What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process of identifying and engaging with your prospective clients in an effort to promote your business’ services and or products. Lead generation is carried out through various forms of direct marketing methods with the aim of increasing your client base and building a sales pipeline.
Why is lead generation important?
Lead generation is vital to the success of any business. If there are no customers, there is no business, it’s as simple as that. Some businesses will not see as much success from some lead generation methods as others might. Finding the right approach can take a bit of trial and error but once you have found it, you have a method which you can use to generate business leads and increase brand awareness.
What are the methods I can use for lead generation?
There are a range of lead generation methods out there, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Navigating the various methods of lead generation is not a simple task. You may have a method which suits your area of experience, and in some cases, limited budget, but you have to think about an approach that will have a positive impact on your target audience or any money spent will be wasted. Here are some of the most popular lead generation methods:
With all the uncertainty and negativity surrounding Brexit at the moment, many people are forgetting that there will be many benefits for SMEs and large businesses inside and outside of the UK. Without getting too political, this article will be highlighting some of the key benefits and new opportunities that Brexit will bring to businesses, and ways to capitalise on some of the changes to come.
How Will Brexit Impact Businesses?
So far there has been a lot of uncertainty whether the pros of Brexit will outweigh the cons for businesses. At the moment a lot of businesses are wondering what the future will bring and whether their business is likely to take a hit or flourish in Post-Brexit Britain. All we can do for the time being is take a look at the possible impacts and how it affects businesses in both positive and negative ways.
One impact many business owners know about is a possible skills gap. It is believed that employment is going to take a hit due to Brexit's impact on immigration. However, many employers will be using this as an opportunity to up-skill existing employees which can only have a positive impact on a business whose employees are diverse and committed to the company.
A positive impact that Brexit could bring an increase in jobs. Despite there being a lot of businesses reporting staffing cuts and store closures recently, there could actually be an increase in jobs created by companies outside of Europe expanding into the UK. For example with Amazon's new investment into the UK markets, they will be creating around one thousand two-hundred permanent jobs in a warehouse equipped with advanced robotics. With many more businesses expanding into the UK, there will be a lot more opportunities in the future.
What Opportunities Will Come From Brexit?
Despite some of the negative impacts that Brexit will bring, there will also be a lot of opportunities for businesses to grow.
One opportunity that will arise from Brexit is the chance to widen your target market. With Brexit comes the creation of the UK's own independent trade deals and legislation. Currently, it is unclear what these deals and laws will look like, however, it is likely to give businesses more freedom when it comes to international trade which will give SMEs the chance to grow their presence in international markets.
There have been some unconfirmed reports that exporting could become cheaper post-Brexit. If this is the case, it would be the perfect time to expand your presence in international markets. With less red tape and lower export fees, you could grow your business presence internationally in no time.
The benefits are not only pertaining to British companies either. In fact, a lot of international companies have been pouring investments into the UK since the result of the referendum. According to an article from 'The New York Times', large motor companies such as Nissan and Toyota have said that they will be making large investments in their UK presence, with Nissan building new vehicles at their plant in Northern England and Toyota also upgrading their plant in the UK. Other businesses making sizeable investments include Amazon, Google, Apple, Wells Fargo and more. Qatar has also stated that they will be making investments of over $6,000,000,000 ($6 Billion) into multiple British sectors.
How Can Businesses Engage With International Prospects?
Expanding into new markets is easier said than done, especially when you're expanding into international markets that you're not familiar with. There are many ways of reaching your target audience in different markets, including various forms of marketing, advertising and more.
One method of reaching your target audiences in international markets can be email marketing campaigns. Email campaigns are a really good starting point when it comes to the first engagement with a new audience. If you know what type of audience you want to reach and how to create engaging content for that particular audience, you can create a solid foundation on which you can build a relationship with your international audiences. Not to mention the low-cost options that email marketing offers.
Another simple way of marketing your business in other countries is social media marketing. Social media marketing is one of the most used forms of marketing in today's digital world. With billions of users worldwide, it's a good place to start your engagement with clients.
One of the most successful methods is telemarketing. Despite the stigma surrounding telemarketing, it has been proved to be an effective method of contacting your prospective clients across the globe. The reason that telemarketing works a lot better than other methods for increasing your presence in international markets, is because you are able to directly speak to your target market. With email marketing, you can be sending emails to your prospects for weeks, even months before they make an enquiry. But with telemarketing, you are actively seeking out new opportunities rather than waiting for them to come to you.
At Inspired, we have a lot of experience when it comes to helping businesses expand into new markets. Having worked with businesses from all of the UK and the world, from a wide variety of sectors, we have extensive knowledge of a range of industries. Our specialised, high-yield B2B lead and appointment generation services help businesses to engage with their prospects and increase their productivity and sales in various markets.
