State of Lead Generation in 2017

We all (hopefully by now) know that the internet + search engines have changed marketing and lead generation in fundamental ways. People shopping for everything from Apple phones to ziplines conduct research online before making a decision about how to spend their time and money. Marketers and brands are racing to get involved in this research-to-decision continuum and customers are increasingly picky about what kind of offers and content they respond to. Let’s look at the state of things and the move on to best practices for how to win the lead generation battle in ways that boost rewards companies and customers a like.

The Inbound Marketing Framework

Inbound marketing is the framework developed in response to the tectonic shift in buyer behavior. It’s a matter of aligning marketing around the customer–understanding your ideal buyer intimately and offering them what they want, when they want it, how they want it. People are not ready to buy at the “awareness” stage of the buyer’s journey, for example, so don’t try to sell them anything. Learn more about how to deliver the right offer to the right person at the right time.

Inbound Marketing Core Concepts

The technical part of inbound marketing has to do with just how you know what people are looking for and when. Lead scoring and segmentation, behavior monitoring and carefully orchestrated qualification criteria are key to understanding how when to communicate with your audience on and off line.

Developing a Lead Generation Gameplan

Learn about the tools and processes you will need to turn your marketing efforts into a smooth running lead generation machine. Tools include templates to help you suss out your ideal customer and his or her journey from anonymous visitor to raving fan. We’ve go dashboards and calendars to help you keep your efforts organized and on track.

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Social Media

It can be difficult for companies to build a social following, but the results can be exponential if you hit the viral jackpot. At the same time, the fine-grained targeting offered by social advertising is making it one of the most cost-effective ways to build traffic, leads and sales.

Search Marketing

SEO got a bad rap in the early days of online marketing. Keyword stuffing, nonsense press releases and other nefarious tactics were used to dupe search engines into ranking pages higher than they deserved. That’s all changed, and it is important to know how search works and how to align on and off page search criteria to get found.

Content Marketing

Content is the magnet for lead generation. As people search for solutions to their problems, the content that best answers questions and helps searchers make the right decision is rewarded with traffic and higher rankings. Learn how to get content marketing right.

Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is emerging as a powerful lead generation platform–from Adwords to social network ads the targeting capacity of these solutions keeps getting better. That said, it’s still possible to spend a hunk of money on digital advertising with little in the way of ROI–or at least little in the ability to demonstrate ROI. Let’s not let that happen to you.

Marketing and Sales Collaboration

As sales gets involved in lead generation later in the game, it is imperative that marketing and sales are in sync when it comes to important concerns like lead qualification criteria and marketing to sales handoff. Get marketing and sales collaboration right, and you’ll have a smooth, steady flow of leads through the sales funnel.

Marketing Automation

SEO, inbound marketing, content marketing, segmentation and scoring–marketing automation brings it all together to help lead generation be constantly working in the background as you analyze and sharpen your efforts.

Marketing Automation Platform Reviews

There are lots of marketing automation tools to choose from. Each one had its strengths and weakness, and we’ve used most of them. So we’ve pulled together our reviews and opinions to help you find the solution that’s right for you.

Finding the Right Partner

Overwhelmed? There’s help. You can outsource all or part of online lead generation, from SEO to a full-stack digital lead generation engine that drops sales-qualified leads in your lap. Learn what to look for in an agency partner.

Recommended Reading

Here are just a few of the top books we recommend on sales and marketing.

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