Lead Nurturing: from Philosophy to Practice

At CDI, we’ve been preaching the virtues of lead nurturing since we first published our white paper on “Lead Recycling” back in 2002. Back then, lead nurturing was more a philosophy, a way of marketing, than it was a defined tactic.

Now lead nurturing is a hot topic, primarily because companies are generating many more leads on average, most of them unqualified. Vehicles such as paid search and content syndication have helped drive cost per lead down substantially, but they create a wide spectrum of inquiries, not all of which are sales-ready.

Without a formal lead nurturing program in place, a company’s sales force can drown in a sea of unqualified leads (leading to losses in sales productivity), or worse yet – reps will skim off the “hot” leads and ignore the rest, resulting in missed opportunities and a huge waste of demand generation investment.

What’s brought lead nurturing from philosophy to practice is the availability of a new breed of technology: marketing automation platforms that enable companies to design and deploy effective, dynamic, rules-based lead nurturing programs.

One vendor, Eloqua, has dominated the space for a number of years, but recently they’ve met some very tough competition in the form of more flexible, easier to use, less expensive alternatives. (I’m reminded of the market tussle between CRM behemoth Siebel Systems and a little upstart called Salesforce.com.)

CDI has eyed this space for some time, waiting for a solution that would offer our clients the right combination of price and functionality. After much evaluation, we elected to team with Market2Lead, one of the leading contenders in the space, and recently were named one of their authorized agency partners. (See the press release here.)

Using the Market2Lead platform, combined with our creative expertise and direct marketing know-how, we can now offer clients a fully managed, turnkey lead nurturing system that will eliminate missed sales opportunities, increase sales productivity, and dramatically improve the ROI from outbound demand generation campaigns.

If you’re interested in discussing a lead nurturing program for your company, feel free to contact me directly. See the “About the Author” link at the top left corner of this page. For more information on CDI’s turnkey lead nurturing solution, click here.

Update: CDI is now partnered with Marketo. See press release for more info.


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