Can you really get to know your prospect just by collecting data through online forms and exchanging a few emails?
The lead generation landscape has been constantly evolving, and it has gone from merely acquiring leads to a more committed approach when it comes to developing that raw prospect into a ripe fruit ready for harvest.
Think of your business as a small antique store. In the old lead generation model, your ‘means’ of attracting customers would be traditional, such as a big signage on the window that says, for example, “Antique collectibles, 20% markdown”. Or maybe a poster that shows all your goodies. Maybe bring outside a small music player to serenade passers-by.
Those are customary approaches to attracting potential buyers.
On the other hand, the new lead engagement model finds alternative ways to seek out customers. The main goal is to get to know them by any means reasonable. In the antique store scenario, to use lead engagement would mean you have to assign one or two personnel to entertain store visitors, ask them about their love for antique items, or maybe get them to sign your mailing list.
Other stores would even go as far as penetrate social groups (you can look for small communities of antique art lovers and introduce your business via social media). Engagement is geared towards knowing what your target market wants and using that data to cultivate genuine interest.
In the B2B sphere, lead engagement is surprisingly easier.
You start out by having buyer personas in mind. If, say, you’re a business that sells IT products and services, you’d have a pretty good idea of who your prospects are. With that particular target in mind, your next move would be to find out where buyers begin their research and purchase journey.
In traditional lead generation, you’d just post an IT-related blog entry and wait for your prospects to fill-out a form. But with lead engagement, you can promote customer education and engagement through targeted marketing messages either via mobile, email or social media.
Not only that you’re showing them how interested you really are by putting yourself in their shoes, you’re also learning an enormous amount of knowledge and gaining true understanding of what they really need and want. That knowledge is fundamental in building a brand that aims to solve your target market’s problems.
Of course, lead engagement entails more time, personnel and tools. If you have the resources, you can ‘test the waters’ first to see if such an approach yields significantly better results – not just by the numbers, but also by how your business prospects respond to your new ‘engaging’ approach.