Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Magic To Marketing

Let the Show Begin...

The stage is set, the lights drawn low, the atmosphere heavy with anticipation, a hush falls across the crowd as the audience waits with baited breath, poised for the magic to happen…

18 Proven Marketing Strategies
How many times have we witnessed the perfect, almost magical execution of a marketing campaign? A campaign that ties in every idea and brand concept, that not only reaches its target audience but grabs the attention of the multitudes, grows, goes viral and becomes synonymous with the very product itself. This seemingly seamless waltz of idea and ideals of performance and perfection brought together with an effortless wave of the wand?
Unfortunately, there is no magical spell or wizard’s incantation for a successful marketing strategy that works in the real world.
Yet, there are formulas, keys, recipes if you will that can put you on the path to successful marketing and make your success seem almost magical.
The single key concept of marketing is connecting your business’ value, (what you have) to the right customer base (those who want what you have). In itself a simple concept, black and white, right?
 Well, not exactly, just as there are literally hundreds of shades of grey between black and white, so too are there a multitude of shades between having what you got and your customers getting what you have. We begin by setting the stage.
There are five basic questions to begin laying the groundwork;
  1. What are the demographic profiles of your customer base?
  2. Where do your customers work, reside and relax?
  3. Where do they go and how do your customers use their internet?
  4. How do they search for and find the products in your niche?
  5. Who do they turn to and who do they trust when forming connections with your product or brand?
Depending on how you can answer these questions will determine which marketing strategies will work for you and those that will not.
You will find that over half of the following options may prove to provide a viable return on your investment of time and talent. Indeed, three or four may have enough initial merit to justify a trial run of a month or so. At least one may have the potential to skyrocket your growth over the next four quarters!
Yet, your unique business demands a unique marketing approach, what you will find is that no one single option alone will make the magic happen. Despite what you may have heard, not everyone uses Facebook!
While there is no easy solution or magic wand that will revolutionize your business overnight, there are steps to take. What are they? How do you implement them? I literally have no clue what will work for you and your unique ideas, because I do not know you, I do not know your business, I do not know your customers and I haven’t heard your dreams…YET!
Success is earned, it is hard work well done and while there may be no magic to achieve this success there are methods, key concepts or ‘ingredients’ that you can use and combine to reinvent and reinvigorate your marketing strategies. To grow your business. To grow your brand. To Succeed.
So Let's Begin…
1: Advertise on Facebook: Two million small to medium-sized businesses advertise on Facebook; it’s an inexpensive and effective way to market to virtually any audience that uses Facebook.
2: Instagram post: With over 90 million photos and videos being shared by 28% adult internet users makes this a valuable marketing venue. There are a variety of ways to make the post work for you.
3: Claim your Google Business listing: Ranking your Google My Business (GMB) listing is one of the most powerful things you can do for your business. In fact, if you run a local business targeting local clients, I might just say it is THE most powerful strategy available to you.
4: Invest In content marketing: 18% of marketers say that content marketing has the greatest commercial impact on their business of any channel in 2016.
Content marketing is not easy, however, and requires every element to be done right:
Quality content
Relevant topics
Optimized for SEO
Optimized for readers
Consistent content creation & promotion
5: Grow your organic social reach: Using social media for business is really a non-negotiable. 67% of consumers use social media for customer support, and 33% prefer using social media instead of the telephone. If people can’t find your business via social media, they will look for your competitors who ARE present on preferred social channels. The real question isn’t whether you should have active social media accounts, its how much time and resources you should be investing in growing your social audiences. For some businesses, it makes sense to invest heavily in organic social media growth.
6: Build an email marketing funnel: Email marketing is the cornerstone of digital marketing. Most of the people who visit your site will not buy from you immediately. Capturing contact info for additional marketing and “lead nurturing” is the best way to sell in 2016, and email remains the highest converting channel for interacting with leads.
Benefits of email marketing include:
Low cost
Global Reach
Easy to automate
Easy to segment
Immediate communication
Easy to set up and run
Easy to track and optimize

