To start generating leads, first of all, you need to decide what type of campaign would be appropriate! Once you decide on the type of campaign, you can then look at the calendar to start planning in advance.
- Are you going to be attending a trade-show in the coming months? A meeting arrangement campaign will provide introductions to the appropriate decision makers of the companies that you wish to target.
- Do you have a particular market segment or region that you wish to target? Have you launched a new product and need to reach out to new prospects? In these cases, a traditional lead generation (demand generation) campaign would be the most useful.
Meeting arrangement campaign: setting appointments with qualified leads at a tradeshow
During meeting arrangement campaigns in our experience, normally 30% of the meetings are booked in the week leading up to the start of the show and 70% are booked earlier. So, in general the best timing to start generating leads is to be well prepared and start well in advance!
There is no denying that CXO profiles’ diaries fill-up fast. Unless you get extremely lucky, there are no ‘last-minute’ slots if you reach out for the first time one week before the show. The main decision makers will have a clear idea who they want to meet with and what technologies interest them. This is why it is so important to run meeting arrangement campaigns for a minimum of 2 weeks, to a maximum period of 6 weeks, and the point that you start the campaign at is crucial. Too early and people are not yet interested in thinking so far ahead, too late and you will have missed out on the meetings that you were looking to secure.
Even within the CSP trade-shows there are exceptions; the time you should start your meeting leads campaign between MWC Barcelona and IBC in Amsterdam for example are very different! A good marketing agency will be able to let you know when is the best time to start a campaign, if it should be full-time or part-time to begin with. This kind of knowledge only comes about through years of experience.
All lead generation campaigns: specific considerations of timing before you can start generating leads
For all your demand generation campaigns you have to consider annual vacations and holidays, and also weekly variations in the working days.
In Europe people in the telecommunications industry tend to take 2-3 week holidays during the summer, so in July & August it is harder to reach them in their offices. In December people are preparing for the Christmas holidays and the New Year and often take one or two weeks over this period to be with their families. A marketing email, no matter how well targeted & written is likely to get ‘lost’ in their inbox when they return to hundreds of emails.
In Europe we take it for granted that people work during the ‘core business hours’ from Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm. However even within Europe there can be variations. In the Nordic countries where these is a heavy focus on achieving a good work life balance, people tend to work from 8am to 4pm. Daring to cold call a prospect on their mobile after 4pm is a big mistake.
If we look at Islamic countries and Jewish countries the weekend isn’t Saturday & Sunday at all, but commonly Friday and Saturday to match with their religious holy day or sabbath.
In other regions there are different days to pay attention to, such as in the Middle East it is best to avoid the days of Ramadan, and in China we can expect everything to close down for the celebrations of Chinese New Year every January/February.
The best advice we can give is to be aware of who you want to market your products or services to. If you are looking to launch a campaign in a particular country or region, make sure that you look at a calendar of bank holidays & religious festivals before you begin. If you are working with a professional marketing agency you should discuss your specific needs with your sales or project manager. They can give you tailored advice on when would be the best time to run your campaign and start generating leads.
If you want to run an appointment setting campaign or demand generation campaign with DEVEO we have years of experience in getting the timing of your campaign just right.