iQ media - IQ Blog - Telemarketing; still a valid tool? (29 April 10)

Telemarketing; still a valid tool?

29 April 2010

Telemarketing; still a valid tool? Image

As any marketing manager or director knows by experience, the process of “marketing” a product or service, within B2B or B2C environments is an ongoing process of innovation, instigation and adaptation to internal and external forces and demands. These can be demands by consumers, changes in buying habits or simply innovations in technology.

And like all processes where you are continually looking at the best method of achieving your goals and objectives, sometimes tried and tested platforms can be overlooked, within the modern day marketing and promotional mix.  Realistically, a marketing mix should be just that; a mixture of different platforms and processes, combined to achieve optimum effect, goals and objectives.  One area of the marketing mix which is often overlooked or viewed to be “old hat” is telemarketing.

Now, it is fair to say that telemarketing is not a new platform and it is also valid to say that telemarketing is all too often confused with “telesales”, a term generated from years to double glazing companies. It is unfair to judge telemarketing upon this basis, as it leads to judgements on quality and content of all outbound telemarketing activity.

Typically within B2C markets, the buying process is quicker, depersonalised and less informed vs. B2B markets.  This is to say that within a consumer context, people are driven by their emotions, the “I want it” mechanism which responds to brand marketing and soft data available from family and friend recommendations; a typical discretionary spend.

Within B2B sectors, there is a much more refined sale process.  The sell itself “is personal”. The client needs to be confident in your proposition, your company’s heritage, background and who your past clients are. 

That said, whereas with other promotional platforms where you would have to communicate specific messages to a specific segment of your audience, telemarketing is suitable for both consumer and business markets in equal measure.

Where telemarketing really proves its worth is with those members of the population who do not have regular access to the internet. In the digital word, the concept of picking up a phone and dialling a list of names and numbers can seem quite dated, but telemarketing can truly add value to any campaign. 

When planning any marketing activity, dependent upon your desired audience and objectives, all techniques old and new, cutting edge or established should be viewed on their own individual merit but also the value they can add.

Within any telemarketing campaign, the proposition should be clear and the call should be made as relevant as possible to that individual prospective client. 

Telemarketing is a “reinforcer”; it offers the opportunity to put a foot in the door of your prospective client, to reiterate your proposition be it a service or product, whilst promoting recall of your company, brand or product name. Using multiple platforms and channels optimises awareness of your product or service, company or brand name without pure repetition.

It provides a platform to develop an ongoing relationship with your potential audience and if telemarketing can add incremental revenue, then it should form a part of any marketing communications or promotional plan.

Telemarketing should not only be judged as a “sales tool”.  Telemarketing activities can serve to drive viewers to your website, promote a new line or service whilst providing timely regular feedback from current or potential clients; refreshing your database and offering opportunities to refine your data, by client, by sector in order to undertake targeted direct mail or email marketing activities, by segmenting your database. It also offers cross-selling opportunities.

Plus, of all marketing and promotional elements, telemarketing offers clear key performance indicators, i.e. number of calls made, successful calls where contact made and objectives achieved i.e. appointments.

To close, although the scope of marketing and promotional platforms has changed significantly over the last decade, it is also fair to say that telemarketing too has evolved and has kept a pace with modern day demands and still has the potential to be a valuable element of any modern day marketing mix.

For more information on how telemarketing can work within your marketing and promotional campaigns and how iQ Media can help you, please email solutions@iqmediagroup.co.uk or call 0845 612 7147.

 

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