Throughout time, businesses, especially local-based operations, depended largely on what was known once as word-of-mouth that is now, in the full impetus of the online marketing generation, is known as networking.
Online networking basically comes in two formats – either for business to business or business to consumer. Business to business networking can mean becoming a member of a local marketing Forum who offers to meet on a weekly or even monthly basis to discuss latest trends in the local business community.
Well most of the people at these meetings may not be involved in the same business; they will use these meeting places as an informal means of gathering local information that may result in contact and sales. In some cases networking forums of this nature may become national, multiplying opportunities to harvest leads.
As far as making contacts online with the same goal of lead gathering then one of the biggest mediums these days is undoubtedly LinkedIn, whose member base is growing at a tremendous rate. LinkedIn houses trade forums for every sector of business as well as for service providers covering every trade and industry sector. For any business, large or small, having an employee of two active on LinkedIn is a very worthwhile investment.
Business owners who are looking for trade in the consumer sector and find the prospect of dealing with Facebook just a little daunting, a little research may help them to find local consumer marketing websites where they can establish a presence. The obvious advantage for any marketing company that finds such a niche is that they will be a big fish in a small pool instead of being one of many hundreds of thousands reaching out for a market which will probably be less than relevant to them because of the geographical distances involved.
When it comes to setting a marketing leads harvesting policy, companies should sit down and decide exactly what they’re looking for and how to go about it with the minimum costs and maximum effect. Being able to identify where the best opportunities lie to harvest marketing leads will save a lot of time, money and effort.