Poor Marketing ROI? Is the Agency, the Copy & Creative, or the Data to Blame?

We often work with customers who have used other forms of marketing and/or agencies previously and who have been disappointed with the results.

One area that never ceases to amaze us is how little genuine intelligence some customers have about their prospects.

Low email open rates, little or no response from direct mail or digital campaigns and a whole host of reasons given as to why previous campaigns have failed – from `the agency didn’t understand us` through to `poor creative or copy`.

Yet often, this belies the truth, which is that the prospect data used didn’t actually contain many good prospects. So whatever marketing or lead generation activity has been conducted, the vast majority has been ineffective as a result of bad targeting.


How can we be Sure that Data is the Root Cause?

As a telemarketing agency, our technology and processes are designed to enable structured, usable- intelligence to be captured as an intrinsic part of all campaigns; regardless of whether the project is a prospect database build or an out-and-out lead generation campaign.

Although our telemarketers don’t work form a script (as they wouldn’t at any credible telemarketing agency), they do follow a process for qualifying needs and interest.

Recording and analysing responses enables us to provide valuable feedback to our clients on a variety of factors, such as; if a particular sector is more responsive than another, or the most common objections etc.

This allows us to develop our message, or for our client to support the campaign with relevant literature or landing pages that help overcome a particular barrier.


Signs of Poor Data Quality

No data is ever perfect; you can’t buy a list of prospects that have a requirement for your services AND are at the right stage of the purchase cycle to want to engage with a potential new supplier.

But tell-tale signs that the data isn’t up to scratch include:

Their requirement doesn’t meet your threshold…
You’re a cleaning company that wants a minimum of 20 hours per client, per week yet they’re in a 1,000 sq.ft office. Or you’re a marketing agency targeting clients with £20k+ pa potential agency spend, yet the most they have spent in the last 5 years is £3k on a website.

Alex Brown? He left 2 years ago…
If your message doesn’t reach the right person it can’t generate a response. People move on, that’s a given; but if you are expecting a response from direct marketing, accurate data IS essential. On the other hand, not having the right contacts isn’t a barrier for a telemarketing campaign, to the contrary, a valuable by-product will be that you’ll build an accurate database. But if this is the case, you’ll need to understand that some of the initial activity will be on identifying the right contacts, not generating leads.

You’d need to call our Head Office. Which is in Germany. And they say we need to use SAP…
There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious. But you’ll get better results from your lead generation activity if you target businesses that you look attractive to as their supplier, not simply businesses that you’d like to have as customers. Think Win:Win.


Data Underpins All Successful Lead Generation

By no means is data the be all and end all to marketing ROI. You need a compelling proposition and you’ll get the best results if you integrate multiple channels such as content, email, remarketing and telemarketing.

But without good data, your ROI will be severely diminished.


Build an Invaluable Asset

Early in this article, we stated that you cannot buy a ready-made list of prospects that are a good fit for your business, and are ready to engage with you now.
Ask yourself a question though… If you could, how much would it be worth?

The good news is that you can build it, from the ground up through professional telemarketing. It won’t be cheap and it won’t be easy. But once you have it, maintaining it will be far more cost-effective. And if used intelligently to communicate with your prospects across multiple channels, it will be one of the best sales or marketing investments you’ve ever made.


The Impact of GDPR

The good news is that the change in legislation under GDPR has not affected the ability of B2B businesses to use telemarketing and email marketing, as long as your prospects are not sole traders, and you offer a clear opt-out.


Act Now!

A well-structured telemarketing campaign can enhance and qualify your database, profile businesses to validate whether their business requirements are a good fit for your ideal sales prospect, and capture decision maker names and contact details.

Qualifying prospects out is in many respects as valuable as qualifying prospects in. If you start with a list of 1,000 potential businesses, if the net result is that only 350 are genuine prospects, it means you can direct your sales and marketing activity where it will yield the greatest return.