Archive for the ‘Demand Generation’ Category

Demand Generation and the 101 Freeway

April 16, 2012 2 comments

What does the 101 Freeway have to do with demand generation?  Last week, I would have said “nothing”.  But, that was before I was ‘fortunate’ enough to experience the 101 Freeway traffic firsthand.

The Trip

On my trip to a great seminar on Channel Management delivered by Bruce Stuart from ChannelCorp (he’s got more of them coming up, be sure to grab a seat in one – certainly worth your time), I was southbound on the 101 Freeway headed to Santa Clara.  Pretty much out of nowhere, traffic came to a screeching halt.  No burning rubber on my rental car, thank goodness, but the 18-wheeler to the right of me did some fancy driving (and praying, I imagine) to keep from rear-ending the car in front of him.  Anyway, that is not really related to the story, but it left an image in my mind nonetheless.

What IS related to the story, and what drove me (pun intended) to write this blog, is what happened after we all safely brought our cars, nicely lined up single file in our respective lane, to a halt.  The motorcyles around us all started creating their own lane of traffic, literally on the dotted white lines.  Really, they can do that?  Not where I’m from.

As I watched this happen, motorcycle after motorcycle, it occurred to me that the only reason this could happen is because those people were using a different device to get from point A to point B.  It was shaped differently, powered differently, and controlled differently.  And, for the purpose of moving through traffic on the 101, it was the perfect device.

“Motorcycle” Marketing

I got to thinking, we as marketers always talk about cutting through the clutter, but we’re using the same big campaigns to do it.  Campaigns designed like 4-wheeled, high-capacity, high-powered vehicles.  And, more and more, we are wondering why these campaigns aren’t getting “through” to the audience at an ever increasing rate – more campaigns with lots of content, but little response, are essentially building traffic in the inboxes of our prospects and customers (kind of like when your 10 mile trip down the 101 takes 45 minutes instead of 15 minutes, like it does for those nifty motorcycles).  I started realizing as I sat in traffic in my rental car, that what I needed on this highway, and in my marketing mix, are some motorcycles.

Now that I know I need “motorcycle campaigns”, I have to figure out what it is.  What does a motorcycle marketing campaign look like?  We’ll, it’s small (in terms of content), quick (in terms of time to consume), powerful (in terms of relevance), and  – not to be under-appreciated – eye catching (in terms of interesting)!  It’s an email that draws a reader in because the subject line says something that they can’t turn away from without opening, because the body of the email says (not literally, but implied) “I know you are busy as heck, so I’m just going to tell you what you need to know”, and because the call-to-action is simple (“respond back to me and I’ll tell you more” or “here’s a video to watch with my email and telephone number at the end – call me if you want to talk afterward”).  Don’t make me read four paragraphs to find out that what made me open the email doesn’t even relate to what you’re telling me in the email.

Another motorcycle could also be a targeted tele campaign where the most the caller has to say is “we’ve recently helped a business just like yours do XYZ, would you like me to tell you how?”

Even another motorcycle could be intelligent, value-oriented, non-product-specific comments or posts in a social media environment.  Don’t tell them that you’ve got a great product for them, just give you a call.  Tell them what you’ve learned about your customer’s business when they’ve used your product, or even what you have coached other similar customers on to help them make the best decision on the product selection for their business (pitfalls, best practices, etc.).

These are all motorcycles – quick, succinct, interesting, and well…faster to get from point A (initial contact) to point B (lead generation) than the sedans and SUVs parked on the freeway all around them.

Solid Example

I have a recent example of this.  While I am not in the market for this particular product, I was compelled to respond back to the sender with a ‘thank you’ for the tact and care they took in making the experience with their campaign a positive one.

Here’s the email I received:

Subject: Thought you might be interested

Hi Ryan,

Hope you’re well.

I just wanted to pass along “abcxyz,” a really quick read that provides a “crash course” on how to apply display across your marketing mix, the best metrics to use, and what results to expect.  I hope you find it to be a useful resource.

In the meantime, please let me know if you have any questions or would like to set aside some time to talk.


Hmm, subject line: ‘Thought you might be interested’.  OK, who is this?  I should probably open it.  So, I did.  Then, ‘just wanted to pass along…a quick read’ (well, I could probably make time for a quick read – and ‘crash course’ sounds fast).  Then ‘how to…best metrics…results to expect’ (this is all relevant to me).  ‘In the meantime, let me know if you want to set aside some time to talk’ (friendly offer to engage).

