It is a well-known fact that consumers today are incredibly savvy in the way they shop, using the internet and social media to research options before making a purchase. This has greatly affected the strategies and tools marketers use. It is important for B2B vendors to now realize that buyers are becoming equally proactive and often expect a certain amount of interaction and attentiveness. For these reasons, it is imperative that every B2B company considers a lead nurturing strategy.
WHAT IS LEAD NURTURING?
At the highest level, lead nurturing is the process of developing effective relationships with potential customers throughout the entire buying journey. It goes far beyond simply ‘finding’ a promising lead. Rather, it consists of nurturing a lead from when they first attempt to find a solution to their problem, to when they finally make a purchase and beyond. In addition to a concentration on multiple steps of the buying journey, lead nurturing also takes a multi-channel approach that remains consistent throughout. A key feature of effective lead nurturing is also the ability to provide the buyer with a personalized and adaptive experience that communicates your organization’s dedication to providing that particular buyer with exactly what they need when they need it. Both content marketing and marketing automation are often key components of a successful lead nurturing strategy.
WHY DO I NEED LEAD NURTURING?
Quite simply, it boils down to the aforementioned expectations of the modern buyer and earning their trust through the building and maintenance of a positive relationship. An excellent first impression can no longer be guaranteed through an ingenious, untargeted marketing campaign. Now, buyers will often withhold their decision on whether to even consider partnering with a company until much further into the buying process. It is important to continuously ‘court’ buyers and show them why your organization is superior to the many other options. With trust built along the way, success becomes far more likely. As this relationship builds, buyers will need to feel as if their concerns are consistently being met. The more personal nature of lead nurturing enables you to listen to their needs and communicate your ability to solve them. The multi-channel approach not only helps maintain the relationship you’ve built but is seen by buyers as taking their convenience into consideration by offering information and support through email, social media, websites, mobile apps and more.
WHAT BENEFITS WILL I SEE?
The advantageous nature of lead nurturing is both considerable and proven. Unsurprisingly, all research has shown that prospective buyers exposed to a lead nurturing are more likely to complete a purchase. However, the more particular evidence is even more impressive than this. One study reported that companies that effectively use lead nurturing generate 50% more leads at a 33% lower cost, while another found that nurtured leads make purchases 47% larger than non-nurtured ones. Both studies and buyers themselves have also confirmed that, after a vendor has developed a relationship and gained the buyer’s trust, bounce and unsubscribe rates decrease considerably. The benefits of effective lead nurturing also go beyond the initial successful transaction or partnership. Lead nurturing results in strong buyer loyalty with a long and fruitful relationship. Another valuable result is creating advocates for your organization. These happy buyers will gladly recommend you to their ppers as well as the public at large.
Lead nurturing is arguably becoming one of the most important aspects of a well-rounded marketing strategy. Well informed buyers and longer sales funnels necessitate the relationship building and constant communication that lead nurturing provides. While establishing an effective strategy may seem overwhelming, experienced agencies offer proven solutions that will dramatically improve conversions and close rates.
Shannon Prager is the President of Leadit Marketing. She is responsible for the daily operations and management of Leadit Marketing as well as the long term vision for the company.
A marketing leader with over 17 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed marketing strategy. Shannon’s background includes demand generation, marketing automation, social media and marketing operations. You can follow her on Twitter via: @LeaditMarketing