I recently served as an expert panelist for a webinar entitled Lead Generation Tactics for Resource Limited Small Businesses. The session was produced and hosted by Eric Glazer of the Marketing Studio.

Some great ideas were discussed around approaches to lead generation and I thought it would be worth expanding on the platforms or tools that should be used to best support these marketing tactics.

I define a platform as any tool (tangible or intangible) that supports the collection of marketing data or leads. Below I list some of the most effective platforms or tools that the small business marketer or owners should have in their tool box.

Website (#1): Ultimately every connection you make is going to visit your website, so it is critical that the content on your site supports your efforts. ten24's expertise is in developing websites powered by content management systems, and our own site runs on our Online Marketing Suite.

The system allows a non-technical user to update pages, images, documents, create forms and manage a blog. We have integrated several tools into our Online Marketing Suite that support the website and our client's marketing efforts:

  • Email Marketing (#2): VerticalResponse
    An excellent self?service software that allows you to create, send and track broadcast emails.
  • Metrics (#3): Google Analytics
    It's important to know where your web traffic is coming from and how visitors are using your site. Google Analytics is a great tool and it?s free.
  • CRM (#4): Salesforce.com
    Each form on the website can be connected to Salesforce to update the CRM database every time a form is submitted. Salesforce.com provides the tools to manage your sales contacts and sales funnel.

Partnerships (#5): ten24's most effective lead generation platform has been partnerships with marketing consultants, graphic design firms, SEM companies, ad agencies and PR firms. These partners find themselves uncovering website development opportunities within their client base, but lack the internal resources to deliver, particularly database or content managed solutions.  They call upon ten24 as a trusted resource to work with their clients and provide a high level of service and support.

Finding and building relationships with these partners is a long term process and ultimately the tactic that cements these relationships is face to face meetings, however there are many tools that I find critical leading up to the actual personal connection.

Social Networking Online: I focus on LinkedIn (#6) and Twitter (#7), spending about an hour per day.  On LinkedIn it?s important to get involved with the Groups and start/join in on discussions.  It is also helpful to involve yourself in the Answers feature on the site. A recent recommendation I made for a partner, in response to one of the questions, resulted in a $40k project.

Social Networking Offline: Social networking groups (#8), business associations (#9) and referrals from existing relationships.

This is by no means a complete list, as there are many other great tools available depending on your specific market and business objectives.  If you want some additional perspectives you can view the slides from the webinar here:

or access the recorded webinar here:

Finally, check out Eric Glazer's blog The Marketing Studio.

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