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bring people to the door.”

So demand generation still gets the lead generation bandwagon rolling, perhaps by mailing or emailing a highly-targeted list combined with other work such as search marketing or advertising to raise awareness. “There are interesting feeds of movers and shakers or new joiners available,” says Everett. “We do gap analysis between proprietary lists and our client databases to generate new leads. There are all sorts of sources and methods.” Few b2b email recipients will go directly from

receiving an email to buying, so this is where the nurturing approach takes over with responders becoming part of a lead generation programme. Using a custom website to attract relevant prospects and then tracking their activity to judge when the time is right for contact is an effective technique, and one that Information Arts uses for Shell Fuel Cards. “Establishing a programme gives a reason to communicate on a regular basis,” says Oliver. “You can learn about their buying triggers and other propensities. Every time they respond, you get a better understanding. It’s not so much about the channel, it’s the combination.” How much effort needs to be expended on nurturing and the methods employed to do it vary hugely by product, service, sector and

country. Generic services such as office supplies might only need one call or an email or two for qualification while much more effort is required for other products and services, especially where the decision-making process is complex. “You might have multiple messages for multiple people as decisionmakers and influencers, all within the same company” says Oliver. For example, at Shell Fuel Cards, Information Arts targeted card users as influencers while fuel card managers received propositions for decisionmakers.

“You need to start with your existing customers, how they look and behave, then work out who your prospects should be.” Simon Oliver, Solutions Director, Information Arts

Along with a very good understanding of the mechanics of the prospect journey, software is central to modern demand and lead generation. Marketing automation software such as Eloqua, Marketo and Neolane combine web analytics with

many other functions such email marketing to allow automatic tracking and scoring of online prospect activity.

“Marketing automation allows companies to

aggregate their various databases and segment their lists to send prospects relevant information which will increase conversion rates along the entire sales and marketing funnel,” says Sylvia Jensen, Director of EMEA Marketing at Eloqua. “Marketers can also automate a lot of repetitive process which are time-consuming and waste valuable human resources.” A certain score can be allocated to any logged action, and the running total used to flag where prospects are in the pipeline and to trigger the next step in the communication programme. Integrated with other tools like salesforce, a marketing automation tool manages the process of lead identification and tracking, automatic multichannel messaging, then passing leads to the sales team.

“An indication of a company that is ready for a scoring program would be one where the sales team complain that marketing hands over ‘rubbish’ leads or there are too many leads to follow up on,” explains Jensen. “By creating even a simple scoring program, sales would know that their valuable time is better spent on prospects that are more likely to become opportunities.”ááá

November 2011 13

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