Not too long ago, marketing and lead generation looked very different. Marketing teams found potential buyers, and passed their contact information to sales. They often had no idea whether those leads would be “good fit” customers who were likely to buy.

Potential customers expected to speak to sales; there were few other options for getting information about new products. The sales team needed to educate the prospect, determine if they were qualified, and attempt to make a sale.

Product and qualifying information was once in the hands of businesses; this is no longer the case. The current digital age means that buyers expect to educate themselves about a product long before interacting with sales or a checkout process. If your product information isn’t easily accessible, it simply isn’t getting noticed.

Because of this, lead generation has changed dramatically in recent years. Let’s take a look at how, and what you can do to keep up. 


Lead Generation: Less Finding, More Being Found

Gone are the days of “finding” customers with mass advertising. Billboards, TV ads, and call centers certainly still exist. However, they are often used by niche businesses or as a small part of a large campaign including many channels.

Instead of mass advertising, lead generation today focuses on “being found” by customers. Customers are self-motivated to seek information about their product and service options. By the time today’s customer interacts with a sales team or checkout process, they’ve already made the decision to buy. They’ve done the research, and like what they see.

This makes lead generation less clear-cut: how does a business make itself “findable”?

While it’s tempting to completely shift the burden of education onto prospective customers, the truth is that lead generation in this new era still takes just as much work as in decades past. Your information must be in the consumer’s hands. It’s your job to get it there, and do so better than the competition.


Information Abundance and Lead Generation

Information abundance means that you compete for attention, which means competing for leads. There’s so much content out there, however, that it’s harder than ever to stand out. Intensifying this battle for attention is consumer skill. Shoppers today are better at identifying simple bids for attention and shutting them out to hone in on the quickest answers to their questions.

It’s more important than ever to identify your target audience. Once that’s done, you must make sure your content is relevant to each segment. It should be not only eye-catching, but also result in deeper engagement. 

Viewing your leads as relatable people in need of the solution your product offers is a great way to approach this. Knowing which channels your target audience uses is also a big part of that effort. This is how you build a campaign framework that gets your business noticed.

There are a number of ways to beat the competition through lead generation. In our next post, for example, we’ll talk about how partners like PropeloMedia can use life event triggers to get your business the best leads possible in today’s information age.

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