Lead generation is as important to public relations as news mentions. Cision’s 2014 State of the Media report found that 35 per cent of PR professionals said sales conversion was a top priority for their team. While this may have fallen under the marketing team more so than a communications team in the past, the landscape of PR and marketing is evolving and becoming more interdependent and data-driven. Understanding an integrated marketing environment will feed success when pitching brands and working on campaigns by allowing you to clearly show revenue R.O.I. that will make your results more tangible to business leaders.

In this two part series, we will break down the eight best practices for a winning demand generation strategy. Here are the first 3 tips:

Revenue1. Build your strategy based on revenue drivers.

Start by asking yourself this question: Does this idea generate revenue? If you have to build a demand generation program from scratch, introduce yourself and your initial ideas to the accounting, sales, IT and marketing departments as each will provide info you need to help shape your campaign.

Depending on what tools are already available to your business, you may have to implement new technology to allow you to track conversion-driving activities on your website. Stats to monitor include third party websites that brought users to your site, time on page, which pages have the highest traffic and which are leading to conversions (i.e. requests for information or quotes) on the site. Use this data to create additional opportunities for engagement and conversion on those high-traffic areas. All of the data collected in these spaces will help you answer that primary question and understand which campaigns engaged your audience enough to become a lead that later converted into revenue.

Learn more about driving return-on-investment out of your campaigns, read our tip-sheet on Modern PR Measurement.

persona2. Leads are people, so build customer personas.

By leveraging your connections in the sales and marketing departments you should answer these five important questions before starting your campaign:

  1. Who is buying our product?
  2. Why did they buy from us?
  3. How long did it take them to purchase?
  4. How did they find us and what was their path to purchase?
  5. How much are they spending?

These questions build the basis for a customer profile. Your sales team can provide good insights on why a prospect did or did not convert. By understanding what works and what doesn’t for the sales representative, you can work more effectively with your marketing team to craft messaging that will lead to wins rather than loses to competitors.

Question four, is where results from previous campaigns and website behavior is most valuable. With this you can segment your potential clients by the products they need, how valuable of an opportunity they represent and how many touch points it may take to convert them. Engage with your sales team and learn what customer pain points exist and then you can strategize with marketing about how your products or services solve those issues.

3. Target your campaign to a specific audience.

You cannot be everything to everyone at all times. It’s important to narrow your target audience for your first campaign to those that have the highest opportunity for conversion and tailor your messaging to meet their needs. Time is money, so gunning for the biggest fish in the pond doesn’t make sense when need to drive up lead numbers. Using data from existing and former clients, plot the revenue generated from their business and the length of time it took to convert them from a new contact to a new customer.

product - value - final

The goal is to find a grouping of clients who have a high value and incurred low opportunity cost. (i.e. A quantitative cost of the time and resources required to convert the sale.) This understanding will further develop your client personas and provide you a clearer picture of what tactics worked so they can be replicated on prospects.

If you don’t have sales cycle data you can substitute the x-axis from chart A for product types as illustrated in chart B.

Next week we will review how to create campaign elements that drive return-on-investment for your demand generation programs. Find out how to optimize your email campaigns, re-use your best content and test your campaigns using paid advertising.

Read part two: 5 Steps to Conquer Campaign Content.

Want more info now? Download our free tip sheet about Modern PR Measurement.

About James Rubec

James Rubec is a data geek, a former public relations lead and journalist with a love of content and advocacy. Ask him anything @JamesRRubec and be sure to follow @Cision_Canada

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