As I mentioned in my previous blog entry, a qualified list is one of the four key elements that most often impact the success of lead generation campaigns – sometimes by a factor of 50 percent or more. I think that most marketers inherently know this, but surprisingly it can become an afterthought when developing a marketing lead gen campaign. Marketers tend to be more focused on messaging and offer, and while these are certainly important, if you aren’t targeting the right people in the right industries, your campaign will not be successful, no matter how strong your message, name recognition, and offer is.
While many marketers work to build their marketing database through inbound responses derived from the web and relevant events, this method doesn’t always provide the needed volume to generate a robust sales pipeline. Often times augmenting these sources is necessary – namely purchasing or acquiring a list of contacts and accounts. A few key things to consider when building a list from the ground up (I would suggest working in this order):
- What are the ideal industries or verticals that you target? A good general qualifier is SIC or NAICS code. (If you target specific verticals like government or healthcare, there are some strong sources that focus solely on them)
- What types of companies are the best fit for your product, service, or solution? Some qualifiers can include revenue, employee number, budget/spend, how long the company has been in business, etc. A good idea is to find consistencies between your top success stories and use them to build out an ideal company profile.
- What current products or solutions does the target company have installed in their environment? Specifically relevant if you are building a competitive attack campaign.
- What general areas of interest are you trying to leverage? (i.e. Storage, Virtualization, or Cloud Computing). This is particularly effective when using publication sources. Often times contacts select areas of interest when they sign up and release their info to an online publication.
- Who are your ideal target contacts? Some qualifiers can include role/level within the company or line of business within the company (i.e. targeting C-Level vs. VP/Director Level contacts or Finance vs. IT contacts).
Remember, you know your target market the best, so it is vital that you factor in as much of that expertise as possible when looking at selecting the best list source for your lead gen campaign. Chances are the success of the campaign will depend on it!