Data’s Impact on Traditional Lead Generation | Hacker Noon

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@jeremy-wardJeremy Ward

CMO at Coresignal, helping businesses worldwide to harness the power of data.

Do you know what surprises me the most in this whole lead generation business? 

As the CMO of high-quality data sets provider, I find it hard to believe that there are still marketers and sales teams out there who are oblivious to the astounding impact of data to sales performance. 

It has been known for a while now, that the right data is a rocket fuel to lead generation, helping to identify potential clients with laser precision. The use of data is so effective that the switched-on marketing and sales team leads don’t even blink before assigning the largest chunk of their budget to it. 

Don’t just take my word for it. Let’s look at the latest facts.  

First, the use of data-driven automation software has been skyrocketing in popularity among marketers. According to the reports, 80% of them acknowledge that using data had a positive effect on increasing conversions. Not to mention the astounding effect it has on the enhancement of sales platforms. 

And yet, 61% of the professionals in the field still admit that generating traffic and leads are their greatest challenge, as reported by HubSpot. And, for all of you in those 61%, I have your back. Read on.  

Why reliance on data has become unavoidable

It is no surprise that fierce competition between companies is urging to reach higher sales targets each year. So, to consistently outperform your game and fierce competition, it is impossible to avoid thinking about more effective strategies. 

What happens most often is that marketers and sales officers choose to take the human element out of the most repetitive and time-consuming tasks. The manual labor behind lead generation, besides being a complex and lengthy process, also poses a risk of low accuracy and reliability. 

Since the relevance of information changes fast, it often goes out of date as soon as it reaches the company’s systems, such as sales platforms. These issues can hinder growth as unreliable data makes it impossible for the decision-makers to pinpoint the leads that are worth the investment of time and effort.

This realization turns into the first step towards the death of the traditional lead generation approach of using manpower. The only logical solution known to date is to entrust these tasks to data-driven AI.

The unbeatable power of data

Why AI you ask? Well, the reasons are plentiful. Appropriate integrated technologies can offer the right insights to target the right profiles at the right time with the right message.

In fact, algorithms propelled by reliable data prove to be unstoppable when it comes to sourcing contacts who would gain the most value from the product or service. 

To be more specific, let’s look at the main three advantages arising from data-driven lead generation. 

First, the reliability of collected data is higher as information can be continuously refreshed in real-time, and there is less space of human error. 

Second, with the help of the computing power, hours spent screening and evaluating potential target accounts are reduced to the minimum. 

And third, employing data-driven approaches to marketing and sales provides a broader understanding of the overall size of the target pool and its positioning online. 

Data is wanting to be collected

Okay, once you are convinced about the benefits of automating lead generation, the natural question is then where to find the data to fuel your systems.

Think like an expert marketer. Where can you find publicly available information such as age, gender, academic and professional background, attitudes, and preferences to find your leads?

Where are people willingly sharing all this information for all the world to see? 

Of course, it’s social media. All this gathered intelligence provides valuable insights to target with precision. Also, social media platforms can be a great space to keep people engaged and informed on the latest offers or company news. 

Marketing reports back it up also, naming social media marketing as the most effective way to improve lead generation quality. 
Going deeper to various types of social channels, we can see that Facebook is considered an essential part of marketing, especially after the introduction of Lead Ads function. 
Also, Twitter should be taken as seriously as well, generating 82% of social media leads. What is even more interesting is that LinkedIn has the power to generate more than 80% of B2B leads. 

The hard truth is that the full social media potential to increase sales has not been fully realized yet. For instance, only 47% of marketers take advantage of its LinkedIn. 

In my opinion, the reason behind this dormant potential is the scary topic of information extraction. Most marketers are scared of this concept, not knowing where to even begin to comprehend the process. I can help you out with this too. 

Easiest ways to obtain data

So how to obtain the right data? Of course, there is always an option to build a complex IT infrastructure and hire a few proxy savvy specialists to figure out this famously difficult data extraction procedure. However, that’s not the most popular way to go about it. Nor the easiest. 

In my experience, I can say that there are plenty of companies that offer high-quality public data collected from various websites. The tricky part is to distinguish the most valuable data sets from all the available information out there. 

A good rule of thumb is to keep an eye on the following aspects:

First, the data must be continuously updated to provide insights that reflect the current reality. Otherwise, you will be making decisions based on yesterday’s news. 

Second, the information needs to be ready to use. This means that the data sets have to be parsed – delivered in a format that is ready for analysis. This will save you loads of time. 

And third, the data points have to be ample, reliable, and accurate.

There are a few of data providers out there which tick of all the necessary boxes. But identifying them is no easy task, and don’t expect your rivals to give you any clues either.

Here is my pro tip: obtain a data sample first from a provider before committing to longer-term partnership. Once you feel their product, you’ll know just how much further potential you will be able to unlock.

Where will lead generation lead next?

As a marketer myself, I can say that we are good followers. For decades now, marketers have followed their target audiences from cold calls on the phone to emails and now – to online platforms. 

As my last insights on this article, I would say this, social media is the most targeting-friendly outlet to generate leads and will continue to be so in the foreseeable future. This becomes even more obvious observing the fast growth of the influencer industry, reaching the value of nearly $2.5 billion in 2019. 

Also, to fully acknowledge the transition to smartphone browsing, it is important to note that the most successful tactics for lead generation will be the ones offering frictionless and timeless user experience.  

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CMO at Coresignal, helping businesses worldwide to harness the power of data.

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