A fundamental objective of both social and search marketing is the capture of data from self-qualifying prospects.
Social and display advertising are both anchored by the same process: display a prominent USP with a relevant piece of artwork, a logo, and a call to action to a broadly targeted audience.
Elements like content, structure, timing, placement, and budgets are typically calibrated to maximize click and download rates (which generally net out somewhere around 1.5-2.5% of the views of the ad).
It works, but:
1. It can annoy your prospects.
a. From the moment that the prospect clicks the ad, through re-marketing, they can followed (chased?) as they visit nearly every site across the web – it’s just annoying.
2. Because it’s designed to work at scale, the process tends to be company-centric, not customer-centric.
a. Customer centricity is a by-product of the lead acquisition, and takes place during the automated nurturing process
3. The prospects that matter – the decision makers – are at risk of never entering the sales pipeline at all.
a. When was the last time that you willingly gave your contact info in exchange for a piece of research? If your answer is anything less than “very often”, the challenge to overcome is “what makes you think that the best prospects will behave any differently?”
There is another way, that assures that the prospects that matter aren’t missed, simply because they didn’t enter the top of the lead generation pipeline in the usual way: account-based marketing.
Here’s what you need to know:
- It takes more research.
- It takes customization.
- It reaches-out to ideal prospects directly, not hoping for them to request information.
- It shortens sales cycles
- It has the potential of bringing larger deals to the table
Ironically, the tools to conduct an effective account-based marketing strategy are very similar to those that are used to nurture high volumes of prospects entering the top of your funnel from a social or search campaign (ie, a marketing automation package). The difference is that with account-based marketing, the content is highly customized to the account/prospect.
Our view is that an effective lead generation process contains a mix of both – to assure the best coverage of the market.
If you’re looking for assistance to engage your market – and develop new prospects – we have more ideas we’d like to share with you.