You are at a water park. There’s a popular slide shaped like a giant cone. Each person spirals down to the bottom in a slightly different way. Some take longer than others, and some lose their nerve altogether and take the stairs down.
This is the story of the consumer as he passes through the sales funnel. Each of your prospects starts at the top. Some never make it into the funnel, and others travel down the path at their own speed, each in an individual way, sometimes swerving and at other times going straight down.
The customer path is a personal experience, and like the water park ride, somewhat dizzying to the observer. Was it a banner ad or a social post that drove the potential customer? Is it an ad on the radio? Is the inquiry legitimate or fraudulent? Multiple touch points and attributes require advanced marketing intelligence when it comes to acquiring new customers.
Sales leads are right in the middle of the consumer path. By the time a prospect arrives at an online lead form, he’s already been exposed to online and offline impressions through search results, social marketing, display and mobile ads, affiliate efforts and email messages, and may have filled out other forms. Your future customer has been targeted, retargeted, and the subject of a great deal of personalized messaging.
Deep into the funnel is that lead form, and if the lead generator or advertiser is forward thinking, there’s a LeadiD token embedded in the form to guarantee authenticity and lead freshness. That contact information goes into your CRM system.
But here’s the catch. Unless you are with the consumer from the beginning of the journey through the end, you don’t have a complete picture.
Attribution companies can supply the top of the funnel data in ever-increasing detail. Customer relationship management software provides bottom of the funnel intel. But the sole link between these two worlds is the lead event.
True data currency comes only when you’ve got the full picture through a data backbone that runs the length of customer engagement, from first impression through conversion and repeat purchase.
Like that water slide, lead generation is a slope made more slippery by big data. Get smart and get on the ride that encompasses the start, finish and start again of the customer acquisition cycle.