Business to Business Marketing Publicity - the Fast Track to Generating Both High-Quantity and High-Quality Leads

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When it comes to lead generation, "quality" closes the sale.

With this business to business marketing technique you can build brand awareness and communicate to potentially millions of prospects at an extremely low overall cost per lead

Ideally, any publicity campaign succeeds not only by generating a large quantity of leads, but by ensuring that those leads are of sufficient quality to quickly convert into bookings and sales. With the increasing recognition that the expansion of any business organization depends on both elements, more and more marketing executives are turning to business to business marketing publicity as the preferred method of lead generation.

"Without quality, quantity can become a 'time waster' for the sales team, for nothing is more frustrating than following up on reader service or bingo cars from an ad or trade show, only to have all the prospects turn out to be 'lookie-loos.'" notes John W. Elliott, CEO of Power PR, a business to business marketing public relations firm based in Torrance, California. "Rather than banging on the door over and over again with the same marketing techniques, some companies are successfully turning to marketing publicity to push up sales and profits."

Marketing publicity—a hybrid of marketing and PR—involves promoting a product or service through the media. A public relations firm that specializes in this process will write feature articles, customer testimonials, and new product releases, and then obtain placement of these stories in targeted consumer or trade publications, both online and in print.

"With this business to business marketing technique you can build brand awareness and communicate to potentially millions of prospects at an extremely low overall cost per lead," says Elliott."

The power behind marketing publicity lies in its objective, third party endorsement. First of all, such articles are often laden with positive customer testimonials. Secondly, the fact that the article appears as editorial content puts the media source in the position of objectively recommending the product or service. These factors add up to a level of credibility that is difficult to achieve with any other marketing technique.

The resultant leads are often superior because, after having read an in-depth article about a product or service, prospects are typically more educated about the product when first contacted by sales staff. Even difficult-to-explain technology benefits from such treatment because editorial copy provides potential customers with a contextual explanation to establish the need for the product.

As a result, business to business marketing publicity shortens the sales cycle by "pre-selling" the client. This improves the efficiency of sales staff so that they can spend more time speaking with qualified prospects about bids, quotes, and proposals, instead of making cold calls or circumventing gatekeepers.

It also supplies the first half of the lead generation equation because a large quantity of published articles in several magazines, newspapers, electronic newsletters and Websites¾repeated over time¾helps build a mass awareness for a product or service. Given this quantity of exposure, the prospect feels more comfortable that the company is a legitimate player in the market.

"It's always nice to 'have your cake and eat it too,'" laughs Elliott. "So the ideal goal of any business to business marketing plan is to drive in a large quantity of high-quality leads that quickly turn into sales. In the hands of qualified public relations firm, marketing publicity can do that."

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Heather Metcalfe
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