Considered-purchase brands can shorten their buying cycles by adding Nurturing Programs to their Lead Generation Marketing.
A well-planned Lead Nurturing Program that includes education and engagement can be a cost-effective way to create awareness and interest at the top of the customer- purchase funnel and generate leads in the middle of the funnel.
Companies are also finding that these types of education and engagement programs can help re-energize stalled leads, keeping them “alive” in the funnel until they are ready to buy. Certainly an informative article or a webinar that answers an unasked “obstacle” question is more effective than a call from a salesperson checking in to see if the prospect is ready to buy.
Today online channels have made it so much easier for companies to connect with prospects and current customers and inexpensively deliver content. Open 24/7/365 the Internet allows your prospects to digest your content at their convenience without risking face-time with a sales agent before they are ready to be sold.
While still in a testing mode for many companies, effective lead nurturing programs are leveraging a huge and growing toolkit, that includes relevant content delivered through webinars, podcasts, white papers, e-books, blogs, e-newsletters, product demonstration videos, testimonial video, case studies, expert opinions and thought leadership programs. Every lead nurturing tactic is delivered to their prospects or customers during the right time in accordance with the way customers are moving through their own self-paced buying cycle.
According to the 2010 Lead Generation Marketing ROI Study by the Lenskold Group/eMedia, more marketers (and their companies) are seeing the value of these low-cost marketing programs.
When asked to rank the effectiveness of their current lead generation marketing, the engagement and education programs ranked significantly higher than the more traditional sales focused tactics:
These tactics provide more customer value because they present opportunities to educate the prospects throughout the buying cycle and better educated prospects move through the cycle faster, with improved closing rates.
When asked about their priorities for improving effectiveness of their marketing, the greatest improvement is still needed in the ability to track leads to sales and to identify the best lead acquisition channels. Proof that things change slowly in far too many companies given today’s challenging business climate.
Compared to acquisition marketing without nurturing, the study shows that a nurturing program can drive an increase in 3 important financial outcomes: 1) lead volume, 2) customer value and 3) conversion rates.
As more and more considered-purchase brands add Nurturing Programs to their Lead Generation marketing, we are sure to see more creative thinking in the types of nurturing engagements and more innovations in the delivery technologies. So we should expect more leads will be generated, less prospects will stall, more sales will be converted faster and the virtuous cycle will go round and round to everyone’s benefit.
Has your company added a Nurturing Program to your Lead Generation Marketing? If so, what tactics are delivering the most results? And is your content mapped to a buying cycle?
For more insights, read the full report at 2010 Lead Generation Marketing ROI Study and a recent Marketing Profs article, “How to Demonstrate and Deliver Lead-Nurturing ROI”, which references the Lenskold Group/emedia study.