Making a List and Checking it Twice
by Dan Ogdon
As a result of the economic landscape you may have reorganized and refocused your attention from where it was at the beginning of 2008. That being said, we hope you’ve gained a number of new leads and taken on profitable business initiatives that did not exist before. This new focus is exciting and it is easy to plow ahead and dedicate resources to these new relationships. Now is a terrific time to take a look at how your contacts are organized in your database environment.
We bet you have well into double digit categories that you could place your existing contacts in to. While drawing up your go-to-market strategy for 2009, think of how you will message to each one of these categories and what it will take from a database structure to deliver the most relevant message. Of your many contact groups, think of the messaging you will deliver for these sets:
New Leads – These are contacts that have not committed to anything but an interest in your offering. This is the first impression stage. Think about adding value to their purchase decision experience. This is the initial handshake that lays the foundation for the relationship you are about to embark on together.
Interested Prospects – These contacts have obtained a vested interest in your offering. What are the benefits over your competition? What does it take to push this prospect towards a decision to purchase? Ask yourself what has worked with this prospect to get them to this point. Build on that experience.
Current Customers – These contacts are often the most overlooked from a messaging standpoint. They’ve already purchased, why would I spend any energy on them? Learn from why they purchased, how they are using your solution, and try to determine the best way to replicate that experience. Think of ways to turn these contacts into an external sales force, making them your biggest champions.
Different Product/Service designations – Just because they purchased or are interested XYZ corp solutions doesn’t mean you should send them general information. Draft different messaging for different solutions.
Cancellations – These contacts have decided to terminate their relationship with you. Some of the most valuable information you can gather is “why?”. Do you have a retention plan in place? Remember this is a broken relationship that needs mending. Think about how to recover communication with this group.
While this exposes the tip of the iceberg, setting up your message strategy early will save you time when things get busy again in the new year. Your messaging strategy is as important as your overall marketing strategy.