Author

by Marta Pereira
on August 24, 2016

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MARKETING TODAY

Marketing has become too complex.
Marketing has become more about tools than about what people do with them.
Marketing has become more about talking and less about doing.

Lead Activation aims to change this and make marketing simpler, faster and entirely about selling more and making people (customers) happy. Its goal is to empower marketing managers to become strategists and to take advantage of the incredible technological capabilities made available to them today in order to make processes more efficient and achieve better results.

WHAT IS LEAD ACTIVATION?

Lead Activation is a performance-based approach to marketing that is focused on achieving better results through a continuous effort to know more about each customer (or prospective buyer) and interact in a personalised way – to target the right customer, with the right message, at the right time.

Lead Activation requires companies to have:

1) The TECHNOLOGY: the right mix of real-time marketing platforms, with the ability to integrate customer information from multiple touch-points and make it all actionable and usable in a wide variety of channels
2) The STRATEGY: clearly outlined performance goals, a data-backed notion of where the company stands in regards to them and a list of high-level actions to achieve them
3) The METHODOLOGY: an Agile work methodology, with multidisciplinary teams that are able identify, deploy, collect data and analyse results for each action; another key factor of the methodology is the ability to implement “quick wins” (actions that require low resources but with a high impact) and to work with short iterations.

LEAD ACTIVATION AND OTHER MARKETING CONCEPTS

– Lead Generation

Lead Generation concerns the formation of consumer interest. On the web, the term has become familiarised with online campaigns that aim to generate visits to websites and landing pages. Lead Activation is what comes after – it concerns the results of that interest. Obviously, the knowledge of how a lead is generated is crucial to its development. Different sources may require different activation strategies.

– Lead Nurturing
All Lead Nurturing is Lead Activation, but not all Lead Activation is Lead Nurturing.
Lead Nurturing is a process of getting leads ready for a sale, usually through content marketing. It can (and should) be part of point 2 – the STRATEGY, and it’s usually supported by point 1 – the TECHNOLOGY. It’s an important concept to have in mind, however with a narrower scope than Lead Activation.

– Marketing Automation
Marketing Automation is TECHNOLOGY. It’s the ability to build workflows that automatically execute actions based on certain triggers (usually behavioural triggers). Many companies have Marketing Automation software – and many of them define actions based on what their software can or cannot do. Lead Activation, being a combination of technology, strategy and methodology, is a broader concept that is contrary to this approach. Technological solutions should serve marketing goals, not the opposite.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF LEAD ACTIVATION?

Lead Activation provides a helpful framework for companies undergoing digital transformation processes. It helps them keep the focus on what really matters: sales and customer satisfaction, with everything else (technology included) being just a means to achieve that end. With all the constant innovation – and with so many old stuff being now “wrapped” as innovative – it’s easy to lose control and to start thinking that marketing managers should stop doing their jobs and just think and act like software developers. Being a developer has become trendy – we know that – but every job exists for a reason (well, nearly every job). And if Marketing & Sales are not focused on the customer, who will be?

Lead Activation can be disruptive in many cases, as it needs to bring together the right stakeholders (regardless of departments), the right partners (those whose goals, values and work methods are compatible with yours) and, above all, a good deal of commitment to overcome any barriers that might hinder results. Yes, it requires breaking not just the very infamous internal silos – but also the highly hierarchical relationships that usually rule over relationships between decision-makers and execs, between internal project owners and partner project owners.

WHY SHOULD YOU DO IT

You should embrace Lead Activation because your competitive advantage does not rely on that incredibly viral campaign using augmented reality and funky gadgets. It does not rely on how sleek your KPI dashboards look, or on how your marketing automation platform lets you poke customers on Facebook (is this still a thing?). It relies on your ability to be efficient and outperform your sales targets. So keep your focus!

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