7: Post On YouTube: YouTube marketing comes down to picking a few key areas where you feel you can deliver true thought leadership, entertainment, or some kind of value, and then mass producing content that falls within those areas. As soon as you start thinking this way, you’ll find it much easier to come up with good content that falls in line with your larger strategy.
7: Host a webinar: A webinar is essentially a seminar that takes place online. It can be in the form of a presentation, demonstration or discussion. Webinars are often used as lead magnets for email marketing and the right topic can drive a large batch of new subscribers to your list. It can also be used to build credibility with your current subscribers.
8: Offer a free consultation: When it comes to professional services, people want access to expertise. If you have done a good job of positioning yourself as an expert or authority in your niche, promoting a free consultation is a great way to generate new leads. If you have a good interpersonal sales process in place, it also sets you up to close a large percentage of leads.
9:  Incentivize employees to refer new clients: Referrals are one of the best ways to find new customers, and who better suited to obtain referrals than your current staff? Your employees know your product or service. They know your customer base. Some of them will take initiative without financial motivation, but most won’t, and those you bring in new business should be encouraged to repeat the process with financial or otherwise meaningful reward. Offer incentives to your staff members who refer new clients. It doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary.
A sleep-in day: staff gets to sleep in late for a certain period of time.
Membership to publications (of their choice).
Vouchers for massages, movie nights, restaurants.
10: Advertise in trade magazines or niche print media: While much of the world has moved online, print media still exists, and in some niches, it still thrives. As recently as 2014, retail consumers cited printed materials as the chief sources of information behind their purchasing decisions. Print media is rarely effective as a solo marketing strategy. It is best used in conjunction with online marketing strategies, with the two channels arranged to complement each other and create an engaging experience for potential buyers.
11: Write a column: If you are a decent writer, sharing your expertise in the form of weekly or monthly write-ups can do wonders for your brand. This isn’t usually a situation where you get paid, but it’s also not a situation where you have to pay. These columns give you the opportunity to make consistent contact with an audience, building an actual relationship with the publication’s readers. That audience then begins to think of you when they think of experts in your field.
12: Join a local business Chamber or group: Joining local business groups will give you the opportunity to meet up with other like-minded people who already share some common ground with you: owning a business. While a lot of more general entrepreneur groups exist, there might also be some niche-specific groups and meetups in your area. These groups are a great opportunity to bounce ideas off other smart people, share referrals, find talent, and identify new opportunities. They are also a major catalyst in expanding your network around the city in which you live. Connections tend to multiply, and if your group takes networking seriously, you can leverage your seemingly minor connections into many significant ones.
My personal ones are GOA Regional Business Association, Gone 3, Freedom I, One More Customer and MasterMind Business Networking. Want more information give me a call.
13: Partner with other businesses: Teamwork is always more effective than singular effort, and combining resources with another business can help you do things you could never accomplish on your own. It’s typically best to target companies in your local area, even if your clientele isn’t local. Your goal is to work out a complementary arrangement that provides mutual benefit for both businesses.
14: Launch a direct mail campaign: Like print media, direct mail marketing is not dead. As online channels become more and more saturated with content, fewer companies look to direct mail, and that means opportunity for you. Like with any marketing strategy, success comes down to targeted creativity. You can’t just spam people and expect a return on your investment. Just like you need to compel people to click your blog post headline, you need to compel mail recipients to open your letter or read your postcard.
15: Speak at events: In terms of branding and establishing yourself as an authority, few things are more impactful than being a speaker at popular events in your niche. While invitations to speak at larger events are often extended as a result of accomplishments or visible influence, you can also work your way into these opportunities by becoming a talented speaker and delivering great talks at smaller events. Or you can simply use it as another marketing channel, by speaking at some of these types of events:
Local clubs – think Rotary, Lion’s, Kiwanis’s
Chamber of Commerce.
Business networking groups.
Specific interest clubs (photography, hiking, sewing, etc.)
Browse local events on and
Check events in your local newspaper and magazines.
Big companies and their employees.
Be prepared, and treat every event like a big deal.
I am not very fond of 15 & 16 but they are ways to market yourself that work for some companies. I would use them at your own risk and discretion.
16: Use Google Ad words: There are more than 40,000 search queries on Google every second. No other advertising method has the potential to get your business before that many pairs of eyes. Costly but an idea.
17: Run a coupon deal: Whether you sell a product or offer a service, you can use coupon deal sites like Group on to quickly promote your business. But be careful you might only pick up bargain hunting customers and not repeat business.
18: Teleprospecting: You need to follow up or have someone (like Larson & Associates) make a follow-up phone call. If you don't do a follow up don't do the marketing. It more times than not will be a waste of time and a waste of money.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Channeling The Power Multi-Channel Marketing