Events are a very important part of the business world whether they are for charity, to give demonstrations of your products or services or just to get to know your target market on a more personal level. Whatever the goal, they are a great way to gain exposure for your business. It takes a lot of time and effort to organise an event and it is really disheartening when you do not get the turnout you were hoping for.
When advertising these events people often use platforms such as social media, email and blogs to publicise the event, but telemarketing is often overlooked. Despite the stigma surrounding telemarketing, it's proven to be an effective method when it comes to increasing event attendance, also the stigma is typically surrounding business-to-consumer contact rather than business-to-business.
How Does Telemarketing Work with Event Organisation?
Telemarketing will work slightly differently than other methods of advertising your events, as it gives more opportunity to get your point across in a more personal and connected way. Sending out emails regarding your events is fine, however, these emails are often impersonal and designed with a mass audience in mind rather than the individual person. With telemarketing you are able to speak straight to your target audience, so you are communicating directly with them.
Quality data is the key to any telemarketing venture. With the right information, you can make every phone call different from the last, building trust and a relationship with your target audience. This is an effective way to increase your event attendance for current events and events in the future. Quality data means that you are communicating with businesses who have an interest in the nature of your upcoming event and will enjoy speaking with you. Of course, just as with many forms of advertising such as email marketing you will need to source accurate, regulation compliant data in order to make the campaigns effective and maintain a trustworthy connection with your target audience.
Telemarketing campaigns, however effective, can be an extremely exhausting method on both time and workforce. You may not have the time to source reliable data, and then organise and execute the campaigns yourself or you may not have the expertise needed to create effective campaigns. Potentially everyone is so busy organising the event that you do not have enough staff on hand to man the phones. This is where outsourcing comes into play.
What are the Benefits of Using an Outsourced Telemarketing Business For Events?
If you outsource to a telemarketing company, you will have a lot more time to put into organising your event as you will no longer have the labour burden of promotion. With more time to organise you can make the event as good as it can be pulling out all the stops. On the day of the event, you and your team will have created an occasion that will demonstrate your products and services in high detail or will promote donation to charities. interest. Whilst you have been planning the event, the outsourced company will have been working tirelessly to increase your audience. With more attendees and a more interesting and engaging event, you are more than likely to increase your sales on the day as well as gain more exposure that could positively impacting future sales. If you are working with the right company, you will be getting cost-effective services that will lead to more sales and an increase in your ROI.
In short, someone else will do the hard work for you, and as a result, your sales and ROI will be boosted.
It's no secret that online retailers have had a detrimental effect on the high street. With many big companies today like Amazon, Argos, Littlewoods etc. many high street retailers are struggling to compete. But why? Why is the high street experience diminishing whilst the online experience flourishes? Why does this need to change? and how can this be done? These are the questions that I'll be answering in this article.
What's So Good About Online Shopping?
On average, people in the UK and US spend one day per week online, so it comes as no surprise that businesses wanted to capitalise on this. With most businesses having online stores, you can buy nearly anything over the internet and have it shipped directly to your door, which, let's face it, is easier than travelling to shops in a lot of cases. Especially with most supermarkets now offering the online shopping and delivery services.
When shopping online people can easily find the same item on multiple websites and compare the prices to find the cheapest one. Whereas on the high street it could more than an hour to get to each shop, find the correct item and compare the price. So online shopping does make this considerably easier.
Not everyone has an efficient mode of transport and depending on where they live, it could take them hours to get to the nearest shopping centre or high street. This is another reason why online stores are dominating high street retailers because shoppers can receive their items the next day, or in some cases on the same day as ordering them.
Why Should High Street Retailing Be Kept Alive?
There are many reasons why in-store shopping shouldn't be forgotten, here are just a few:
1. You Can See and Try a Product Before Purchasing. When it comes to online shopping all you see of a product before you buy it are images, which oft-times will not show the full product and will not have an abundance of detail. This is why in-store shopping is still important because you can physically see and try a product before you purchase it, meaning you can make an informed decision based on what you think of the product.
2. Human Interaction. Shopping online is something that requires very little interaction on the business' part. Whereas in-store there will be staff there to aid you in finding the item you are looking for. It's their job to make sure your shopping experience has a positive result, and if not, give you recommendations on other places that might have what you’re looking for. This is what shoppers need, interaction with a helpful, friendly member of staff. Online, the closest interaction between the customer and the business is the order confirmation email.
3. No Waiting Times or Delivery Charges! When you purchase products online you often have to wait at least a few days for it to be delivered, unless you spring for next-day delivery which can cost nearly as much as the product in some cases. When going in-store, you can find the item, pay for it, and that's it, you have it in your hand. There are no lengthy waiting periods or special delivery charges, just instant purchasing.
