Does Outbound Marketing Still Fit in Today’s Landscape?
There’s no doubt that today’s marketing landscape is lauding the growth of digital marketing in the realm of inbound channels such as social engagement programs, SEO, and content development. However, this doesn’t mean that tried and true Outbound marketing has gone to the wayside. Or does it?
Here at DiscoverOrg, supporting outbound sales and marketing lead generation through accurate data and comprehensive sales intelligence is core to our business. In fact, it IS our business. Therefore, we are always interested in learning how businesses are using outbound prospecting to fuel their revenue growth. Last summer, we conducted a survey of B2B marketing professionals to glean exactly that – the value that those individuals are seeing from their outbound efforts.
Lead Generation & the Importance of Good Contact Data
Outbound marketing for B2B companies typically consists of some combination of the following strategies: cold-calling/telemarketing, direct mail, tradeshows & events, purchased/rented lists for email marketing, and a handful of other activities. Results of our survey indicate that over 75% of marketing organizations employ at least one person focused on outbound tactics with email marketing and tradeshows being the most popular of the outbound strategies.
To get the most ROI out of these (and really any demand generation program), it is imperative to have accurate, up-to-date contact data and easily accessible intelligence on prospects. Without those, marketers will see the effectiveness of their email programs hijacked by poor response rates, potential blacklist issues, black holes of deliverability, and a general waste of time/resources due to a lack of insight into WHO the right person is to receive the message, HOW to actually get ahold of them, and WHAT is actually the prospect’s potential pain point.
In terms of tradeshows, the same applies. Attendee lists and badge scans often result in incomplete or incorrect data. Having access to a robust and accurate sales intelligence solution will help to fill in the blanks, further qualify those leads and allow for deeper segmentation in your follow up.
Also, there is no guarantee that the contact that just walked into your booth from an ideal prospect account has any purchase authority. However, you can leverage the interaction by reaching out their boss or their boss’s boss and referencing your conversation with their colleague. (Get some practical tips for maximizing your tradeshow ROI from one of our great blog posts on the subject.)
Account-Based Marketing: How do the tried and true Outbound Tactics mesh with new-school ABM Models?
If you are in marketing and haven’t heard about account-based marketing (ABM) then I’d check your pulse…I mean computer settings…to ensure you haven’t accidentally blocked yourself from reality. ABM simply put is identifying a target account and strategically marketing your solution through a systematic approach of engaging a multitude of stakeholders with personalized messaging. The kicker here is that all of the tried and true outbound tactics can be used with the “new” model of marketing dubbed ABM. But, there’s a “but” here. To make ABM work effectively, a complete understanding of who those stakeholders are, what their pain points are, and how to effectively reach them is key. This involves research, lots of it. Without it, your outbound efforts may only reach the NoPos and your pitch get tossed in the digital trash.
Don’t write the strategy off yet though because really good sales intelligence can provide all the necessary ingredients: accurate contact data, organizational structure, triggers on major personnel changes or company initiatives, and predictive intelligence.
Outbound is IN and other Key Takeaways
The results of our study not only highlighted what strategies B2B organizations are employing on the outbound front but also why they are so useful and how to make them really work to provide results and impress the bosses.
Other key takeaways include:
- 37% of marketers surveyed are spending a majority of their budget on outbound tactics.
- Direct mail is still practiced by half of the organizations surveyed.
- Almost all of the marketers surveyed found events to be effective means for generating leads.
If you’d like to learn more about how organization are utilizing outbound, download the DiscoverOrg 2015 Outbound Marketing Study.