The beauty of conferences – like SIPA 2014, Strategies for Growth, June 4-6 here in Washington, D.C. – is that you hear from experts who have seen both sides and emerged better from it. They’ve done the hard work, perhaps changed, perhaps came back to an idea; now it’s our privilege to hear what worked. Take a look at the schedule posted online. Meanwhile, here are 3 sessions and 1 keynote where the speakers offer a tip and a preview:
Lead Generation: The Art and Science of Finding, Nurturing and Selling to New Names – Robin Crumby (pictured), founder and director of Melcrum, will lead this session. Direct online marketing channels work well for subscriptions up to a certain amount, but for higher B2B subs, the role of online marketing shifts to lead generation.
His tip: Crumby uses web content, SEO, pay per click and social to create a large pool of prospects, then captures emails via webinars, e-letters and report downloads. Then those who complete a form are followed up by sales people. Analytics will allow you to track back to see which traffic-driving activities ultimately deliver quality leads. It helps to provide prospects with documents to help them convince the boss. On the corporate level, sell to your champions; find out what they need to convince others.
New Rules for Product Development and Time to Market – Consultant Molly Lindblom (pictured) delivered an excellent webinar for us last year on Lean Start-up, and David Foster, CEO of BVR, delivered an equally actionable webinar on growing new products. Their teaming up makes it highly anticipated.
Her tip: Asked about concern for competition and giving away ideas (through Lean Start-up), Lindblom replied: “The goal is to learn about your customers. Your competition is just as smart, so the key here is speed. This is a quick way to vet your ideas so you can get [a new product] to market earlier.”
His tip: “The sales and marketing resources needed to succeed should be clear, identifiable and sensible to an objective outsider,” Foster said. “i.e. ‘We’ll just give these 1000 leads to our best sales person and they can add them to their daily call list’ is not a successful strategy.”
(Members can check here for the audio of those webinars.)
Pricing Strategies to Increase Revenue – Christine Durman, partner, Abbey Road Associates, will discuss how to maximize your revenue by thinking differently about your customer’s value drivers, and your price positioning.
Her tip: “Sometimes, you need to change the conversation. [On one particular product], the problem wasn’t that the price was too high, it was that the product was too bloated—too much packaging. The key thing here is don’t jump straight to your pricing; think about your presentation, your packaging, your structure. Thinking through those elements will give you more confidence in your pricing.”
From Print to Provider: The Nexzuspub and Home Depot Story – Keynote speaker Andrew Waite, president and publisher, NEXZUS Publishing Group, will share his story of how he partnered with Home Depot to create a fully integrated app for the contracting industry that is delivering double digit returns for his business as well as for his partners.
His tip (from an interview on flipnerd.com): “What you find with technology…most people are brought up in just one niche. When you say to them, and this is what happened at Home Depot, ‘Okay, we want you to interface with the mainframe which, oh by the way, is running on a 30 year old BMS, A.G. Edwards technology or databases.’ They go, ‘We don’t do that. We don’t understand it.’ …what we’ve found is that there’s a huge opportunity for going back into system integration. That’s what we’re doing with some of this mobile technology. If you’re a national account for Home Depot, like Homevestors is, you’ve got those technologies coming to you at no charge because they want to capture the revenue.”
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering diversity, Newspaper in Education, marketing and leadership before joining SIPA in 2009