Author Archives: Nick Daunt

A Time of Renewal


spring flowersNotwithstanding the mid-March snow storm raging outside my window as I write these words, recorded weather records assure us that winter will eventually draw to a close and spring will in fact, finally arrive.  Then, formerly dormant, but now colorful and vibrant, life will again remind us of the many cycles of nature and the promise of renewal.

Speaking of cycles, every business has a unique sales cycle too.  It is human nature to “do things the way we’ve always done them”.  But, we have rarely (if ever) seen a sales process that could not benefit from an objective, fresh approach.  Like a frozen, windblown field in winter time, every sales funnel can get stale and lifeless.  At Parmac for more than twenty-one years now, renewing our customer’s sales funnel is all we do.

There is a lot of noise today confronting marketers about the latest and greatest holistic, digital (not to  mention expensive) solution to our B2B marketing woes.  But every day of the week, over and over again, our  well-trained and effective customer ambassadors are landing appointments and/or otherwise, generating  revenue for our business clients, who are probably a lot like you.

Here are two examples:

  •  Commercial Business Insurance Lead Generation makes up an important percentage of our business.  In total  for our top 10 insurance broker customers over the past year, we have delivered the following results:
    • # of dials – 105,576
    • # of prospect presentations – 16,238
    • # of leads – 5,319

 

  • Another significant service category for Parmac is Event Marketing.  Our largest customer in this category runs a significant national event in the spring every year and we have delivered successful results consistently for the past eight years for this event, along with several smaller events that they run.  Their national event program is actually under way now.  We project comparable results this year, but here are the key results delivered by Parmac for this customer’s 2013 National Conference:
    • # of dials – 10,733
    • # of registrations generated – 591
    • # of registration dollars generated – $142,442.00

At Parmac, we have always understood that ensuring our customer gains an attractive return on their lead generation investment (ROI) is the single most important key to successful relationships.  That is one reason why our name is “Parmac RELATIONSHIP Marketing”.  If you find these results compelling and would like to find out more about how Parmac could renew your sales funnel (& process) this spring or anytime in the future, do not hesitate.  Please use the comment section below (or send an eMail to info@parmacmarketing.com) to ask questions or provide your insight into this topic.  I would love to hear from you.

“Innovate or Die!”

The title above is a common mantra but, what does it mean to the average modern business?  In our company, as in many others, it might simply mean to focus on how we do things and then continuously question and tweak those actions in a never ending quest for improvement.  Processes can be broken down into revenue generating and administrative categories and an organization can choose their preferred area of focus based upon where the management believes the weaknesses are most pronounced at a given time.

factory man with keyI have also heard small & medium size business managers/owners say things like, “We prefer to maintain the status quo, neither grow nor shrink our business for now”.  Unfortunately, I have observed that all too often, that point of perfect “stasis” in business is elusive if not, actually unattainable.  So, a corollary of this desire for ‘status quo’ may be formed in that there is no such condition in a modern organization.  Perhaps the most truly applicable maxim is that (due to a variety of market factors like: competition, acquisition, relocation, etc.), every business is constantly in either a state of decline or of ascent, period.

One way that we at Parmac Marketing seek to innovate is to continuously search for new potential market sectors for our lead generation services.  In the modern global economy, much has been written and said about fundamental changes and challenges being presented to North American manufacturing.  However, we have been inspired by the creativity and persistence of successful manufacturers still operating and thriving on this continent.  In an insightful, scholarly analysis of Statistics Canada data and anecdotal home grown success stories, this Globe and Mail article describes a resurgence in Canadian manufacturing, led by smart, savvy entrepreneurs who seemingly possess a boundless capacity for innovation and growth by exploiting new niche markets where they can sustain a competitive advantage.  We plan to be part of their success by helping some of these forward-thinking business managers to establish new (and mine these existing) specialized markets.

I’d be very interested to hear from you on what “innovate or die” means in your business and your thoughts on the Globe and mail article above.

“Dog Days” of Summer

The summer weather has arrived with a vengeance here in Southern Ontario and it is, of course, a much anticipated and welcome development by most long suffering weather watchers in this part of North America.  However with the warmer weather, an added byproduct is that many businesses seem to go into “summer lull” mode as staff take holidays, summer hours are implemented, and other distractions take precedence.   With this especially warm weather so early in the season, what are also referred to as the “Dog Days” of summer seem to have arrived even earlier this year.

