5Strategy_leadYes you may very well read that title again. And you may very well wonder how these seemingly unrelated activities – one that of finding potential candidates to be your soul mate and the other that of increasing potential buyers for a business – would have anything in common.

Here’s a hint: Don’t they both involve a series of steps – from having a preference to eventually focusing your attention? Making good impressions on first encounters? What about expressing your continued interest and gaining trust later on?

Let’s examine the 5 strategies one by one.

1. Choose your target persona

Online dating sites these days make it easy to find dates that fit into your preferred personality type. Users answer questions on mutual interests and habits like favourite films, importance given to physical fitness and religious beliefs.

Then they are grouped based on ‘match percentages’ in the answers, and you can easily narrow down your search to groups with your preferred ‘persona’ – like “artistic women between ages 20 and 30” or “men above 30 who lead an active and healthy life” – to increase the likelihood of finding your dates.

A math genius at UCLA recently used this very concept to his advantage at OKCupid – he wrote programs that automatically sifted through hundreds of such questions and grouped females into specific clusters like “diverse” and “mindful”. And guess what – he has found his soul mate through the site and will be getting married soon! Talk about cracking the code to true love…

In B2B lead generation campaigns, the first step to consider is the target audience and choosing the correct target persona. Marketing to everyone and everything would be futile, much like trying to approach every single person on a dating site with a personal message.

As we explained before, getting the persona right by understanding buyers is of paramount importance. By staying within the chosen target audience and focusing the marketing strategy on this group, there is a higher chance of generating dates… or leads. You see what I mean…

2. Make a good first impression

Just as you strive to make a good first impression in the first date by grooming or dressing up, here are some elements that will leave a good first impression about your business:

  • Your company’s landing page
  • The design and usability of your company blog
  • No typographic errors or spelling mistakes. You don’t want to see your date fumbling to remove food stuck in his teeth!
  • The general aesthetics of your business site should not resemble a trend from out of the 80s. Imagine if your date dressed up in groovy disco wear while you were in formal attire.

If you can provide a good user experience with visually pleasing designs and a minimum of cognitive load, the user is likely to spend more time on the site, and become a lead.

3. Don’t make it ALL about you – listening is extremely important

It’s always good practice to listen to the other person during a date. Showing that you are willing to listen and pay attention to what you hear makes your date comfortable, and makes them trust you.

This is exactly what happens with brand-agnostic content, where the focus is not on promoting your business, but on content that is both

  • customised and contextually relevant and
  • addresses real, practical issues in the industry for the consumer

4. Proceed with Permission

Permission marketing involves focusing marketing efforts toward leads who are genuinely interested in more information about a business after seeking permission from them. This is in contrast to bombarding every prospective customer with continuous advertisements and promotions.

In the dating world, this might be equivalent to expressing interest in another person through a casual, witty or ‘cutesy’ personal message. If the interest is reciprocated, only then is it wise to pursue them – this would be a much better use of your efforts.

5. Follow up, but don’t be creepy

There is a fine line between expressing continued interest in someone you want to date and becoming an outright creepy stalker. It’s always good to remind them about you and get to know them better through follow-up dates. But putting undue pressure on them would be risking failure and rejection.

Likewise, constantly bothering a lead into signing a deal is also tantamount to losing them completely – you don’t want to sound desperate. Instead, careful lead nurturing and reminding them that you are still there to solve their problems will positively affect their decision-making process.

Of course, we are not advocating that you always think like a B2B marketer when you look for your soul mate through online dating (good luck with that by the way!). But it does make sense to keep the analogy in mind since the ultimate objective in both cases is to establish trust with someone else, be it a person or a business.

It’s only fair then that there are strategies common to both. You could go even further by exploring more parallels between the two – let us know below in the comments how you can extend the analogy beyond these 5 points!

B2Bento welcomes Suraj Karakulath on board its writing team. We look forward to partaking of the fresh perspectives he brings from his background in e-learning content creation.

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