Marketing is a big, complex discipline. If you think marketing is just brochures, mass e-mailing and a little advertising, think again. To see a fully developed marketing framework, take a look at Pragmatic Marketing. This framework is used by some of the world’s leading marketers and it is something that smaller businesses should aspire to use. The reality is that smaller companies don’t usually have the money, time, or expertise to do all of the things that need to be done to implement a comprehensive marketing framework. If something like the Pragmatic Marketing framework is out of reach for you and you still need to grow, what can you do? Focus on lead generation. Here’s why:
- A well-executed lead generation program can be more effective and less expensive than having sales reps produce and develop all of their own leads (Note: sales reps should always produce and develop some of their leads, just not all of them). You can do a lot of lead generation in a one-to-many setting like mass e-mails, newsletters, events, or webinars which can be produced on a shoestring budget.
- Most of the process of finding and developing leads can be automated with tools like Marketo, Pardot, Hubspot, Silverpop, and Infusionsoft.
- You can easily measure if your lead generation efforts are producing results. There are a lot of valuable things that marketing does that are difficult or impossible to quantify. Lead generation is not one of those.
- By engaging with prospects in a lead generation campaign, you will gain the knowledge you need to ultimately implement a comprehensive marketing framework. Plus, it will force you to create some basic marketing collateral.
- As Forbes recently reported, Agile Marketing is the way to go – start small, iterate, learn, and improve. Lead generation is the foundation of your marketing framework.
Smaller, growing companies constantly have to make decisions on where to focus their resources. Since you probably can’t do everything you need to be doing from a marketing perspective, lead generation is the place to start. Just be sure that over time you keep your eye on the big picture and move toward a comprehensive marketing framework as your resources permit.