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Industrial Lead Generation

The years of the telephone book as the primary source of lead generation are part of history. Some marketing professionals consider social media as the modern “phone book”.  Do social media form the most valuable sources for finding your Industrial Leads as well?  

Industrial Leads are no different than any B2B lead. You have to find the right person within the prospected organization. Social media provide a good solution for active lead generation. The inexhaustible information to fill your lead database is available by anyone, at any time. When you develop a clear vision of your Ideal Client the search filters can get you the database you were always looking for. Only one filter is missing, which is the filter if they “like” or have a requirement for your service or product.  

To narrow down you lead database you should grab back to more traditional types of information. Industrial exhibitions, congresses and tradeshows gain interest of many players in the industrial supply chain. At these events you can easily find your leads and even perform a first qualification. If targeted well, you might be able to find the entrance into your prospects organization, which you otherwise would never have found. Visiting exhibitions seems a time consuming activity that only our grandparents did, but the effectiveness should not be underestimated.  

During the last decade, passive lead generation attracted a big portion of the marketing budget of suppliers and service providers in industrial segments. The website turns into a content distribution channel, It provides the initiating persons (see blog: Industrial Decision Making Units) a lot of information without ever talking to your commercial department. The goal of the website and other web based communication seems to be “gaining trust”. Especially within companies with a technically complex product or service, the effectiveness of the website as a lead generator is often challenged. Providing valuable content to please your potential prospect seems more important than finding out his name. Asking for his email address is already two steps too far. Does the “free content” really provide you with the competitive edge in commercial process?  

And what do you think about printed media? As a lead generation tool it seems useless. I do not believe any industrial supplier or service provider that takes himself serious ever won a significant audience by asking the reader to participate in a contest or free give-aways. However by being active in the printed media you might make future approaches smoother. Someone ever tried to place a recruitment add to attract someone with your Ideal Client profile?