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What’s The Future Of Lead Generation?

Lead generation historically was done through word-of-mouth. As time and technology progressed, the newspaper took the lead, followed by radio and TV. Today, lead generation is all about the internet. Marketers use a combination of email campaigns, blogs, and social media content to reach a global audience – at a fraction of traditional advertising costs.

While digital lead generation can be inexpensive and offers a broad range of options, it’s not an easy thing to master. In fact, the sheer volume of strategies and platforms available may be more of a burden than an asset to the inexperienced digital marketer. Those difficulties have led to a whole new era of lead generation companies, like Hubspot and Marketo, who provide tools that automate most of the lead gen process.

For more on that, and what else the future of lead generation has in store, we asked a group of industry experts…

What’s The Future Of Lead Gen?     

Here’s what they had to say….

Tyson Quick, Founder & CEO of Instapage

“There are early signs of where the future of lead generation is headed. From Facebook Lead Ads to dedicated landing page solutions like the one we provide at Instapage, marketers are gaining access to powerful new technologies for streamlining lead collection at an ever accelerating pace.

In 10-15 years I predict that advertising personalization will have accelerated to the point where potential customers can be identified with immense precision due to the combination of available demographic information, niche interests, pinpoint location, purchasing behavior, and possibly even biogenetic data.

This level of personalization paired with technologies that only require a single click will accelerate not only the amount of leads a company can generate but the quality of those leads. Once this happens, companies will know nearly everything about you and therefore will be capable of previously unthinkable insights into how to get you to buy.”

Jim Belosic, CEO of ShortStack

“Going forward, companies will need to focus more on the incentives they’re offering if they want leads. The days of “Don’t forget to follow us” or “Give us your email address just because we’re asking” are over. We’ll also see fewer giveaways where a person’s odds of winning are 1 in 1000 and lots more instant discounts and rewards, and unlocked goodies, because the odds of “winning” those are 1:1. Businesses will also trend toward building longer-term “lead insight.” Instead of doing a single giveaway and collecting emails, businesses will use multiple promotions, incentives, and trackable actions over a period of time to refine their lists. A person who enters a giveaway once is nice, but what if you knew that they also open 80 percent of your emails, they visit your site regularly, and they redeem 3 out of 5 coupons that you offer. With that insight, you can continue to build their long-term loyalty which is the holy grail.”

Colin Bovet, Head of Marketing & Growth Hacker at Enplug

“The future of lead generation lies in personalization and social selling. According to the Lead Forensics blog account-based marketing and social proof will become more valued over time as consumers become more immune to re-targeted ads, canned emails, and branded pop-ups. Mobile marketing will continue to grow as businesses try to find more personalized ways to reach leads. However, personal relationship building and word-of-mouth referral will never grow out of style. People have been selling, referring, and recommending products and services ever since we can remember. In the next 10-15 years, new technologies are likely to emerge that target the consumer in more personalized, efficient, and less invasive manner, assuring that leads are nurtured and lured in the most effective manner possible.”

Olin Hyde, Founder & CEO of LeadCrunch.ai.

“The future of lead generation will be defined by the unprecedented ability for artificial intelligence to find high-precision targets then qualify them at machine speed and scale. Right now, 50% of sales time is wasted on prospects that will never turn into a sale. We evaluated 1,070 companies and found that only 4% of them used a data-driven approach to generate leads. Yet, these 4% outperformed their competitors by more than 500% in sales productivity and efficiency. The power of AI is rapidly democratizing the ability of all companies to understand the uniqueness of each prospect and create unique ways to convert them into qualified leads. Soon companies will expect lead conversion rates to be 10x greater than they are today. Analytic decision making tools, such as cohort vintage analysis, will soon dominate how companies buy, nurture and measure the quality of their leads. Gone will be the days of spray and pray marketing where prospects are overwhelmed with the noise of irrelevant messages. Demand generation solutions that are powered by artificial intelligence will become bigger and more important than any other marketing technique. It will make email and internet marketing look like trivial innovations by comparison. AI enables every marketer to target the right person at the right company at the right time with the right message.”

Jason Brewer , CEO of Brolik

“The future is in owning the SERPs ranking, not paying for ad positions. In the next 10-15 years, brands will shift from spending massive budgets on rented properties (directories, pay per lead sites) and paid ads (PPC, social promotions). A higher percentage of budgets will go to developing owned lead gen properties. This could be in the form of an niche content hub that provides value, training or resources to their potential customers without advertising.”

Joey Baird, VP of Digital Marketing at Sparxoo

“As Technology improves, matchback and tracking will allow vendors to move away from forms. Prospects’ behavior and interests will be identified by other means and will give vendors an advantage. As more services are moved to cloud based products, ‘try before you buy’ scenarios will become even more popular and successful.”

Patrick Delehanty, Marketing Manager at Marcel Digital

“Personalization is the future of lead generation – highly relevant and targeted offers that are geared toward an individual specific needs and browsing history. A number of years ago lead generation was about mass communication and offering one thing to a large group. Then it became about segmentation and offering different smaller groups different offers based on their interests and behavior. Now and moving forward, lead generation becomes about the segmentation of one; leveraging data, predictive analytics, and personalization tools to tailor a truly unique browsing experience  to the individual user, providing information, content, and offers that truly meet their specific needs, increasing engagement and lead generation. Personalization gives the user what they need, when they need it.”

About the author

Nick Hastreiter

I write about the future of business. I approach this by interviewing founders, CEO's, and other game changers to share their vision for the future of their industry.

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