By Michael Foster.
It’s a simple fact all marketers know to be true: We live and die by leads.
Good leads can make a salesperson rich, and bad leads can destroy a company. Leads are the crux of any sales funnel. After you’ve made the world aware of your product and demonstrated its value proposition, the next step is finding that one-in-a-million (or one-in-a-thousand, if you’re lucky) person who actually will buy your product.
The process of customer discovery has always been a crapshoot, but data and analytics have put the odds in the marketer’s favor. There’s just one problem: Data and analytics tend to be owned by someone else and are broadly available, which means your competitors can get their hands on them and become just as competitive as you.
Does this mean marketing analytics needs to be a zero sum game of constant competition where leads become more expensive, harder to secure and less reliable? Hardly. But it does mean constant, iterative improvements in the lead generation process are necessary. Any company that does not constantly analyze the quality of its lead generation process will find the quality of its leads grow worse and worse over time.
How can marketers avoid this death spiral?
The first step is acknowledging your shortcomings. You don’t know everything about your customer. In fact, you probably know very little. Many companies like to pride themselves on having a close relationship with repeat customers and an intimate knowledge of that customer’s preferences. This technique is a throwback to the old days of the corner shop and word-of-mouth advertising in a small town. But that business model is all but dead. In reality, even Amazon.com doesn’t know all that much about its customers beyond perhaps their favorite shampoo brand and the last few books they’ve read.
In fact, Amazon doesn’t even know if most of its customers liked the last book they read from Amazon. Or if they liked any of the books they’ve read from Amazon. Sure, there are people who give reviews, but that’s a tiny fraction of Amazon’s customer base. And, of course, you can build predictive models based on that data to see what people like and don’t, but the massive assumptions built into that model mean it will be wrong a lot.
If Amazon doesn’t really know that much about its customers, how can anyone else?
The fact is that improving lead quality depends on much more than what you know about your customer. To drive sales and beat the competition, marketers need to rethink what they think they know about the lead process and recognize their limitations. They then need to drive past those limitations and discover where they can find the new data to boost those leads’ quality.
At this year’s LeadsCon, we will discuss the challenges in improving lead quality and how cutting-edge marketers are taking advantage of new data sources and analytical tools to improve their leads. Join Anthony Bratti, senior vice president of Business Development at BuzzBoard, Inc., for an in-depth discussion of the problems facing lead generation today. In the session "Turning Data into Insights to Acquire and Grow Leads,” Bratti will discuss how the definition of a lead has changed and why we need to rethink the way we deal with leads today. We will also look at how companies can stand out to their leads to beat the competition and understand what’s going beyond “who” the leads are and the “why.”
With an in-depth awareness of how you can improve lead quality, you can beat your competition and drive revenue. Join us at LeadsCon to help you get there.
Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2017.