The key to a successful multi-channel marketing plan is integration; a common challenge that most marketers face. If your organization has established a digital marketing plan, for example, it should not be used in isolation, but instead used throughout all channels in your marketing plan process. Your multi-channel marketing plan should set out campaigns that span multiple channels, catering to the customer and tailoring them to fit multiple channels.
 Multi-channel marketing is all about choice. Consumers now have the ability to engage with your brand, in the manner of their choosing, at all stages of the customer journey. The proliferation of channels used by consumers, both off-line
The buying processes are controlled by the customer, rather than the marketer so the ‘always-on’ nature of multi-channel marketing will reach customers via the inbound or outbound channel of their choice. Organizations using an effective integrated multi-channel marketing plan will continuously stand out, gain qualified leads and maximize conversion throughout the customer lifecycle. Your multi-channel marketing plan should therefore continually and repeatedly engage, nurture and target customers in order to convert to a sale.Is there a guaranteed approach to truly effective multi-channel marketing integration? While the short answer is no, there is no one given approach that will guarantee maximum results, there are ways, however,  to maximize the approaches that do work and online, gives empowered consumers are creating massive data streams. To remain competitive your organization needs to be able to harness and collate the many disparate data points being generated from separate software solutions, into a single platform. And, you need to remain agile enough to be able to deliver the most relevant message or offer, in a personalized manner, through exactly the right channel at the very moment that a consumer is ready to engage with your brand them more control over the buying process which allows them to evaluate your brand at every touchpoint..

It begins with establishing a presence, getting your name ‘out there’ and engaging the customer before he knows he needs your product. We have put together a 5 step plan to help you begin to focus on relevant issues and develop a game plan

Step#1 Direct Mail
Start with postcard or an envelope with an ad specialty item to make it lumpy. Yes, the post office hates lumpy mail but when it gets to the prospect's desk, they open it. A #10 (business-sized) envelope with a real first-class stamp, a brief 1-page letter focusing on something specific to get you an appointment or offer for a  free or discounted item or service, and a flyer, a business reply card, and a business card. Every part of your direct mail should be focused on the offer. You can be educational but really geared towards the offer. It’s the offer that will really draw them in.

Step # 2 Email Marketing
The second tool to use in our example is a non-aggressive email marketing letter. We only want to send relevant, personal and timely information.

Email is a little more intrusive so make sure you have an opt-out.  You don't have to take a phone call or open direct mail. Email is in front of you, on your computer and you have to open and/or delete it. If used right and in tandem with telemarketing it makes a very strong piece of the marketing equation.

I would start your campaign with an email the same day you send your mailing out checking to see who and how many times they opened the email up, calling those that opened 3 or more times. Then start your follow up on the mailer a week later, with a 2nd email sent out every 2 weeks after that.

Step #3 Landing Page
Instead of sending prospects to your web page, have a landing page constructed for the promotion. This meant prospects will not go to your competition if they do an online search.

Step #4 Outbound Telemarketing
Five business days after the first class mailing is sent, have a dedicated telemarketer begin to call each name on the prospect list that hasn’t already responded. If a list of over 300 names list truncate it into pieces and staggered the drops to make this easier and timelier to follow up on.

Like most business callers these days, they generally reached voicemail rather than an actual human. Have a voicemail script ready to give them. It will be a large part of your marketing efforts. Just say something simple like "I’m simply calling to follow up on the mailer we sent out offering you (your offer). Give us a call to 847-991-1294 and we will get you the information”
When we are calling we like to make three attempts over a two to three-week period. You can call in deeper but 3 is optimal.

