2. Target Offers and Messages Accurately
The days of spray-and-pray marketing are giving way to data-driven marketing, which ensures you're targeting offers to the right individuals and companies—including named account lists, where appropriate. Leverage marketing automation, digital body language and granular list selection to identify optimal targets—right company, right persona, right stage in the funnel—for the offer you're making.
3. Use Content Strategically to Maximize Engagement
To keep leads moving in the funnel, content must be of high quality. But, even more importantly, it must be relevant based on recipients' current business needs and drivers. This requires marketers to leverage persona and behavioral data (back to No. 2, above) to ensure relevance and currency for those they target. It is one thing to create nicely designed, elegantly worded content. To manage leads with velocity, content must drive outcomes. Given a choice between great content that performs modestly and good enough content that drives results, my opinion is that the choice is clear. [Editor's Note: Google rewards quality content.]
4. Maximize Lead Data Quality From the Outset
Marketing leaders consistently tell me they lose days, weeks, even months in extreme examples, while scrubbing and validating lead data. That's untenable because a warm—or even lukewarm—lead needs outreach or engagement in the near term, before it goes cold. Losing time to manual validation of basic profile data (phone numbers, email addresses) is out of step with today's business velocity. Related point: Ask tough questions about the quality of your data before you launch an offer. More complete data in an email list, for example, will avoid a lot of back-end delays.
5 Connect Third-Party Lead Sources Directly With Your Systems
The vast majority of marketers engage with third-party data sources to drive leads. An agile, customer-focused marketing organization recognizes it can't tolerate extended delays in pulling those leads into their systems. When leads come in and require validation, marketing and buying cycles are burned. Many marketers during the years have pushed for "direct inject" capabilities to have leads imported into their systems, though actual movement has been minimal. Now there's broad-based progress with more and more direct import of leads, which frees marketers to spend their time on strategy and execution.