Focusing your content marketing efforts on lead generation and ignoring lead nurturing is like playing golf when the only thing you know how to do is to drive off the tee. You might reach a good spot on the fairway, but without knowing how to pitch or chip, hit fairway woods or putt, you’re going to waste a lot of shots getting the ball into the hole.
This rant is inspired by a blog posting the other day by Ardath Albee, titled Lead Generation Is Not IT. If you don’t know her, Ardath wrote the wonderful book eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, so I’m a fan.
Ardath comments on recent research (the 2010 B2B Content Marketing Trends report) by MarketingProfs and Junta42. Among other things, the reports finds that companies are using content marketing for customer loyalty and lead generation efforts, but very little for lead nurturing.
That’s plain crazy. Content marketing can be tremendously effective for helping customers move through the lead lifecycle. Neglecting the leads that you generate, or tossing them over the transom to sales, is wasteful. Marketo has been evangelizing about this for years on its B2B marketing blog.
But as long as marketing organizations continue measuring success by website visitors and hits, ignoring the impact of marketing on revenue, they’ll keep wasting shots.
If this sounds like you, you might need to stand back and let your competitors play through.