Step #5 Reload, Research and Repeat
 You are always promoting to both prospects and current clients.  Keep everyone on the list for direct mail emails and outbound telemarketing campaigns and start the process all over again in eight weeks.
We are committed to making  you  successful. We tailor solutions that fit your needs and. are able to draw upon our Associates, weAt Larson and vast experiences and knowledge base to resolve even the most complex of challenges. We empower organizations to make the most of their marketing efforts while reducing costs and driving profits.

Easy isn’t it? Yes, but it takes time and knowing when and what to do. If you need help just call us at 847-991-1294. We live and breathe this stuff so don’t be shy.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

70% More Effective Marketing?

What if your marketing could be 70% More Effective?

Call it whatever you want: Multi-channel, Cross-Platform  Omni-Marketing: your marketing strategy needs to rely on both digital and traditional platforms online and offline to reach customers across multiple channels in various ways for the way they want to be contacted. Traditional forms of marketing such as print, trade magazines, direct mail, PR, radio, television commercials, and billboards if used together with digital marketing like email, social media, websites, blogs, YouTube, Pinterest starts to create a major spike in name recognition. Not surprisingly, cross-channel integration where online and some traditional forms like direct mail are linked together with the use of tracking software or bar code technology a telephone campaign and follow-up becomes 70% more effective.

I have 6 Tips for a Better Strategy

First you need to know your target audience. Who are they? What niche is it? Where are they? What channels work best for your business model? What are the channels your target nitch uses more than others? For example, an ad campaign for bath bombs might do well with a television advertisement or direct mail coupon. Events and musical concerts will get more ROI with social, emails and YouTube.

Second focus on the customer experience. Your marketing strategy should present information clearly and directly. Multi-channel digital campaigns should cater to not just convenience but also for after-sale 2nd sale service, dependability, and responsibility—all qualities customers place value on. Consistency across all platforms is the key to talking about this success.

Third measure your results. After or even during any multi-channel campaign, review data to see which channels are working and how they are performing and which could use more improvement. And ask yourself why and are there other channels we should have or could have used? This will help allocate resources, time, and money more efficiently for the next wave or next attack.

Forth timing is everything. Constantly update your touch points. A successful strategy is well-timed and relevant. You might want to update your web page and send out emails the day before a big event. A drip campaign strategy allows you to space out information to generate interest and thus customers. Cross-channel integration brings your marketing strategies both online and off line together in a seamless flow. Incorporate a Twitter feed, use hash tags, incorporate bar codes in your direct mail, link your Facebook business page with your emails, generate printable coupons from your website or social business pages for in-store use. The more ways you can connect your customers to your brand, the better.

Fifth learn to change your strategies and platforms as needed. Don’t get too comfortable. What works one week may not work next week, so keep up to date on the latest marketing trends. And remember to track everything you can to know what works, where it is working and how it is working.

Sixth follow-up follow-up follow-up. Everything needs to be followed up on. You need to reach out and call someone. Yes the telephone. If you don’t make the reach out and make “that call” just save your money. The prospect is not going to call you 99.9% of the time. You have got to have a follow-up. Make that call or have me make it for you and your odds of a sale go up at least 10 to 20%

So now you only have to ask yourself:
Do I have the time?
Do I have the knowledge?
Do I have the connections?
Do I have the recourses?
If not we are here for you.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Creating A Multi-Channel Marketing Attack

In a time where content and information is expected to be available 24/7, prospects and customers want to interact with businesses in ways that works for them and their lifestyle, not yours. The fact is: using one, single channel is not enough.

Why is multi-channel marketing an effective strategy?

