Thursday, March 24, 2011

Love and Marriage

Remember the old song?

Well, lead generation and lead cultivation go together like a horse and carriage, too.  Or at least they should.

Eight of 10 marketers plan to ramp up social media spending this year, in the relentless pursuit of leads.

But unless they marry lead cultivation to lead generation, all the social media in the world won't boost the bottom line.

In her blog, B2B e-marketing guru Ardath Albee explains why.  "Without the nurturing, generating leads is merely an exercise in trying to scrape the 10% who may be ready to buy and then dumping the rest into an afterthought category."

To succeed, you have to engage people who opt to follow you.  (Social media marketing is a lot like marriage, isn't it?)

And engagement requires consistently useful content.  "The perceived value of the content is what you're being judged on every time," Albee writes.  "In all cases, just showing up is not going to work."

Don't believe it?  Look at the divorce rates:
  • 49% of prospects have unsubcribed to an email series
  • 43% have unliked a company on Facebook
  • 52% have unfollowed a brand on Twitter
The figures suggest that marketers should rethink the role of social media, putting lead cultivation first. 

"Perhaps the ramp-up strategy for social media should actually be customer nurturing instead of new lead generation," Albee says.
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