Too often, I talk with companies that have separate lead generation and lead nurture programs. Most of these programs are managed as distinct initiatives rather than integrated strategies that work together to create informed prospects and an enabled sales team. This is a mistake.

In the era of the self-directed buyer, when most of the B2B buyer’s journey is complete before a prospect reaches out to sales and more than three quarters of B2B buyers prefer to receive content unique to their buying stage, lead generation and lead nurture are two parts of one important process. After all, most consumers engage with an average of 10 pieces of content before making a decision, so why would you develop that content in a disjointed fashion?

Deploying a lead generation program without having a solid nurture plan in place is like building a car without the transmission – All the power to move exists without the necessary element to create momentum and advance the car down the road.

Deploying a lead generation program without having a solid nurture plan in place is destined to fail in moving prospects down the funnel. It’s like building a car without the transmission – all the power to move exists without the necessary element to create momentum and advance the car down the road.

Effective lead generation and nurture programs are integrated and provide unique, compelling and personalized content in creative formats. Modern marketers understand that personalized programs catered to the buyers’ informational needs are the new expectation. These programs should provide commercial insights that challenge the buyer’s assumptions, offer valuable perspective on their business or market and teach them about new issues that impact their business. Lead generation and nurture programs should also help prospects navigate alternatives and avoid potential mistakes in decision making, while ultimately, leading them to your products and solutions.

To accomplish all of that, marketing programs must address the entire buyer’s journey. This means lead generation and nurture programs can’t stop at the marketing-qualified lead. Today, we’re accountable for moving prospects from the awareness phase through to the purchase phase – playing a key role in closing deals.

Buyers have raised the expectations of lead generation and nurturing programs, and as marketers, our relevance depends on meeting, or exceeding, those expectations. The marketers who succeed in doing so will no longer hear complaints from sales about bad, unqualified leads. Instead, they’ll get the recognition and support they merit due to improved lead quality, increased velocity, higher close rates and marketing performance that directly impacts revenue.

Questions about integrating lead generation and nurture programs?

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The Buyer-Driven Purchase Journey

  • 90% of B2B buyers say when they are ready they will find you (Cascade Insights)
  • 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer reaches out to sales (Sirius Decisions)
  • 76% of B2B buyers prefer to receive content unique to their buying stage (MarketBridge)
  • Consumers engage with 10.4 pieces of content prior to making a purchase (Google’s Zero Moment of Truth)

About the Author

Matt Smolenski

Director of Account Management

Matt brings more than 15 years of marketing and client service experience, partnering with B2B companies such as IBM, Cisco and Oracle. He believes our team is an extension of our client’s business, providing the insights and ideas that take clients in unexpected directions.