Opportunities to build meaningful connections with your audience look drastically different now than they did last year, or even just a few short months ago. In-person events are no longer available for prospecting, more time spent at home has changed content consumption habits, and economic uncertainty has put pressure on businesses of all shapes and sizes.
With all of these shifts in the way businesses operate, how are marketers re-examining the way they approach building relationships for maximum lead generation and conversion?
We surveyed hundreds of marketers to find out. Here is what we found.
Finding #1: Marketers are just as focused on building upon existing relationships as they are on creating new ones.
When asked where they are investing the most resources for building relationships, nearly half of marketers (48%) report that they are focused on expanding existing accounts or nurturing existing prospects. The other half (52%) are spending their time, money and other resources on generating new leads to fill the top-of-the-funnel.
“We are refocusing our efforts on account based marketing, delivering personalized experiences to prospects (acquisition) and existing accounts (expansion). Instead of focusing on number of leads, we are focusing on quality of leads (i.e. investing more on multi-touch campaigns vs. forms). We’re giving content for free, not gating it, to make the customer experience as frictionless as possible.”
Finding #2: Strategies are shifting considerably as budgets fluctuate.
With greatly reduced or reallocated budgets, marketers are restrategizing for the now, moving resources to what is working. When building relationships for lead generation and conversion, it is important for tactical effectiveness to be closely aligned with budget disbursement. By comparing the two side-by-side, we see that marketers are closely evaluating what’s working and what isn’t, and allocating precious resources accordingly.
“A large swath of our clients used to rely on events to start new sales conversations, but as revenues from those have dried up, we’ve doubled (even tripled) down on orchestrated outbound. It’s proven again to us that it does A) convert quality leads into new business and B) create positive brand awareness.”
Finding #3 Paid media and PPC campaigns have taken a backseat to organic lead generation channels.
Social media allows marketers to reach new leads and build trust with existing prospects and customers organically. 58% of marketers we surveyed named social media the most effective channel for building relationships for lead conversion and 49% said the tried and true email marketing channel is most effective. PPC or paid media only accounts for 20% of the vote.
“Our agency has begun shifting away from directly marketing our fee-based services to delivering “value in advance” first, and then build a relationship from there. For example, we stopped running ad campaigns to directly sell our marketing packages to medical providers and instead created a COVID-19 communications and response package that we gave away for free to generate leads. We also just launched a campaign that offers a free month of marketing services (with no contracts or commitments) to chiropractors that have been affected by the COVID-19 shutdown. We believe that if we can help these cash-strapped medical entrepreneurs get back on their feet again for a minimal cost, that some will choose to continue working with us long term.”
Neil Gass, Founder/CEO Grow Smart Marketing | LinkedIn | Twitter
Are you shifting the focus of your lead generation efforts? Check out our free report, Building Relationships for Lead Conversion. We surveyed hundreds of marketers to discover strategies, tactics and trends for maximizing lead generation and conversion.
For the entire Building Relationships for Lead Conversion report, click here.
- Top Challenges
- Strategic Success
- Budget Allocation
- Resource Allocation
- Most Effective Tactics
- Most Effective Channels
- Tactic and Budget Alignment
- Best Content Formats
Use it to gain insight on what other marketers are doing to better their email strategy, or clip the charts for your own content marketing!
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