The Update: Fundamentals of marketing leads

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MARY ELLEN: Today every lead counts more than ever,

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because businesses have fewer hours of operation, smaller staffs,

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so it’s critical to find customers that are really right in that window

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and closest to buying a product or service.

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NATALIE: In this episode of the update, I talk with Mary Ellen Coe

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about how to connect with new customers by tapping into intent.

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Can you talk a little bit about the typical customer journey

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that advertisers are thinking about when they’re creating their lead gen strategies?

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MARY ELLEN: Lead gen really often involves complex individual journeys with a lot of touchpoints.

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Let me give you a very simple example of that.

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Our research shows that the purchase process for car insurance can take over a hundred days,

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220 digital touchpoints.

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So what’s important in those journeys is that they really show signals of the customer intent.

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Specific type of insurance, the features that they’re interested in.

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And given how long and complicated these journeys can get,

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our most successful advertisers

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really focus on these signals to create the best lead gen strategies.

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NATALIE: Tapping into that intent is so critical.

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What are some of the other trends that you’ve been seeing

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in terms of how customers are connecting with businesses

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who are really focused on lead gen right now?

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MARY ELLEN: So as people are spending more time online,

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they’re searching a lot more and they’re searching differently.

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So, that means those signals of intent are changing a lot.

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And there’s a really big opportunity for our businesses to connect with new customers

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and really increase their lead volume.

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We know from consumers, those who’ve tried new brands since the pandemic,

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more than half of them said they had to do it out of necessity.

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Just a simple example that really brings this to life: telemedicine.

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Alright there’s been an incredible surge in telemedicine,

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And so typically, an advertiser or telemed business would just be looking at keywords.

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But now they would add geolocation as a way to refine that customer search.

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We also see successful businesses use a whole new variety of ways to reach their customers.

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That could be web forms, chat, email, phone,

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in place of the in-person visits that have slowed down so significantly.

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NATALIE: In this new environment, are there challenges that you’re seeing as businesses are trying to generate new leads?

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MARY ELLEN: Getting quality leads has always been the number one challenge for businesses.

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70% of marketers will tell you

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working on lead gen means improving the quality leads

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is the most important objective for their lead gen strategies.

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And let me explain when we talk about quality, we’re talking about people with high purchase intent.

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Potential customers with a really