do this are two-fold. First, it demonstrates where they’ve been most successful and, if your know where to look, provides a blueprint to their ideal market. The second reason is it’s one of a company’s MOST important assets. Let me expand on this with some statistics from a CMO Council study*.  Beware — these statements are a little scary.

  • The average American company loses 1/2 its customers within 5 years
  • Acquiring new customers can cost 5X more than retaining current customers.
  • A business is 2X as likely to successfully sell to a lost customer than a brand new prospect
  • A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect on bottom line profits as cutting costs by 10%.

Given statistics like that, it only makes sense to interact and market to the people who buy your product.  Here are the rules to live by:

  1. Segment your database by product and solution or vertical market and size of customers
  2. Know and understand your market and market to their interests (not what you think they are interested in)
  3. Build a quarterly plan and target goals by segments
  4. Build your communications plan to “Touch” your customers every 6-8 weeks (make sure they’ve opt’ed in to hear your message)

What kinds of materials and messaging are good to “push” to your customers?

  • Newsletters that consolidate information such as PR and white papers, and news into one place either monthly or quarterly so you’re not spamming your customers all the time.  Make sure you have a place for them to sign-up for your newsletter whenever you communicate with them.
  • Promos and specials that are offered to your customers first
  • Free product training to your top customers.
  • Software or product updates or trial offers of new products

Social Media Keeps You Close to Customers

Use the Internet to interact with your customers and to monitor the health of your relationship.  By using social media, you’ll know right away if there’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

  1. Twitter is useful for tech support and company news- make sure you FOLLOW your customers…so they in turn follow you
  2. FaceBook allows your customers to join your Fan page and enables communication whenever you want.
  3. Live chat on your website creates a two-way conversation and makes it easy for customers develop a conversation with your company.
  4. YouTube enables you to show a “demo” of your products or present your opinion to millions of your customers 24X7.

Getting Started

Start by acknowledging that your customers are your most important asset.  Identify the segments within your installed base.  Implement marketing programs that foster on-going, interactive customer relationships.   Follow these simple rules to KEEP from losing your companies’ most important asset.

*Business Gain From How You Retain Executive Summary & Full Report, Addressing the Challenge of Customer Churn & Marketing Burn, CMO Council, http://www.cmocouncil.org/resources/download_retain.asp

Data

Marketing on “ROIDs” Takes a Different Look

Take a look at Dick Patton’s blog

“Putting Marketing on “ROIDs” 

It’s a great new way to look at marketing.  Customer-centric view to supplement the traditional marketing mix of “4P’s” (product, place, placement and promotion).

 

  • Customer-centric view will driven by new analytic techniques for “Insight about customers”.
  • You can’t be “Responsible” or take “Organizational leadership” if you don’t know and thoroughly understand your customer’s care-abouts
  • Mastering “Digital marketing” is great, once you know what you want to say.

Analytic services such as Know Your Installed Base help companies understand who their customers are, what and how they buy (by vertical, geo, time, purchases in relation to other products, channels of acquisition, etc).  Done correctly, analytics should move beyond basic demographic to detect underlying relationships not easily identified by simple analysis.  Analytics should enable you to identify underlying groups of established technology product users, how they’ve changed, whether they are solutions-oriented or ad-hoc buyers, size and breadth of your products’ deployment or anything else you need to know.

Analytics is more than data in an Excel pivot table.  Using the ability to transform data into the most suitable forms for analysis, combined with analytics,statistical and quantitative analysis allows you to explain, explore and predict markets in completely new ways.  Reliance on data and quantitative analysis simply means no more guesswork or assumptions.  It gives you the power to know.

Data

Sometimes Smaller is Better… Really Now?

Ok, now that I have your attention…  In the world of B2B lead generation for technology, a small number of qualified leads with a higher likelihood of a sale is better than just renting a long list of names.  For example, if I give a channel partner 500 leads using traditional lead gen methods, he’ll spend lots of time weeding through them without enough time to follow-up on most.  The reseller or account rep will then just tell me that ALL leads were worthless…and only because they actually called a few of the leads without any success.

That’s why I’ve had enough of the traditional approach of just renting contact names and sending out huge lead lists to my account reps and resellers.   I prefer a drastically different approach that focuses on delivering a small number of high quality leads that are actually worth the time for follow-up.

Using a call center for my list building and lead generation activities is a far superior approach.   With a call center, I jump straight to qualified leads where I already know the companies I’m targeting (this part is a must).  Starting with my ideal target list of organizations with a higher likelihood of needing my technology solution, we rely on the call center to do a lot of the heavy lifting by qualifying the contact, grading the lead, and get great intelligence on my ideal target organizations.   Finally, another benefit of using a call center is to build out my ideal target list with the exact individual who will ultimately make the buying decision.  This is especially important in a downturn, when senior executives are often the decision makers, as opposed to technology managers that marketers traditionally targeted in good times.

As we all know, it takes an awful lot of leads to make a single sale.  On average, the conversion rule is 1000 leads convert to 2.5 sales.  In the era of scarce marketing and sales resources, it makes better sense to focus on the following activities to use your limited marketing dollars more wisely:

  1. Build a list of Ideal prospect companies/organization
  2. Populate that list with a call center
  3. Stay focused and do a strong outbound campaign to opt-in your prospects
  4. Continue to nurture your prospects and build out the contact names

By going directly to the correct target list, the right target contact and building your smaller and focused list will shorten your sales cycle and lower your cost per lead (CPL).

Data

Focused Lead Generation vs. Random Results

There are lots of ways to generate leads for you technology sales teams. You probably already know this because every day you are besieged with advice from agencies, vendors, and consultants. Among the noise, there’s a lot of confusing, often conflicting information on the topic.

So what is the best way to generate leads?

First and foremost, leads are best generated by using content. Solid leads result by offering your potential buyers content that is interesting, not self-serving, informative, and valuable. The delivery method is always secondary to the “pull” that high value content creates.

Another imperative in lead generation is to answer the all important question of “who are you targeting?” Many marketers answer this with titles to target people. Instead, the first step should be a master list of organizations, those companies, universities, government, and/or non-profits that need your service or product. Without this, it really is a shot in the dark… or spaghetti on the wall, as one of my favorite bosses used to say.

So, the first steps to successful lead generations campaigns are:

1. Define your ideal customer target by organization-type and get as specific as possible. For example, if you are selling network equipment, does your ideal target have a large number of small branch offices? Or concentrated to a large headquarters? Do they run multiple, complex applications to those small branches? Do they have a lot of servers and network devices? What verticals? What size?

2. Craft content for your ideal customer targets. Constantly ask yourself whether it is of value or interest to your potential buyer.

3. Choose the delivery vehicle that matches your budget. Just remember when you create an email or webcast that you need to send it out to some people. Those names can cost big bucks. For a one-time rental for an email blast, each name costs between 70 cents and $1.10! Under the best circumstances, response rates will be around .05%. So, to get 50 leads using rental lists, assuming the standard .05% response rate, you would need to rent 100,000 contact names for a one-time use! At a cost of 90 cents per name, those 50 leads would cost $90,000. Yikes!

So we build momentum for your sales funnel by using another approach – by building and owning your list, as opposed to renting, for you to nurture and market. We define your ideal target list and then use a call center to update contact names, numbers, and emails. For example, we can build out a lead generation list that you can OWN with 500 to 1000 target organization for around 9K per month. After we complete the list build, a nurturing campaign goes deep and wide to 3-5 contacts per ideal target organization… and your sales team will be off and running!