Thursday, November 13, 2008

B2B Online lead generation/Offline follow up

I attended a presentation yesterday with ten of my undergraduate internet marketing students on B2B online lead generation with the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing. One of the presenters was Robert Lesser, the President of Direct Impact Marketing in Toronto. I found it interesting that Chicago is in the top tier of the "Blog Belt," and not surprising that Chicago is central to an expanding network of those interesting in internet marketing. Much of Chicago's business community is focusing on direct and internet marketing. The top sources of online leads are search and email, with blogs and webinars next. One of the most interesting things Lesser mentioned was the use of telequalification of online leads. Salespeople always complain that leads are not qualified and marketing, by using a telemarketing force to contact leads that come online, can 'nurture' that lead until it becomes a true prospect (according to this presentatino it takes 18 touches to nurture a lead to create a prospect) to turn over to the sales force. In my internet marketing class I teach online/offline integration and this presentation just demonstrated the continued importance of that principle. Good news for those in the call center business!
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