Old-School vs New-School Marketing
Earlier this week I caught up with a past client who owns an HR solutions company in Columbus. She's one of those people who tend to be among the smarter ones in the room but does not act it. Love that kind of humility from someone as successful as she is. The reason I mention that is the conversation turned to B2B marketing tactics for lead and client acquisition. You see, her son joined the firm recently and has been pushing to use social media as their predominant source to generate leads, while she is still a firm believer in building relationships to garner referrals as new leads. So, she asked me what I thought.
A little backstory before I tell you my response. This firm has grown year over year without a dedicated sales leader, sales team, marketing leader, marketing team, or sales and marketing budget. It has accomplished this predominantly on the back of the owner's reputation, relationships, and approach to client management. I'm guessing there is a little luck sprinkled in there somewhere because, well, who doesn't need and receive a little luck every now and again. But the point is her success has been all about what she characterizes as "old-school" tactics.
Now that her son has entered the fray as the firm's first true marketing person, he has been introducing the utilization of social media or "new-school" tactics to drive lead and ultimately client acquisition. And being that the owner is open to other smart people's ideas, as is her nature, she's thinking about putting more muscle to his efforts but is worried about losing sight of what got the firm to this position of success in the first place. Now back her question of me and my response.
I suggested to her that both approaches had their place in an overall new lead and client acquisition plan. The key is determining which method will appeal most to the type of client she is targeting and what amount of each makes the most sense at the various points of the buyer's journey. It sounds somewhat complicated and it can be but the starting point is ideal client description. Once that is set, they can then deploy the appropriate mix of new and old school tactics for the acquisition plan.
My learnings from this conversation? First: Good leaders recognize that their way isn't the only way and are not only receptive to new ideas but encourage them and empower their employees to pitch them fearlessly. Second: When it comes to filling the top of the sales funnel and then nurturing leads down it to become clients, marketers and salespeople alike must deploy a combination of tactics to appeal to the way buyers like to engage potential product or service providers.
Feel free to leave constructive comments, share with folks you think will find this interesting, and remember to always push to Achieve Greatness.