It shouldn't be news that the lead generation has evolved in the last 10 years. One of the most significant changes is that buyers have access to product information, pricing, company reputation, etc early on in the decison making process. In many cases, the easy access to information simply delays the need to engage with a sales person. This has created the inbound marketing trend.
So what will be the next evolution of lead generation? Where will your sales leads be coming from in future? We don't have a crystal ball, but we are seeing signals pointing toward these three trends: advanced targeting, content marketing and social media.
Custom targeting is the process in which you tailor your efforts to meet the specific needs of a customer, typically an existing customer that is already loyal to your brand. However, in order to keep the customer engaged and consistent, you as a digital marketer must continually make sure that the message is relevant.
According to SimplyDirect, the three best tips a digital marketing expert can follow when it comes to advanced targeting are: use your existing customer database to your advantage; identify the person within the organization with the purchasing power and tailor the message to his or her needs; and finally, concentrate your efforts and don't try to be all things to all customers.
Any business with an outbound telemarketing or email marketing strategy needs to maintain a steady in-flow of new leads to engage with. Most sales leaders are forced purchasing generic sales lead lists; based on SIC codes, industry, geographic, company size, etc, etc. There are several isuess with this: the industry targeting too generic, the contacts provided are not the decision makers, the data in inaccurate, and there a rarely company insights that matter. Revenue growth is significantly hindered by wasted time and resources.
The solution to this is customized data procurment. Using human intuition supported by powerful technology, sales leaders are able to identify exactly who their ideal targets are and what prospect insights they need to be effective. Analyzing and gathering firmogaphic and demographic data points to deliver truly targeted leads. There is no more "one size fits all" solution.
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Another proven method of B2B lead generation is via content marketing. Using unique, informative content that's updated to the company's website at least two times a week, companies can establish themselves as an authority in their field. Even if the customer doesn't make a purchase upon first seeing the informative blog, he or she will know that the company is an authority in its field and will come back later to make a purchase. Venture Harbor cites an example where the company Crowe Horwath generated nearly a quarter million dollars in revenue just off content marketing alone!
Finally, but certainly no less importantly, the impact of social media on digital marketing cannot be underestimated. No matter which platform your business chooses to use -- and it's imperative that you use as many platforms as possible, because they each have their own benefits -- think of social media less as a "broadcasting" tool and more as an opportunity to engage different communities that are interested in your products or services.
Pure B2B suggests that you look at each social media platform for its benefits and conduct yourself accordingly. For example, LinkedIn is the place where professionals connect with one another, so if you're strictly interested in B2B marketing, focus your social media efforts there.