Episode 196: Lead Generation With Shiv Gupta

Show Summary

Rob Cairns sits down and talks lead generation with Shiv Gupta.

Show Highlights:

  1. What is lead generation?
  2. What is the best way to do lead generation?
  3. Other methods to generate leads.
  4. What leads can do for your business.

Show Notes


Hey everybody, Rob Cairns here and today I’m here with another digital marketer, Shiv Gupta.

How are you today shift?

I’m great doc.

Thanks for having me.

Well, it’s a pleasure.

So today I thought I’d dive into and if you could tell the listeners a little bit about your background, how you got into digital marketing and how that sort of came about.

Yeah, sure so.

I started my career at the age of 17.

Uh, I was into computer.

I’m from the computer science back.

Around and like I started by doing.

But research based projects, like my own projects and later on I got little bit popular because of those projects and one of my initial clients like his name was also robbed.

His name was Rob.

Magaria encouraged me to open up my own agency.

Actually, it’s.

So at that point of time, I opened up my digital marketing agency and here we are with incrementors.

Yeah, and how long you’ve been running your own agency?

Now shift.

Uh, yeah, I have been running this agency from the like.

It’s almost a decade from the past ten years I’m in.

This and I like started almost 1213 years back.

Yeah, it’s funny when you mention it.

’cause I originally come from a computer programming background which in essence is computer science.

So you know my my background is is pretty similar actually, and I I actually think it makes you a better marketer to understand how logic works and how the.

Machine works and how things like that work.

Wouldn’t you agree?

That’s right, that’s right.

In fact, I started my career as a coder, but I when I was doing my own research.

The best projects I found that myself more inclined towards the mark.

And since I was from computer science background and trying to understand the things was easy, I was always interested in the psychology of the users.

So yes, this is the exact same thing which happened with me.

And yeah, I agree it’s easy if you have that sort of background.

I would agree.

And what does your agency specialize in, primarily in terms of digital marketing?

In terms of digital marketing though, we are anomalies.

Channel agency so we are not channel specific.

We do the research for our clients and try to understand what is best suitable for them.

What are their competitors are doing?

Where are their potential buyers spending most of their time?

But if you would ask one specialization, then I would say search engine.

Optimization is something where we highly specialized because that is something from where I started my career and we kept on expanding the.

Team right now we are offering search engine optimization services, PPC services, email automation, right, Facebook ads, Google ads, social media marketing.

So all types of online marketing we are dealing with because now single channel.

And it’s difficult to generate leads with a single channel.

You need to be good at couple of different channels.

Yeah, which brings me into my next segue and the subject we wanted to talk about today, which is regeneration and.

What is kind of start and say I think it’s harder to do regeneration today than it ever was three or four years ago.

Do you have any thoughts on that?

Actually, every year, the buyer’s purse.

Now their psychology is changing.

So that’s why we need to keep on updating our shares, and if we are doing so, it’s easy to generate leads.

But yes, if we are following the same old set of patterns or strategies, then it has become difficult now.

It is more about demand generation rather than the generation, and if you are doing that correctly then the sales cycle would be shorter.

You will get better quality clients right that you will be able to hit or target the exact audience your ideal client, so that’s how it’s overall working currently.

So yes, it has somewhere gone difficult as well.

If it.

Plus, if you are doing it correctly.

It’s very easy.

Yeah, and I think one of the things that’s made regeneration really hard and you know I’ll be quite frank about it is a lot of people like to do their lead generation on Facebook.

And we all know as I call it, the Facebook monster.

It is becoming harder and harder to figure out what the algorithm is.

How do I retarget it’s becoming harder with the new iOS upgrades that have gone in that if you’re using Safari or Apple Mail, it doesn’t.

Capture pixels or cookies the same way.

Do you have any thoughts?

On on madness.

Yeah, definitely with the Apple update.

A lot of marketers right now are in.

Sort of trauma.

You can call it like they’re confused what to do, how to get things done, and like these updates will keep on coming up, right?

So ultimately will.

We have to change our strategy in such a way so that even if these sort of issues comes up, you always have a different channel and in fact.

This is the reason why I encourage lot of my clients to have an email list because all these social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube.

They can change their algorithm at any point of time.

Someone else can buy their entire time.

