Dinosaurs Still Roam The Earth

Recently PartnerWorks sent out a very simple, one question survey to a bunch of ERP / CRM partners in an attempt  to get a quick temperature check of what is keeping them awake at night.

The question we asked was:

  • What is the biggest concern / issue you face in 2012?

We received hundreds of responses and more than 48% of these responses were related to a lack of sales leads. The people have spoken and they want to know, how exactly can you generate B2B leads.

Yes, the game sure has changed and it appears like lots of people got caught a bit off guard. I guess we can officially say that the days of executing occasional, random, poorly-planned marketing and hoping to attract any business have pretty much disappeared.

Partners from all over the country are very quick to admit that results from basic direct mail have been dismal.  Telemarking is limping along without much success at all. Seminars / Events are selectivity working depending upon the Topic and how well the marketing campaign built around them was conceived and executed.

Most marketing folks would very quickly admit that none of the “traditional” marketing tactics seem to be working worth a darn. Many of these people have desperately reached out to so-called experts for help. Often these experts are recommending email marketing.

I strongly disagree with this advice. While email marketing is one of my recommended tactics to use for “nurture of existing prospects” only, I don’t believe it should ever be used for potential “new” prospects. People that don’t already know you already, likely don’t appreciate getting an email trying to sell them something.

We call this SPAM. And the beauty of email is that if you SPAM me, I can make you go away real easily. I simply go out to my ISP and block your entire domain from ever sending “anyone” at my company another email. All future email gets bounced back and never even enters my facility.

I know I am not the only one that does this; in fact lots of companies with IT departments make it common practice to forward all un-solicited emails to the IT department specifically to eliminate others wasting their time on SPAM.

So what about all these services that have sprung up offering to send the emails on your behalf, track the number of opens, and report on all activity. I think of it this way, if you have SPAMMED me, I block the company that sent it on your behalf and I block you as well, plain and simple.

Here’s the funny part. You likely tricked me into opening your email which is how I determined it to be SPAM and even though I have now blocked you from ever making contact with anyone in my company, your service reports back to you that I opened your email, and brags about the successful results.

Lots of these email marketing firms are just re-packaged direct mail firms that found postage too expensive to compete. These Dinosaur firms simply use the same spray and prey methods they learned in direct mail game and carried them forward into the “new electronic world” of email without considering the consequences.

Enough of my rant against email marketing, so what is working?

Let me ask you this.  If you need to find out about pretty much anything, what is the very first thing you do to educate yourself?  You likely answered this and said I search the web.

Now, here is my next question; If you landed on your company’s home page, didn’t know anything about them and read the just the first paragraph of whatever is there… Would you buy from yourself?

Now that’s a scary exercise….

Next time we will drill down on this topic, but rest assured people don’t have patience while they surf the web.



About the Author

Bruce Ciarleglio

As president and founder of Adventures in Automation, Bruce was featured on the cover of 11 nationally recognized magazines in 9 years time, and helped Adventures in Automation rank among the top 5% of VARs in the country for 6 consecutive years.