Anyone who has worked in Internet marketing in the last decade has heard the basic theory: You engage in content marketing to lure in leads from all over the Internet, trying to push them into a “funnel” towards converting into customers. Usually this begins with a landing page offer for a free whitepaper, or promotional video, or other goodie which encourages them to hand over their contact information. Then the company doing the marketing attempts to use a variety of “drip-feed” methods to keep the lead aware of the company’s services, becoming more specific and more targeted as they move towards conversion.
That’s the theory, anyway. It’s also relatively easy for those doing marketing to track statistics and demonstrate the number of leads being generated as a way of proving efficacy. However, there are several issues with this marketing model which are making people wonder if there’s a better option.
- The vast majority of leads gathered in this way do not ever convert. Actual conversion rates tend to be measured in single-digit percentages, compared to the total lead pool.
- Many leads never intended to purchase. They are mooching off the free content, or otherwise pursuing their own business or research goals.
- Many of the leads are not well-qualified. This content-driven model has very little built-in screening capability, with the screening often amounting to nothing more than their willingness to sign up for an email list they can easily ignore or block afterward.
- Sales staff waste huge amounts of time and effort. For the most part, screening the leads is left up to sales staff, who are stuck looking for the proverbial needles within very large haystacks. This is not efficient use of their time.
- Lead databases are rarely pruned, meaning that this wasteful approach may continue for years, chasing leads with very low likelihoods of converting.
This is exactly the sort of situation which leads people to proclaim “There’s got to be a better way!”
And there is – if you have the data to pull it off.
Pipeline Marketing Is Focused On Quality, Not Quantity
“Pipeline marketing” is about looking at real-world numbers from your own conversion pipeline, and optimizing from there. Pipeline marketing is revenue-focused. Rather than focusing on lead generation, the only KPIs that matter are those relating to the bottom line: Who converts, and how we can we create more leads like them?
This requires the capability of tracking your leads from end-to-end. You need to be able to track your buyers’ journeys across any path they might take from first touch to final sale.
Once you have that capability, implementing a pipeline marketing initiative is a four-step process:
1. Find the best paths for the best leads
Your buyers’ journeys may be a bit of a maze. What you’re looking for in the data are the paths to conversion which are MOST likely to succeed. First touches are particularly important. Where does a successful conversion begin?
2. Plan pipeline-focused campaigns
Knowing which routes to conversion are most successful, focus your marketing efforts on these pipelines while de-emphasizing other paths. If you have clear optimal buyer personas, build those into the campaigns. Precision-target your best leads.
3. Follow the money
Track costs. Whenever possible, focus on pipelines which are less expensive, while still yielding quality leads. Look to reduce costs in existing pipelines.
4. Analyze, iterate, and repeat
As with all online marketing, this is a cyclical process of looking at information, formulating strategies, and testing those strategies for improvement.
Find The Data Insights You Need With LogicBay
The LogicBay methodology and software package can tie together your entire ecosystem, creating a central silo which holds all the sales data you need to find actionable new marketing strategies. This data improves your own processes, and can also be used for the benefit of your partners as well! To learn more, contact us for a free demonstration.