The Summer Slow Down! So, what are you going to do about it now?
If your business is like many, the summer does tend to have a significant impact on output and production. For some businesses, it probably has as much to do with a seasonal product or product line, but, for many, it has more to do with an overall more casual, relaxed attitude and vacations on top of other people's vacations combined with more vacations.
Imagine the impact you'll make on your business if you could somehow create a steady pipeline of leads through this expected "down time". I'm not sure your sales team will thank you so much in July, but I guarantee they'll appreciate it come year end.
So how do you do it? Well, it comes down to 4 simple words: Integrated Marketing Communications Plan. More specifically, the 1st and 4th words..."integrated" and "plan". Let's focus, then, on these two words.
Integrated. Building a multi-channel marketing program is really not all that complicated. The success comes primarily in first recongnizing that your best prospects need to be touched in multiple ways, through multiple channels, with multiple offers giving them a multitude of opportunities to engage. That's what we're looking for here folks, engagement. Not marriage.
Sure leads can range from cool, to lukewarm to blazing hot. But regardless of where they are in the lead lifecycle, they most definitely have been exposed to you, your brand, your products and your people through multiple channels. Digitally, socially, physically etc... they certainly didn't receive one of your magical email marketing blasts and just couln't help themselves but pick up the phone and reach out. They probably received many—along with some of your direct mail, downloaded one of your presentations, white papers or case studies, were part of your one to one communications campaign and just maybe even attended that open house you had in late spring. Call it integrated, multi-channel, cross-marketing...call it whatever you want...just understand the importance and necessity if you truly want to improve lead generation.
Plan. This IS about as simple as it gets. Really, if you know the slow down is coming, doesn't that make the planning easier? necessary? critical? a no brainer? Time to dust off your Boy Scout manual and read chapter one (you might not even have to do that...it might be right on the cover!). Being prepared is the simplest step you can take. The reason people fail here is because they are simply making it too complicated. Plans can be somewhat intimidating, especially when you throw the words "marketing", or "strategic" or even "business" in front of it. But it doesn't have to be. Start with a laptop, the key people you need in the room and craft a micro lead generation plan that includes goal(s)/expectation(s), objective(s), tactic(s), timeline, responsibilities and an "end date" with a final wrap-up/review process (literally) at the end. Before your little meeting is done, make sure there is no confusion and everyone understands next steps and what they're responsible for. And someone needs to "own it". Do this, and I guarantee progress.
So as spring begins to take hold and the temperatures climb, remember what comes immediately after. And this year, be prepared!