Why automate lead generation?

All this talk about automated lead generation has been circling meeting rooms for millennia now. So, one wonders why most marketing campaign conversations don’t include turn key automation. Perhaps it’s just us wondering what the hang up is with programatic lead gen execution. Then again, the topic sprouts up like an internal marketing weed with nearly every company we’ve worked with.

Let us bore you to tears with a summary of automated lead generation campaigns.

For starters, let us briefly bore you to tears with a simple summary of automated lead generation campaigns.

  • A business leverages customer data insights to build personas.
  • Appropriate marketing collateral is designed to engage these personas.
  • Subject matter experts collaborate on the campaign’s workflows.
  • Collateral is scheduled to post on specific marketing channels.
  • Ads are scheduled with dynamic collateral for specific personas.
  • Follow up email templates might also coincide with inbound campaigns.
  • Campaigns go live and interested prospects are nudged to a landing page.
  • Landing pages offer a value proposition in return for lead contact details.
  • Incoming lead form details fire up a planned out lead generation workflow.
  • Workflows route the contact info to the marketing group, sales team & others.
  • Dynamic Dashboards are in place to track real time results for the campaign.
  • The VP of Marketing enjoys free time on the driving range or whatever.

If all goes well with the process above, the VP of Marketing enjoys free time to work on their golf game or whatever. Of course, should something go wrong, a workflow might be set up to alert the VP’s Bat phone. Naturally, one would never want to interrupt the leisure of a VP. However, the debate between “bugs” and “features” remains strong amongst automation rascals.

Okay, wake up the marketing director next to you.

Okay, wake up the self important majestic marketing director next to you. Relax, we’re kidding. But, that should cover the lead gen recap. Consequently, many businesses do not have an internal marketing team. Therefore, we hope this list provided them with a basic understanding of automated marketing campaigns. Certainly, it’s not meant to be an exhaustive list. In addition, there are also frequently campaign specific variables that need to be considered.

In short, lead generation is a process that begins by understanding your clients. Use that insight to generate new prospects by sharing valuable content through various channels. In the end, this should begin a brand new, mutually beneficial business relationship.

Wait, was that a mouthful?

Apologies, that was a mouthful. To clarify, lead gen is used by companies to make meaningful contact with potential customers. Above all, automating lead generation should free up time for the finer things in life. Yes, you could focus on other aspects of your business. Likewise you might end up with valuable quality time to spend with family. Basically, you could pursue whatever happiness you aspire to. Congrats!

The VP of Marketing enjoys free time to work on their golf game or whatever. Of course, something might alert their Bat phone.

Don't let lead generation get you discouraged.

Sounds simple enough

At this point, you’re probably asking yourself, “what’s so difficult about such a common marketing practice?” We understand why you’d think this way. Likewise, we would say, “Welcome to the show.” However, we also must concede that there’s an exceedingly difficult aspect related to the first step in our lead generation list above. This overlooked part is seemingly so elusive that it stops many automated lead generation projects from ever getting started.

That is to say, one should never presume a company has customer data insights. Furthermore, even if a business does have tons of customer data, they often don’t know it yet. Similarly, many companies do know they have lots of customer data. But, they simply don’t know how to take advantage of it or where to start.

For these reasons, it’s our concern that marketing talent and marketing automation tools are acquired too soon. We believe this mistake is made in hopes of fulfilling action items further down the lead generation process list. Unfortunately, without the key customer data ingredient, these costly software and human resources mostly go to waste. At best, they’re greatly underutilized.

Perhaps the real questions about lead generation that we should be asking are the following.

  • Do companies get that lead generation relies on quality customer data?
  • If the priority of customer data is known, why do some companies lack it?

  • If companies do have rich customer data, why aren’t they leveraging it?

Without going into great detail, let’s dive into the most common reasons, or excuses, businesses fall short implementing critical customer data in their marketing efforts.

Common reasons, or excuses, why businesses fail to leverage critical data in their marketing efforts.

First, many companies do not understand the value of customer data and the losses at risk by not taking advantage of it. We think this lack of insight might be the result of having never seen data successfully used outside of financial applications. Still, if these companies have internal marketing resources, the responsibility of bringing this critical topic front and center is a job requirement in our opinion.

Many companies do not understand the value of customer data and the losses at risk by not taking advantage of it.

Second, there can be many reasons why businesses don’t have a deep customer data warehouse. For example, some SMB businesses will work with 3rd party services that use proprietary systems to store customer data. As a result, it can become difficult to get access to the data without subject matter experts. In addition, a B2B businesses may be advertising in ways such as print and outbound phone calls that they are not aware how to accurately track as useable data. Furthermore, we see companies without data they want because they used a delivery service app or industry specific eprocurement portal. Unfortunately, these services might keep customer data private for their own advertising (shareholder) benefits.

Automated lead generation lowers stress.

Companies supported by their leadership team to complete the shift to data driven marketing have not been disappointed.

Lastly, regarding companies not investing in data that they have, we honestly admit our own amazement and disappointment in these scenarios. For instance, we’ve seen businesses that admittedly stick with what we call a “brute force” approach to marketing. We do understand the time and endurance required to pull together a well oiled, data driven marketing machine. But, the cost benefit of the effort seems lost on them. As a result, we can only offer to assist those businesses that decide to embrace this data driven lead generation age. Subsequently, companies supported by their leadership team to complete the shift to data driven marketing have not been disappointed. On the other hand, we have seen companies lose market share due to opting for “quick wins” instead of investing in the long game.

Marketers of the world could unite to responsibly leverage the customer data that drives high quality automated lead generation.

In conclusion, we’ve arbitrarily decided the phrase “automated lead generation” is abused during a marketing meeting every 17 seconds. above all, together we can and should put an end to the travesty of cool companies charting a legacy path that puts them out of business. In short, we call on marketers of the world to unite and take over the customer data that drives high quality automated lead generation. For business owners without an internal marketing team, you already know you’re responsible for driving efficient marketing efforts. So, we also expect you to join the movement. In short, seek out the assistance needed to own your customer data.

Based on our experience, we expect the majority of businesses to decide data driven, automated marketing can wait. Consequently, those that have already adopted marketing automation are applying machine learning AI to their customer data and pulling away from competition at exponential speeds. Therefore, we encourage your business leadership team to think twice when calculating a cost benefit analysis regarding automated lead generation. In short, we’re optimistic realists trying to make a difference, not just a dime.

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