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7 Min Marketing with Pam Didner


Mar 21, 2018

I was in Melbourne, Australia, speaking to Cisco’s Channel Partner Marketing Managers at Cisco Live. I love working with channel partners. They usually don’t have a big marketing budget and every dollar they spend has to count. After the keynote, I did 8 1:1 whiteboarding sessions with their channel partners. They asked me any questions and I answered on the spot, as simple as that. One of the questions: “Pam, I have 30,000 names in my database. How can I find warm leads?”

I love that question. I offered three suggestions.

  1. Use e-mail and content marketing: For this case, don’t just send out e-mail for the sake of sending out e-mail. Since you want to find warm leads in your database, the title of the e-mail and the content you include in your e-mail campaign needs to be designed to find out which prospects are addressing targeted challenges that could benefit from your products or company offerings. The title also needs to show urgency, like now. So, your title should be something like “if you are looking for solving [challenges] now, here are 5 steps…  or Are you evaluating [tools or platforms], you may find this useful. This e-mail is very specific and well-designed. If they open your e-mail and check out content, you know there may be interest. This will enable you to narrow down the list of 30,000 to a quantifiable subset that is more likely to buy. You can then follow up on a smaller number of higher quality leads.
  2. Write your own code: Pawan Deshpande, CEO of Curata, share his way of finding a list of warm leads.  Their product integrates with Marketo, Eloqua and Pardot among other systems to measure the performance of content marketing.  Based on their understanding of their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), they made a hypothesis that companies that use Marketo, Eloqua and Pardot, and that create a large volume of marketing content on a regular basis, would be very interested in their product. To find companies that fit this criteria, their engineering team wrote an application to crawl and analyze marketing automation systems used by over 200,000 company websites. From that analysis, they compiled a long list of companies. Then, they narrowed down that list by analyzing the blogs and resource pages on these companies’ to gauge the size of their content marketing efforts. The companies with lots of content tend to have a higher propensity to use Curata tools. Therefore, they further narrowed down the list with that criteria. With that revised list, they cross-referenced over 100,000 leads in their CRM database and LinkedIn to identify potential prospects with digital marketing or content related titles. Viola, they have their list of warm leads that the sales team can go after.
  1. Use artificial intelligence and content marketing: This approached was shared with me by Lead Crunch, a demand gen company who works closely with their sales and marketing team to discover relevant leads using AI-based platforms. Basically, you share your top 25 best customer profiles and the information is fed into an AI-based predictive modeling to create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Then, you use that profile to find highly relevant and look-alike matches, which becomes a hit list of key target companies for the sales team to target. With additional cross-referencing of their database, Lead Crunch can also include buyers at each company to help the sales team engage and approach these prospects.

To summarize the three approaches I just spoke about:

Use e-mail with content designed to elicit leads of potential customers that are currently evaluating similar products or addressing relevant challenges.

Write your own code based on propensity-to-buy hypotheses, like Pawan did. Identify an initial list, then cross-reference with your own existing database.

Hire an AI-based demand gen company. Let the AI model identify the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) based on your best top 25 customers. Then, use AI to find look-alike target leads and create a contact list for the sales team.

Everything I talk about sounds cool, but it takes time and effort and multiple rounds of optimization and modification to get a good list.

Finding warm leads is no longer just marketing or inside sales’ job. It requires marketing, IT, as well as inside sales and outside sales to work together to determine ICP, external and internal customer data correlation, propensity-to-buy criteria setting and more. There is no shortcut.

Do you have innovative ways of finding warm leads in your own database?  Please share with me.

Again, send me your marketing questions via Twitter @pamdidner  

Be well. Until next time.