“You can’t have a prospect if you don’t know their name.” While that seems like an obvious statement,
I like to use it when speaking with groups about how content marketing can be effective, because for most B2B marketers, the “…ultimately drive profitable customer action…” portion of the content marketing definition above requires that you know who your prospect or customer is.
In order to do that, you need that person to first raise his or her hand — even if only a little bit. Lead generation can be very effective, but typically requires a prospect to know they have a defined problem, seek out a solution, and step forward as an interested party when your product or service is presented. That’s when you get them to fill out a form so you can learn a bit more about them.
In classic lead generation, it’s at this point that sales usually takes over, following up with those leads — whether they are ready to talk to a salesperson or not— until they ultimately become buyers (or shut you out). Obviously, this plan can have some flaws.
At its core, lead generation is a database-building activity, capturing prospect information and connecting that prospect with sales. As such, it is heavily reliant on keeping your content and information behind things like lead capture forms. And that’s OK if your prospects already know they have a problem and look to you to help solve it
Ronald E Couming