As 2023 gets underway, marketers are optimistic about what the next 12 months hold, with 66% expecting revenue growth during this time. But to achieve this, both marketers and salespeople need to adapt to the shifts in lead generation trends. While some channels and strategies stand the test of time, others have had to transform to remain competitive. We’ve collated a list of 8 lead generation trends which are set to make an impact on the quantity and quality of leads you can deliver over this next year.
Let's take a look at the most noteworthy lead generation trends for 2023:
1 - Data, data, data
First up, it's data. We’ve always advocated the value of high-quality data in your lead generation efforts. 2023 is no different. Salesforce corroborated this sentiment, so eloquently putting it “Marketing is spelled D-A-T-A”, and they’re absolutely right.
This year though, it can be taken a step further. High-quality data allows marketers to deliver the personalised engagement that is now expected from prospects. With accurate data, we can:
- • Segment audiences with greater precision
• Use more data points to ensure message relevance
• Include informed touchpoints across channels for a collaborative omnichannel approach (more on this later).
Reporting capabilities now also allow greater detail to be gathered and analysed to better understand the ROI and attribution of our marketing campaigns. Helping us determine what’s working and what’s not. And then use this information to further fine-tune our future campaigns.
2 - Personalisation in every interaction
Throughout the last two years, we've been struck with the challenge of working from home. This has accelerated the digital revolution for many companies, now being forced to transform their age-old processes for newer, sleeker and more digitally aligned strategies. But whist much of our daily life moves online, we cannot lose the personal touch in our lead generation approach.
We've moved beyond personalisation simply being addressing an email to the recipient – that is expected nowadays. No, instead, your content needs to be directed to the recipient as well. It needs to resonate with the individual, and that means using better segmentation and dissection of your database. Your data will help to create these targeted campaigns which must undeniably match the needs of your leads.
3 - ABM is the new normal
Most sales and marketers have heard the term Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and are familiar with what it is. As we now have more data insights to work with, and leads and prospects expect greater levels of personalisation, ABM strategies capitalise on this by concentrating on giving those leads who are most important the best customer journey possible. The focus is on providing high-value prospects with targeted content and interactions that make their journey from lead to customer unique to them and their requirements.
In 2019, the ABM Benchmark Survey Report found that companies using ABM strategies had increased from 47% in 2016 to 94% in 2019. Since then, this rise hasn't fallen. ABM is now accepted by most as simply part of the marketing strategy. In fact, in the B2B world, ABM now accounts for roughly 16% of marketing budgets. Yet, Salesforce found that less than 50% of marketers are satisfied with their ABM strategies. 2023 will bring a focus on targeted, personalised campaigns, improving the tech powering them, and developing the relationships between marketing, sales and services teams to generate leads and move them through the sales funnel to become paying customers.
4 - Automation and AI-backed lead generation support
It's a common problem company's face - we're all pressed for resources and time is limited. Meaning our sales and marketing teams more often than not need to prioritise where they focus their efforts. That’s where automation and AI come in. Here are just a few ways we can all benefit from intelligent systems in our lead generation process:
- • Process automation: Manual and admin tasks take up time and energy which could be better spent developing lead generation efforts. Automating these processes to happen behind the scenes helps return some of this time. Automating outreach and follow-up processes can also unlock revenue through nurturing leads until they are ready for sales engagement.
• Insights dictate campaign direction: Through intelligent analysis programmes, we can identify our prospects shared interests and behavioural traits. Whether this is based on web pages visited, emails engaged with or social reactions, the information can be compiled to provide a better picture of interests and needs. This detail can be used to personalise the content received and channels used.
- • Personalisation: Through clever functionality across digital channels, we can customise landing pages, social ads and emails to each recipient. Show a personalised greeting, adapt content based on previous interactions or reroute their customer journey.
5 - User Experience is a priority
User experience is crucial to keeping leads on our websites. This isn’t changing. For a prospect to stay on your website, it has to be user friendly. For many, your website is the first insight into your business and so there should be a focus on making it a good one. After all, first impressions count.
Making simple changes can do wonders here. Avoid aggressive pop-ups, make your navigation super easy to follow, and ensure that all buttons are clickable (and go to the right location!) are just a few easy checks and changes that can help you make an instant improvement. You should also look at your mobile optimisation and how your device is viewed on various screen sizes. With over 60% of customers now viewing websites on their mobile devices, mobile usability needs to be high on your priority list.
6 - Omnichannel strategies continue to take centre stage
According to HubSpot, 81% of marketers use 3 or more marketing channels. Omnichannel marketing focuses on your leads and creating a consistent message across channels – whether that be email, web, telemarketing, social media, digital ads, personalised content or another combination. With the number of channels used on the rise, lead generation campaigns need to consider which combination will get the maximum impact. Companies looking to save time, money and resource are refining, streamlining and repurposing the production of resources and supporting assets to convey a consistent message across their highest-impact channels.
7 - Using SEO for long term gain
Whilst it’s easy for us to focus on the short term wins when it comes to lead generation, our long-term strategies are important to ensure a steady supply of leads. SEO can have a huge impact here. With a long warm-up time, it’s easy to get disheartened when it comes to our SEO plans, but stick at it, and the positives will ramp up. With 51% of all web visitors coming from organic search, companies will need to maintain a strong online presence this year to increase the chances of being found by prospects online.
8 - Hybrid approach to events
Marketers and salespeople have had to adapt how they work (as has everyone) over recent years, increasing the digital uptake across the board. This applies both to lead generation campaigns and traditionally in-person strategies.
Hybrid events have been gaining popularity, with MarketingProfs reporting that virtual events and webinars are cited as one of the top-performing lead generation tools. Whether this entails live-streaming in-person events or using webinars and virtual break-out rooms to create interactive environments, their presence is only set to increase in 2023.
Over the coming year, companies need to continue to adapt to the changing behaviours of customers. Through a data-focused personalised approach, leads can be targeted on the channels that they want to engage with, and with content that is highly relevant to their own requirements.
The methods of getting in front of leads and engaging them throughout the sales funnel are equally important. Companies need to be front and centre across a variety of channels, pushing a consistent message across the board to entice leads to become customers. To learn how to target your highest-value prospects through an ABM approach, download our guide, or get in touch directly.