Buyers to Marketers: Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You

“Why do you want my email and phone number again? So your sales consultant can contact me? No thanks, I’ll pass.”

Boonville Missing Bucky Walter PhoneMost B2B marketers are still fixated on capturing registration data, and no wonder. The marketing automation machine lives on a diet of email and your sales process is built on the telephone.

The problem is, your buyer’s process is not built on your email or your phone. According to research, buyers only engage with companies directly during the last 40% of their research process.

When you insist on registration, you are in effect telling prospects:

  • We don’t want to be involved in the first half of your research.
  • We are only willing to engage with you on our terms and timetable.

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Five Reasons Lead Generation Is On Its Last Legs

A quick definition. Lead generation, for purposes of this post, is collecting registration information for content, in order to build a marketing database or deliver leads to telemarketing and then on to sales.

Delivering leads for sales drives today’s B2B marketing organization. According to a study from Fusion B2B on 2011 B2B marketing priorities, lead generation is the single top priority of B2B marketers, at 26%. By comparison, awareness only captures 7%, near the end of the list. B2B marketing is all about lead generation.

But lead generation is breaking, and if your marketing relies heavily on lead generation, it will slowly break too. Here are the five things breaking lead generation today.

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Selling your Lead Generation Content

Fan of cashYou have committed to content marketing, you have invested in creating content, and your website has turned into a veritable content hub. At every turn, you offer related content to entice a registration and get someone to opt in to to your drip and nurture program. You have enough traffic, but you need more registrations to fuel your nurture program.

What you really need is a new mindset. Your content is not free. You are selling it for contact information.

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That’s John Doe to You

When marketers ask for information, we lie. In fact, an older Knowledge Storm survey published by Marketing Sherpa showed only 38% consistently provide accurate phone numbers and nearly half don’t even provide an accurate company name. We lie for a reason, and if marketers want us to stop lying on registration forms, they need to give us reasons to stop.

Registration Form LiesHere are a few of the reasons people have shared with me recently when asked why they lie on registration forms:

  • I register for information, but get a barrage of emails and phone calls.
  • Most of the content is useless, I’m not giving up my information for that.
  • I don’t want to be contacted.
  • Why would I give them my real information?

Marketers are facing an uphill battle. Many objections to registering are about what happens after we register, before we know what an individual marketer will do with the information we provide. Marketers have some marketing to do, they need to change our behavior, starting by changing our perception.

For marketers that embrace putting the audience first, the solution is easy. Read more of this post

Set Your Content Free

Your content is in jail. It had great potential, but something went wrong. Now, it is stuck behind a window with 6 to 10 horizontal gray steel bars. Your registration form. Barred Window

This is the content you slaved over and chased your subject matter experts for weeks, even months, for. It clearly positions your solution as the leader in your quickly changing industry.

Now, it is stuck in jail. It is nearly impossible to discover through search. It is not tweeted or liked by anyone but you. It is missing its opportunity to reinforce your leadership message. And the days tick by, until one day your content is out of date, its jail term turned into a forgotten life sentence.

Your content was developed to support your position. Get it out of jail. Allow it to do what it was designed to do. When you do, here are just a few of the benefits you can expect to see: Read more of this post

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