There are 5 reasons why I see companies using this approach:
  • Build a brand experience – Prospects are on multiple channels – and to gain name familiarity you need to leverage each channel to connect with them or at least have them interact with your brand. By using a multi-channel attack you are allowing prospects to choose where, when, and how they want to engage with you.
  • Drive consistent in your message that keeps prospects informed – With multiple channels, you can ensure that your prospects are making informed decisions each time they interact with your brand through a consistent message across a variety of touch points.
  • Keep your prospects in control – “No one likes being sold but everyone likes to buy?” The choice to interact with your brand where it’s most convenient to the prospect puts them in the driver seat and begin the buying journey. It takes 7 to 9 contacts with a prospect before they buy and they see or hear only 1 out of 3 so that is 27 messages to get you to sales heaven. Multi-channel marketing makes it convenient for your prospects to learn about your company and gives them the right information on their favorite channels at their time.
  • Personalize your efforts for each prospect – What works best for one person may not work with the next. If you go single channel, your message will only impact a small part of your potential market. By using multiple channels of attack you reach people at different digital touch points.
  • Fine tune your marketing strategy by measuring each touch point –You need to have an understanding of how to leverage channels in the context of each prospect or customer. This ideal process requires you to be able to target the right people at the right time – delivering the right message and most value with an integrated, multi-channel approach. Then you to measure what works and what doesn’t work to refine this strategy.

So you may be wondering what you can do right now to implement this type of strategy? According to a 2015 study by Econsultancy and Adobe, only 14% of marketers said they were running coordinated marketing campaigns across multichannel.
To help address this challenge, I’ve highlighted three simple ways I’ve seen Radius customers engage their prospects across multiple channels.

3 examples of multi-channel marketing

It’s important to note here that these are just a few simple examples used by other leading businesses to leverage multi-channel marketing. While this is by no means a definitive list of campaign ideas, the goal here is to inspire you to rethink marketing strategy with multi-channel driving the change:

1) Combine digital with email into telemarketing

Our customers have seen an increase in appointments when they launch a social campaign in combination to an email before anyone starts making calls. Here’s an example – You’re a window cleaner and its winter the weather is bad, snow & sleet are blowing all over the place making windows dirtier than normal, no one really wants to go out and clean them, so try running a campaign to a Facebook custom audience promoting your company. Then, start an email campaign, have your reps follow up on that same list with phone calls. This not only gives your business multiple hits to your target, but the digital ads, the email and the phone help warm up the prospects for your sales team. Prospects tend to be more receptive to speak with companies that they are already familiar with. 7 times familiar.

2) Leverage Direct Mail with email campaign and a telemarketing call

There are multiple creative ways to integrate these 3 channels. One example is to monitor how prospects are hitting your digital ads by hits and then customize email campaigns based on level of engagement on different posts. Target the email to the areas that have the greatest interest to your target. Chances are, what is the greatest interest to the majority of your nitch is of interest to all your nitch. If someone is engaging with multiple ads on multiple platforms an email that offers a clear call to action that is opened and then followed up on will drive sales higher faster.

3) Bring all together

The strategy I have the most success with is when customers let me take and use all their channels that are available together in one seamless integrated single message effort. In fact multi-channel strategies generated up to 24% higher conversion rates. This should include leveraging social to build awareness, email and direct mail to drive sales, and then the all important follow up phone call to bring prospects deep into the sales process and the actual sale itself.

Wrapping up

It’s no longer enough for marketers to be using one, single marketing channel – you need to match the buyer’s journey, with the way they like to be approached and target prospects across multiple channels. The more broadly you get your message out, the easier it will be for prospects to know who you are, what you do, and why they can benefit from your product or service.
Experiment with your available channels, use historical data to guide your testing and try to find the optimal mix of channels that gets you in front of the right prospects at the right time in the right way, and don’t forget the telemarketing follow up call or you will waist 95% or your effort.

Larson Notes & Satire: 
It is hard work getting new clients. So I have to ask you why are you sitting back and only using 1 or 2 tools you could be working with when you have a complete tool box right at your fingertips (or keyboard)? People what to, need to, will make you talk to them like they want to weather you like it or not so you had better just start liking it.

Getting good sales results is a hard, process. If your sales are stalled out we have ways that can make it happen for you that are cost effective and will give you results!

