Big Data, Bigger Lead Generation

lead_generationBy definition, big data is big. Under-powered analytical tools from five or six years ago can’t crunch the numbers and deliver the in-depth analytics you need to develop customer profiles and create custom content. Where that shortfall really shows is with lead generation. Modern lead gen depends on marketing that makes full use of data to nurture leads and qualify them for sales. Here’s a look at how big data – and the marketing automation software that uses it – fit with your lead generation strategy to build revenue.

More Engagement

Some leads come to you with all the work done. They’ve researched solutions, learned about what you have to offer and decided on you even before your sales department has met them. The great majority of your leads, though, need nurturing. To give your prospective customers the information they need to make buying decisions, you need content. Not just any content will do, though; they want something relevant to their needs. With better data analysis, you can answer your leads’ questions with pinpoint accuracy and customize content to keep them engaged. We all listen more closely when we hear a message directed at us, and that includes your leads.

Clearer Attribution

How do you know where your prospects come from? Even simple web-based analytics can tell you what a website visitor clicked on to reach your site, but attribution goes far deeper than a single step. It’s often a daisy chain of links and buttons, one that only big data applications can trace effectively. To understand which channels and which content moves people to engage with you, you need a more powerful attribution process. Marketing automation software that follows these more complex relationships and can tell you precisely where your customers come from helps you find more like them.

Less Time in the Pipeline

Until they’re ready to become customers, your leads need you. They have questions to answer, pain points to address, challenges to be met. Lead nurturing with marketing automation lets you accurately track and score leads throughout this process so you know precisely when to answer a question or supply more information. Coordinating the timing of email correspondence, content publication and sales contacts manually is virtually impossible; it’s just too much data to manage by hand. Automation eliminates time-consuming logistics and sends the right message at the right time to usher leads through your marketing pipeline. By reducing the time between initial contact with a lead and the point of sale, you save effort you can then put toward other aspects of customer acquisition and retention.

Pinpointing Sales Readiness

Knowing when it’s time to hand leads over from marketing to sales is a major challenge. Too soon, and you’re adding marketing duties to the sales team’s work-load. Wait too long, and you risk losing a sale to a competitor. Big data compiles behavioral information not only on an individual lead’s history but the histories of all your other prospects to help you assess sales readiness. That can’t happen if you’re using siloed systems for lead management, email marketing, website analytics and customer care. An integrated system that houses everything under one roof makes it easy to track the moving target of sales readiness and act on it right away.

When big data translates directly into bigger lead generation opportunities and more revenue, it’s anything but an abstract concept. Marketing automation makes showcases the practical, real-world applications for big data in your lead generation, content marketing and customer retention strategies.

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