Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Waste Not, Want Not ... Mid-Market Context

The Question: Can Context Help Us Penetrate the Mid-Market?

Hi there! Interesting blog:-) Gosh, I hear you about the waste of marketing budget. We spend so much on lead generation programs and most of the time it is a waste of our money. Being a small company, we're limited with how much we spend, so it's critical that we spend wisely. We have found a few channels that consistently perform well, but a lot of them are trial and error.

Any advice on targeting the mid-market segment? We do a lot of targeted marketing, but I have found that finding channels that specifically target the mid-market ($50M - $250M revenue) and advice about how to target the mid-market is difficult. We're rocking with enterprises, but would like to get our message out to the mid-market segment more than we have in the past.

My Response

With list selection being the most critical aspect of most lead generation campaigns, getting this right is imperative. But after the list comes developing the list with a well planned longitudinal promotion process that addresses both responders and non-responders.

Most campaigns ignore non-responders, but that means ignoring 98% of the potential. Capture information about each prospect in a profile database, and use this knowledge to fine tune campaigns over time so that eventually you are being more valuable to the prospect while also improving your ability to sell more effectively. Contextual marketing requires patience and persistence, but it pays off big time.

The real success of context is in learning more information about each prospect so that you can tighten your message to address the needs of each individual or each small cluster of similar individuals who have similar needs or interests. This is where we have been successful in taking the initial 2 percent response levels and building up to 15 to 50 percent levels.

A mid-market focus simply means understanding better their needs as opposed to the needs of the enterprise market, and then talking with the mid-market prospects about things that are important to them. But the mid-market is still too broad a swipe through the marketplace. A longitudinal process that profiles information about individuals allows you to find the sub-segments with similar needs or interests. That is where understanding how to use context starts paying off in increased marketing performance.

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