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Winning Formula for Trade Show Success

For most companies that sell a product or service, Trade Show participation is a necessary part of the marketing mix. Big and small, there is a lot of work and preparation for success at and with a Trade Show and all the expense that goes along with these events can be rather significant regardless of the size. The big association shows you are looking at upwards of $10,000 and the small Chamber shows are “only” around $500.00 if you can use last year’s banners.

Data indicates that 73% of marketers state that "gaining qualified leads" is the key success metric for these events. I might ask what about actually sale contracts signed at the show? Yet, 60% of these marketers aren't pleased with the actual ROI achieved from the considerable expense of these shows. Are you? Seriously are you

Additionally, Ruth P. Stevens, author of Trade Show and Event Marketing, Plan, Promote and Profit; stated the following, "don't spend one penny on a trade show unless you have a lead management process in place!"

Think back to the last show you participated in. If you are like most companies, and I'll bet you are, your company representatives are standing around in the booth waiting for prospects to wander into your booth or worse yet looking down at their cell phones. If you are the lucky few, your team members are actually attempting to start a conversation with attendees (as they walk down the isle), to find out if they buy what you sell and if so, are able generate enough interest that they join you in your booth to learn more.

Sound familiar?

If you aren't pleased with your Trade Show & Event Marketing results, there is an approach that is proven to be more effective. In fact, I'll go as far to say it could be a game changer for your company and will help transform Trade Show participation into one of your top performing, revenue producing marketing activities.

So what's this approach to Trade Show success?

To begin with, it's an actual program that incorporates all three of the critical phases for Trade Show success:
  • Pre Show Marketing
  • Show Time Marketing
  • Post Show Marketing
The program creates multiple levels of engagement with targeted attendees and past participants. It creates an opportunity for the target audience to learn valuable information about your company and services prior to the show, as well as at the show.

An effective Trade Show Marketing Program targets several levels of attendees based on your needs. For example, some companies target the following groups:
  • Attendees
  • Non-attendees
  • Customers
  • Other exhibitors (Why? They might just may need your product or service)

The list will vary by event, but you don't want to ignore your customers at these events and engaging them for meetings at the show is an important aspect of the Trade Show opportunity. In fact, customer meetings at the show are scheduled to better understand what else you can do to help them achieve success. These meetings are always fun and productive and lead to new business opportunities as well.

Pre Show Marketing
The key to success with the Trade Show & Event Marketing Program is the multi-channel, drip-marketing program that connects with potential and actual attendees to the show.

The program identifies the attendee's interest areas, gathers marketing intelligence and missing contact information, and provides an opportunity to schedule meetings in the booth for specific presentation and technology discussions.

Companies leveraging this approach have actual scheduled meetings throughout the day for both customers and prospects. Successful organizations, regularly achieve 90+% completion for all scheduled meetings during the show. What this means for your company is no more standing around waiting for prospects to find you!

Show Time Marketing
The next key phase of the program is the Show Time engagement activities. Each day a series of emails, texts and social media engagement go out to all show participants reminding them of the activities taking place in your booth for the day.

It might be hourly solution overview presentations, or a special presentation by a guest speaker, or a VIP party that you are alerting everyone to and providing them with a reason to show up in your booth should they not already have a scheduled meeting.

Ten to Fifteen minutes before any special presentations, text messages are sent out to attendees reminding them of an important, upcoming opportunity in your booth.

Post Show Marketing
Once the show is over, the next important phase kicks in, Post Show Marketing. During this phase, every attendee, booth visitor, completed appointment and customer receives a follow-up email letting them know it's not to late to learn more about your company and solution.

Special show offers are extended to the recipient, as well as an opportunity to learn more by downloading valuable content about your customer success, solutions and special programs.

This step provides another opportunity to engage attendees that may not have visited your booth. It also creates additional opportunities with attendees you may have spoken to but really didn't move the visit to an opportunity stage.

Finally, this program offers comprehensive tracking and measurement on all critical marketing KPI's for the program. Imagine having a complete picture of the number of visits, working opportunities and next steps for all attendees in your show data -base.

