What is Lead Generation Marketing?

Andrea Stark Marketing Strategist

From a consumer standpoint, lead generation marketing may be perhaps the most irritating form of brand promotion in existence. However, if you ask anyone at Lucid Advertising, we will tell you that lead generation marketing is worth its weight in gold. An entire industry has been built on generating and optimizing leads that put a company in direct contact with potential customers.

New studies are released almost daily on the correlation between effective lead generation marketing and the success it creates for companies large and small in almost any business arena.

Need proof? Consider these statistics:

  • Marketers who follow up on leads within five minutes are 10 times more likely to convert a potential customer.
  • Nearly 50 percent of marketing teams with successful lead management strategies have a sales team in place that follows up on more than 75 percent of incoming leads.
  • Businesses that engage in socially-driven selling achieve nearly 200 percent better ROI.
  • LinkedIn – a lead-driven platform – is responsible for more than 80 percent of all leads that come through social media.
  • Lead-nurturing emails produce more than 10 times the response rate than standard emails.
  • Over 80 percent of marketers that use lead-generation services or software convert over 70 percent of the leads.

Regardless of how clever most company’s marketing approaches are, most of them are geared toward generating and converting leads. This is true for both digital marketing platforms and traditional marketing collateral. Although much of the market despises lead generation tactics, there is little doubt as to their effectiveness.

Let’s take a closer look at what lead generation marketing is, some common methods of lead generation and how to qualify leads.

Examples of Lead Generation Marketing

In the simplest possible definition, lead generation refers to:

The process of enticing and converting a potential customer into someone that uses your service or buys your product.

Some examples of lead generators may include:

  1. Email marketing
  2. Gathering contact information
  3. Landing pages
  4. Online interactive tools
  5. Promo or how-to videos
  6. Direct mail
  7. Cross-promotion
  8. Customer reviews
  9. Free trials/giveaways

Companies also engage in cold-calling, digital pop-ups or banners, vendor-centered events, referral requests, social media ads or simply handing out brochures or flyers. The possibilities for generating leads are endless.

How Does Lead Generation Work?

Modern lead generation typically falls within an inbound marketing framework. The underlying idea is to attract potential customers organically and then convert them once they’ve demonstrated an interest in your brand. It may follow a general template that looks like this:

1. Attract the Prospect

Think about what you are doing right now to attract people to your business. You may post ads on social media, improve SEO on your website through target keywords or send out a link to your latest blog via email. The idea is to throw the hook into the water to see who bites.

2. Convert the Prospect Into a Lead

Now that you have the prospect’s attention, what strategy are you using to convert them to a customer? For instance, you may have them fill out a contact form or redirect them to a landing page with an offer. Content marketers often add a call-to-action at the end of every page on their website.

3. Convert the Lead Into a Customer

If the lead follows through with your offer, purchases a product or signs up for your service, then you have successfully converted them into a customer. Your next step is to convert your customer into a brand promoter through social monitoring, surveys or another strategy.

Although the process of lead generation is quite simple, developing a winning marketing strategy can be difficult. Companies spend thousands of dollars and engage in endless hours of strategy trying to increase their conversion percentages.

How to Qualify Leads

Few things are as frustrating as chasing down a thousand leads, only to convert a dozen of them. To alleviate wasting time, money and energy with useless leads that don’t pan out, marketers need to qualify prospects in advance. Try to have a keen sense of the connection between your brand and your target market.

Also, define a qualified prospect. There are three ways to do this:

1. Buyer Persona

Although the term, buyer persona, is often used to denote a target buyer, it is actually a generic term that refers to anyone who may be a potential customer based on certain criteria such as:

  • A consumer in your immediate area
  • A specified demographic
  • Someone who purchases products in your industry

Establishing your buyer persona lays the ground rules for narrowing and qualifying your leads.

2. Someone Who has a Specific Need

Ask yourself this basic question: Does what you have to offer to fulfill a need or solve a problem? If so, you can qualify a prospect by determining if you can fulfill their need. Does it make sense for them to buy your product or use your service? Will they benefit from it? Will they actually use it? Answering these questions can help you identify your ideal leads.

3. Someone Who can Commit to Your Brand

You’ve established a basic buyer persona. You have narrowed that list down to people who can and would use the product you are selling. The last thing you need to identify are leads who can and will commit to making the purchase. These are people who have the means and the ability to buy the product and whose pain points you have met. They are the ideal customer and promoter of your product.

Innovative Marketing for Your Business

At Lucid, we provide a wide range of marketing tools that help you expand your market reach while targeting the customers you want. We deliver measured results that reflect your brand and help you reach your goals. To find out more about our digital and traditional marketing services, call us at 850.760.0478 or fill out the quick contact form below, and we will be in touch.