One of the most challenging parts of running a successful content marketing agency is finding prospects. Not just any old prospects, but those prospects that are relevant to your industry and truly understand the need for content marketing in today’s digital landscape.
While there are various kinds of software available, not many of them will empower agencies to find relevant prospects that’ll turn into actual clients. In other words, the specific prospect-contact software that you’re relying on has a huge impact on the number of leads you identify and whether or not they’re high-quality.
If you’re working at an agency, chances are great that you’ve heard of and likely use known tools or platforms like Salesforce and LinkedIn. However, I bet you haven’t heard of a lesser-known tool called Winmo/The List, but you really should if you want better results from prospecting. According to the authoritative Mirren-RSW/US 2017 New Business Tools Annual Report, Winmo/The List has surpassed all other tools and resources as the number one choice of prospecting software for agencies.
Let’s take a closer look at this highly interesting development.
What prospect-contact software does
Prospect-contact software helps you (or should help you!) find solid leads that you can nurture down your conversion funnel to turn into actual clients or customers. Because not all software or tools of this nature are created equally, the quality of prospect information generated will be different from platform to platform.
In general, it identifies potential prospects by scouring the Internet for their email address, phone numbers, and/or social-media profiles.
In theory, but not always in practice, staying on top of such vital information will empower agencies to reach out to the right people at specific businesses, with the goal to establish communication, offer solutions to problems, and simply initiate first contact to then nurture a relationship down the line.
In the aforementioned Mirren Report, prospect-contact software is the only marketing tool to see a double-digit increase from 2016 to 2017, netting an impressive 11% gain. Needless to say, when such a tool gains in popularity from one year to the next, it’s because agencies all over the place are seeing more meaningful value in it than other marketing approaches like email (down 9% in the report), CRM and even social media.
Winmo/The List came out as the top choice among agencies for driving new business to them. The report revealed the top three prospect-contact tools to be:
- Winmo/The List – 19%
- LinkedIn – 16%
- Salesforce – 12%
That begs the question, why is a little-known tool the prospecting tool of choice for agencies these days?
When a tool beats out big names like LinkedIn and Salesforce among agencies, it’s a big sign that marketers are finding a lot of value in it.
What makes Winmo/The List different from, say, LinkedIn, is its ability to find you the right prospects at the right time, so key in getting useful prospect information. With Winmo/The List, you get various alerts and recommendations in real time on the specific prospects you’re following. This means practical and actionable benefits, such as being able to contact your prospect when key decision-makers come aboard, when someone’s contact information is updated or changed outright, and when an agency- or brand-relationship changes happen.
It goes without saying that timing is everything in marketing, too.
For example, if you’re an agency reaching out to a prospect when they’ve just fired their marketing head and are in disarray, it’s basically a wasted attempt at building a relationship. However, if you reach out, strategically, just when a prospect has brought in a new marketing head, you know that business is serious about ramping up its ad strategy, which will result in a better outcome when you touch base with them.
Why isn’t LinkedIn doing better among agencies?
That’s the big million-dollar question when you go through this report: Why is LinkedIn only in second place among agencies as the platform they use for driving new business to them? Since LinkedIn is the number one social network for professionals, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it would be the most used among agencies.
When I perused this eye-opening report a bit deeper, I soon found out why LinkedIn’s popularity has, at least for this year, somewhat stalled among agencies: The problem is using LinkedIn’s contact and profile info as a good basis for list-building, and also whether said info is always accurate and relevant.
In other words, agencies want prospect-contact software to not only provide information on their prospects, but also make it easy for them to build lists for reaching-out purposes. So while LinkedIn certainly is a repository of all the contact information on prospects that you could want, efficiently building a list out of all of that data is time-consuming and therefore untenable.
That’s why a list builder like Winmo/The List might have emerged as the top choice of marketers at agencies.
Besides making it easy to build prospect lists by using features like targeted search functionality, Winmo/The List also identifies key decision-makers, whereas LinkedIn really just provides their contact info.
As a result, on the whole, there just might be more value for marketers at agencies.
When I dug into the data of this report even further, I quickly saw that Winmo/The List rated higher than LinkedIn when it comes to very important criteria, such as prospect identification. Having a list is always well and good, but when it fails to help you successfully identify prospects, then it’s just a glorified collection of names.
Marketers rated Winmo/The List a 4.1 compared to LinkedIn’s 4.0 in prospect identification. So while this may not seem like a big advantage, it was one of the factors that made marketers choose this little-known tool over LinkedIn. Interestingly, respondents rated the list quality for both of them at 3.7.
When it came to what platform marketers at agencies are actually currently using, Winmo/The List came out on top again with 76% of those surveyed saying they currently use it versus LinkedIn, which only 60% said they currently use. Still, these two platforms represented the vast majority of users for prospect-contact software.
Turning everything on its head
What makes the Mirren Report so useful is that it turns conventional wisdom right on its head when it comes to content marketing. Many of us in marketing take for granted that the most widely used platform, LinkedIn, should be everyone’s default choice, but this survey shows otherwise. More and more, not only is prospect-contact software getting popular, but a little-known tool that specializes in efficient list building, the timing of contacting prospects, and accuracy and relevancy of data is making a big splash this year.
With the largest user base, a dominant platform like LinkedIn might have little reason to innovate beyond what it offers, which is prospect contact information, whether completely accurate or not.
By going with a neat, little platform like Winmo/The List, you possibly could have more of your pain points addressed as an agency looking for relevant leads and perhaps also be pleasantly surprised.