Digital channels and automation have changed the face of marketing everywhere, but the biggest transformation is arguably with lead generation. Instead of marketers finding potential buyers and handing them off to sales, prospects themselves are doing much of the heavy lifting, educating themselves and actively seeking out companies with which to do business instead of waiting for you to contact them. Depending on industry, leads may already have gone through as much as 90 percent of their buying journey before the sales department even knows they’re there.
In this new buying reality, how do you reach your audience while there’s still time to inform the decisions they make? Your best bet could be diversification.
Renting and Owning
When we talk of renting and owning your leads’ attention, we’re referring to whether you are building on a channel owned by a third party or constructing your own source of proprietary content. You could also phrase it as paid media versus owned media. For example, when you buy Google Ads, purchase banner advertising, pay for content promotion, or rent a tradeshow booth, you’re renting attention – that is, you’re paying for bandwidth on a pre-existing platform. By contrast, owned media puts you in total charge of your content on your blog, website, and landing pages.
Which Is Better?
The ideal marketing strategy takes advantage of the strengths of both owned and rented attention to optimize lead generation. Proportions may vary by region, season, and industry type, but in general, businesses thrive when they leverage the existing market of paid media while building their own authority with owned media content.
Here’s a quick rundown on the advantages of both paid media and owned media:
- Has a built-in audience
- Reaches a larger market in early stages of development
- May start with a template for streamlined content creation
- Support system already in place
- No cost to produce and minimal costs to host and distribute
- Complete control over your marketing message
- Builds equity in your content, eventually becoming a reference library for leads
- Establishes you as an authority in your industry
Finding a Balance with Your Lead Gen Content
Both renting and owning attention are important in the diverse, complex marketplace B2B businesses face today. Working with a marketing company that has extensive marketing automation experience will help you coordinate your message across channels and make the most of owned and paid media.
© Reach Marketing LLC 2016 All Rights Reserved.