Lead generation - as it used to be (conventional)
Formerly Decision Makers in companies had a well-known number of
information channels for obtaining information: 'Conventional' Channels.
Thus lead generation could be achieved through the typical channels:
- Direct Mail: Mailings of letters and postcards
- Fax: 'spamming' using faxes
- Trade magazines: Print advertising
- Telephone Directory (Yellow pages): a larger insertion
- Directory: mentioning and advertisement in directories
- Trade show: participating at the industry trade shows
- Conferences: speaking at conferences or even sponsoring conferences.
- Telephone: cold calling, conference calls.
- Telemarketing using call centre operators
- Press releases
- Public Relations
- Radio and television: accidentally this could happen
The repartition of amounts of effort and money to be spent on each of
these channels was and still is a decision of the Marketing manager.
Lead generation - now
The importance of the communication channels have changed, due to the
rise of the Internet, e-mail and Instant Messaging.
Today, every B2B company:
- Has a website
- Is E-mail the first channel for direct communications
- Can have adopted Instant Messaging between Vendors and Customers
This change has also affected the advertising and promotion of services
and products, as new forms of exposure for companies have emerged and
have gained importance.
Examples of these new channels:
- Numerous Internet directories: not just the one business directory or Yellow pages
- Review of products on websites by professionals or customers
- Banners and advertising on websites
- Real-time targeted advertising based on content of the web page or the interest of the surfer.
- The word of mouth has become viral marketing by all kinds of Internet tools and methods: blogging, social book marking, even video.
- Blogging by the company CEO or CTO
New channels added on top of conventional channels
All these new tools and channels using all possible forms and
available on the Internet are posing a problem for both Marketing and
Sales: where to spent efforts, time and money.
Moreover these new channels are added on top of the number of conventional channels.
As these new channels are still emerging, market specific data of their importance can change quickly as no history has been captured and or history has been built for these new forms and formats of communication: thus accurate data is missing.
As the number of sources and the number of possible
events are enormous, they cannot easily be controlled and managed.
This is a serious problem, and seems unsolvable.