Entire company, right?

Anything can happen, but if you have an email list.

That is in Evergreen.

Same thing, guess what for anything to do online you need an email to sign up somewhere to create a form to communicate with something.

So every year I hear that even marketing is that email marketing is that, but that is.

Going to.

Because email is something.

Email is the core of the Internet.

You cannot do anything on the web if you don’t have email ID right.

So email ID is always going to work and that’s why with this Facebook and all other things, I encourage my clients to have an email list and always make sure that they clear out the junk.

Emails right?

They should spend decent amount of time in clearing.

Their email database and sent.

Targeted emails after improper segmentation, so that’s what I encouraged to.

Lot of my clients.

I I would agree with Harry.

You know listeners of this and people who follow me on Twitter and other social media sites will know I’m a big proponent of a having an email list B.

Having a website because the reality of it is the only two things they actually own on the Internet.

Is your email list and your website.

Everything else is just kind of borrow the rented space that you actually don’t.

And the problem with that is any of these providers can change at the whim what they allow and what they don’t allow, and that becomes a problem for a marketer, correct?

Yeah, that’s right, that’s exactly right.

That’s what I was trying to explain.

Yep, and what would you?

What would you think about blogging in today’s world as lead generation style?

Do you think it works?

Do you think it doesn’t work?

What are your?

Thoughts on that?

So blogging.

Definitely works.

It’s a very crucial part for any type of like whenever you are doing any type of marketing because VIP login you can educate your customers.

You can target the right set of people right?

And you can showcase.

Yourself as a market expert.

Right market leader.

So there are couple of things which you do via regular blogging.

But yes, consistency is very important and like in fact I have been giving.

I’ve been talking with about this example as well for.

Makes sense.

Right now we are in the covered area and agencies like web Cam or zoom.

They can do the blogging related to how to increase the productivity online or how to do conferencing while sitting at your home or anywhere in the world.

And they can publish topic publish content on these type of topics and we present themselves.

As a solution inside.

The the content.

So this way people would be interested in reading that since they are not highly advertising their product right it is it is helping them with some sort of a natural selling and it will increase the demand and it will increase the sales of their product.

So yes, blogging plays a very vital role.

Even now I would.

Agree, and by extension of blogging I.

For about two years now for my agency.

I haven’t done traditional bugging.

Believe it or not.

I made a shift.

Uh, no, I haven’t written for myself.

I have not written one long form blog post in three years as of the end of, as is the beginning of December.

What I have, what I have done though is I’ve been doing consistent podcasting.

Since that period, so I made this.

Vision long long time ago that blogging wasn’t the avenue for me. I had written to give an idea I’d written 8000 blog posts in about 10 years from myself, let alone would have written for clients, which is a whole new ball game and I made a decision that podcasting was the medium.

And I think.

Podcasting is kind of an extension of blogging, so you know, I think what you said, which was really key was consistency and I always stress that to people.

If you do a mailing list, you need to put it out on the same day every week.

If you do a podcast, you need to put it out on the same day.

Every week you need to be consistent and I think where a lot of people drop down is they do marketing efforts haphazardly, and they don’t necessarily are consistent, correct?

Yeah, that’s correct, that’s correct.

And then the other thing.

And then the other thing that people do, believe it or not, is they say, oh, I’m really busy today I’m making lots of money.

It’s business time, So what they do is they stop all their marketing efforts and they don’t ramp up their marketing efforts till they’re not busy.

And what they don’t understand, especially doing lead generation is it’s a long term strategy. It’s not a let me throw a $5000 product out at you and say I’ve got it. It doesn’t work that way, right? So we got it.

People need to get with the program and kind of realize they’ve got a market consistently all year round.

Yeah, that’s that’s right, that’s right.

So yes, like whether you do blogging or whether you podcasting, it is important to stay consistent and to stick.

On the interest area of your targeted audience, that’s what the.

Most important thing which matters, even if you don’t do either of them, even if you are getting just the videos or if you are getting just sending the newsletters right, it’s up to you whatever you are doing.

Whatever is suitable based upon your industry, but ultimately you need to make sure that you are coming in front of your audience.

Again and again, so you need to make sure that they never forget about you, so that’s what I feel is is very important.

No, I would agree there’s a the there’s a marketing philosophy that says it takes.

