Why do some lead generation programs succeed while others fail? If you’re expecting a complicated answer, you’re reading the wrong article. The answer is quite simple. Lead generation focuses on the things you can “get” rather than building valuable relationships with your target market. Potential buyers don’t want to “become a lead,” but would instead prefer to get to know the company, sample their products and services, and determine if they want to purchase from the brand on their own terms.
This article is not about touchy feely advice. Authentic Demand Generation™ is a science created by Terri Maxwell which is rooted in proven, repeatable formulas. It’s not a subjective method. The business growth solution Maxwell created brings together authentic demand principles with sophisticated ROI algorithms to tie marketing activities to actual revenue delivered.
Authentic Demand Generation™ is the science of authentically building relationships with buyers BEFORE they purchase. This is achieved by providing educational resources, and in some cases, valuable tools, while building a relationship with your buyers instead of just focusing on selling to them. This process is more cost-effective than lead generation, and significantly more effective, in large part due to the ROI algorithms it’s based on.
More importantly, rather than just generating leads, the solution builds authentic demand by differentiating a brand from its competitors and simultaneously growing awareness and generating interest with prospective buyers. The keyword is DEMAND, which means prospective buyers WANT to buy from your brand, rather than them feeling as if they’ve been sold.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
As a general rule, B2C companies need 1,000 website visits to generate 10 interested leads, which typically result in one sale. That is the global average. For B2B companies, 100 website visits typically translate to 10 leads and one sale.
Although 1,000 new visitors to a website every month may sound exciting, a true Authentic Demand Generation “scientist” understands those 1,000 hits will only amount to one sale. To ensure the demand program generates an ROI, many more paying customers must be generated as part of the overall strategy.
If it takes that B2C company 10 sales per month to reach its revenue goal, website visits need to increase 10-fold. Authentic Demand Generation™ leaders know how to devise a strategy to increase website traffic, grow sales and improve ROI based on those numbers.
The Data Reveals What’s Working (And What Isn’t)
Another key to a successful Authentic Demand Generation™ program is finding the right message and the right medium to deliver that message. These programs should consistently “make the phone ring and the email bing.”
Five years ago, leads needed to interact an average of seven times with a brand before making a purchase. Today, it takes 14 touches to make the cash register ring. The science behind Authentic Demand Generation™ is rooted in devising a strategy that offers prospects multiple opportunities (>14) to interact with a brand and provide value to them, as a relationship is established and cultivated.
Focus On Building Relationships BEFORE The Sale
This strategy is similar to the relationship-building found at successful brick-and-mortar stores. For example, say you need to buy a new shirt. You walk into Store A and the salesperson isn’t very helpful, so you feel like you’re on your own. Unless you find a shirt you really love, you leave the store empty-handed.
Conversely, you walk into Store B, and the salesperson greets you in a friendly fashion. She asks what you’re looking for, guides you to the shirt section of the store, checks on you in the dressing room, asks if you need a different size, and maybe even brings over a scarf or tie that nicely complements the shirt.
You walk out of Store B with two shirts, accessories to match, and you plan to return next time you need to buy clothing. Why? Because the salesperson took the time to get to know you. She was trying to serve you before you made a purchase. The salesperson added value before she made the sale. Simply put, you were more than just a number.
Similar to the Store B scenario, successful lead cultivation programs include a relationship-building strategy, where multiple interactions build upon each other over time, from initial interest to the sale. Most importantly, the cultivation should add value, rather than be promotional.
Those 14 touchpoints may include a website visit, website revisit, email drip campaign, webinar, snail mailer, follow-up email, follow-up phone call, or face-to-face meeting. The interactions just need to occur regularly and provide value to the prospect.
When providing valuable resources to prospects, remember to be authentic. Read our recent post Truth Sells: Five Keys to Authentic Promotion to learn more.
Stop Relying on Lead Generation, and Focus on Demand
The world of marketing and lead generation has changed drastically in recent years. Businesses with a broken lead generation program that isn’t generating the revenue their company needs to grow should switch gears to a scientific approach.
If your marketing team doesn’t know how to analyze buyer patterns and behaviors or understand the science to create authentic demand for your products and services, they also won’t know how to grow your business.
The IGNITE on Purpose team is trained in sophisticated analysis and know how to create innovative, powerful strategies that get phones ringing and emails binging. Contact us today to discover how we can take your business to the next level, all without breaking the bank through our revolutionary Pay for Performance Program.