TechTransform, February 21, 2005: For the past year, I've decribed the modern customer acquisition process as the Popcorn-Popper Process™.
It sounds funny (and alliterative!) but it makes sense. Attracting prospects and selling to them on the spot does work, but only when they are ready. What about the rest?
You can't afford to waste the people who aren't ready to buy this second. Those hard, unpopped kernels need time and "heat" to pop them!
You do this by creating a large list of people interested in your service or product, giving them information that helps them, and using a closed-loop marketing process to activate them over time.
So, here are the four key elements in the popcorn-popper process.
LEVERAGE THE COMMODITY
Leverage the commodity value of your product or service. Find ways to propagate that virally (no paying for leverage!) (Need ideas? Think FREE!)
Become valuable as an information source concerning the issues in your field.
RUN THE FUNNEL
Develop and operate the "popcorn popper" sales funnel to segment and develop reach among your leads. The segmentation part is particularly important so you handle each type of customer most efficiently.
ACTIVATE THE CHANNEL
Implement your channel (distribution, partnerships), for a wide footprint in your marketplace. You need this to get scale.
Throughout this process, work on product marketing (branding, packaging, naming, tactical positioning) to respond to specific opportunities.
FUD Marketing: it's really effective to develop an effective FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) factor to get the attention of your prospects. This is especially true in IT, which operates on the principle of risk management.
Don't neglect PR to support your efforts with visibility and media buzz.
click on my signature to comment
1. Cold-calling doesn't work.
2. Web sites don't affect lead generation.
3. We need more brand recognition first.
4. We need more new leads.
5. Let's run some ads.
6. Direct mail doesn't work for services.
7. Don't market to current clients.
Thanks to Mike Schultz and John Doerr! Read the Marketing Profs article here.