All Your Marketing Are Belong to Lead Gen

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Just like the classic side-scrolling arcade game, Zero Wing, we know the importance of speed, adaptability, and firepower—though our English is markedly better. That’s why we describe ourselves at thomasarts as a “Data-Driven Performance Marketing Agency”. And even though we boast the top slots on the leaderboards, it’s a designation that’s always been a delicate balance between building customer awareness of a client’s products and services, and driving calls, visits or sales (online or offline).

That’s why data is so important. A data-driven, response-marketing approach allows us to find the right types of customers and drive not just “top of funnel” awareness, but also drive leads in-store, online and in-person—leads that clients can then follow up on with a lead-nurturing program. It helps us achieve that delicate balance we spoke of before, and it produces amazing results. In Zero-Wing-speak, it’s a level-4 weapon powerup.

Can you tell we love lead generation (and video games) yet? It may take a few practice runs to master, but lead generation is extremely valuable because it’s the lifeblood of high-touch sales (which many industries rely on heavily). The math is simple: drive marketing-qualified leads to the sales team, then the sales team converts those leads into sales. No fuss, no muss. There are, however, some important particulars that all businesses should consider before launching full-throttle into lead generation. Below are some recommendations from our years of experience managing B2C and B2B marketing lead generation campaigns in insurance, finance, education and healthcare.

Lead generation recommendation 1: The importance of speedruns

A lot of businesses rely on external companies to generate leads on their behalf. These companies may own industry or category websites, or drive traffic to their own properties via television, Facebook, direct mail or other means (and then convert those visitors to a lead that is sold to a business or brand).

When using lead generation partners, it’s critical to follow up on these leads in a timely manner. We call this “Speed to Lead,” because depending on the industry, it can be critical that leads are contacted within the first two minutes in order to increase the likelihood that they will convert. And if we’re being perfectly honest, “Speed to Lead” just sounds cool.

Lead generation recommendation 2: Testing is your cheat code
When running pay-per-performance campaigns, or marketing that is focused on lead generation, it’s important to note that dynamics will constantly change — including things that are totally out of your control. This includes competitor spend, economic variables, regulation, and yes, even pandemics. Don’t let this get you down, though, because there are just as many things you can control. Testing before launching a broad lead generation campaign can help identify hidden challenges and successes you can optimize around. This is true whether you’re introducing new markets, offerings, lead sources, or lead types.

Just make sure to not “set and forget” your campaigns. Continue testing throughout, so you can continue to optimize your activities to your bottom-line key performance indicators (cost per lead, conversion rate, etc.).

Lead generation recommendation 3: KPI’s are your new favorite powerup

Back to Zero Wing, you would never expend your starship’s payload needlessly into empty space — so don’t do the same thing with your marketing spend. Setting up and identifying your Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) is critical at the onset of any lead generation campaign, in order to avoid spending your budgets needlessly. KPIs also help in framing what is and isn’t working.

This is where optimization really shines. Consistent optimization of your campaign using lead disposition data will allow you to improve the quality of leads in your marketing mix. And the key to improving that optimization? Ensuring that all of your campaign tracking is set up and is utilizing a proper analytics tool, in concert with lead management software —one that integrates with the rest of your marketing technology stack.

Lead generation recommendation 4: In space, no one can hear your feedback

In addition to optimizing lead generation campaigns to KPIs — such as closed deals or enrollments — consider a survey, or some feedback mechanism where you can follow up with leads and share insights with your sales team. This closed-loop feedback can help with transparency into what is and isn’t working when it comes to driving high-value customers and better down-stream performance.

Lead generation recommendation 5: Who’s the king?

The customer is. Remember, lead generation isn’t only about KPIs, it’s about creating an emotional connection with consumers. Your brand will always only be as strong as your customer’s experience.

So, as you develop lead generation campaigns, enhance them with lead nurturing outreach that develops relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel and through every step of their buyer’s journey. This includes using marketing automation channels, like email and text, that can increase your touchpoints with the consumer to educate them on products and services — whether or not they have purchased your product yet.

Lead generation recommendation 6: Filter, route, repeat.

As you generate or purchase leads, make sure to give your sales team the best chance to convert them into sales. Ensure that leads fit the criteria they are looking for in terms of the products or services they are selling. You can filter out any leads that don’t meet that criteria by using a Lead Management System (LMS).

An LMS can also be used to perform lead-scoring and lead-routing. Lead-scoring allows you to prioritize the leads that go to your sales team for follow up, based on the likelihood of that lead converting. This can be done through data modeling on historical conversions or behavioral data of the inbound lead.

Your LMS can also help deliver leads to different destinations, depending on your sales model. By putting in place stringent pre-qualifying questions on lead forms — or in your lead filtering rules — you can drive a higher quality lead, at a lower cost. For help in choosing a Lead Management System (LMS), feel free to contact thomasarts.

Lead generation recommendation 7: “You know what you doing”

Ah, yes, Zero Wing broken English strikes again! But the message comes in loud and clear: know what you’re doing. Every industry is different, nothing is universal, and it’s vitally important that you are aware of various requirements, restrictions and regulations as you move forward.

For example, you should explicitly get the consent of consumers or prospective clients to be contacted. This includes opt-ins for communications, such as calls, emails, and texts from your specific business. Additionally, there are regulations for consumer protections (CCPA, TCPA, CMS) and the protection of information, such as health data (HIPPA), all of which require strict compliance in order to collect and store information. It’s a good idea to obtain legal advice to ensure that you are, indeed, compliant, in order to avoid potential legal repercussions.

Additionally, be sure to perform regular checks to make sure that any marketing channels and lead partners are also in compliance, and that they’re performing the appropriate checks for their organization.

No extra life needed

And there you have it! We didn’t do it all in one breath, but it was a perfect run, and we still have all our lives. If you have any questions or need any assistance in driving lead generation for your organization, the experts at thomasarts would be happy to assist you. We have over 15 years of experience in the space, having built end-to-end lead generation solutions for clients of all sizes.

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June 4, 2020by jordan yospe


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