Additionally, you will be able to identify which channels delivered the highest conversion results, as well as the show activities that achieved that helped drive engagement.

Another wonderful aspect of the program is the ability to send all of the collected data directly into your CRM. This helps insure that the right follow-up will take place as well as a having the captured data exactly where you want it to be for future use.

At the end of the day, it's all about the ROI and actual revenue creation as a result of participating in the event. That's the best part!

Companies leveraging this approach are achieving exceptional revenue results and in many cases, this marketing activity has become one of their top lead sources for new revenue creation.

If you are looking for improved results for your Trade Show & Event Marketing, this Three Phase Program is exactly what is needed.

Larson Notes & Satire:
 The hard work of getting new clients will not stop there. Getting good sales results is a hard, process. We have ways to make it happen for you. There is no one size fits all. You are unique 

Howard Larson
Larson & AssociatesTarget Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better847-991-1294howard@larsonassociates.wshttp://www.larsonassociates.wshttp://larsonassociates.blogspot.com

Today's Marketer -­‐ Getting to Sales Ready

Marketers are always looking for new, innovative approaches to deliver improved results to their organization.

What if there was a program that could fundamentally shift your sales results and significantly improve your marketing ROI?

Well believe it or not, there is a program that will significantly improve your results and lead to a higher return on marketing investment spent on opportunity development.

If you are like most marketers, the lion share of your marketing budget is being invested in new customer acquisition programs. Yet, for this critical area of opportunity many marketers continue to focus on leads and responses when they should be focused on delivering marketing qualified leads (MQL's) to your organization that continue to be nurtured to Sales Ready.

The reason for this shift will be discussed in more detail below, but the key outcome of this approach is more revenue per lead generated and an overall reduction in the sales cycle.

Isn't that a key deliverable for all of your marketing activities?

This is an important consideration for all marketers because not all leads are created equal. Today, many of the leads you deliver to your sales organization are simply looking for more information to start their assessment of you as a potential provider or they are simply researching information on a potential area of opportunity for the future.

Yet, many marketers are sending these leads directly to the sales team for follow--‐up.
Does that makesense? Is this the right approach given the negative impact on sales productivity?
Let's take a quick look at some of the data that suggests this approach may not be the best course of action.
According to industry data there is a huge gap in the quality of leads marketers deliver to their sales organization. Henry Bruce, President and Founder of Rock Arnard Group said it best, "When I reflect on the state of Marketing automation, three stats paint a very ominous picture."

• 70% of the buy cycle is complete before sales engages with buyers
• Only 50% of a typical sales team achieves quota
• Only 10%-¬‐15% of new leads are considered sales ready

Think about the data reported above...if 70% of the buy cycle is complete before your sales team engages with potential buyers, your ability to convert those leads drops significantly. Additionally, if only 10-¬‐15% of the new leads are sales ready, we are wasting the sales teams time by engaging them at this point in time.
These types of leads need to be nurtured further before sales engagement with these early stage opportunities.
Follow--‐up on leads of this nature will also negatively impact you Marketing ROI and provides a false assessment of your opportunity funnel. Most organizations are blaming sales for their inability to convert leads to sales rather than digging deeper to really |understand the root cause for the results. Since much of a prospects time is spent researching online before they ever contact a prospective company, you need to have an ongoing, lead nurturing program  that starts a dialogue with these prospects well before they realize they are ready to invest in your solution.
As part of your nurturing program, you must leverage all of your marketing response channels in order to connect with the prospect to gain an understanding of why they are inquiring and what information they would like now. By taking this step, you have an opportunity to provide the prospect with high value content and start the nurturing process for future engagements.
Through ongoing engagement with each prospect, you are building their trust, confidence and awareness of your capabilities as a potential provider. As you continue your engagement activities the prospect has an opportunity to guide you on what they are interested in through their actions, such as, the download of high-¬‐ value content, or requesting a free trial. This process, ultimately leads to sales ready lead status.
The  days of one and done marketing programs are gone. Replaced by ongoing, lead nurturing programs that step the prospect through a cycle of high value opportunities to learn more, and provide you critical insight on their current and future needs.
 Once you have built a nurturing and scoring program, you will be able to deliver high quality leads (sales ready) to your sales team and you will be on your way to improved marketing and sales results in all areas.
By taking your existing program and leveraging technology in a more strategic and focused manner, you  can transform your overall program results.
The data suggests that this approach is significantly more effective and as a marketer, it's our responsibility to seek optimized results for every aspect of our marketing. In fact, in a study developed by Forrester Research, they found that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-¬‐ready leads at 33% less cost.
Which leads me to one of my favorite quotes, "effective marketing doesn't cost more, it costs less"
 If you are looking for more information and insight on how to achieve this approach for your organization feel free to contact me at
by Joseph Manos, Executive Vice President, Mind Fire Inc.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Larson the Perfect Partner

