Low-quality leads are one of the big elephants in the room in marketing today. To demonstrate the effectiveness and show that the numbers are moving, a lot of marketers focus too heavily on metrics that reflect low-quality leads. But it’s the high-quality leads that matter.
With a pipeline filled with high-quality marketing leads, you can streamline your sales efforts and achieve a better marketing ROI. The problem is, it’s challenging to acquire warm leads. In fact, the majority of B2B brand marketers believe high-quality leads are extremely difficult to generate.
But that’s changing as marketing technology keeps evolving. With leading-edge AI-powered platforms, one of the biggest challenges in marketing has become easy to achieve. Let’s look at why continuing to focus on low-quality leads is a big mistake and how martech-savvy companies are utilizing AI.
Here’s How B2B Brands are Using AI to Generate High-Quality Leads.
- Only 53% of B2B marketers are using marketing qualified lead metrics to measure content performance.
- Spending too much energy on low-quality leads can sink your marketing ROI.
- Fortunately, marketing software keeps getting better, and some of the leading AI-powered tools are helping brands tackle this age-old challenge and generate more high-quality leads.
- With quality data combined with advanced AI, your organization can focus on high-quality leads and drive more revenue for every dollar spent on marketing.
Don’t Fall for Low-Quality Leads
Let’s face it – it’s easy to get wrapped up in metrics. Watching traffic, social media engagement, and website engagement increase is satisfying. Using these as key performance indicators can also help marketing leaders justify a growing budget.
While there’s nothing wrong with tracking engagement metrics in itself, there is a problem if you’re not putting enough emphasis on figuring out who you’re working so hard to build connections with.
- Spending time on low-quality leads is expensive.
- It wastes sales’ valuable time.
- And it distracts marketing from the primary goal: reaching the right people on the right channels at the right time.
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2021 B2B Content Marketing Report, 90% of B2B marketers are tracking website traffic to gauge marketing content performance. Only about half are looking at marketing qualified lead metrics.
While generating low-quality leads is cheaper and easier upfront, this isn’t a smart strategy. High-quality leads have higher conversion rates and a shorter buying cycle.
Also, having too many low-quality leads impacts the conversion rate at each stage of the sales funnel. As a result, the final outcome is starkly different for a company that focuses on all leads rather than laser-focusing on high-quality leads.
Sirius Decisions research found that the number of closed deals for every 1,000 high-quality leads per year is 5 times greater than the number of deals closed from low-quality leads. And when you factor in the cumulative effects, low-quality leads can cost as much as 10 times more.
So what can marketers do to generate more high-quality leads?
Use clean data and AI and automate as much of your marketing as possible.
It All Starts with Good-Quality Data
Artificial intelligence can digest data and determine what leads are worth pursuing. The most advanced platforms can even design marketing campaigns that will figure out whether the people who interact with your emails, ads, and online content are likely to buy a product. If they are, the technology automatically sends the prospect’s contact information to sales.
But if you want your AI to provide accurate, spot-on analysis and predictions, you need to input good-quality data.
- Clean data is complete – you should have complete and accurate contact info for your leads, as well as the full buying history for your customers.
- It’s current – if you’re using both old data and recent updates, you have to qualify the data by engagement date and ensure your technology isn’t viewing old and new information equally.
- It’s manageable – With both first-party and third-party data, you may have problems such as duplicate data sets. Or, your system might discard correct data in favor of incorrect data.
Once you tighten up your database and data management methods, you can count on gold-standard output from your AI marketing software.
What Today’s B2B Brand Marketing Platforms Can Do with AI
With AI, you can derive deep value from your data. Of B2B marketing organizations today, 53% are using some form of marketing automation, and 37% plan to implement it in the near future.
The bottom line is, AI and machine learning allow you to hone in on what matters. Even with increasing complexity. It also helps your company reduce the noise you may be sending leads who aren’t interested right now, but who may be in the future.
For example, you can identify what customers want in real-time. You can also understand the nuances of every individual customer’s intent, and you can do this at scale. This would all be impossible without AI-powered platforms.
Using AI to generate high-quality leads is not a new concept, but the level of sophistication is.
Oracle Fusion Marketing uses AI to score leads at the account level, predict when buyers are warm, and then sends the contact information to sales. It personalizes content to ensure leads are getting a consistent experience across channels.
Adobe’s Marketo has a feature – Predictive Audiences – that suggests marketing segments to use in campaigns for event marketing. It also suggests solutions when registration numbers aren’t on target.
Salesforce’s B2B automation tool is Pardot Einstein. This AI-powered tool automatically prioritizes leads for you, shows you where to focus efforts, and scores leads based on your company’s conversion patterns.
Marketing that Focuses on High-Quality Leads Is a Win for All
The whole idea behind high-quality leads is to invest resources in people who are on the path to purchase. Not on cold prospects who aren’t actually interested in your product or service.
Pouring energy into low-quality leads is a waste of time for your marketing and sales teams. But more importantly, it could also harm your brand image and diminish the likeliness of a future sale. You could be turning away potential customers by blasting them with too much marketing content they don’t need right now. That’s not a great way to build trust in your brand.
With AI, you know when to reach out. And you know when to stay quiet. With better technology, we finally have the opportunity to pull off messaging elegance – not overkill. Let’s take advantage of it.
First Image by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels; Second Image by Content Marketing Institute; Third Image by Soma Metrics; Thanks!