The Many Faces of “Lead Generation” – Trick or Treat?


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Halloween has come and gone again and each year one marvels at the ingenuity and creativity of costumes, masks and disguises. The trick-or-treaters come around no matter what the weather with their bags open and outstretched for candy. Not to forget the adults who dress up and grab their share of fun at work or with friends and family.

For some players in the lead generation industry, Halloween is gradually becoming a year-round event. You can see all kinds of tools, techniques and tactics disguised as “lead generation strategies” to fool indiscriminate marketers.

Just like those common, yet always scary gorilla, demon and zombie costumes, here are a few disguises that shock me every time I see them:

  • Lead generation software and automation: disguised as the be-all and end-all for organizations looking to increase sales. I wrote earlier on this blog about an imbalanced reliance on technology that clever vendors disguise as a “silver bullet” for lead generation. It isn’t and can never be a substitute for sound demand generation strategy or implementation processes.
  • Centralization pretending to be the mastermind of marketing: this just won’t work in the long term! How can a single strategy work in all markets regardless of geographical differences and market-specific ground realities? Yet, power-crazy CMOs will continue to brandish the power baton imagining themselves capable of magic and wizardry. In my opinion, geo-targeting is the way to go.
  • Pushing quantity cloaked as success: beware of lead generation services that promise quantity with the promise that a busy sales funnel will drive more sales. It won’t. Rapid market entry and pipeline acceleration is effective when lead qualification, lead nurturing and lead scoring processes are in place.
  • Using jargon and tech-speak: as I said before, don’t speak Martian when you’re talking to us earthlings! Customers don’t want technology; they want a great solution to meet their lead generation challenges.
  • Social media and B2B lead generation: there’s that little blue bird called Ollie we see everywhere and it says “Tweet This” – Nice costume and there are marketers who will swear by the power of Twitter and other social media tools. I have yet to see any concrete evidence of its measurable impact on lead generation
  • Spike marketing: much like the crazy hair-dos and spikes with gels, sprays and colours that adorn Halloween disguises, I see disastrous spike marketing campaign all the time. Most of them fail because they are largely a self-perpetuating, wasteful mistake that can be avoided if you follow the 10-60-30 rule.

What’s the most recent lead generation trick or treat you have seen?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


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