So many lead generation channels (but so little time)

 In Thought Leadership

In many ways we’ve never had it so good.

There are so many lead generation channels available to the modern marketeer that it can be hard to know where to begin.

At least once a week I speak with businesses that are literally paralysed by the sheer number of channels available – often opting to spread themselves thinly across increasing number of channels in fear of missing the right one.

The truth is… doing several things unsuccessfully is little better than doing nothing at all.

Time and time again, our clients and partners prove the best strategy is to find a single channel that works, and stick with it.

When marketing budgets are limited, find a consistent lead source that fits your model, then forget the rest. Literally focus 100% of your budget on that channel.

Scale yourself vertically, not horizontally. Keep working that channel until it is maxed out, and then, only then, you should move on to another channel.

So, let’s take a look at where you should start.

SO MANY FREAKING CHANNELS…

The last five years has seen a paradigm shift in lead generation formats. As digital displaced physical, telephone and face to face channels, all of a sudden, a wealth of powerful and versatile outreach formats became available.

Let’s consider some of the more prominent channels that delineate today’s landscape:

  • Email marketing
  • Organic search marketing
  • Paid search marketing
  • Social media
  • Paid social
  • Content marketing
  • Word of mouth/referral
  • Conferences/events
  • PR
  • Outbound calling
  • Retargeting
  • Partner marketing
  • Display advertising
  • Video advertising
  • TV, radio and print ads

Yikes – that’s a shmakka of a list – no wonder it’s become more of a road block than the well signed travelator to world domination that we signed up for.

It’s a classic case of the ‘ Paradox of Choice’.

Businesses feel paralysed by the sheer number of options available, resorting to timidly spreading themselves across several strategies to little effect. As Barry Schwartz pointed out, the more freedom to choose we have, the less we are able to act effectively upon it.

Yet, all those other channels are just white noise when you find the one that works for you.

Once you’ve found your prospecting gold, you should ignore all other considerations and temptations. Max out that winning channel. The other options are not going anywhere – you’ve struck a rich seam so mine it for all it’s worth.

… SO LITTLE TIME

Thankfully there are some useful guides already out there to give you a steer on where to begin concentrating your efforts.

To save your time dabbling in the also-rans here are the B2B lead-gen big hitters and generally the channels we suggest you should focus on first.

Here are the results of a recent sampler, The State of Pipeline Marketing Report, carried out by Bizible in October 2016.

Chart Source

Much has been made of the variances that appear in all the different surveys that try to pinpoint the most effective channels for B2B lead generation, but, in actual fact, there are only four of these that regularly top the lists.

And, there’s only one that has a low cost of entry and posts results across all sectors in terms of numbers of leads and ROI.

The four big hitters are:

  • Email marketing
  • Organic search marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing

And it’s email that I suggest offers the best point of entry.

As a prospecting tool, email’s benefits include:

  • It is cost-effective. On a cost-per-lead basis, no other digital platform can compete with a well delivered email strategy.
  • It is massively scalable. Scaling with consistent targeting rarely sees any drop-in response rates. You can engage one prospect per week, or 100 prospects per day, with zero additional overhead.
  • It is monstrously trackable. Sure it’s been around for a while, but this dinosaur is a Trackasaurus Rex. Unique opens, clicks, responses and website visits can all be recorded reliably.
  • It is repeatable. Prospecting emails can be used – with personalisation – more than once… sequenced chaser emails can also continue to retarget non-responders after initial contact.

So… long story short, we suggest email prospecting should be your go to channel for matters B2B.

It’s instant, has a low cost of entry and delivers proven results, consistently.

Hopefully you’ll understand the logic of scaling your efforts vertically through this channel, rather than horizontally across other channels.

Allocating 100% of your budget to the most effective sales channel is the best crazy idea you’ve had all week.

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