What’s the best marketing pitch you’ve received lately? I bet it did not feel like a pitch at all. I prefer to not feel like I am being sold to – or sold out – when someone’s marketing to me.
In my last blog, I shared how as a C-level executive – and one responsible for technology – I get inundated with marketing solicitations. Some marketers will do just about anything to get a click or a call. Working for a sales-driven organization myself, I understand where they are coming from. It’s not easy getting the attention of a C-level executive, let alone engaging one.
It can be tempting to set it and forget when using new marketing technology. But that’s often where the blunders come in as I shared in part 1 of this series. In part 2 today, I share some of the smart moves I’ve seen marketers make and an approach that gets my attention:
- Make a personal introduction.
Start by getting my name right in the introduction. Seems simple, right? Technology can make it easy by automatically merging the name field into a message. Yet, I still get emails with the wrong name. It’s the first sign that they are taking a shotgun approach and playing a numbers game. Effective messages begin with a personal introduction that begins with the correct first name – including spelling. Marketers can use technology to capture data on user flow and behaviors to further personalize the initial introduction.
- Show your research.
Getting noticed in a barrage of marketing emails takes more than personalizing the message with my name. I want to see that the salesperson has taken an interest in our business and knows a bit about us. One of the better pick-up lines is “I noticed on your website.” It shows me that the person took the time to do some research. Some even call on customers to better understand us.
- Share solutions based on my needs.
I take notice when marketers share recommendations based on our needs and specifically how other organizations like ours have seen results. This tailored approach helps validate they really know our organization. It shows me that they did something with the research and can provide an influential track record. The more specific the recommendation, the better. Case studies – when they are really concise and results focused – get my attention.
- Educate and add value.
Eliminate the fluff and focus on educating me in a way that adds value. Help me understand trends, what’s working and what steps I can take. Marco has more than 1,100 blogs on its website focused on just that. We know prospects peruse them before they consider connecting with a sales rep or making a purchase. Organizations can further engage those prospects by providing downloadable content and other free offers.
- Authentically use referrals.
Whether they come through LinkedIn, email or phone, referrals still go a long way in cutting through the marketing clutter and standing out. I take notice when a respected colleague refers a solution to me. But it takes more than just a name, so don’t simply pull a name from the company’s website. It needs be an authentic referral. Smart marketers leverage social media and equip their customers to actively be a voice for them to their personal and professional networks.
Technology enables marketers to initiate machine-generated contacts by email, text, phone or social media. The most effective marketers resist the temptation to default to machine-generated content and instead, identify opportunities where the machines can assist. They can provide data and help customize the approach. But they don’t replace the value an effective salesperson provides both the buyer and the seller. Leverage marketing technology to get results – don’t let it leverage you.