In the world of enterprise software, product marketing typically does not hold responsibility for lead generation. Usually a corporate or field marketing department will be charged with bringing leads into the sales organization. So, why is a product marketing blog offering an post on the subject?
Because product marketing may not be responsible for lead generation but they are a primary contributor to the process. Product marketing typically delivers the content that make up the deliverables for lead generation programs. Leads are typically generated by attracting potential buyers into the sales funnel by the way of some content offer (a webinar, a white paper, through social media, etc). The content of that offer is typically developed by the product marketing group.
For example, let’s imagine an enterprise software company that offers accounting software to complex and large organizations. One of the most trusted methods of generating leads is to hold webinars on topics related to accounting in these large firms. The webinar attendee benefits by gaining some new knowledge on a subject of interest to them. The webinar host benefits by gaining contact information for a prospect that has qualified themselves as a potential target for a sale. The prospecting phase will continue on beyond the initial webinar. Targeted emails will be sent, white papers (and other free content) may be offered and then some percentage of the leads collected will show purchase interest. Sales kicks in and starts the process of converting the qualified lead into a customer.
Most of these lead fulfillment materials are either developed or spearheaded by the product marketing team. While they don’t develop the programs that collect the leads, they must provide the value that attracts the leads. So it’s a pretty important function within the marketing machine.
There are quite a few ways that enterprise software companies generate leads. In the next few posts we’ll dig deeper into each of these so that you can get an overview product marketing’s role and the keys to success for each type. To start, here are some the formats I plan to cover.
- White papers
- Web site content
- Social media
- Trade shows
- Self-running demos
- Data Sheets
- Case Studies
I feel pretty strongly about some best practices here so I am looking forward to writing these next few posts. For example, I am a big fan of short, concise web content that encourages you to click for more (If you do things right, that click should be a lead!). There is a little bit of gray area here as you could consider some of these activities awareness rather than lead generating , but I think they are close enough in general concept to group together for the purpose of this article.
If I have left lead gen vehicles that you are actively using, please let me know. If so, I’ll tweak the list! To be continued…