BMA panelist: Lead-generation programs demand follow-up

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New York—As b-to-b marketers scramble to develop lead-generation marketing tools they have to be careful not to squander their efforts by failing to follow up on those leads that are most encouraging, Steve Weitzner, CEO of CMP Technology, said Tuesday at a breakfast meeting sponsored by the New York chapter of the Business Marketing Association.

“You can get leads anywhere, but in the end, when you have tons of leads pouring in what do you with them?” Weitzner asked. “You should be following up on the leads, otherwise you’re left with a stack of bingo cards.”

Weitzner said marketers have to be much more hands on with the most promising leads. “There’s a risk when buying something that’s big and expensive and someone could lose their job if they’re buying from an unknown,” he said. “You have to envelope your audience and do something beyond lead generation, which is building the brand.”

Diedre Bigley, VP-advertising and digital media at IBM Corp., discussed the proliferation of online video and how b-to-b companies can capitalize on the trend by embracing “brand journalism” in their marketing efforts.

“Instead of buying numerous 30-second spots you need to look for partnerships and sponsorships for shows where you get a bigger chunk of time and tell your story,” she said. “You have to get used to the fact that your brand is not first and foremost, but your story is.”

She added: “Maybe in our zeal to get our value proposition across and get ROI, we’ve completely forgotten to make an interesting story.”

Geoff Ramsey, CEO of eMarketer, was also a panelist.

—Matthew Schwartz

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