Just like you, our marketing team here at Pardot spends a lot of brainpower figuring out how to best connect with potential customers and load our pipeline with leads. Because, like you, we know that a steady stream of high-quality leads is key to hitting our sales targets. When we welcome a new customer, it’s exciting to look back at that buyer’s journey and see what went into that sale from beginning to end. So much planning. So much executing. So much amazing teamwork. I love a good lead generation lesson. But, today we’re taking a break from lead generation. Everyone needs a vacation, right? We’re going to be talking about fishing. You know, the kind with a rod and a reel.
If you’ve ever fished, you know that you don’t just grab a stick with a string and a hook, put any old something on the end, and then throw it in the first puddle of water you see. A successful fishing trip starts with picking out a fishing rod based on whether you plan to fish in fresh or saltwater. You’ll choose hooks and line based on the types of fish you’re trying to catch. Next, you’ll need some bait. Your prize fish is probably determined by where you’re going to be fishing. Are you heading to a lake? Small pond? The ocean? Once you’ve identified where you are going, you’ve got to figure out what area of the body of water are you going to fish. Near a coral reef? Near an old fallen tree? You might do some research about your chosen location to find out where you should post up. And then, once you have all of those things planned out, how will you get there? Will you need a boat?
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into a “simple” fishing trip — and you haven’t even hit the water yet!
And here’s the reality: once you’ve done all of these things, jumped in your boat, motored to the very area you’ve decided to fish, baited your hook, and thrown it in the water, you’re not guaranteed to catch a fish. All that work, and yet you can’t be sure of the reward. But what you’ve done is come up with the most calculated, educated and informed strategy you can. Although you may not catch fish right away, you’ve given yourself the best opportunity to catch the kinds of fish you’re trying to catch. Or maybe you’ll find you made the wrong choice somewhere along the way. You’ll vow to do better next time.
Hang on, I think there’s a lead generation lesson hidden in here somewhere. These are the same challenges we all face when creating our marketing strategy! Choosing a channel isn’t all that different from choosing your lake. Offering up targeted content is a lot like selecting the perfect fishing equipment. Guess I can’t turn off my inner marketer after all, not even for a day on the water.
A good lead generation strategy starts with identifying your goals and objectives. Once you’ve identified these, you’ll need to understand your audience. From there, what are the things that will not only provide the most value to them, but also educate and inform them about your products or services. What types of content will you use? Depending on which fish… er… leads you’re trying to attract, you might choose webinars, social media channels, free trials, or something else entirely. Should you change up this content to attract a specific sector or market? Lastly, what does success look like, and what can you tweak for future campaigns? When you think about all of these things in advance, you give yourself a far better chance of landing that big catch.
For more information on building a better lead generation strategy, check out The Complete Guide to B2B Marketing. This E-book has more than 80 pages of tips, including worksheets and checklists to help you launch the best campaign ever.