Lead generation often refers to an effective marketing tool for capturing and stimulating interest of the service or product specifically to develop a pipeline for continuing sales.
Lead generation is important for many businesses as a way to reach a new targeted audience of potential buyers, by being heard above the fray. Instead of traditional methods of locating customers using email blasts and mass advertising, marketers can concentrate on building continuous relationships with ongoing buyers.
Before the Internet was used, the old concept of generating leads meant that the marketing department would locate names and information of potential buyers, and simply pass the data to the sales department. The buyer would expect to receive a call from sales as a way to qualify the potential customer. However, online lead generation has changed all that.
Today, purchasers perform their own research using the Internet, and gain access to a variety of educational tools and resources using social media, search engines and other channels online. In fact, most consumers have a comprehensive understanding of the service or products they desire before ever speaking to anyone in sales. As a result, online lead generation now involves enhancing digital presence as a way to make contact with potential consumers using the Internet.
There has been a clear and concise shift away from the traditional purchasing process. Research indicates that upwards of 90 percent of all individuals turn to the Internet before making a purchase. This allows them to gain access to desired information, without talking to anyone in sales.
Successful marketing departments now allocate more of their budget to strategies and tactics for lead generation. This requires developing highly creative ways to get the message in front of the consumer and break through the constant noise of the competition. This is performed in a variety of online ways including:
Offering online catalogs
Pay per click and other Internet advertising
Social media website platforms
Online sweepstakes, drawings, promotions and awards
Online press releases
Because the prospective customers continually use Google and other search engines, read blogs, network, in turn to social media sites including Twitter and Facebook, it is easier to locate them. The most successful marketing practices for online lead generations use effective marketing tools to capture qualified sales leads.