Lead generation is powerful. What better way to demonstrate the value of your marketing efforts than by generating fresh leads for your sales team out of (seemingly) thin air? 

The power of marketing has always been hampered by the limitations of attribution. Lead generation campaigns – combined with lead scoring – aim to draw a direct line between marketing efforts and new business won. 

It’s understandable that many marketing teams are eager to sink their teeth into such an exciting initiative. 

However, in their haste, some teams don’t spend enough time getting really clear on the big questions: 

Who are you targeting? 

Why are you targeting this audience, specifically? 

What will you speak to them about? 

What value will you offer them in exchange for their data? 

How will you reach them? 

We can help you understand why it’s crucial to define each of these elements before you embark on a campaign.  

Who you’re targeting and why 

Who you are targeting is critical to the success of your campaign. Your competitive advantage lies in how well you understand your target market. That is, which segments of that market you want to focus on most and, in turn, which segments find you most appealing. 

If you’re marketing to the entire market, you’re missing out on your chance to speak quite pointedly to a select sub-group of people with a compelling message. It’s impossible to be relevant to everyone at once – don’t try to be. 

Why is another important question. Do you know why you’re targeting this particular segment? What does the average size of their business equate to, in terms of your assets under management (AUM)? Why will this particular segment find your proposition attractive? Keeping this front of mind will help you remain focused on the prospects you’re targeting. 

Another helpful way to look at this is to ask yourself ‘Who are we not targeting and why?’. Targeted marketing means not targeting some of the market. Who are you deliberately leaving on the shelf? 

What you’ll speak to them about  

Deciding what the focus of your campaign should be is an important decision. If it’s going to generate leads for your firm, your proposition needs to be relevant and enticing. 

A key consideration here is the content you have to support the particular strategy or fund you’re promoting. Think about the following: 

  • Do you have existing content to support the case for the investment opportunity? If not, how easily can you create some? 
  • Is what you want to promote innovative, exciting and compelling? How will you position it so that it comes across that way? 
  • Is this a new strategy you’re taking to market, or an existing one? If it is an existing one, consider whether your existing material speaks to the audience you’re targeting in this campaign, or whether you’d need to come at it from a different angle.  
  • Is the strategy or fund you’re planning to promote a strategic priority for your business? If yes, then hopefully it’s already well supported with a wealth of materials to create campaign assets from. Or at least it won’t be a big ask to create some. If it’s not, then it’s probably not going to generate leads of value for the business. 

Another consideration is how repeatable the campaign is. If this is a lead generation pilot for your business and you’ve seen some success, other regions will undoubtedly want to reap these benefits too. It’s useful to promote a strategy that is widely distributed, so that you can maximise the return of your efforts. 

What item of value will you offer in exchange for data? 

If your lead generation campaign is about generating fresh leads for your firm, you are targeting people who won’t already be known to you and stored in your customer relationship management (CRM) system. 

When you nurture these prospects to become marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), you’ll need a way to continue to contact them. Retargeting can serve its purpose, but this is not enough. For your distribution team to eventually have a sales conversation, they’ll need to know exactly who they need to have a conversation with (and how), along with a record of the recent touchpoints that person has had with your firm. 

Therefore, personal data is paramount to the success of a lead generation campaign. 

Data is valuable – this is widely known. It also takes effort handing over data, usually via a form. People aren’t going to be clamouring to hand their data to you for nothing in return. 

Defining what thing of value you’ll offer prospects in return for their personal data is crucial to a successful lead generation campaign. 

And, here’s the thing: most firms overestimate the value they’re offering. Digging up a 6-month old whitepaper and saying that’s going to be your ‘hook’ to convince people to hand their data over isn’t going to cut it. 

That’s not to say that whitepapers aren’t relevant. Perhaps it can be the basis for an interactive infographic-led paper that tells an insightful story of value to your prospects. 

Your ‘thing of value’ doesn’t have to be content either. 

Could it be a tool? A game? A quiz? A product recommender? 

Consider all the existing assets at your disposal and the inputs available to you to create something new. 

There’s also a real first-mover advantage here – if you offer something of value that’s new to the market, that has the power to gain real traction and increase the volume of leads you can nurture. 

How you’ll reach them 

Once you’ve firmed up who you’re targeting, why you’re targeting them, what you’ll speak to them about and what ‘thing of value’ you’ll offer them in exchange for your data the last thing left is to define how exactly you’ll reach them. 

This is a case of defining the channels you’ll leverage, but also mapping the end-to-end journey you’ll guide them through. 

Assuming you’re looking to bring fresh leads into the business, you’ll need some outbound channels – possibly display, social, search. 

And you’ll also need some owned channels where you can get your prospects into an environment you control – often your own website and email. 

Typically in a lead generation flow you’ll hook via a highly targeted landing page on your website and nurture through email and your website. 

It’s important you map the whole journey end-to-end, so you are crystal clear on how your story unfolds throughout the journey and that you have a clear call to action (CTA) each step of the way. 

If a lead you’re nurturing isn’t engaging, you may want to send them down a different journey to try to re-engage them. Though, if this is your first run at nurturing leads in this way, you may want to start simple. The more journeys you define, the more campaign assets you’ll need and the more complexity in your setup. 

What next? 

Once you’ve mapped out the experience a prospect will be guided through – from becoming aware of your proposition all the way through to being ready for a sales conversation – you need to make that happen in the back-end. 

Take a look at Part 2 of this series to understand how to line up your technology and data to deliver a targeted lead generation campaign.