HOW TO: Use marketing leads to create demand and revenue

Gone are the days when marketing leads could be thrown over the wall to sales in the vain hope that they'd be converted to real business. The trick is to generate the best leads from the most cost-effective channels to start with, and then nurture and educate them so you can monitor buyer interest in your products and services throughout their entire journey.

Remember, there is nothing wrong with generating leads. In fact, it is a necessary step in the process. This discussion explores four simple steps to move them forward with the most effective investments and relevant communications, based on your audience response, to accelerate sales.

1. Know the costs
Lead data and lead channels. You are investing in both of them today and may not be aware of the costs. Sure, you know what you spend on online advertising, social media and email or other marketing channels. But do you know the cost of the data that gets entered into your marketing database, or the cost of what’s already there? According to SiriusDecisions, the cost to cleanse a contact record before it enters your marketing database is less than £1; the cost to update it with targeted demographics at the same time is about another £1. Yet, after the contact record enters the database, the cost to update it jumps to nearly £10. Further still, the cost to do nothing to the record over time increases ten-fold to £100. At a time when marketers are held more accountable than ever for their marketing budgets and how they contribute to the bottom line, it is worth the investment of time to truly understand the costs and value of your marketing data. Add to that the hard costs of the channels, creative and production to gain a complete picture of your marketing investments.