It’s Time to Change The Way We Think About Generating Leads
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before…
A guy walks into his boss’s office and says:
“The new online marketing effort is going great! We’re getting tons of traffic and social media buzz. People are connecting to the brand and talking about us.”
“Fantastic… Is it generating leads?”
“Well, not directly but —“
“Is It Generating Leads?”
This is one of the most common questions in marketing. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most difficult to answer. More difficult than most business leaders think. Too often, businesses attempt to simplify and distill the process that creates a lead to a single effort. In reality, it almost never happens that way.
Think about it. How often do you see something from a company you’ve never heard of before and leap into action?
Even getting an email for a deal you decide to act on first requires you to:
- Discover the company somehow
- Make your way to the company’s website or app
- Sign up to receive emails
- Get the email that compels you to act
That’s a four-step minimum. But you also may get 10 emails from the company before the brand even sinks in and you make a connection with what they sell or what they do. Maybe it’s another 5 emails before you take action.
Very rarely is the distance between marketing and lead a short, straight line…
That’s why when you distill the role of your website, or social media, or content marketing, or public relations, or email marketing, or event marketing, or a thousand other things, down to how many leads they produce, your data isn’t really accurate because it’s discounts everything that came before the action.
There may be 50 steps from brand awareness to lead generation. Maybe more. And it can be argued that the lead couldn’t have been created without each and every step. Take one out and the entire pathway collapses.
Business leaders need to stop thinking about generating leads as a single step and start realizing it’s a multi-step (and multichannel) journey.