Forget Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z … Focus on Lead Gen.

I believe that there is an important step that many marketers are skipping.  We track impressions and clicks. We track new accounts and balances. But there is a step in between.

If you follow the circular path of the Buyer’s Journey, the buyer:

Buyer's Journey Chart: Discover, Explore, Purchase, Engage, Loyalty back to Discover.
  • Becomes aware of you: Discovers who you are and what you do
  • Explores and researches your options and pricing
  • Makes a purchase
  • Engages with your brand
  • Becomes Loyal
  • Continues to Rediscover new offerings and services with you
  • And the cycle continues

Today, you have:

  • Ads to help them Discover you
  • A website to help them Research & Explore
  • Online applications and branches to Purchase or open accounts
  • A brand Engagement plan with staff trained to build relationships and Loyalty

So, what’s missing?

This focus on the buyer’s journey puts all the effort on the buyer’s shoulder. They need to initiate every step along the path while you sit back, wait, hope and pray that they take the next step.

The buyer’s journey often has a fork in the road somewhere between the discovery and purchase phases that many marketers forget. The buyer reaches the fork when they have done their research, but either have more questions, want to consider before the purchase or simply want their hand held through the process. This is where you can move from waiting, hoping and praying to engaging. If you can encourage the prospective customer to reach out to you before the purchase, you’ll increase your odds of the journey continuing.

Lead Gen Forms on Your Website Are the Missing Link!

Lead generation is when you can get a prospect to pick up the phone, send an email or otherwise request that your team contact them. Essentially, you’re simply trying to get a stranger to tell you that they are interested in your offerings. Then you can take the initiative and reach out, not with a dreaded “cold call,” but with a relationship building discussion focused on the customer’s interests.

Some ideas for lead generation include:

  • Add lead gen forms that email to your sales team on all product web pages
    • These forms should be brief, capturing basic contact information and high-level customer interests (checking account, auto loan, mortgage, new business, etc.)
  • Provide value-added content related to, but separate from, your products and services. Offer blogs that tell how to save money, or e-books, or white papers – then request basic contact information for the user to obtain the content. If you bundle your content into “topic buckets,” you can create separate lead gen forms so you’ll be able to track and react to the prospect’s specific interests. For example, if a customer reads an article on how to lower their car payment, you’ll know to talk to them about auto loans.
  • For acquisition, create a dedicated new customer web page and include a dedicated new customer lead gen form.
  • Create contests on social media where prospects complete a lead gen form to enter.
  • Engage the Click-to-Call option in your SEM.

We have a client who generated 4,633 lead gen form submissions in one year. Each form, an opportunity to proactively call for sales and to re-market for future opportunities.

When it comes down to it, lead generation is the missing link to strengthen your sales team, convert your website from an e-brochure to a sales tool, and to get more from your digital, email, content and social media marketing efforts.

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