Traditional lead generation is still a useful tool and I’ve used this in the past. But times have evolved, we now live in a digital world where the consumer is firmly in the driving seat. By this, I mean consumers are well armed with information and used to a service that is personalised. As a marketer, it’s my job to fill the pipeline. I touched upon this in my first vlog at BPI ROK, if you didn’t see it please view it here.

The main point I was trying to get across without spilling any coffee was for B2B marketers to consider the difference between the traditional lead gen pipeline and an Account Based Marketing (ABM) pipeline. Lead generation, as mentioned earlier, is a powerful tool, but it draws in all sorts of leads and sales tend to be individual and unconnected so you could say it’s good for reaching small businesses. Larger accounts demand a more structured approach, which is why ABM makes sense, as it’s a targeted approach to identify key accounts and all of the key decision makers involved in that account.

Demandbase found that the average contract value for targeted accounts was 40% higher for mid-market and 35% higher for enterprise accounts.

I know my whiteboard drawing wasn’t the best so let’s review a better diagram version below.

As mentioned in the vlog my biggest issues with lead-based marketing is the 1% conversion rate (Forrester), for me that’s not good enough. As a marketer, I can fill the pipeline full of as many leads as you need to hit your target but the quality of those leads will be questionable and you can bet that the sales team won’t appreciate a pipeline that lacks quality and is more focused on quantity.

Now there has never been a one size fits all marketing strategy. No Industry is the same, every industry has different pain points, needs, and target audience. Which is why fundamentally you need to decide which is best for your business.

Below, I’ve given just one simple example of how you could compare the two through the use of metrics versus influence.

Metrics or Influence

Let’s be honest when it comes to lead-based marketing the metrics look good on paper, but when you actually look into the detail it’s often not that impressive.

Clicks & Page Views

I’ve spoken about this in the past I feel that we place too much emphasis on them, we automatically assume that form fills or downloads are leads. Now, this may look great on paper and high in numbers but that’s not taking into consideration is whether these leads are the right people from the right companies.

Conversions

Conversions are seen as a potential action e.g. when a prospect downloads a piece of content they have converted from a prospect (cold lead) to an MQL (warm lead) as they have taken action to interact with your business. What you don’t know is if they have consumed that content and again if they are the right people from the right accounts. If your conversions are coming from anywhere, then that’s a clear sign your lead gen is unfocused and your wasting time and money.

Leads

Now let’s get real. If you want leads you can buy a database and import that into your pipeline to get your numbers up and have a pipeline that looks great. But its quality you want not quantity. You may have a lot of leads at the top of your pipeline but how many will make it to the bottom? Remember, Forester reported a 1% conversion rate when it comes to traditional lead gen.

Don’t focus on the number of leads you have, focus on what matters, which is are you engaging with the key individuals in the accounts that matter.

Account Based Marketing is more targeted and personalized versus spray and pray, where you’re just trying to capture anyone in your net. You’re being very specific about whom you want to talk with, and it’s a way for sales and marketing to align on the target. – Meagen Eisenberg, CMO, MongoDB

Account Based Marketing is not as simple as a mass email campaign, it’s a long-term strategy where measurement is key, so regular reports and analysis is done to find out what is driving engagement and how can we improve on this. ABM Metrics include coverage, reach, awareness, engagement, and influence, to name a few. These metrics will help you improve ROI but also to improve and refine your ABM strategies moving forward so there is constant development.

Final Word

This was just one example of how you can compare the two B2B lead generation approaches. I could go on, but I wanted to give you some food for thought and get your feedback on the above. What are your thoughts now? Can you see when you compare the two why I would say traditional lead generation is like a box of chocolates?

Off the back of the vlog and this follow-up article, I hope you found this insight of use. If you want to know more about traditional lead generation, ABM or any marketing related matters contact me and I’m happy to help.