Lead Generation: Three Common Mistakes

Posted by Ralph Renzi on April 17, 2013 at 2:39 PM

In the world of marketing, the internet and other Lead Generation, find prospects digital assets present a disruptive technology to the traditions of measured marketing. Lead Generation is now both a buzz phrase and a tactic that has incredible benefits when implemented within a well thought-out marketing strategy.

In many client meetings, I have seen the gamut of lead generation strategies, some very sophisticated and others not. Some strategies are supported by a clear marketing objective, strong brand loyalty, focused lead nurturing systems, and a measured return on investment through the sales funnel. I’ve also seen companies just using the Lead Gen buzz phrase. They don’t have a strategic plan, brand presence or lead nurturing system in place.

We see businesses in the Washington DC area falling into three common traps when it comes to lead generation. While lead generation can be difficult, avoiding these three traps will help make your lead generation campaign successful:

1.) Quantity Not Quality 
Many marketing directors are being told their marketing investments need to generate measurable leads that can be tracked based on the dollars that are spent, aka Cost Per Lead or CPL. This model puts immediate pressure on the marketer to deliver a specific number of leads based on the total dollars spent for the campaign to give the perception of an efficient lead generation program. 

Consider this example: Sammy is the marketing director for his company, and his CEO asks how many leads the most recent marketing campaign brought in. Sammy tells his CEO that the campaign delivered 100 leads from the $10,000 investment they made, which means he achieved their $100 cost per lead model. The CEO praises Sammy for a job well done despite the poor quality of the leads. A scenario such as this poses many questions and issues when trying to operate under the CPL model:

  • Who are the people you would like to become your leads? Who do they work for? What are their titles and responsibilities? Do you need to consider geographic boundaries or specific defined demo or psychographic details?
    • Criteria like this will narrow your desired target into a more focused and more valuable group or subset. 
  • After answering these questions, determine if you would consider your campaign successful with fewer leads that meet your specific criteria or if you need a larger quantity of leads that are less target-specific.
    • This is a very important thing to determine and is a question I ask every client I work with on lead generation. After going through this simple focus exercise, most clients choose quality over quantity.
       
2.) Who are you and why should I care?
  • Huge brands like McDonalds and Coca-Cola can offer brand extensions or new products much more easily since consumers already know those brands.
Here are some questions to ask yourself in regards to your market position:
  • Why would your target download your white paper/case study or attend your event/webinar? 
  • Does your target know you in this space or will your capability, product or service be new to them?
  • What are you known for in this space? What is your unique selling position (or USP)?
     
The answers to these questions will help you filter out the need for further branding prior to or in conjunction with a lead gen campaign.


3.) What are you going to do with the leads once you get them?
Your answer to this question will determine if you have a well thought out and strategic lead-nurturing plan. This is a crucial part of the lead generation marketing strategy that must be finalized prior to starting any lead generating marketing program.
  • Do you have a system or plan to nurture leads through the multiple levels of engagement and interaction you have with these leads?
  • How are you using social media to repurpose your lead generation strategy?
  • What is the ultimate goal or behavior you want from these leads? Is it to come in for a test drive of a car, download a white paper, attend a webinar or ultimately ask for an appointment to engage with your company? This must be addressed before your campaign starts. 
  • Do you have a separate lead nurturing plan for each different lead generation program? Events, register to win, webinars are all very different programs that require different calls to action and therefore different responses from you.
  • A well thought out plan on how to respond to each lead at every point of contact—and including the timeline of engagements—is a must and will help you in your lead nurturing strategy.
     
I hope this puts some rational thought into the very topical buzz phrase of “lead generation marketing.” Many elements are required to create a successful lead generation campaign, and I hope this information encourages you to think about all aspects of creating a successful lead generation campaign and inhibits the urge to jump into a lead generation program without having a well thought out plan.

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Tags: Trends, Lead Generation, Marketing Strategy

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