|We interview a B2B managing director about a successful lead generation campaign.|
Sarah: What were your goals when you approached Cognition?
Neil: We wanted to get new clients for the firm. It was as simple as that. We knew it required a marketing strategy to do this, and we didn’t have the capability to do it in house.
Sarah: What challenges did you face in terms of generating new business?
Neil: We operate in the owner-managed sector, which is very different to corporates. I’d used marketing agencies in the past, but I had a hard time finding one that really understood the needs of these sorts of businesses. I think that was a major factor in previous campaigns not being as successful – we weren’t speaking to them in a way that really explained how Anderson Locke could help them.
Sarah: Can you elaborate on that?
Neil: In my experience there is a tendency, when putting together a marketing campaign like this, to try and get the attention of potential clients by using lots of eye-catching graphics. That sort of thing generally doesn’t sway the owner –managers we’re going for. You need to catch their attention with concrete, commercial tactics and really explain why it’s worth their while to meet with you.
They’re busy people with a lot of demands on their time, and they generally don’t think it’s worth spending time on you if they think you’re just going to be selling accountancy services. They’ll say: ‘I already have an accountant and I’m pretty happy with them. One accountant is basically the same as the next so I’m not going to waste time meeting another one.’
Sarah: What was different about this lead generation campaign?
Neil: Well it led to lots of enquiries and I generated £40,000 worth of business as a result. The enquiries were of a high quality and needed very little validating. We ended up suspending the campaign three weeks early because we didn’t have diary space for any further appointments!
Sarah: What do you think made this campaign so successful?
Neil: We weren’t just selling our services. Cognition helped us position ourselves within our market space very effectively. So instead of just saying ‘We specialise in SMEs and we’ll give you a free initial appointment’ we became a real expert in all things related to SME financial services. We used our research to do this, presenting evidence that could help potential clients with new business opportunities. We came across as being more than just an accountant, which we are. Cognition also used our research to generate positive PR for Anderson Locke, so there was coverage in the regional news that got our name out there as well.
The letters we issued were designed to be simple, but effective. They were straightforward business letters that talked about the results of our research on SMEs in a particular sector. There was a much stronger hook that gave a taste of the additional expertise and information we bring to the table. Basically, the strategic approach was commercially focused, spoke to the owner-managers in the right way, and was therefore very effective.