“For many people the first interaction they have with a company is via a sterile, lifeless lead gen ad that takes you to a prison landing page where you are forced to enter in your life’s information and you know you will get immediately called by an overbearing sales rep before you are ready to have that conversation.”
This was the observation of Bill Macaitis, CMO at Slack.
I think it captures how marketers can be too fixated on site visitors only as leads to be generated. They forget about the customer experience. They forget to deliver an experience worth generating a lead.
According to Starfleet Media, companies gate 80% of major content marketing assets behind lead generation forms. I’ve read separately that companies lose 93% of visitors in paid search and social campaigns from gating content.
Our content is how many of our potential customers meet our brands for the first time. How we welcome them that first time will determine if there’s a second time, and if we have the privilege to continue the relationship at all.
Scott Monty (former head of social at Ford) shared recently about clicking on a offer for “8 ultimate examples of omnichannel customer experiences.” He was immediately met with a lead generation form with a whopping 10 required fields, including “monthly ad spend”. That was the very first interaction he’d had with the company. Not surprisingly, it was also the last.
Lead generation may be a business objective, but it’s just one step on the path to developing a relationship with customers. Many brands treat it like the first and only step. I think that audience cultivation should come before lead generation. If we’re cultivating an audience by building interest over time, leads will be the result.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.