Why Lead Generation Is Not Enough

June 27, 2014

As B2B marketers, we all know it's true, even though we don't want to admit it.

We are fixated on the idea of lead generation -- bringing in new leads, measuring our cost per lead, identifying the most effective, lead sources, and so on. (And I should know. I've devoted my Twitter handle to the entire concept.)

Despite having, in many cases, enormous databases of valuable known contacts, many still focus on bringing in brand new leads as a top priority. Which is not necessarily a wrong approach.

It's just not enough.

There are tremendous, untapped opportunities waiting in our rich, existing CRM and marketing automation databases, which are filled with people who have already agreed to listen to us as brands. We just need to understand what their needs are, and use new and effective ways to keep them engaged. We need to become as good at lead nurturing as we are at new lead generation. What's more, there are also hundreds of visitors who are coming to our corporate websites every day, but simply aren't converting by giving us their email addresses. By virtue of visiting our websites, these people aren't really "new" leads either -- they have, in many cases, sought out our companies in the hopes of learning more and starting a conversation. Yet because we don't have their email addresses, we feel like there's no opportunity to keep that conversation going, and we cross our fingers and hope that we'll reach them again elsewhere.

But there's good news: Our recent survey revealed that 94 percent of marketers have at least some form of lead nurturing program in place. In addition, many marketers think that other channels besides email can be used to nurture leads, including 44 percent who believe that channels such as display advertising do in fact play a role in nurturing leads. Finally, 89 percent of marketers would be interested in technologies that would support nurturing both anonymous and known prospects beyond email.

The interest in nurturing leads is there -- many marketers are just craving a more effective way to build those relationships, and just need the supporting technologies to make this a reality.

It's time for B2B marketers to get more out of their existing investments and program dollars by focusing on nurturing the leads who are already interested in their brands, including those who may not have yet submitted their email addresses. Display and social advertising can help with this, as many savvy marketers have already discovered.

This post was originally published on the Bizo blog. In July 2014, LinkedIn + Bizo joined forces to build the most robust B2B marketing platform available to marketers. To learn more, check out David Thacker, VP of Product at LinkedIn’s announcement blog post.