Telemarketing vs advertising for B2B marketers
I recently met with a marketing manager who is new to his role, is planning for the coming year and considering a range of marketing channels. Listening to his objectives, I felt telemarketing would be a perfect fit used in conjunction with other channels. In my proposal, for a point of comparison to telemarketing, I used trade press advertising, which is one of the other channels he is considering.
The company is looking to develop a number of sectors, most of which they are not well established in yet and target decision makers in technical roles.
With the number of sectors they are considering, there is a bewildering range of media the different decision makers might be looking at. So even having a chance of reaching them all will be very costly.
How many technical decision makers even read the trade press, much less pay attention to the ads?
The message for each sector needs to be slightly different for each sector, involving a different and costly execution for each version of the ad.
Once you’ve signed off the copy and design of your ad there’s no going back. If the message isn’t quite right and doesn’t grab the attention for a sector it’s too late.
Particularly if the response to the ads is poor, it’s difficult to evaluate why this result happened; who saw the ad, their response to the message, whether they had a requirement for the service.
Compare this to telemarketing….
Data can be purchased that very accurately reflects the profile of companies they want to target in the right sectors.
You can identify the names of the correct decision makers.
You can directly engage and have chance to do business with people that had it not been for your phone call would not know about your company.
Telemarketing allows you to have a two way conversation with decision makers. This brings about a whole host of benefits:
- Your message can be tailored to each prospect if necessary
- More subtle points can be covered verbally that ads can’t convey
- You can test whether they respond well to your message and make adjustments very quickly
- If a sector is not proving fruitful, you can quickly move onto another one, wasting minimal time and money
- You can match your benefits to the responses prospects give you during the conversation
- You can get their feedback whether they have a requirement of not
- You have a chance to answer any objections
Being in telemarketing, I’m of course a flag waver for how effective it is for generating sales leads. It’s not right for all companies, particularly if finding a prospect who has a requirement for your product or service is like finding a needle in a very large haystack, coupled with the value of each sale being too low to give a sensible return compared to the leads that can be generated. However, for the right company and executed correctly, telemarketing has got a lot going for it and certainly worth considering when you are evaluating B2B marketing options.
Chris Walthew, Managing Director, Prospect Research.
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