I sent this guy a note back saying that I appreciated the resource, the direct and succinct email, and his offer to engage, and that I would let him know after I looked over the document.  Simple enough.

So, all the fancy graphics, pretty colors, and copy-heavy campaigns are just like the sedans, SUVs, and semi-trailer trucks that clog the 101.  They may hold a bunch of stuff, be painted nicely and have leather interiors, but they still just take up space and clog the freeways of demand generation.

Vroom, Vroom

As marketers, we need to find more motorcycles.  Not for us, but for our customers and prospects.  Trust me, they appreciate it (as I did), and will respond accordingly, which will in turn help us get to our ultimate destination – leads for sales.

I hope you enjoyed taking a ride with me down the 101.  Next time you’re in traffic in San Fran, watch the motorcycles – they’re going places, and a lot faster than you are!

I’d love to hear your thoughts or other examples of “motorcycle” campaigns.  Leave me a note.

Take care,



A Diet Plan for Marketers

June 8, 2011 2 comments

Well, I hope you enjoyed my previous blog and that you learned something that not only will help keep your shoes tied longer (way longer – I tried this out during a soccer tournament over Memorial Day weekend, no double knots, and no loose shoe laces…amazing) but will also help you find new perspectives that will improve your marketing strategies and tactics.

In true form of relating seemingly unrelated topics to marketing, I have once again taken inspiration from my iPhone (actually, an app called “MyFitnessPal”) to draw a link between losing weight and marketing. After reading this, I hope you agree this really is a “diet plan for marketers”.

Diet Plan for Marketers

Step 1: Get a Management Tool (CRM/ERP, the revenue marketing equivalent to calorie counters)

Step 2: Set a Goal and Benchmarks (for your Revenue generation, the revenue marketing equivalent to weight loss)

Step 3: Execute the Plan (Demand generation, the revenue marketing equivalent to a workout and eating plan)

Step 4: Record Progress (Campaign-level lead generation progress, the revenue marketing equivalent to a diet diary)

Step 5: Post-plan Assessment (Plan-level assessment of meeting revenue goals, the revenue marketing equivalent to achieving your weight loss goal – single metric of success).

The Genesis

It all started with my decision to join (actually re-join) a gym to try to shed a few extra pounds before too much pool time passes me by. I figured if I was going to really get serious about this, I needed to have a tool that I could use to help me set goals and manage a plan (step 1, for marketing too, right?). So, I downloaded “MyFitnessPal” for my iPhone. Now that I have the tool, I needed to set a goal and benchmarks for my weight loss (Step 2, sounds like a marketing plan to me). After setting a goal and benchmarks, I started with developed my workout and eating plan (I know you are seeing the pattern here…Step 3, marketing execution). After each day, I record my calorie intake and my workout results, determining if I met my daily goal (Step 4, let’s call each day a “campaign” and consider this step “Recording Progress”). The true test of how well each day went was when I get on the scale at the end of my scheduled program to check my weight (Step 5, this is the final assessment of the plan – results reporting).

What I Gained (insight, not weight!)

After doing this a few days, I starting realizing that I am managing my weight loss just like I manage my Revenue Marketing plan. Ah, revenue marketing. There’s the connection. The path to losing weight is the same path to generating revenue through marketing! See, I told you there was a connection (though I knew you were on to me anyway).

What You Need

The great thing about revenue marketing is that it is easy to show success, as long as you have a plan and the right tools, tactics, and monitoring systems in place. As an employee of SAP, I hope you will oblige me a quick, shameless plug for the SAP software that helps small and medium-size businesses do just this – SAP® All-in-One ERP, SAP® CRM and SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence. Check it out.


For those who are looking for more conventional descriptions of revenue marketing, SiriusDecisions has great information on strategies for revenue marketing and how companies are implementing this. You can also check out the Pedowitz Group Revenue Marketing Blog for ideas and additional examples of revenue marketing. So, who’s in this with me?

I’ll Close With This

It’s best to have accountability partners when you embark on a diet plan (and revenue marketing plan), so pick somebody that you can trust will keep you to your revenue marketing plan (I’m sure your boss will be happy to be your accountability partner :-)). I hope to hear from you all about your weight loss (around the waist) and weight gain (in the revenue pocketbook)!

photo: property of The Pedowitz Group