In Today’s Noisy Marketplace is a Lead Worth What it Once Was?

by Shany Seawright

In today’s noisy marketplace, where the balance of power has shifted in favor of the buyer, what is the value of a lead? There are still B2B marketers that are being held to the metric of producing new leads to support sale activities. Yet for the more than 3,000 marketers who have flocked to Las Vegas this week for  the 2018 Sirius Decisions Summit, customer engagement and account-based marketing (ABM), are proving to be where the true value lies.

Traditional lead generation tactics are generic. Marketers capture basic identification information about a contact, but it lacks personalized interaction, engagement, and experience. It’s often based on form fills, which limits interaction to a few minutes.  Today’s modern marketers are rethinking the value of lead generation models and opting for customer engagement programs – like Account Based Marketing (ABM) and Deal Specific ABM – where an intimate knowledge of where the buyer is on their journey the focal point.

Customer engagement and ABM programs flip the script. Instead of funneling in a list of names without any context to sales teams, marketers become partners with the sales team, identifying where they can make the most impact by developing a stronger customer experience.  The intelligence delivered by how customers engage with your content can provide direction on future content and programs.

Start with data. For ABM and other buyer engagement programs to be successful, you need to dig into the data.  Instead of wasting time with generic leads, focus on target accounts where there is an opportunity to grow or build on existing business. Or identify the prospects that have expressed a need or an interest. Then focus your efforts in engaging these key targets.

Leverage the technology and tools necessary to stay engaged with the accounts that you are targeting. Understand the analytics. Identify interactions. At Strategic, we often refer to this piece as connecting engagement to demand.   But don’t forget the element of human interaction. Engaging, dynamic, targeted content that educates a prospect is critical, but nothing beats a personalized interaction.

As B2B marketers continue to embrace ABM and engaging content marketing programs, they will soon find that their role within the company will shift. No longer will their job be to deliver leads, which may or may not impact the revenue pipeline. Instead they will be called upon to directly impact the pipeline by increasing engagement and interaction so that sales can close the deal.

Still unsure if the value of ABM is greater than traditional lead gen programs?  We believe the results speak for themselves.

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