The quality of your prospect list is the single most important influencing factor in your marketing success because it can eliminate virtually all marketing waste. A list of well qualified prospects can be a priceless gem because if you exploit it properly it will produce tremendous amount of revenue for you from people who have a proven interest in your product or service. Thousands of properly qualified lists are readily available for virtually any marketing purpose and can give you many times more sales. These lists identify the specific businesses, key decision makers and demographic characteristics you desire, within the geographic areas you specify. You can focus only on prospects who are more likely than not your primary target audience for your product or service.
Lead generation often uses digital channels, and has been undergoing substantial changes in recent years from the rise of new online and social techniques. In particular, the abundance of information readily available online has led to the rise of the “self-directed buyer” and the emergence of new techniques to develop and qualify potential leads before passing them to sales.
Google Adwords still stand at the forefront for PPC advertising as indicated in the diagram above from the 2013 State of Paid Search Report. While many frown on paid advertising as a digital marketing tool, these experts believe that PPC ads is still a very viable and high quality resource for generating valuable leads and will most likely continue on this thread for years to come. New businesses can quickly generate their much needed leads using PPC ads, and veteran digital marketers will continue to make use of this important tool for generating good results that will push them towards their goals.
How do you do that? You need to create interest by offering a relevant mix of informative and entertaining content that builds a meaningful relationship with your audience. And you have to make sure that you are distributing your content through all the right channels – where your buyer spends time. This section goes into a bit more detail on some of the common tactics for inbound lead generation.
Leads may come from various sources or activities, for example, digitally via the Internet, through personal referrals, through telephone calls either by the company or telemarketers, through advertisements, and events. A 2015 study found that 89% of respondents cited email as the most-used channel for generating leads, followed by content marketing, search engine, and finally events. A study from 2014 found that direct traffic, search engines, and web referrals were the three most popular online channels for lead generation, accounting for 93% of leads.