Demand Generation Has Evolved: The Convergence of Lead Generation & Lead Qualification


Image source: TechTarget, in a presentation delivered at the TechTarget Online ROI Summit.

Introduction

Demand generation is evolving. In the days of old, marketers focused primarily on “getting the lead,” whether it was via a banner ad, white paper listing or search ad. And while getting the lead is a critical piece of demand generation, leads become worthless if they’re not qualified well and passed on to the right individuals in your organization.

Lazy marketers put up an offer, generate a lead list and then “dump” those leads into a telemarketing queue. Now, lazy marketers have evolved into smart marketers. Smart marketers engage with leads in real-time – or, if they can’t engage with them directly, they study their leads’ interactions with content to make qualification decisions on:

  1. Where leads are in the buying cycle.
  2. What purchasing authority they have.
  3. Who is the best individual to engage with them, and how.

In my book, “Generate Sales Leads With Virtual Events,” I called this “accelerated lead generation.” That is, marketers generate and qualify leads in the same step.

Activity Intelligence™ from TechTarget

At the TechTarget Online ROI Summit in San Francisco, Justin Hoskins introduced a concept called Activity Intelligence™. By adding this service to demand generation campaigns, TechTarget not only generates leads for advertisers, but provides them with a wealth of insights on those leads, in the form of this activity intelligence. Let’s take a further look.

Holistic Account View

It seems elementary, but all too often, demand generation campaigns do not group leads from the same company together. As a result, a sales rep may call on the same company multiple times. Or, multiple sales reps place calls into the same company at the same time. Yikes!

With dashboards provided in Activity Intelligence™, I see that Sandra, Joe, Peter and Barry are from the same company. They may all be on the same team, or they may be in different teams, but at least I get a holistic view, allowing me to plan offers and follow-up activities strategically.

Undiscovered Contacts

Next, there’s the concept of “undiscovered contacts.” These are people from the same company – they didn’t view your content, but they looked at similar content. Activity Intelligence™ won’t provide you with the identity of these contacts, but it’ll tell you how active they are in topics related to your content.

Now, you know that there are other influencers in the prospects’ organization. This is useful, as it indicates an active need. And active needs provide you with better leads (rhyme intended).

Account Mindshare

Related to “other” content, Activity Intelligence™ dashboards provide you with insights into “mindshare,” which comprises:

  1. Your content.
  2. Your competitors’ content (in aggregate).
  3. TechTarget editorial content.

If your competitors’ mindshare is higher than your’s and your prospects are not returning phone calls from Sales, perhaps they’re closing in on a decision with your competitor.

And while that’s not a great result, the intelligence provided can help guide you. Perhaps you have your Sales team focus on more qualified prospects. Or, you re-orient your marketing content to focus on competitive assessments or special offers.

How to Apply to Virtual Events

The concepts of Activity Intelligence™ can be applied to virtual event platforms, to enhance online events oriented around demand generation. Consider the following:

  1. Reporting: provide sponsor reports oriented around holistic account views.
  2. Undiscovered contacts: let sponsors know that “undiscovered contacts” attended the virtual event and provide a measure of their activity within the event.
  3. Mindshare: provide “report cards” that show prospects’ engagement with a sponsor’s content, compared to an average of the other sponsors. In other words, “tell me how this prospect interacted with me, in comparison to my competitors.”

Conclusion

TechTarget’s Activity Intelligence™ is powering an evolution in demand generation: the convergence of lead generation and lead qualification.

The closer you can bring the two steps together, the better chance you have on turning leads into opportunities and opportunities into bookings.

For the digital events industry, we need to be thinking about how we can bring “activity intelligence concepts” into our events, to the benefit of sponsors’ demand generation campaigns.

Disclosure: I was formerly employed by TechTarget.

Related Resources

  1. TechTarget’s presentation on Activity Intelligence™.
  2. Buy the book: “Generate Sales Leads With Virtual Events
  3. Blog posting on Virtual Event Lead Management

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