I’m a Swede, well half Swede with the other half Norwegian, either way I’m happy with my back ground and the work ethic I was raised in.

So what are the top 15 reasons to form a partnership with Me?

1)     Punctuality  a meeting that was supposed to start at 1 o’clock will start precisely at 1 o'clock. If it s half hour meeting it will end at 1:30, not 1:35. It’s called prick kl.1. This meeting has been booked months ago. This is because we Swedes are great…

2)     Planners –
 we have already looking ahead to week 45 in 2020. You need to know where you are going if you’re going to get there. It’s called framförhållning.This means we are always...

3)     Prepared –
 we know how to predict, when to proceed and what to produce. We know what good things might happen, what bad things might happen so we are able to move towards the good and away from the bad and keep out of stormy seas and I hate stormy seas! Put simply, we are good…

4)     Performers
 the proof is Sweden’s first place in just about everything. Swedes are also modest but we can talk about that another time.  We also have a passion for…
5)     Projects –
 these are lead by someone who is hopefully aware of what’s going on, understands what is going on and has a handle on the desired outcome. It’s called projektledning. Swedes are expected to be...               
6)     Participative – giving their opinions when asked for. There are no bad ideas just that some are better than others at bringing a faster outcome. It’s called the förankringsprocess. Everyone should feel part of the…

7)     Process -
 there are so many that someone has to learn how to manage them. Yet that does not mean anyone is left on the outside looking in. It’s called  processhantering. A process consists of many meetings. One type of meeting is the…

8)     Pre-meeting –
 it's a meeting before the meeting. Yes let’s get some issues out on the table so people have the possibility to pose questions before the real meeting on “Thursday”. This is because Swedes are…

9)     Precautious –
 decision making is a lengthy, risky process. It is not that risk is bad but we want to make the pathway that brings us to the end goal the fastest with the least amount of risk and animosity, we are still a team. It’s called the beslutsprocess. Being ultra-careful we might not say 'yes' or 'no' but they may say. . .

10)  Perhaps –
 which, for Swedes, is possibly a 'maybe'. But unlike an American  maybe which usually means no, a Swedish Perhaps means we will keep an open mind on the subject and not shut any doors just in case this is the right door. But if we  do say 'yes' then a promise is a promise. We will get on, do it and get it done in the shortest amount of time possible. By global comparison, we are very…

11)  Productive –
 The projection is probably a larger part of our companies GNP. Ya sure we might be talking small and needing some mico thought to everything but such progress is a result of many skills we possess. One skill is being particularly…

12)  Pragmatic -
 patiently putting solutions into practice, avoiding too much…

13)  Pressure –
 which can be both good and bad. It’s called lagom mycket. Too much panic and pressure causes Swedes to walk into the wall. So we prefer to be…

14)  Positive –
 as in having a positive attitude, positive energy, and a positive mind. It’s called arbetsglädje. And one of the most positive things of all in Swedish business life is the world famous…

15)  Parental leave and vacations –
 which is the Swedish way of combining being a family, a parent and a professional together. Yes there is life outside of work.
Larson Notes & Satire: So you’re not blonde, you don’t have blue eyes. Yust say “ya sure” and get on with it!

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 10 hours a week. Maybe you could add teleprospecting into your marketing mix call today and find out.