It's Time to Get Out of the Lead Gen Rut

The B2B lead generation market is large and no market is bigger than the technology category. Technology marketers put big dollars toward demand generation in order to deal with long and complicated sales cycles and reap potential average sales prices in the multi-million dollar range

At DWA, we are one of the largest buyers of technology leads worldwide, with a long history driving lead acquisition and pipeline management. As such, we’ve seen the market fail to evolve much over the past ten years. Leads remain expensive, yet there seem to be so many poor quality leads in the market. As the lead gen market exploded during the early 2000s, many companies moved to exploit that growth. The problem at the macro level is that leads are now largely commoditized, with every name essentially treated the same and lead delivery overly reliant on email blasts to tired databases.

The biggest innovation today lies in using data and predictive analytics to understand how companies go from being a prospect to a customer - and then modeling that behavior to anticipate where leads will come from. Interestingly, this innovation hasn’t come from the traditional suppliers of leads, such as publishers, but rather a new breed of ad and marketing technology companies, who are focused on this challenge and opportunity. Companies such as 6Sense, Infer, Mintigo and Bombora, to name but a few.

At DWA, we have quietly been building a class-leading solution for our clients that provides better quality leads now and aggregates insights for future use. We aren’t dismissing traditional lead generation tactics, just as we did not fully dismiss the value of print when digital media emerged, but we are moving away from triggered behaviors and toward buyer intentions. 

By applying data and predictive technology to lead generation, we’re able to discover companies that are in market and discover the solutions they’re seeking. Moreover, we don’t simply identify the company, we identify the individuals within the company who are responsible for making the buying decision (in enterprise technology there are between 6 -17 people on any given buying team). We create real-time content that meets the needs of that information-seeking buying team and use it to engage them across channels. As we see prospects move through the funnel, we adapt our messaging to ensure we are getting the right content to the right member of the buying team, in the right environment, and at the right time. As we go, we mine the campaign data to find more prospects that we can add to the campaign based on how the original prospects are progressing.

Rather than simply sending emails in bulk to people who happened to register for a whitepaper in the past, we now actively look across a range of intent signals from companies and individuals that tells us how the prospect is dynamically moving through the funnel. Our attribution models understand that downloading a white paper shouldn’t receive 100% attribution or qualify a lead as being in market. Instead we build a view of a prospect’s journey to becoming a buyer, in both online and offline environments. This is what’s truly valuable.

Innovation in B2B lead generation is long overdue. We are excited to be one of the leading drivers of change for our clients and the market in this respect. At the end of the day, our goal is simple, we want to run campaigns for our clients that generate tangible business results. We’re doing it - with better data, better insights and better leads.