Friday, 3 August 2012

Optimize the digital medium for an effective lead generation strategy

The digital medium provides scalable cost effective approach to generating leads for new business.

While working on a lead generation exercise, it is tempting to go after anyone with a wallet. But, a generic plan like that works out to be more expensive and also has a lesser success rate. For a successful lead generation activity,  it is important to have a sharply defined strategy based on  an understanding of your most profitable customer segment.

Here is a simple 6 step model which may help marketers who are grappling with their digital lead generation efforts.

Step 1 : Know whose time you are after 

Get a sharp understanding of your potential customer and their behaviour in the online space.
A segmentation study in the digital space will help you to get a grip on various segments and you can
choose the one which will be most profitable for you in the long run.

Profiling your customer segment will help you with information such as their interests, surfing habits, nature of their social media interactions, their device usage habits and most importantly, a fair idea on what what would motivate them to share their personal data in the online space.

Step 2 : Know your competition
What is of supreme importance in a war is to attack an enemy's strategy. Monitor closely all the actions taken by the competition and keep that in context while formulating a strategy.

Most good digital strategist have competition tracking templates which help you collect, collate and analyse relevant data to arrive at a differentiated lead generation strategy for your brand.

Step 3: Pin point the bait  
There is a famous Chinese saying ' if you would take, you must first give.'
The digital medium is all about give and take. Online customers are used to sharing only in return for something. And the 'something' has to be of great relevance and value for them.

If you want the customer to give you time, attention and data - first make an offer they cant resist.
The segmentation study will also help you to find an offer which will resonate with your audience and what they value most. This really is the starting point of the conversation.

Step 4: Draw up an engagement plan

Answer 3 simple questions :
#1 : What do you want to say  - Have a clear strategy on how you want to communicate the offer to get the data in return.

#2 : What are the various medium options - web banners on sites they visit,  pay per click campaigns  or SEO using relevant key words, emailer or partnering a mutually beneficial partner.
Consider all  pros and cons before allocating your resources. There are some which will work better for your business than the others. But if you a first timer, layer your strategy with multiple choices and narrow down on the ones which work better for you as you go along.

#3: Where am I most likely to engage them most : Like traditional media plans, based on the understanding of your customer's interest and sites where they are most conducive to share information, draw up a media plan. the caution to exercise here is  to not fall for what's trendy but base your decision on facts which stem out of good customer understanding.

Step 5: Lead capture mechanisms  
1. Device strategy : With multiplicity of screens, it is important to know what device your prospective customer is most like to use to provide the data so you can tailor make the form to suit the device. (You should get this information as well from the segmentation study.) For example, if your strategy is a click through banner ad on a news site which is most often visited via a tablet, ensure your lead capturing form is tailor made and tablet friendly. Only a good user experience will get you what you want.

2. Provide a toll free number. Just in case the customer chooses to call, instead of filling up the form

3. Evaluate and re-evaluate the form multiple times to retain only the critical fields. Briefer the better.

Step 6: Monitor your efforts  
Every marketing initiative should have a separate landing page. Each email, banner , Pay per click or SEO should have it own landing page so you can track page visits to these dedicated pages with an analytic tool such as Google Analytics which is a free service.

For a more detailed presentation on effective lead generation strategies, write to us at 

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