Lead nurturing is perhaps the most important part of the customer journey. It’s essentially building relationships with potential clients even if they’re not currently looking to buy a product or service. The main objective is to make the company more enticing to the potential client, so when it’s time to buy, the company remains top-of-mind.
Marketing solution provider Ascend2 attempted to take on the topic with new research. “Lead Nurturing Trends Survey Summary Report”—featuring interviews with 220 global marketing industry professionals—doles out tips on the practice’s obstacles, how to overcome them, and cross-channel integration.
Creating and offering relevant and trustworthy content is imperative to engaging and nurturing leads and also the most challenging obstacle to success (59%), according to the report. Targeting campaigns to deliver content at the appropriate stage in the decision-making and buying process is second (49%), and targeting by prospect persona is third (39%).
Lead nurturing is gaining support from about two thirds (65%) of companies that are increasing spending on the strategy. Just 2% are decreasing their lead-nurturing budgets.
The most important objectives of a lead-nurturing strategy all focus on one thing: moving leads closer to being sales-ready. Increasing conversion rates and increasing sales opportunities (the top objectives at 68% apiece), and increasing lead qualification (63%) are more achievable when marketing and sales processes are aligned.
Twenty percent of companies consider their lead-nurturing strategies “very successful” at achieving important objectives. About the same amount (18%) consider them “unsuccessful” and struggle to overcome obstacles. Sixty-two percent say they are “somewhat successful.”
Creating relevant content is not only the most challenging obstacle to lead nurturing success, it’s also the most effective lead-nurturing tactic (69%) used. Personalizing campaigns (40%) is second, while targeting by prospect persona (39%) is third.
Outsourcing is another factor that can impact the practice. Creating relevant content for multiple personas at various stages in the decision-making process practically screams out for outsourcing—as evidenced by the 67% of companies that outsource the implementation of all or part of their lead-nurturing tactics.
The most successful lead-nurturing programs aim their budgets and efforts at delivering content via email (78%), website (48%), and social media (39%). Blogs (30%), events (29%), search (24%), and mobile (13%) round out the most effective channels for lead-nurturing purposes.
An effective lead-nurturing strategy requires targeted messaging delivered across multiple channels and devices. Fewer than one quarter (23%) of respondents are extensively integrating their lead-nurturing campaigns across channels.