You don’t need to be a marketing mastermind to know what lead generation is. Any business owner is likely acutely aware of the fact that lead generation is a critical factor in the growth, and subsequent success, of their business. But when was the last time they stopped and looked at whether their current strategy really was the best approach in today’s technology-driven world? I expect in most cases, the answer is likely to be along the lines of “I don’t remember”, or “I don’t think I ever have”.
If that’s the case, then now is the time to do it! Businesses that embrace the fact that technology, and therefore the way that we do business, is constantly changing at a rate of knots, and developing their strategies and approaches to suit, are much better placed to attract and retain the new consumers of “today”.
Understanding what lead generation is
In simple terms, a “lead” is considered to be someone that has, in some way, demonstrated an interest in your product or service. The premise of lead generation is such that the more people you have interested in what you are selling, the greater chance of converting those leads into paying customers. And so the focus turns to “generating” more leads with the hope that it results in more customers. The fact that these “leads” have already expressed an interest means that they are considered to be what is referred to as a “qualified lead” and therefore are usually more likely to be converted to a customer down the track.
How did we generate leads and how is it changing?
Lead generation is certainly not a new concept. Many moons ago, lead generation was all about simple and repetitive strategies such as door-to-door salesmen and outbound call centres. But as new technologies evolved – billboards, television and eventually computers, the Internet and smartphones – the possibilities for lead generation strategies have developed alongside.
With technology currently continuing to advance at a rapid pace, and in a world where communication and business interactions, in general, are changing, it is increasingly important that business’ approach to lead generation is developed and updated too. Granted, some industries and businesses are more suited to social media or highly tech-based strategies, while in some cases there is still a place for the tried and tested lead generation strategies of the past. The constant across all businesses, no matter the size or industry, is that in order to be competitive, they cannot afford to stay the path with out-dated lead generation strategies that were put in place some time ago and haven’t been revised since.
What does lead generation look like in 2019?
Successful lead generation strategies today reflect a shift in consumer behaviour and the fact that marketing, in general, has become a lot more customer-focused. No longer is lead generation a fishing exercise where you set a strategy, cast a net and see what you can catch. Consequently, as a core component of marketing strategy, lead generation in today’s market requires a much more customer-focused approach. It addresses concepts such as drilling down to the specific demographics of the audience, or type of leads, that you are trying to attract. Then identifying the behaviours of that audience – what technology and communication tools do they use, what websites do they visit or podcasts do they listen to, for example. And then set about creating a strategy to embed your brand, and eventually your products and services, seamlessly into those environments.
And that’s not the end of it. Once you have made your presence known in all the right places, you then need to move to the next section of the strategy. This requires gaining an even deeper understanding of how your audience likes to be engaged and communicated with. It looks at “holding their hand” (and exactly what that is can be something very different for different audiences), and carefully guiding your precious audience through the next steps of the engagement process before you can successfully convert them into a purchasing customer.
The hard-sell approach simply does not work anymore. With a wealth of information available to them via various sources, consumers are much more savvy operators and so lead generation strategies to need to address this in order to be relevant and have any chance of success.
So what do I need to do?
Getting lead generation right is no easy task. The challenge with it in 2019 is that there are so many different options that it is easy to become overwhelmed and not know where to start or turn next.
This is where it can become beneficial to engage the services of a marketing professional to guide you in the right direction. You know your business and your product or service, and they know marketing. So it makes sense to combine those two things for the best chance of a successful outcome.
That doesn’t mean that it will always be 100% right from the outset and you can just set it and walk away. Quite the opposite in fact. But with a solid, well thought out, strategy to begin with, you can be well placed to try and test and tweak and re-test.
Technology and consumer behaviour is constantly changing, and as a result, it affects the way that we do business. Having a dynamic and evolving approach to lead generation sees that your business has the best chance of remaining relevant and successful in a highly competitive and information-driven environment.
At Clarity Marketing and Communication we can help you to plan and execute marketing and lead generation strategies that are relevant in today’s technology-driven and consumer-centric marketplace. Contact us today to discuss how we can work together to refresh your lead generation strategy for the business world of 2019.