Somewhere between 10 and 15 touches, some people say 7, but 10 or 15 for people to actually see your product.

And that’s not even getting you to buy it.

That’s just to recognize it.

And when people need to understand this, that’s the reason why when you turn on a sporting event.

You see an ad from Coca Cola 15 times in the middle of the three hour Nedbank.

They’re just trying to get you there point where they wreck it.

You recognize their brand and then you go from there, right?

So it’s just.


It’s just really hard.

Yeah, that’s absolutely correct, right?

It takes around 7 to 10 touchpoints for any potential buyer to make a decision, so you need to make sure that you keep coming in front of them.

It can be via different mediums and this is the only reason why load of agencies are trying to come in front of their targeted audience.

In different formats, whether it is sending them, email, broadcast or maybe it is through their blog?

Or maybe podcasting or maybe like for instance.

Right now I’m coming as a guest in your podcast, right?

So be going as a guest, or maybe hosting up.

Broadcast so it can be anything, but you need to make or maybe retargeting ads, but you need to make sure that you keep on coming in front of them again and again so that they start recognizing you and that will eventually help you in generating a sale.

That is true.

So for a small business, so say let’s take for example a small retail store that’s not part.

Of a national chain.

What would be the best way for them to start doing regeneration?

Can you just repeat your question?

Sure, food start for a.

Your voice breaking about?

Small business that is a.

Say a small retail store that’s not part of a national chain.

What would be the best way for them to start leading regeneration in the digital world?

Alright awesome cushion.

Awesome cushion.

So for our small business the.

The the most important thing which I would like to bring here in through the medium of your lovely podcast is that they need to have the correct mindset.

They need to understand that they are a small business, right?

And they.

They should not try to beat the big guys because if they will try to do so, they will just be exhausting their entire money and they won’t be able to receive the results.

And ultimately, they’ll have to shut down everything.

They’ll have to stop that campaign because maximum they can wait.

For two months, three months or or a period of 6-7 months, right? And if they won’t see any results, they’ll have to shut down everything. On the other hand, big.

Brands can spend for entire year right to to make sure that they are warming up their audience and to generate the sales at a later stage.

That is the most important thing which I feel second is which I tell to load off.

My client says that it is better.

To be a bigger fish in a small pond rather than to be a very small fish in a big pond so.

Small businesses have an advantage.

They can be little bit more personalized.

They can be very highly like specific, but which and this thing is disabled for bigger businesses.

So small businesses should focus on some specific set of areas or there.

Expertise, which they should then go and do the market.

And try to generate leads for that.

So instead of competing with their competitors on all the areas, they should specialize in some specific areas.

And then market that create USP against that.

And once those things are ready, once that marketing material is ready then they can go ahead and start doing bending.

For that, start doing marketing around those areas and that’s when they can very easily generate the leads.

No, that’s so.

True, and I’m a big believer that you actually, as a small business, you have to distinguish yourself from other businesses and you know, we say, you know, there’s no point in fighting everything on price because that becomes a race to the bottom.

And that is not a good idea.

And frankly, at the end of the day, we we actually turn.

Uhm, finding what’s different, you’re inside advantage in in the business, So what makes you different than your competitors?

And I think too many times small businesses just try and emulate or copy the big business as well.

If they don’t provide any different service, why should I use them?

And I always kind of steer people towards a really good book called the inside advantage by Robert Bloom. It was written in 2009, but it’s still relevant and he talks about how to make your business different and why that matters. And I think that’s really the key, wouldn’t you agree?

That’s right, that’s right.

In fact, another good book on this is good to great by Jim Collins.

Yeah, I’ve read that book several times.

It’s it’s almost.

It’s almost a must read.

So once we we establish that what techniques besides on an email list.

Do you suggest for small business?

So for small businesses in email list, I would suggest that they should not.

Uh, like try to heavy expertise like they should not try to heavily advertise themselves.

Instead they should keep on providing value to their email users so that they don’t unsubscribe them and then they stay interested.

That is the first thing second.

Is it is very important to do segmentation?

Because if you will be keep on like if you’ll keep on sending irrelevant emails, or if you’ll be if you’ll keep on sending emails which are not relevant to the person, right?

They might like turn themselves down or switch off their brain for your emails.

