Subhakar (Stanley) Rao Surapaneni

Investor *Sales and Marketing Pioneer * Author* Technology Champion *Philanthropist * Leadership Mentor

HOW MARKETERS CAN STOP HUNTING AND START ATTRACTING LEADS?

It’s 2015. And your marketing strategies need a review. Shouting at the top of your voices to hunt down leads is so yesterday stuff. Today, you need to set up traps and start attracting leads before converting them into customers. May be even more; turn them into your brand evangelist. But the million dollar question is how?

  1. Ignite the human element first

I think to answer the questions asked in the beginning of this article, we all need to switch off the marketer in us for a moment and start thinking like human first. Let me take you through what I mean:

Think of things that gets you attracted to something. It must be something valuable, something interesting and the classic of all – something you love. A customer is not much different from you. The golden rule here is to start creating value for your prospects by offering something which the prospects can resonate with. Engage them with something interesting, surprise them with something new, and yes, as I already said earlier: give them something that they love. I know all these stuffs sound very cliché; but this is must if you want to proceed on the right track.

Another human element that marketers often miss to address is this: How to solve problems of your customers? Businesses as we all know business is not just money making tools but solution providers of some human problems. Got the point? Identify the problem which you can solve for the customers and the goals that you can help them reach. Mind you, this is not going to be easy. But it is indispensable if you want attract quality leads and convert them into loyal customers.

  1. Give more punch to content marketing

Now let’s switch on our marketing brain. Remember the first rule of marketing: All marketing is content marketing unless you are going to use some sort of telepathy. So, think of your marketing message first. Think what should be there in the content that will resonate with your audience. Think what will excite them. Think what will engage them. And most importantly, think what will make them to trust you. Once you have answers to all these questions, you can decide about the channels that you are going to employ to reach out the audience. It can be blogs, slide share presentations, webinar, research papers, video content, or any content which you think will be best for the audience. The bottom line is to create the relevant, interesting and valuable content for your audience and start building relationship with them. Yes relationship! It’s such an important word in content marketing that the first thing a marketer must do in the morning when he wakes up is to auto suggest: “ Today, I will try to create some content that will help my brand to build relationship with the audience.” Because when you build strong relationship with the audience they are most likely to buy from you. And then, re-buy from you.

  1. Get your timing right with analytics

Trends, pattern, buying behaviour are not just clues but absolute goldmines for enabling sales. So marketers will be better off if they put on their analytics hat all the time. And when I say analytics I don’t mean the usual marketing analytics which is normally associated with the assessment of marketing ROI. I mean customer analytics that focusses on customers. Who they are, where they come from, how do they research and buy and do they behave at every stage of sales funnel? As we all know, every business, industry, and geography follow different path in the sales pipeline. Marketers need to be fully aware of where exactly their prospect is on the purchase journey and how they can take the prospect to the next level bringing him/her closer to sale. By applying smart analytics, marketers can collect and dissect all the important customer information and follow them up with tailor made campaigns. The key word here is timing. You must be able to target the right prospect at the right time with the right content.  And when you run better targeted campaigns, you get better conversion rate.

  1. Market testimonials to enhance brand value

No one believes a bragging brat. If you go on painting colourful pictures about your brand by yourself – no one is going to listen to you. And even if they do; they are not going to trust you. And if they don’t trust you, why should they buy from you? On the other hand, testimonials are your best currency. When people see someone else endorsing your products and services – it becomes a living proof of your quality and brand value. People trust you more when someone else says that you are great. The more testimonials you have the more socially acceptable you will become to your potential customers. So you should market testimonials abundantly to enhance your brand value. Publish a customer success story. Show the number of your social media followers. Collate reviews of your happy customers. Show your potential customers how you’re loved by your other customers.

  1. Leverage the power of Influencers

When the Korean Car Company, Hyundai came to do business in India during the mid 90’s, not many people were excited about them. In fact, they were even having difficulties in getting dealership, despite the fact that they have manufactured the best compact car “Santro” at that time in India. What they did next is a classic example of influence marketing. Hyundai roped in Shahrukh Khan, the most popular Bollywood actor as a brand ambassador. As you know influencers are people with large fan following and have some influence over the fans and other people as well. When Shahrukh Khan endorsed the Santro Car, people began to take active interest in the car. They began to inquire about the car. They began to test drive the car. And consequently, sales picked up.

Marketers need to constantly look up for the influencers who can take their marketing message to a bigger audience and help them convert into sales. For example, if you have a resort to promote, then a well-known traveller or travel blogger will help you to get more impressions and sales.

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