Integrated Direct Marketing (IDM) is a technique where you create a structured, multi-step sales process that integrates outbound marketing (mail, email, social messaging, LinkedIn touchpoints) with sales calls and other touchpoints to make your sales efforts more productive. You use direct marketing to capture the attention and interest of targeted prospects (essentially, to warm sales leads). Then, nurture marketing is used after the sales call to keep your company top-of-mind, demonstrate your positioning, and build your authority. Below are five keys to ensuring that you implement a successful campaign.
Develop a Target List of Prospects
A vital piece of an integrated direct marketing campaign is to know who you are targeting. IDM is not an approach where you blast an unqualified list of contacts and hope for the phone to start ringing with leads. When creating your list of targets, you want to include your top list of prospects, past clients that no longer use your service, and people you know that can influence a purchase of staffing services. If you do not have that list created, here are a few ideas to get started.
- Purchase a list with contact information and job titles of people you call on. (HR, Purchasing, Office Manager, Plant Managers, Owners, Dept Heads, etc.). With this strategy, it is imperative to go through a scrubbing process to ensure success.
- Grassroots efforts in doing research of companies you want to target and leveraging tools like LinkedIn, company websites, association lists etc. to get qualified prospects.
- Join local SHRM, Chamber of Commerce, and networking groups like BNI, LeTip, or The Alternative Board.
- Have your recruiters ask candidates where else they are currently interviewing and how they were introduced to the opportunity (either directly or through one of your competitors).
- Use inbound marketing efforts to capture leads that you can include in your campaign.
Craft a Compelling Offer
This is your message on why someone will want to invest time in a meeting and ultimately partner with you and your company. The messaging will remain consistent throughout your campaign and should tie into your area of expertise and how you help solve specific issues with your current clients.
Define the Process
Most salespeople stop trying to contact a prospect after just 4 attempts. However, there is plenty of evidence that suggests response rates rise with each outreach attempt. Depending on the industry, 8 to 13 attempts may need to be made before having an initial conversation (which is the first step to getting a meeting with a prospect and generating real opportunities). With that said, you must implement a multi-step approach that leverages multiple media where you are adding value with content that helps to introduce yourself, your company, and your message. The content should share ideas and best practices on common employment, staffing, and hiring-related interests your prospects have.
In marketing, we use the acronym AIDA to think about this process:
- The first A stands for Attention: How can you break through the clutter and get people to pay attention to your message?
- The I is Interest: What can you share that will get people interested in your message/value?
- The D stands for Desire: How do you position your company (or yourself) so that the buyer wants to use your services—to get them to see you as being an ideal solution to their problems?
- And the final Ais Action: Getting the prospect to reach out, visit your website, or agree to a meeting.
The first sale you need to close is not for staffing services. You are really selling the prospect on giving up some of his/her valuable time to meet with you. Focus on this sale first. After you create a compelling reason for an initial conversation you can transition to talking about that company’s staffing challenges.
Use Creative to Make It Memorable
In the AIDA model mentioned above, the first A is for Attention. The first touchpoint in your process needs to be unique and rememberable so when you make your follow up phone call, you can feel confident in telling the gatekeeper that the decision-maker is expecting your call. As you work your way through the rest of your campaign, all content and outreach should have consistent branding. Incorporate your logo and brand colors everywhere you possibly can. You want to create a level of trust with you and your company as a value-added thought leader that is worthy of the time you are asking a potential client to invest in speaking with you.
Measure and Adjust
Similar to all marketing strategies, you will want to create a process to measure the effectiveness of the campaign. As I mentioned earlier in this post, the first sale you want from an integrated direct marketing campaign is for someone to give you their time. A simple effective way to measure success is to look at how many appointments the process produced. You should also keep track of the step in the process where the appointment was set. You might have to make subtle changes to the type of outreach in your cadence, or the content you are providing at a specific step in the process to influence someone to respond or take your next follow up phone call.
Once you have exhausted the outlined process for your campaign, there are two last actions you must take. First, set up people that were not interested or non-responsive with nurture marketing. They might not have had an immediate need, or they might need to be educated a bit further. Second, refine your next list of targets and start over. Persistence and patience are virtues in sales!
If you want to learn more about this strategy you can download our Guide to Staffing Sales Lead Generation which explains these strategies in more detail.