I contribute regularly to various business and marketing forums online, there was a discussion recently on one of them regarding the best way to generate B2B sales leads for an IT company.
There are a number of different marketing professionals on the site and many of them were promoting their own area of marketing as key, which is what you’d expect. There were also a number of online marketers who were basically saying online is the only form of marketing you need, SEO, Adwords, blogging and social media have replaced all old marketing.
Their argument is that the world has changed dramatically in the last few years and to ditch all the out-of-date marketing like mailing, advertising, PR, telemarketing, door drops, brochures and events.
Now I remember 15 years ago when this argument was used by email marketers who said that direct mail and telemarketing was dead and email was the only way forward but direct mail and telemarketing are still booming and email has found its place in B2B lead generation.
This didn’t hold much water with the so called online experts who didn’t understand marketing but did understand technology.
Now I am a great believer in online marketing, we provide many services ourselves and run training courses on getting started with online and social. I have even closed deals recently as a direct result of Twitter and my blogs. I have also closed a lot of deals as a result of events, telemarketing, email and networking.
I feel online has a great place in modern marketing, however I am a stronger believer in good integrated lead generation campaigns.
All you have to do is look at Google and how they market themselves, they use online, direct mail, affiliate, telemarketing, exhibitions, seminars, door drops, partnerships, TV etc.etc.
Yes they have huge budgets but they also understand their market and how the different marketing mediums can best be used in conjunction to the greatest effect.
This is exactly what you have to do. Understand your market fully and then use the best mix of marketing mediums that are available to you. For most of us we have to make a compromise based on effort, expenditure and predicted returns, but this doesn’t mean putting all eggs in one basket it just means we have to be very careful how and where we spend our marketing pound.
Never trust an expert that tells you there is only one way to generate leads, they don’t care about your success only your cash.