Is outbound marketing ‘out of vogue’? Not quite! When used wisely, an outbound marketing strategy can be a valuable tool in your overall B2B marketing mix and supercharge your campaigns.
Outbound marketing has certain distinct benefits over inbound marketing, where you target ‘strangers’ and pull potential buyers towards your product. On the other hand, reaching out to customers from your end helps you achieve highly targeted prospecting, faster relationship-building, and effectively contribute to a predictable sales pipeline. This is especially true in the case of companies whose goal is predictable prospecting and who find it infeasible to invest time in inbound campaigns.
So, how do you go about it? Read on to find out.
A 5-Step Guide to Outbound Marketing Campaigns
#1 Identify your target market and build an ICP
Identifying who to target will greatly speed up your outbound prospecting process. After all, you are going to your customers and convincing them to buy from you. So, it is no use shooting arrows in the dark.
The first step is to see your target market as a set of people with specific characteristic traits. Build an ideal customer profile (ICP). This helps you know exactly where to invest your time and efforts and avoid guesswork.
#2 Next, segment your target market
While most of your ideal customers share similar traits, they also have some qualities that differentiate them in a way that holds meaning to you.
For example, suppose you have a SaaS product to sell that can integrate with products A and B. You have a database of A and B users. Now, the difference is that people who use product A tend to use a product from your competitor, while people who use B are keener on purchasing your product.
Will you treat the two sets of people the same? No! So, it is a good idea to segment your database based on people who use products A, B, or any other. Then, your sales team can formulate different strategies to target these two segments.
#3 Collect more information about your target
Data is the fuel that drives your marketing campaigns. With comprehensive data about your audience, you will be able to better understand their needs and behaviors and personalize your campaigns for them.
- If you already have customers, analyze their current situation and send them surveys and feedback forms to know more. For those who are always up to a discussion, organize a quick telephone interview.
- If you have a thin customer base, look at who your competitors are targeting.
- If you want to attract new customers, conduct market research. You can also invest in third-party data.
#4 Select Your Communication Channels
Before you select your communication channels, you may consider factors like your brand image, budget, goals, and timelines. But, the most reliable way to select the best-performing communication channels for your outbound marketing campaign is to consider the ‘company to customer’ journey your target audience will take.
And for a B2B product or service, this journey can be very long and complex.
Remember the quote, “Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.” Let us illustrate this with an example. The diagram below shows the 4 stages:
- Discovery: Say the user found you through an online ad
- Exploration: The user started reading your blog posts and looked at your social media pages to know more.
- Evaluation: The user evaluated your products by reading case studies and reviews. Here you reached out to them with a call or an email.
- Purchase decision: The user finally decides to buy your product from your website, completing the journey.
Often, multiple channels are involved throughout the user’s journey. The key here is to understand which channels contribute most to the ‘sales made possible’ through marketing attribution.
#4 Start Engaging On A Broad Level But Personalize
Once you have the list of prospects and which channels you want to use in your outbound marketing campaign, it is time to cast your net. Your aim should be to connect with as many people as possible. But quantity isn’t enough. To ultimately close sales, you need to engage with each contact in a personalized way.
One way to do this is to automate your outbound campaigns to fine-tune and personalize them.
#5 Keep Monitoring These 3 Factors
- User Intent: Constantly monitor user intent to understand what your targets are searching for and are interested to know about and what questions they want to be answered.
- Account-level engagement: Another key metric to monitor after rolling out your outbound marketing campaign is account-level engagement. Depending on how your accounts interact with your content, you can gauge their level of engagement. For example, someone who downloaded your e-book is more engaged than someone who is reading your blog. Then, prioritize targeting those accounts that are at a higher level of engagement.
“Don’t push people to where you want to be; meet them where they are.” – Meghan Keaney Anderson, VP Marketing, HubSpot
Outbound marketing is an excellent way to meet people where they are. When you target the right people (those who match your ICP) and connect with them where they are (their preferred channel and their engagement level), you are on the right track to creating a predictable sales pipeline.