Lead nurturing is about automating a simple process that sales professionals have known about since the dark ages: window shopping. Brick-and-mortar stores discovered long ago that certain types of shoppers enjoy the thrill of the hunt just as much as the kill, which lead to some very extravagant department store windows. These days, many B2B shoppers prefer to drag out the hunt for a very long period of time.
In the age of sites like Tech Crunch that highlight dozens of new products each week, B2B tech buyers are both a progressive and choosy bunch. They may spot a review for a new cloud product and bookmark it using Evernote, sign up for a free trial after seeing reviews about it in several months’ time, and end up subscribing a year later after a colleague’s Facebook post reminds them about it. Lead nurturing seeks to ensure that the prospect always stays in consideration throughout that entire time period.
This great infographic from Marketo demonstrates, through search data volume, that marketers are thinking and seeking out lead nurturing solutions at a far greater rate than they were just three years ago.
MarketingSherpa’s infographic on funnel optimization touches heavily on demand generation tactics, but demonstrates that 25% of brands surveyed are now bringing home the bacon through lead nurturing and marketing automation tactics. If 25% doesn’t seem like a lot to you, look back to Marketo’s infographic, which tells you that there wasn’t enough awareness around the term “lead nurturing” to track via search data in 2008.
DemandResults‘ lead nurturing infographic demonstrates that not all leads come from free trials or other email-based forms of demand generation, as is commonly thought. Leads from traditional events such as trade shows or referrals are still a big part of the effort. Furthermore, not all lead nurturing takes place through email delivery. Phone, social media channels and content can play big roles.