Brands enhance lead generation strategies

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Brands enhance lead generation strategies
Brands enhance lead generation strategies
A year earlier, the company “wasn't doing much with leads.” Monster had a manual process where “we used to be literally collecting business cards and calling them. It was not very efficient. We were not doing qualification up front. When our sales reps make a phone call, you want to make sure they're making a phone call to get them the sale and not to qualify a lead.”

With Unica and Siebel in place, Resteghini estimates Monster has saved roughly $2 million per quarter and his sales staff's morale has increased because they no longer have to telemarket to prospects.

Back when the lead process was manual, Resteghini says “we had no clue how much we generated from leads.” But he's confident Monster is better off with the systems in place. “The number we generated back then was nowhere near $2 million,” he says.

The same can be said for Scotts LawnService, which has saved roughly $3.5 million over the course of three years by working with Anthem Marketing Solutions to make sure leads “aren't just responses to mail but people that can be converted to sales,” says John Lewis, director of segmentation for Scotts. Before the two companies began working together in 2008, Lewis says Scotts was mailing too deep into its prospect pool. Prospects that Scotts thought were leads were just “responding to a compelling offer with no true intention of becoming a customer.”

Anthem has allowed Scotts to analyze a “robust set of data” that can be mined to create in-depth customer models, claims Lewis. Ranking customers has enabled Scotts to determine which are likely to reply to direct mail campaigns and which are not. As a result, the company has decreased its direct mail spending by 40% while increasing its close rate by 10 percentage points.

“We purchased lists and lead scoring [technology] from a company,” says Lewis. “We found that our response models were not as predictive as we wanted them to be. We knew we wanted to decrease mail, but we didn't have models to intelligently do so. After Anthem's first campaign, they proved they could build a [direct mail acquisition] response model that was predictable.”

Lewis says Scotts is now able to reinvest that $3.5 million into other channels such as email, telemarketing, referral programs, new homeowner programs and door-to-door sales. Though Scotts still “leans on direct mail” for overall sales, Lewis says he would like to cut direct mail even further as Scotts continues to diversify its channels.

Michael Harris, director of list sales at Lorton Data, has been in the data management and lists services industry for more than 42 years. He says he remembers feeling like he “had the world by the tail” back when he first started because his clients could use demographics lists to “pinpoint and target their market.” But today, he says, with so much information available, data quality matters more than data quantity.

“A lot of people are selling data and pushing numbers,” says Harris. “Well, la-di-da. But can you give me the right data?” He suggests marketers use advanced tools, postal tools, file standardization, and that they run lists through a national change of address databases to enable content deliverability. “The tools are out there if you know what to ask for,” says Harris.

Dan Rider, principal of Visual Intelligence, a business analytics service provider agrees. “The cost of these campaigns is not trivial. Email campaigns can be quite expensive. Postal campaigns can be quite higher, especially when you move from flat mailings to dimensional mailings,” he says. “You've got to apply know-how around advanced models to improve the campaigns to reach targeted individuals who are motivated to open an email, log onto the website and make a purchase.”

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