Internet ads. You’ve probably seen them all the time during those days when you’re leisurely surfing the net. Depending on where you usually surf, these are often software-related and are occasionally also related to things that interest you. For instance, surfing for video reviews on a new novel might bring up ads related to writing. How-to blogs might have banners related to the subject task at hand. Video game sites obviously bear ads on upcoming titles or online games (both popular and those unheard of).
Now surely you are aware that this sort of advertising is just one of the newest forms of online lead generation. Your ad catches the eye of prospect, clicks it, and gets sent to your website to be given more information. This sounds like a promising strategy for any software company because not only does it suit a company that is computer savvy, it saves them the trouble of generating leads too manually. However, be careful. Like all lead generation methods, its level of success still depends on a few factors. What kind of product is it? Who can benefit from its use? Do the ads (or even the website itself) give enough information for buyers to act upon?
First off, perhaps it’s best to review some basics. Products can be divided into two categories, depending on who is supposed to be using them: B2C and B2B. The difference between the two is simple enough. One is meant for the use of average citizens (games, text applications, anti-virus) while the other is meant to aid in business activities (be it ventures, projects, payroll).
Since most online ads are encountered by people surfing during out-of-work periods, it’s logical to assume that they’re not likely to be interested in heavy B2B products and would prefer something that caters to them as consumers.
B2B software however draws prospects who might still need some time before you can make them into a sale. Negotiations might have to happen first. The prospect might want to evaluate their current budget before buying. You might even need to do a lot of homework yourself beforehand.
In such cases, it sounds more appropriate to use a personal approach (like an email exchange, live chat, or even a genuine phone conversation). It also becomes something less of advertising and more like information gathering. You need to really look before you leap. In fact, you could say that the looking part is already a marketing phase of its own.
Lead generation companies usually make use of telemarketing because of this. Unlike internet advertising where a prospect can simply just click, browse, purchase to download, it’s better for B2B companies to actually have these prospects sought out, evaluated, and then have them make an appointment if their interest is established.
This might not be the smartest thing for consumer products who need to sell in large numbers in short spans of time. Hence, it will always be more profitable for them to outsource online banner groups and SEO teams.
However, B2B groups on the other hand profit greatly for every closed deal, regardless of how long it took in comparison to consumer products. That’s why if you’re a B2B software group, try outsourcing to a competent software telemarketer. Looking before you leap can be less costly than the other way around.