For decades, marketers have been doing traditional lead generation. Well, traditional marketing efforts are not as effective as they once were.
According to Google Ngram, an online viewer that charts frequencies of any word or short sentence using yearly count of n-grams found in printed sources, lead generation has been in use for over 30 years. Although lead generation is important, it has been around before I was born. Isn’t it time for a change? It is evident that companies today are still focused on the same static techniques and strategies for over 30 years, and it is time for new collaboration and strategies.
Unfortunately, for many marketing teams, lead generation is their primary goal. Marketing teams are positioning themselves as the unappreciated work horses in the B2B space, while the sales teams receive all the praise and credit.
Lead Generation Falls Short
Let’s face it, something designed over 30 years ago is not going to be as effective in today’s society. Lead generation has been stagnant throughout the years, and for some reason, companies are complacent and content with unexceptional strategies. So what does lead generation fail to acknowledge?
Lead generation is great, but it doesn’t focus on long term value. The relationships you build with your customers during and after the sale is more important. The flaw with focusing primarily on lead generation is that there is a huge disconnect between the marketing and sales teams, and companies should be focused on growth goals and Revenue instead. The lead needs to nurtured and has to see your company as an industry leader. The number one rule here is to always provide value to your customers, not ask for it. Doing this will position your company as an expert in your industry and will build longer lasting value compared to just trying to sell, sell, sell.
The more education you can provide to your leads, the better. It is imperative that you are seen as a resource they can turn to when they have questions. This requires educating your leads and prospects through educational content and free resources. Create content with a purpose. Capture the attention of your prospects. Remember, you are fighting for attention, not space.
A General Guide to Grab the Attention of your Prospects:
- Define their goal – generate valuable content that align with your prospects wants and needs.
- Personalize – your content and marketing strategy should be as personal and empathetic as possible. It needs to come from “real people” when appropriate, and make the prospect feel like he is not just another piece of sand on the beach.
- Focus on engagement – use actionable language like verbs, hyperlinks, and CTAs. Promote engagement by reaching out to prospects if they have questions, and encourage feedback and interaction.
- Test and Analyze – Do A/B tests to see what is working best for you and change your strategy accordingly to generate better results.
Yes, leads are important, but focusing only on leads will misalign goals with your sales team and won’t allow you to focus on true business growth.
Depending on your market, it is likely that only about 0.5%-1.5% of leads will actually convert into paying customers. Convince and Report has a great blog post on why many of them choose not to convert.
The #1 goal for any business should be growth, so why is everyone focused only on generating leads, not revenue?
Do not get me wrong, generating leads is not dead, and is still crucial to any marketing strategy, but the generating leads as a goal should be forgotten.
Inbound Marketing Is The Answer
Inbound Marketing the evolution of lead generation that focuses on the entirety of the funnel. Inbound marketing is about sharing content with the world that is specifically designed to grab the attention of your prospects. It attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more. Think about it like marketing with a magnet, instead of a megaphone.
As Hubspot outlines, the major themes of inbound marketing are:
- Content Creation + Distribution- Create targeted content that answers prospects’ and customers’ basic questions and needs, then share that content far and wide.
- Lifecycle Marketing- Promoters don’t just materialize out of thin air: they start off as strangers, visitors, contacts, and customers. Specific marketing actions and tools help to transform those strangers into promoters.
- Personalization- Tailor your content to the wants and needs of the people who are viewing it. As you learn more about your leads over time, you can better personalize your messages to their specific needs.
- Multi-channel- Inbound marketing is multi-channel by nature because it approaches people where they are, in the channel where they want to interact with you.
- Integration- Content creation, publishing and analytics tools all work together like a well-oiled machine – allowing you to focus on publishing the right content in the right place at the right time.
This strategy optimizes all aspects of marketing to widen every stage of the funnel.
It is more imperative than ever that marketers generate more MQL’s, more SQL’s, more sales opportunities, and more deals. Marketers have to use the entire marketing funnel to achieve this mission.
Inbound marketing is inclusive of all channels, campaigns, and activities. Once a company embraces and applies this strategy, the doors will open up to new marketing opportunities that focus on customer value.
At Clymb Marketing, we use inbound marketing to increase not only leads, but revenue for companies. The combination of lead generation, content marketing, and paid search will grow any business. Sign up today for a free consultation on how to grow your business with our marketing efforts.