With all the inbound vs outbound arguments out there, you’d think that the two approaches are mutually exclusive, but they’re not. In fact, it’s counter productive to think of them as separate. We propose that, instead of assigning labels to the different media according to their origins, you look at how the various channels can be used for different tasks within your greater lead generation efforts.
There’s no silver bullet when it comes to your need for leads, and while the combined elements of inbound can deliver great results for businesses that can wait for them, other businesses need a short-term lead generation solution. In such cases, the creative combining of media channels is far more effective than a single or stand-alone strategy.
To optimise your lead generation, break it down into its constituent parts
Lead generation is not one activity but two. First, you need to gather the contact details of unqualified leads, and then you need to prompt enough interest from these to qualify them as MQLs. Some marketing media can do both, while others are more effective at one stage in particular. Landing pages that offer downloadable guides on your company’s products and services are great for qualifying MQLs, but they’re ineffective at generating their own traffic. Bespoke data lists, on the other hand, are a great way to acquire the contact details of unqualified leads, but these unknowns then need to be qualified by another means if they are going to be of any value to your sales team.
To effectively ramp up your lead generation, you need to optimise both stages. For this reason, I suggest that you don’t think of the different marketing media in terms of inbound and outbound, but rather in terms of which platforms can be used to gather unqualified leads (stage 1) and which can be used to generate customer interest and qualify leads (stage 2). Your marketing mix needs to include media that can do both. But, before you decide on the best combination, consider the following:
How quickly do you need to generate leads? If you don’t need leads immediately, content marketing can be very effective, and efficient. However, this channel cannot be used to generate leads on command. For this purpose you would have to rely on a PPC campaign, or a purchased data list. Though data won’t generate it’s own leads, a bespoke datalist can be very effective when used to support a telemarketing campaign. As effective as this tactic can be, it’s important to note that the success of this method depends on two essentials: data that is both accurate and relevant to your goals, and expert, unscripted telemarketing - the kind that makes the lead feel like they are having a conversation with a real person.
Audiences profiling and segmentation
Any strategy should start with a thorough understanding of your target market and the different ways it can be segmented for greater message relevance. You are not going to reach baby boomers with Instagram for the same reason that you are not going to reach their children with snail mail.
Opportunities for integration
The integration of marketing media is greater than the sum of their separate parts. Content marketing, for one, is a perfect example of how elements with different strengths can be combined for optimal efficiency. Now, you only need to look at the myriad of media at your disposal to know that there are many more possibilities for creative integration. The latest innovative approaches use inbound elements to generate leads and then a more direct approach at the optimal time to speed leads to sale. But that’s not to say that outbound and inbound won’t be brought together in new combinations within the separate stages of lead generation.
To learn more about holistic lead generation and what it can do for your marketing ROI, download our Guide on Holistic Lead Generation. As a holistic lead generation agency, we spend much of our time developing strategies to fill our client’s sales funnels, and this insightful guide includes some of our most valuable lessons.
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