The lowdown on lead generation in 2021

Tony Golden covers why those businesses that simply deliver leads and then leave their partners to pray to the conversion gods aren’t going to survive for long. It’s the sophisticated, omnichannel lead generation partners that can truly move the needle.

The state of the industry is favoring those that are able to not only drive awareness, but also help nurture leads to consideration and purchase, after which brands can deliver the post-purchase experience and drive customer loyalty if the journey goes as planned.

According to Leadscon, 75% of marketers do not meet their KPIs or ROI on their CRM efforts. But, guess what? 25% do, and generally those 25% are in publishing and business verticals that serve niche markets.

For those willing to innovate, delivering not only quality leads, but supporting the consumers’ journey, the future looks bright. For the other 75%, not so much.

Technology leads the way

It will be no surprise to anyone that lead generation is becoming more and more digital-centric and taking an omnichannel tact.

High-performance brands are poised to use multiple channels to gain, qualify, and nurture quality leads at scale. These include in-person events (when circumstances allow), social media, email, SEO, content marketing, co-registration and linkout flows and even chatbots.

Based on these trends, marketers require a well-rounded gameplan, including both internal and external efforts, to maintain their competitiveness.

This is not about big eating the small, it’s the nimble eating the slow.

Here are some essentials steps for staying relevant and ahead of the competition in the CRM space over the short- to mid-term:

  • Invest and develop technology that has omnichannel capabilities, and make sure the data from the various channels is actionable
  • Create a work culture around data-driven decision-making
  • Environmental scanning: keep track of and monitor how competitors and high-performing teams conduct lead generation activities
  • Adopt a user-centric approach and understand how your community interacts with all your channels, then optimize and create efficiencies
  • Brands are busy. They want to partner with a business that does the heavy lifting for them and delivers quality leads at scale that meet or crush their KPIs. You need to understand your partner’s business almost as well as your own.     

Doing lead generation right

Targeting is crucial for any lead generation efforts. Are you reaching the right location/s? The right demographic? The right sociographic? And importantly, are you reaching them at the right time

For the Your Baby Club platform, a customized, hosted co-registration is crucial to ensuring we have the right offer mix and that the flow is AI-optimized to drive both quality and volume for our partners, and to maximize ad revenue.

To protect our brand partners, publishers must also implement and manage third-party validation programs for emails, phone numbers and addresses to ensure CRM data is up to date and actionable.

Driving both scale and quality

Brands need to ensure that their publisher vetting process identifies those publishers that have their proverbial crap together.

They should look for publishers that offer:

  • Fully-managed, scalable and compliant lead generation solutions
  • Working with CPL, CPC, and CPA models, to drive customers at scale and profits for their clients
  • A targeted audience. Niche publishers can offer the best quality, but brands need to remember that with better quality there’s an inverse relationship with volume
  • True marketing partnerships. Work with publishers that know their audience, have engaged consumers and can guide their partners to optimize their creative and offers
  • Multi-channel opportunities that may include email, link outs, native adverts, custom content, etc

Nurturing leads

Nurturing leads can ultimately drive a positive customer experience.

Yet it can be an intimidating and complex undertaking. Getting started with lead nurturing, however, is a straightforward process if you have an effective game plan and clearly defined goals.

Again, this is where vetting publishers and forming a strong partnership can make a massive difference.

To optimize their CRM, brands must:

  • Establish lead nurturing goals and develop effective lead scoring programs
  • Segment their leads (i.e. in the pregnancy space, a brand would probably segment and build profiles to share tailored content around the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th trimesters)
  • Create buyer profiles and develop personalized content
  • Create lead nurturing campaigns, then measure and track the results of these campaigns to optimize over time

Technology and omnichannel are the key drivers to crushing lead-gen on a go-forward basis, so understanding how to use them will sort out the winners from the losers.