What is lead generation: A Brief History of Lead Generation
Lead generation is simple in theory, but it’s definitely not easy to execute effectively. In fact, only 1 in 10 marketers said that their lead generation efforts are highly efficient and effective. Why do you think that is?
Well, 61% of marketers blame the lack of funding, staff, and other resources. But, is that really true? Is the lack of a decent budget and a dedicated sales team the only things stopping you from getting results with your lead generation efforts?
The sad reality is, the world is changing, marketing is changing and 90% of marketers are not. It’s tough to point at one magic reason why most lead generation projects fail, but it’s usually because of one (or more) of these mistakes:
- They’re using the wrong strategy.
- Their content is lacking.
- Their landing page sucks.
- Their follow-through isn’t good enough.
I know this is general, but don’t worry–I’ll dive into all of these mistakes and offer expert tips for how to solve every one of them.
A Brief History of Lead Generation Efforts
Lead generation is not new. It has literally existed forever.
In fact, it could be traced back to cavemen going cave-to-cave for recommendations on the best round-wheel to buy or the best cave drawing material to get (this is a very accurate recount of human history). It continued evolving generation after generation until cavemen became salesmen and cave-to-cave became door-to-door.
Throughout these years, we’ve seen how the methods companies generated leads have transformed drastically, usually fuelled by new technologies.
We’ve seen the billboard era take over the marketing world in the 1800s. TV & radio commercials dominating in the early 1900s. Door-to-door “lead generation” risen in popularity in the 1950s.
And of course…call centers in the 1960s.
Anyways, technology kept evolving and as a result, so did the techniques used to generate leads. Recently, with the rise of the internet, smartphones, Google and social media, lead generation is not only more competitive than ever…but also much more sophisticated.
What is a lead?
Ideally, you’d want that interest to be expressed by them sharing their contact information, such as their email, company name or phone number. For example, a website visitor who filled out a form on your pricing page is a lead. Similarly, a person who downloaded your ebook in exchange for their email is also a lead.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of turning a prospect into a lead.
In a nutshell, a marketer’s main objective is to attract a stranger (prospect), make them interested in your product/service (lead) and then nurture them until they decide to buy from you (customer). Ideally, you’d also want them to love their experience with your product and in turn, become advocates of your business (promoters).
The lead generation efforts process starts on the far left, in the “attract phase” and ends in the “convert phase” when the individual officially turned from a stranger, or prospect, to a lead. But that’s only half the battle.
The other half is what marketers refer to as the “lead nurturing” process. It’s the process where you turn your leads into customers, sales or orders. The key to success here is to educate your potential customers and show them the true value of your product/service effectively.