Online Lead Generation: Will These 4 Overlooked Factors Hinder Your Success?
Today’s prospects no longer respond to the marketing tactics of the past. Online marketers face a new set of challenges today and approach them from fresh perspectives. Many of the factors that were present in “the good old days” don’t have much influence today. Let’s look at some of the new considerations that influence online lead generation.
- Selective perception
- Ordering your message components
- Message balancing
- The experience factor
One of those factors is selective perception. Selective perception plays a key role in online (and offline) engagement. Selective perception refers to the moment when a prospect or customer suddenly notices more about a particular topic than they have in the past. In other words, they’ve thought about the topic that’s being presented before, but it’s been on the outer limits of their thought consciousness. Suddenly you bring it to their attention again by way of online content like an article or maybe an ad. Once they notice your message and recognize its meaning, they find themselves asking the question, “Why haven’t I focused on this topic more in the past?”
This type of thinking kick-starts the process of consumer research and reflective investigation. Prospects who engage in thoughtful targeted research are simply expressing the need to find better solutions. These prospects seek information that is well-suited to addresses specific and pressing business concerns. This quest for information is not arbitrarily triggered. This is a reaction that is performed with an end-game in mind. This is particularly true if questions are rooted in business issues that remain unresolved. The desired result is a better way of doing things. Perhaps a better financial outcome is the goal they seek.
Any business that recognizes this process is ahead of the curve. Innovative businesses recognize this as a marker of sorts. This marker suggests a vacuum within the marketplace. This is an opportunity to deliver smarter more efficient solutions to the marketplace.
Sometimes capturing the attention of prospects is a simple matter of delivering the right message to the right people at the right time. This is an ideal scenario for the online marketer. Once an audience is defined, frequent exposure increases the chances of positive responses. This of course is very dependent on an audience that is well targeted.
Paul Postma is the author of The New Marketing Era. When we examine today’s online lead generation process, we can reflect on an interesting point he makes in his book. His observation focuses on ordering your message components for better consumption and less prospect resistance. This is yet another consideration that is influencing the online advertising space. He suggests the use of this well-studied scientific tactic further optimizes the effectiveness of the message itself. This tactic is message presentation ordering. The concept says the order in which a commercial message is conveyed is important. That order has a distinct impact on the way we perceive the intent of the message. This is without regard to our own preferences about the real core meaning of the message.
Here’s an example. When using text and illustrations to deliver a message, most people are naturally drawn to the illustration first. This is why careful scrutiny of the images and pictures in your web content and online ads are extremely important. Where is the image placed within the ad? Has it been placed before the text or after? If people, objects and other images are shown in content, people tend to look into the eyes of the person in the image first. This is done without regard to the text used in the ad.
Another area that is often overlooked in today’s online marketing is message balancing. This involves the process of balancing messaging for both right-brained and left-brained people. Right-brain people have a greater interest in aesthetic appeal, dazzle and imagery. These things move this group emotionally while left-brained people respond more favorably to facts and new ways to solve concrete problems. If you want to maximize your online exposure it’s a good idea to have a healthy balance of both in your messaging. Try focusing on message balancing to optimize responses.
The ever-present “experience factor” is yet another important factor to consider. Sometimes over-looked, this an important reason to re-evaluate your online lead generation process. This is a significant factor for prospects and customers. For the most part this is rooted in unmet customer expectations. When this expectation is combined with a poor customer service experiences new challenges emerge. Attracting new leads and prospects become difficult.
Unfortunately this experience is all to common for lots of prospects. Some prospects within your targeted audience subconsciously expect to be disappointed. This is particularly true when seeking solutions to complex and pressing concerns. When prospects embrace the notion that some benefits they seek will not be realized their willingness to engage is diminished. When this is coupled with memories of poor customer service experiences low expectation and decreased engagement is eminent. This has become commonplace within many segments of the marketplace. When businesses pin-point and over-deliver on areas of concern they gain a distinct advantage. This is an invitation for attentive businesses to attract new leads and customers by filling this void.
Authors B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore2 point this out in their excellent book “The Experience Economy”. Small businesses and start-ups should focus on creating memorable experiences that heighten their ability to connect with their customers and entice those that are considering being customers. If you are in a service sector this presents a golden opportunity for your business, as service quality can be increased almost immediately. If you take action now and lead in this area you will stand out immediately within your market and generate leads.
According to their book there are 4 areas that are important to achieve a heightened level of experience:
- The Aesthetic Aspect
The type of environment that the customer or prospect will experience upon engaging with you and your offer.
- The Escapist Aspect
The “thrill” the customer will experience when they become actively involved in the process of associating themselves with your product or service.
- The Educational Aspect
The potential for newly acquired knowledge and skills they will experience when involving themselves with your offering.
- The Entertainment Aspect
The potential for them to have more “fun” while pursuing and accomplishing the goals that are important to them during their experience with you.
If you truly want to optimize your lead generation process as well as your sales funnel, consider these four factors when cultivating leads. This is especially true as the market changes to a more “experience” driven marketplace.
Monitor your lead capturing and sales funnels closely to make sure you’ve touched upon such things as selective perception, message ordering, market message balancing, and customer experience. These factors can be critical. Addressing these emerging customer experience factors and considerations will help you optimize your online message and generate leads.