Or maybe spam you or.

Unsubscribe you, so you should try to avoid those.

Once you have done those things and you have clearly listed your specifications, your area or area of expertise or your goops then.

Like create your Email newsletter.

Draft your emails based upon.

That then very in a very natural way talk about those things while providing values which should be 90% value and 10% about.

Your how you helped a client, even when you’re sending those emails.

It should be like how you help the client.

A case study of that from where they can read and learn instead of just saying.

That OK, we have like we helped a client increase in sales from $20 to maybe $150 instead of that.

They should talk about the journey, how that happened so that their leaders could understand and learn.

And ultimately, if if they need to buy, they are eventually going to come to you because they are, they see you as alleged company and they trust you and they know that you have expertise in the in the exact area.

And while doing this you will be.

Targeting them at their specific interest area where they are interested and the place where they actually.

Want to?

Learn and understand and grow.

So if you do the email marketing this way then there would be very high conversion ratio plus you will be adding value to a lot of people.

Even if a person doesn’t convert, you are at least helping them.

You are making a difference, so that’s what I recommend.

Yeah, I think too many people when they do we generation.

They think that means sales, sales, sales, hard sales and I really think you know honestly that people in today’s marketplace.

They don’t buy information anymore.

What they end up buying.

Or working with is the people they like, ’cause we all know the biggest encyclopedia in the world is located at Google, so you can find the answers to any topic for anything at any time without calling somebody.

But I really, truly think regeneration.

Is more today more than ever a long term strategy and it’s actually building a relationship, and I think the relationship is more important than the the potential scale.

What do you think?

Couldn’t agree more to this.

It is definitely very important and to do it in this way so there are couple of small small activities which they can do like even the small businesses, right?

They can start.

By making sure that their website is looking good, they can start by doing own optimization, making sure that the call to actions and the website looks good.

After that they can try to.

Market their website either through search in optimization or maybe social media.

And since a business is on small budget, instead of running the ads completely, they can run remarketing and retargeting on Facebook and Google because the cost is very less and.

Which then another touchpoint with their users.

So overall combining all these things would help them.

Really, in generating overall more sales and a better branding for themselves.

And yes, you are completely right on the spot when you say that people these days are thinking lead generation as only sales and I won’t even blame the people.

I think this is because.

Of our traditional system, like how we measure the performance and even even these days.

But I see in lot of companies we work with marketers.

They only work on creating the brochure or they work on creating the supportive material for their sales team and they call it a marketing.

And the reason is because the reason is the performance is measured only in terms of leads generated or only in terms of the revenue generated, right?

Like, on the other hand, the correct way of measuring performance can be measuring the sales cycle, right?

How much time it took to generate the sales.

Or in in those other aspects.

So this is the reason like because the measurement and the performance tracking is done in a traditional way.

That’s why a lot of marketers they or lot of people who are into the lead generation.

They only focus on that.

And this is a big problem because when people like when anyone?

Is focusing only on generating the leads.

As soon as they get a email or name or phone number, they will just pass that over to their sales team and their work is done.

On the other hand, if someone is actually trying to create an impact and generate some value, then what they would do is they’ll make sure that the like if they exchanged PDF in return.

Of that lead.

Then they’ll make sure that the PDF is awesome.

If they’re providing a course, then they’ll make sure that the course is awesome.

So when you are doing it in a right way.

Then the magic happens, then they’ll actually see the more number of things happening.

Less time spent on the sales cycle.

All those sort of things, but yes we need to include that in somewhere into the measurement matrices as well so that people get encouraged and do the.

Lead generation the right way.

Not the wrong way.

And just getting the leads and handling that.

Over to the sales.

Yeah, and I think one of the biggest problems is in companies where there’s a sales team and a marketing team.

Uhm sales and marketing do not always work together cohesively, and that’s a big issue because the purpose of marketing is to generate seal sales, and it’s a 2.

Services two teams are not In Sync then that’s a problem in most businesses, and it seems to be an ongoing issue in our business where they’re not very In Sync, and that’s a problem.

Yeah, definitely that’s a that’s a big problem and now lot.

Lots of company companies have started understanding this thing.

In fact, in couple of agencies we worked with we anchor.

Age the marketing people to sit.

With the sales.

