Putting Yourself in the Right Place at the Right Time
Event-driven marketing or trigger marketing is nothing new to consumer marketers. Emails arrive from florists and confectioners before Mothers Day and we expect sun screen and beach towels to be in shop windows in May. They are events when consumers change weekly buying patterns to buy something out of the ordinary and can be prepared to spend more.
So how can the business marketer apply these tricks to his business brand? The key is look beyond the personal and to strike during events in the company's life rather than the managing director's.
There are key events in a corporation's life when new circumstances will see companies step out of their usual buying patterns and change purchasing habits.
1. Merger & acquisition activity - a company buys or merges with another company, triggering a change in its purchasing habits as it buys in services to help it cope with the change of merging or absorbing the new corporation.
2. Loss of a key player from the boardroom - a company needs to find a replacement and starts to cast around for a recruitment agency or look at where best to advertise. You can rely on luck that you happen to call at this time and pick up the business, or you can plan to target companies who have lost directors and senior managers as part of your new business programme. What is certain is that you can't rely on the HR director remembering that phonecall from six weeks ago to put your consultancy on the short list.
3. Company welcomes a new face to the management team - the new man needs to make his mark and will often fire some old suppliers and bring in new partners with fresh ideas. Now is the time to get your business card in his hand to make sure he puts you on his pitch list.
But what is the advantage of tying your communications into a key event at the company? Firstly, it makes your communication relevant to the prospect. You can grab their interest in the first line by talking about them and their company's situation. Instead of telling them how good you are, you can explain how your company's expertise can help them; either by removing a problem from their in-tray or by taking their business forward. Remember, in a time of change the company may not have all the experience it needs to deal with new issues that are being thrown up. This is when it looks to outsource and when, by being in the right place at the right time, you can win business.
Firing a supplier, selecting a new one and briefing the new supplier requires effort and most people take the view that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And as anyone who has ever done cold-calling and appointment setting will tell you, it is difficult to penetrate that mind-set. But by contacting companies when they are likely to be looking at changing suppliers, you can increase your new business success rate.
Be seen to be green - spend your resources wisely - protect your brand
And of course, by taking the targeted approach, you are not spending huge sums on brochures, corporate gifts and postage. Volume-based direct marketing is looking increasingly 20th century as companies reduce waste and try to look as environmentally conscious as possible. If brands have learnt anything in the last ten years it's that value-based direct marketing is where it's at and that firing off 5,000 corporate brochures in the hope of picking up a handful of appointments is not going win you any friends in the CSR (corporate social responsibility) department. Plus by targeting fewer companies you can put your best resources into following up every lead. How much of your budget can you save by not paying telemarketers to phone company directors who are not in any mood to change suppliers?
Research & Sourcing for Event Targeted Marketing
You can find news of company events such as M&A activity or new appointments in the business press and it is easy, although time consuming, to research the contact details for yourself. Or you can buy in these services for a few hundred pounds a year. Electric Marketing monitors 80 newspapers, trade magazines and websites to identify the companies undergoing significant change, research the contact details of the key players and send you a summary every month with all the information you need to start making calls, e-marketing and writing letters introducing yourself.
Services include M&A News with details of 30-40 companies every month who are undergoing mergers or have acquired companies. It gives you the details of the executive directors and senior managers; the people who are likely to be buying in services: managing director, marketing director, HR director, finance director, IT director, legal director. At just £145 for an annual subscription, it is the cheapest information for event targeted marketing campaigns available. See M&A News for more information.
Electric Marketing also offers a service detailing new appointments in companies. If you are targeting marketing directors, look at Consumer Marketing Appointments, a monthly list of marketing managers and marketing directors who have taken up a new marketing post in the last ten weeks. The appointment of a new marketing director often changes corporate purchasing habits. Every new director wants to make his his presence felt around the board table and show his boss that he is worth the new salary. Old retainers may find themselves re-pitching and this is an opportunity for new agencies to present themselves. Be it a marketing director looking to move the £10m advertising account or a brand manager taking a fresh look at the brand packaging, the new director is in a mood for change and this is an opportunity for you.
Electric Marketing's New Appointments series offers monthly lists of leads featuring new HR directors, new finance directors, new IT directors, new sales directors, new training managers and new chief executives, each providing a regular supply of fresh leads for your new business team to work with. See these pages for more information:
Appointments in Finance & Management
Marketing Appointments - Consumer
Marketing Appointments - Business-to-Business
New CRM Appointments
New Financial Appointments
New HR Appointments
New IT Appointments
New Sales Appointments
New Training Appointments
Recruiting Now! is ideal for recruitment consultants. When a high-ranking manager leaves the company, the HR team will most likely be looking to use a recruitment consultant to find a replacement. How much better is it for the recruitment consultant to contact the HR director when you know they have lost a key player rather than just picking up the phone on the off chance that they are looking to hire? Recruiting Now! offers a monthly list of 200 HR managers and directors in companies where they have recently lost a director or senior manager. See Recruiting Now! for more information.