In the short post last week “Some people are better than others,” Seth Godin talked about the value of certain prospective customers over others. He makes a great argument, for instance, that book buyers are more likely to be good prospects for buying a Kindle, not because they read more but because the have “bought” books. What makes these prospects better is the commitment of money to a particular interest.
His example is a consumer one. But his point applies in B2B marketing just as well. Prospects willing to “pay money” or “invest time” to learn something are better than those who just opt in or register to gain free information. Here are three examples of prospects who show the money.
Subscribers: Prospects who fall into this category are far easier to find as there a number of rental lists available based on buying behavior. A list of subscribers paying to receive an industry publication, for example, is far more valuable than names rented from a controlled circulation publication that is free to readers offline or online.
Trade Shows: In good times, companies freely pay to send employees to trade shows for learning. In this slowed economy, not as many businesses are participating in or attending industry trade shows because of the cost. Those who do send attendees are seriously in the market for solutions.
Live Seminars: B2B marketers have long known that offering targeted content generates qualified leads of individuals who have an interest in a subject related to their product or service. Offering a live seminar, however, requires an investment of time on the part of the attendee. Time is money after all. This approach will significantly reduce response over an online Webinar, but those attending should be far more qualified.
Prospects who are actively researching and evaluating something are closer to making a buying decision. Attracting this type of lead should not be a substitute for filling the pipeline, but businesses that want qualified leads who could close faster, should look for the money.