While we appreciate the change of seasons as much as any one, we are also in a business where we are continuously thinking about ours and our clients sales funnels and how to keep them full so that the key activity of on-going “suspect” filtering can continue to produce qualified “prospects” who ultimately become new customers.

sales funnel chartThe problem with going into “summer lull” mode and putting your lead generation activity on pause is that the prospecting funnel immediately begins to dry up.  This reality tends to have a very real impact on the new leads that will be available at the end of your normal prospecting cycle.  That cycle tends to have different average lengths for different businesses but suffice to say that many clients who decide to back off on their regular lead generation in July & August return to find a limited number of qualified leads available, if any, in early Fall.  Unfortunately then, at the time when we’re most ready to get back to work and fill the final quarter of the calendar year with productive effort, we return to an empty funnel that requires time and attention to be built back up.  As we know, this can seriously impact results in a negative way.

I’m curious if you have given this any thought and how you try to offset this problem.  As always, I would love to hear from you in the comments section below on this topic.

 

Are Analogue Tactics Relevant In a Digital World?

The recent “Chart-of-the-Week” from Marketing Sherpa got me thinking.  This survey of over 1700 marketers “asked survey participants to indicate what they believed to be the top content marketing tactics to get their audience to engage”.

I’m sure the activities highlighted above are all valid tactics employed by experts in marketing strategy and play an important role in the modern B2B mix of sophisticated marketers.  However, I wonder if we sometimes have a tendency to discard the good with the bad when embracing new ideas.  Since my introduction to the “4 Ps” (Place, Price, Product, & Promotion), marketing has always been a combination of factors, a “mix”, and, in some circles, is almost considered to be alchemy.  And, there are updated models developed in place of the concept of the 4 Ps of marketing to be sure.  But, regardless of to which marketing model we subscribe, there is no doubt that “the new“ constantly competes for attention with the “time-tested” established methods of the past.

A case in point is direct outbound lead generation via the telephone.  Some believe that newly developed tactics take precedence over such old ways of doing things and again, I do not mean to discount the effectiveness of making use of new channels to help cut through today’s cluttered marketing landscape:  I mean, here I am writing a blog post!  But, at the end of the day, humans still crave person-to-person contact and, especially in B2B, personal, direct interaction can greatly influence the sales cycle.  I submit that the reason old fashioned, continuous prospecting and sales funnel nurturing became such a mainstay of marketing tactics is due to one simple reason: they work! 

The problem is that with all of the challenges and distractions of processing, evaluating and implementing “the new”, there can be precious little time left over to implement the ”tried and true”.  This problem is coupled with the fact that an instant gratification culture also does not encourage the sometimes grinding day-to-day grunt work still necessary in most multi-faceted marketing mixes.  Since many organizations face increasing challenges internally fitting in all the pieces, they frequently turn to outsourcing some components of their mix to 3rd party specialists.

I’d love to hear from you on the ideas discussed here, please leave a comment below or send me an eMail.

“I Get So Excited When I See Your Reports In My Inbox!”

It has been an interesting process over the past few weeks/months as we’ve been seeking to pull together some new content and retain some of the best of what was already here for our updated website and blog.  Just this past week, we came across yet another interesting quote from a customer that I felt I just had to share.  And, why not?  I believe it is fun, interesting and useful to hear what our customers are saying.

This time we were doing a business review with a fairly new customer; discussing what was good, what could be better and planning for the future when he just blurted it…

”I get so excited when I see an email from you in my inbox”!

We were a little startled but assumed it was a good thing so we dug a little deeper by asking, “What do you mean?”  The client laughed and said, “Well, when I see your email come in every day with my activity reports, I know it means new leads for me and I cannot wait to open it right away!”  We always hope that our customers are glad to hear from us but it was wonderful to hear it put just this way by a new Parmac customer.

Thank you for checking back/subscribing to our blog and we hope you will do so regularly.  We have a plan in place to update the information here every couple of weeks, in ways that let you know what we’re about, how we are different and most importantly why consistent lead generation is more important than ever to today’s corporate marketing mix.  We look forward to writing this but, even more so, we look forward to hearing from you.  Please take a moment to leave a comment about what you have read or, perhaps, suggest a topic for a future post.

“Parmac is a verb, not a noun” – What a compliment!

Welcome to the newly updated Parmac Relationship Marketing website!

We were already excited to launch our new site, but when this came in we just couldn’t wait to share it on our brand new blog.

“Did you know that your good reputation in our industry is so well-known that you are now referred to as a verb, as in: ‘we will need to parmac this new target program’?” 

We were in a meeting with a senior level insurance brokerage executive who had spent much of her career in insurance company sales and marketing roles.  It was the first time we had actually heard this quote and we were floored!  Of course, each time a prospective client agrees to entrust some portion of their lead generation to us, we are once again mindful of the uniquely privileged position we are placed in to represent our customer to their own marketplace(s).  And, we do not take that honour lightly.

If you have never before considered augmenting your sales & marketing mix with customized lead generation activities with us, we would love to speak with you soon.  It might be time to “parmac” your own results!

We look forward to helping you!