Team to listen to their sales recording and understand what are the points they are trying to sell on income of the cases we have seen that marketing was done in a different way.

They were pushing different points and the sales Rep didn’t even talk about that valuable thing which.

Which that leader that potential buyer was interested in.

They kept on talking about some other features of their product, right?

And weather on the right hand side you were talking about the benefits in the marketing.

So yes, marketing and sales should be in the.

I think they should try to understand each other’s problem and help each other. Like if a company is going in this direction and doing things in this way.

This way then it makes it very easy for marketing to happen and for the sales to happen because they are talking about the same things they are talking about.

The same USPS they are talking about, the same features or benefits which their product offers, right?

So that’s a.

That’s a big difference.

No, I I really.

Agree, so yeah, the problem becomes you know.

I’m in.

We’re talking about.

Regeneration as a strategy and the reality of it all is many companies.

They actually don’t have a budget to do regeneration, and I think if you’re in business.

Regeneration has to be part of your marketing strategy and you have to have a budget and I don’t know why, but with small businesses they say oh I’ll just do it well.

There’s still a budget based on time based on effort based on pain.

Somebody, there’s always a budget and I think they need to figure out that they need the budget fully generation.

Exactly like, even uh, like I explained this to some of the people who come across me and tell me that they don’t have but.

Jet 4 needs I tell them it is just like driving a car continuously without having any time to fill up for the petrol right or the diesel or the fuel whatever.

We call it so it’s always important to wait to do the right thing and in lot of agencies what I have seen is they start the lead generation only when they don’t have any leads at all, and during that time you are very aggressively pushing for that.

Things and you are very needy.

So during that time you just agree for whatever.

The deal the other portion asks you to do on the best time for lead generation is when you have tons and tons of leads and you don’t have any time to produce more because at that point of time you can very easily keep on doing the things.

So with this, what I mean is, lead generation is a process which.

Should run the entire year, not just during the Christmas or holiday season, or not, just during any specific time.

It should.

Run the entire year and once you have that then you will be able to figure out in a correct way how many leads you can get the next month, right?

It becomes very predictable, but if you are not doing so, it’s a.


It’s a problem for you, so I always encourage these people.

To keep on working out and getting leads now, you talked about that.

Some of these people don’t have any.

I completely understand that they probably have started out, or they’re not making huge profit so that they could spend heavy amount of money, but that’s absolutely fine.

There are lot of beautiful ways through which you can talk about your products and services.

You can go out there without spending any penny.

For instance, right now we are sitting here and doing a podcast, right?

I didn’t pay you or.

You didn’t pay.

Me, anything at all right?

But we are still talking about things, so this is one way of doing marketing other than this.

This is you can just find out the problems which your targeted audiences are facing and just write down solutions for it and publish A blog you don’t even need to hire fancy content writers or put beautiful images out there.

You just need to talk.

You just need to share about your like, share your experience over there, right?

So there are very small small.

You can create videos, it’s free of course to upload videos on YouTube, right? You just need to make sure that the content which you are producing.

Uh, would actually help someone would actually make a difference, right?

And if you consistently keep on doing that, you can definitely make a difference now.

A lot of people what they do is they try things for couple of months or maybe a couple of weeks and then this talk.

So to all of them who are listening to this podcast.

I just want to tell you.

Please continue doing the things and magic will happen to your life.

Magic will happen to your business.

You’ll just have to continuously doing that so that you keep on improving.

There you keep on growing there and you’ll understand more methods.

So like I’m not even saying do all these things.

Do video port cars blocking.

This and that, or maybe social media sharing.

I’m just saying maybe start with.

Continuously just keep like doing that.

After that move to another one if possible.

Otherwise keep on improving on the first one and once this thing happens eventually you will see that leads would start generating and then you will start getting consistent amount of leads.

But ultimately you need to be consistent.

There you need to consistently go out there.

Talk about your business and make sure that people more and more people are getting to know.

About your business.

Yeah, that is so true, and I mean I know you said it again and we’ve kind of beaten this one hard today.

Is consistency matters more than anything else in whatever you do, and people need to realize that it’s you know, and it’s not a case of how much you do, it’s how consistent.

You do, and that’s really that’s really the big issue.

Uhm, thanks for joining me today.

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