Leads – The corporate world is so obsessed with this simple, yet so complicated word. It is the typical high-school examination report card for marketing professionals! Situations are different but the interpretation is the same. The bottom line is “Generate the maximum number of leads in the minimum amount of time”. But who exactly qualifies as a lead? Let’s find out.
A business thrives on customers. But do we realize that there are a lot of layers before one can actually get not just a product-needy customer but also generate the right amount of leads for an offering? There is a lot of difference between a prospect for a product and someone who actually considers it. It is absolutely necessary to bridge this gap.
Let’s re-visit the marketing funnel. It all begins by creating ‘awareness’ about an offering. It is the most crucial level as the other layers depend on its impression. This offering can be a product or a service. It can range from a car to a property or from a software to a corporate event. Deeper down the funnel is the ‘consideration’ phase which is followed by the last phase that is ‘purchase’. This is the ultimate goal for any marketer, getting people to buy their product or service.
But what did we miss? What about those guys who considered your product but needed some nurturing? Let’s take an example of the recent content marketing campaign done by us for Act-On, a Marketing Automation Software seller. They began by providing some knowledge to the audience in the form of an eBook, explaining to them some modern marketing concepts and eventually where they would fit-in. It did not come as a surprise to us that the campaign was a success. Not only did they get direct prospects but also people who now had the intention to get the product after learning about its nitty-gritties. They attacked the topmost layer of the marketing funnel which is definitely wider and began by nurturing the audience there and eventually got more business. Here is an article on lead-nurturing.
|An Optimal Campaign|
Here is a contrasting example. A famous brand tried to sell its product through our modes of advertising. Leads were generated. But we think they did not leverage the full benefit of the campaign. They could have achieved much more than what they got by imparting some info about the utility of their product/service with respect to the current business scenario. They tried to tap the bottommost layer of the funnel for ready-to-purchase prospects.
|A Sub-optimal Campaign|
The same phenomena were observed in many other campaigns done by TradeBriefs. Below is a comparison. The numbers have been generalized.
So we see that educating and nurturing an audience is a must. This can be done by providing them with some knowledge regarding the value of an offering instead of rushing directly towards instant lead-generation. You may get a few numbers but what about those who could have become a customer, but were not fully aware of the potential of that offering?
Basically, this is the path that joins awareness and consideration, crucial as well as effective. Can we tap it? Of course, in fact we should. There are numerous ways through which an offering can have an efficient awareness phase. Case-studies can be provided, an e-book can be made available or even a webinar can be created. You can also have blog posts, research papers, videos, podcasts or a whitepaper. This will help in achieving a psychological edge in the minds of the audience. It will also help in building your brand big time!
The conversions will be slow but very steady! Give some more time to a campaign to maximize the gain. Undoubtedly, it would be highly beneficial in the long-run. May be 10-odd leads today could touch 50 in a month!