4. Supporting Local Business! Supporting local businesses and ensuring that they remain active in the community is essential for keeping high streets alive. There are many benefits to keeping small, local businesses up and running, for example, creating a community with its own unique character. Depending on your location, your community could be a popular holiday destination, meaning that the original, one-of-a-kind businesses will attract more visitors than chain stores, and therefore bring more income into the local economy.
What Can Small Businesses Do to Remain Afloat?
The main struggle for small businesses is trying to compete with online vendors. The first thing to address is “What are they offering customers that I'm not?”. The best way to answer this question is to analyse information about your customers and who your product is aimed at. There are many different tools that you can use for this.
You will need to look at how many customers you have in a certain period of time and the age range of these customers. What products are the most popular and how long customers stay in certain areas of your shop. If your customers often require assistance and if so, is there enough staff on hand to handle this?
Answering questions like these will give you a good idea of who your target market is, the demographics of your target market, how you can facilitate these customers and what you can do to ensure that they come back. Once you have information about your customers and your competitors, use it. Create bold and eye-catching marketing campaigns, give customers an incentive to come to your business. For example, special offers and deals, reward schemes, special events etc.
Another method could be to look at the B2B sales route. You may be focusing on your public consumers but there is a lot to gain from business clients. The benefits can vary depending on your brand, product and business goals but you may be able to increase your sales exponentially. Also, creating a co-branded partnership can be a way to expand your business. Creating projects and events together with another business could help you both gain exposure for your businesses, and also catch the eye of the media which is essentially free marketing. A good co-branded partnership to look at is GoPro and Red Bull, who jointly organised the 'Stratos' project in 2012. Obviously, for a smaller business, it could be something as simple as a joint managed charity event, which gains positive publicity for both businesses.
For the B2B route, telemarketing is still one of the most prominent methods you can use to interact with your prospects. Despite some of the bad press it receives, telemarketing is undoubtedly one of, if not the best, ways to generate new business. However, some business owners don't have the expertise, workforce or even the time to organise effective marketing campaigns. That's where outsourcing comes into play. By outsourcing telemarketing to a specialised company, you no longer have to worry about creating the campaign yourself or finding the staff to manage it. All you need to do is give enough information about your business, product and goals to the lead generation business and they manage it all of you. Simply put, another company does the work, whilst you reap the benefits.
So, in conclusion, high street shopping is an in-depth shopping experience that can't be matched by online retailers, supporting high street businesses is more likely to benefit your whole community as local retailers will have a greater chance of putting some of their income back into the local economy. To remain present and gain more exposure in the retail environment, businesses need to analyse their customer and target market needs and behaviours so they can tailor their products to match. You shouldn't focus on just B2C but look at opportunities in the B2B environment, as you could be missing out on opportunities to gain exposure and grow your business' reputation.
Since our last article on GDPR in March, all of the new regulations have been put in place and are now in full effect as of May. Despite this, some businesses have not taken the time to look into these new regulations and as a result are facing heavy fines reaching into the hundreds of thousands of pounds or even up to twenty million euros.
What Is GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation was put into effect on 25th May 2018 and was made as an extension of the updated 2018 Data Protection Act. It also replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive. The GDPR has introduced a range of new regulations which have changed the ways in which a business can carry out marketing campaigns and how they can collect user data. These new regulations include:
What Actions Can Warrant Fines & How Much Can They Be?
Over the past few months, many companies have become subject to penalties under the GDPR. The maximum penalty for infractions against the GDPR can reach up to €20,000,000 or 4% of the business' annual turnover, whichever is greater. Although the maximum fine has not been given yet, many companies large and small have been receiving penalties.
Some of the fines that have been given are:
How Can You Protect Yourself?
It is highly advisable that you familiarise yourself and others in your business or organisation, with the new laws and legislations that are part of the GDPR and other data protection laws. By doing this you can begin to understand what you should avoid doing in order to keep your business operating within the lines of the law. You can also start to put in place measures that will prevent any breaches of data protection laws from happening inside your firm.
You may need to dedicate a member of staff or hire additional staff that can focus their efforts on ensuring that your business is compliant with the new data protection laws. Their responsibilities could include maintaining security both physical and digital to prevent any unauthorised/unlawful access to user data. Keeping up to date with user preferences whether they are only allowing certain means of contact or none at all, this must be put onto a file so that their privacy is respected. Another responsibility could be creating meetings that inform all staff of the GDPR regulations and the severity of the penalties that can be given if breaches are made.
We are assisting companies to help them ensure that their data is accurate, up to date and opted in, in accordance with the new data legislation. If you hold a database of customers it will need to be brought into line with this new legislation. If you would like to speak to us about the work we are currently doing with other businesses, then do get in touch us.
On this page you will find all of our informative mini-articles written by our expert telemarketers and other members of our team.