02 Dec

Marketing funnel … or Black Hole?

Speaker Accelerator Program Keynote Speaker Marketing

Money, leads and time, can gravitate toward a black hole

You may have had a few sleepless nights trying to work out how in the blazes to ignite your marketing efforts. Money, leads and time gravitate towards a black hole, that is, if you do not have the requisite skill and person-hours to implement a strategy which will give you the results you yearn for.

To give you some background and without blowing my trumpet, over the years I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing keynote speakers, I have observed, studied and learnt much from the best in the world and spent more than 10,000 hours marketing the services that they offer.

Even from my early days in the keynote speaking arena, I noted that there seemed to be a missing link, a path by which speakers could effectively market their services to prospects who book speakers. There are many companies that do not book speakers, it takes a whole lot of cold calling to find out who is who and if in fact, they hire keynote speakers at all. #IP

I do not include speaker bureaus into effective keynote speaker marketing (though I understand the value they add, to those fortunate enough to be in favour). Speaker Bureaus offer an inbound model, hardly proactive unless you are an “exclusive”, even then I have heard more than one tale of woe.

There was always great scope for an outbound operation which actively sought out opportunities for keynote speakers based on research, prospect profiling, targeting specific challenges a prospect may be facing, that a particular speaker could assist with.

Rather than just firing the gun and waiting for the smoke to clear to see if we have hit anything, something, someone……a proactive, focused, outbound model is what we have developed over the past seven years.

Through the many campaigns that we have executed for keynote speakers, our attention was captured by what they were doing with their digital marketing strategy. We had a vested interest in keeping up with what they were posting so that we could enhance the campaign or tweak it.

It became quite obvious that many did not have the requisite skill level to use the platforms available to win more business. For the most part, friends and associates were liking their posts, possibly the converted or past clients, from all reports very little new business was being generated through any platform, LinkedIn included.

This got our attention, so much so that we started to provide a social media service to complement our client’s campaigns with, may I add, a good deal of leverage and positive results. It was around this time that I met Anup Batra, CEO of Arrow Digital and a highly regarded keynote speaker (of Digital Enlightenment fame), we started chatting about the correlation between phone and digital.

While the cold calling and/or warm calling (many corporates know of SpeakMark’s service and welcome us to call on them with new ideas) was providing data validation and a high touch approach while getting the speaker much-needed exposure, Anup explained the strategies he used for his corporate clients, with terms such as retargeting, custom audiences, which were completely foreign to me back then.

Then as if a light went off with us both simultaneously, we realised that we had stumbled on a strategy which no other marketing company was employing, using phone and digital in unison. We are actually first to market with this concept in Australia and the merge with SpeakMark and Arrow Digital has not only caught the attention of many keynote speakers but also mainstream business who immediately identified the value of the Speaker Accelerator Program.

So why do these two platforms work so well in unison

Data is a valuable asset however, the data must be validated, most often it is not and for a host of reasons, I guess one of the major factors is the length of time people these days spend with an employer, here today, gone the next. While the unvalidated data still has intrinsic value, marketing to a ghost is quite simply a waste of time and money, inadvertently setting up a black hole where your time and money will be pulled into a vacuum.

I can categorically state that many databases are full of data that is not validated, the exercise is time-consuming and expensive, we have found that by making calls day in and day out, we were inadvertently validating our data. This creates great value for our clients and maximises our effectiveness, time spent talking to personnel whom we know book speakers and whom we know still work for the company we are calling, is an element of our offering that we are unashamedly proud off, it is a major value-add.

Our digital team then uses the data to retarget and to build custom audiences.

Traditionally, outbound call centres and digital marketing houses have not had any reason to work together, in fact, never the twain shall meet. Both have completely different MO’s, they are in stark contrast to each other, one is analog, one is digital. Digital may state that cold or as we call them, warm calls, are a thing of the past, they do not offer the leverage that perhaps social media does. The fact is unless the data that they using to retarget and build custom audiences is validated, they too are marketing to ghosts in many cases.

The advantages and effectiveness of using digital marketing, after a phone call is made, is so much more effective than for instance just connecting with someone on LinkedIn. Take this scenario: at 10am Phil Bloggs from Pepper LTD receives a call from one of our phone marketers, he has been qualified by our profilers as someone who fits the description of the targeted personnel. At 11am one of our data people connect Phil Bloggs with the keynote speaker on LinkedIn, which adds credibility to the call and enables the speaker to communicate and feed Phil with there content on an ongoing basis.

Now, this is just the tip of the iceberg! If I told you all of our serendipitous wins using these two platforms you would no doubt be surprised, wide-eyed and wonder why something so simple had not been applied to marketing in a deliberate, systematic way.

We are excited about the future for our clients, we are passionate about the speaking industry and wish for nothing more than to contribute to the success of as many speakers as we can possibly help.

One more thing, while we are not a speaker bureau, the number of briefs we get for speakers is incredible. We offer a reliable, non-pushy, professional service that event professionals are welcoming and embracing. While our time is yet to come in the mainstream…as I heard someone say “Look Out!”

No more black holes, just marketing funnels, full to the brim with leads, prospects and opportunities!

For more information call SpeakMark +61 2 8005 8442 or email admin@speakmark.com.au
#speakermarketing #speakeracceleratorprogram #accelerator #engagements #exposure

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