Don’t Let Your Competitors’ Inbound Marketing Steal Leads From Your Cold Calls

Marketers should supplement their email, telephone and other forms of outbound marketing activities with inbound marketing inputs, or risk losing their hard-won leads to competition. 

Suppose a software services company –  let’s call it “SoftCo” – wishes to execute an outbound marketing campaign to generate leads for its SAP line of business. From past experience, it is aware that creating interest in the market for implementation, upgrade, support and the usual fare of technology services is bound to have limited effectiveness because every other vendor is trying to do the same thing. Therefore, it decides to create a sharply defined marketable offering around cost containment through SAP FICO implementation, back it up with dedicated marketing collateral and initiate an outbound email and telephone marketing for this focused offering. Prospective customers receive SoftCo’s collateral and are very impressed to hear a message that resonates well with their own efforts at cost cutting during these challenging economic times. They turn to SoftCo’s website to learn more about this offering by themselves before they are ready to invest their time to engage in a series of discussions and presentations from SoftCo’s inside sales team. Now, SoftCo hasn’t updated its website to include details of this offering, believing that this should be taken up later, after its inside sales team has gone out into the market to generate some leads. As a result, these interested people find nothing about this offering on SoftCo’s website. 

It’s easy to predict the next steps and the likely results.

Many of these interested people head over to Google to search for other vendors who could help them cut costs via SAP FICO implementation. They come across many companies – who are competitors of SoftCo – whose entries appear on top of Google’s organic and inorganic search results by virtue of their investments in search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). They then visit the websites of these competitors. By deploying landing pages, microsites, event-triggered action, abandonment tracking and remarketing and other elements of inbound marketing, SoftCo’s competitors are able to engage more deeply with these interested people and convert them into qualified leads.

End of the day, although SoftCo sows the seed of cost control via SAP FICO implementation in the market, it is SoftCo’s competitors who reap a rich harvest in leads.

Don’t let this happen to your company. Implement the basics of inbound marketing alongside your outbound marketing campaigns so that you avoid losing your hard-won leads to your competition.

PS: For a theoretical underpinning to the SoftCo example described here, look up this McKinsey article, which describes how consumers are moving away from the traditional sales funnel and changing the way they research and buy your products.

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