B2C Lead Generation Roundtable Highlights

19th June, 2018

A great mix of marketers came together to discuss the past, present and future of B2C lead generation.

Last Thursday, we held our first interactive session around the theme of B2C lead generation which was divided into two sessions: the best practices and future of lead generation. Led by Ricki Jones, Chief Commercial Officer of Marketing Town, this one hour gathering brought together a great mix of marketers to discuss solutions to issues they are facing daily, examine current and future best practices and gain insight into ways of addressing their biggest lead generation challenges.

After the welcome statements from Marketing Town’s Founder, Ken Leren, it was time to hear everyone’s challenges and success stories - i.e. the good stuff. Here are the top lead generation challenges participants discussed across the roundtable:

Lack of communicationIf we learnt anything from this roundtable is that lead generation doesn’t start and end when a person indicates interest in a product or service by ticking a box, completing a form or sharing contact information in exchange for a discount/coupon/offer. One participant highlighted that lead generation does not have a value on its own, but is part of a collective effort from the client, supplier and call centre agent to convert that lead into sale, so communication is key between everyone involved. Many of the participants felt that is important for brands to ensure that all call centre agents are trained and have written guides to assist them with call handling.

Lack of urgencyAnother big common problem marketers discussed across the roundtable was the fact that call centres lack the sense of urgency. A participant has shared his personal experience with call centres and then expressed his concern that every hour or day delayed in contacting the lead generated by inbound work leads to a missed opportunity. Everyone then agreed that call centres, no matter how big or small, should keep up with the pace of this digital ecosystem we all work in by cutting out manual processes and automate their lead management process. The key to increasing conversion rates is real-time delivery of leads and follow up within seconds or minutes, not days.

Lack of transparencyAnother top challenge is the lack of transparency between the brand and suppliers. Since GDPR requires everyone to be transparent and properly protect customer data, unfair or deceptive practises are no longer allowed. Everyone agreed that third parties need to obtain opt-in permission and be transparent about the way they use consumers’ personal data when doing so. Only when data processors match the expectations of data controllers in the way they source and use data can be trusted. Ken pointed out that data controllers must have a clause in their contracts with data processors which allows them to question the validity of the data they provide at any time and also have an easy access to process-specific information to see exactly what happens, as it happens.

Moving on to the key trends on the horizon, here’s what’s been discussed about the future of lead generation:

The effects of the big buzzwordOf course, we couldn’t resist not to talk about the biggest buzzword of the year - GDPR. Even though it is nice to have all that GDPR compliance stuff safely behind us, many participants expressed their frustration that there were a lot of so-called GDPR ‘experts’ spreading bad advice and fear. GDPR consultants/experts/providers were springing up like mushrooms after rain, leaving everyone confused about who to trust on helping them on navigating the regulation and implementing changes.

With GDPR reducing the overall volume of data available and increasing scrutiny on data use, it looks like co-registration and co-sponsoring are the lead generation tactics brands should focus on. While this approach to marketing represents an untapped opportunity for brands looking to generate highly qualified and targeted leads, one participant said that we should expect a classic supply and demand price increase in the near future.

GDPR & AI

After GDPR, AI is probably the second biggest buzzword of 2018. Even though lead generation solutions that are powered by AI are probably going to become bigger and more important, one participant wondered whether GDPR and AI can comfortably coexist, considering that AI systems need personal data to train algorithms. The final remarks were that AI will complement lead generation practices, but shouldn’t replace human input. Although the purpose of AI is the automation of some tasks, the systems still require the need for human intervention.

All in all, our goal for organising this event was simple: to foster a relationship of mutual growth between like-minded peers in a focused roundtable discussion. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank each and every participant for helping us achieve our goal and sharing their wisdom and lessons-learned with the other delegates.

We were pleased to learn that 90% of participants rated the roundtable as having been very useful. We hope this is just the first of many conversations we have together and all dialogues would lead to productive results. See you all in our next roundtable in September!