In the parable, The Blind Men and The Elephant, each blind man comes into contact with a different part of an elephant’s body and, accordingly, each perceives it differently.
One who touches the elephant’s ear declares the creature “very like” a fan. Another, grasping the trunk, finds the elephant like a snake. And so on.
Like an elephant, lead-generation marketing may be perceived from several perspectives. But unlike as with an elephant, there is little agreement as to what to call it.
Blame the confusion on lead-generation consultants who are ineffective at marketing their own services.
The apostles of this new discipline variously refer to it as content marketing, inbound marketing, permission marketing and marketing automation. As with the elephant, each perspective represents only a part of the whole.
- Some call the methodology lead-generation marketing because the technology captures, nurtures, manages and qualifies leads.
- One of the keys is the sharing of information (content) with prospective customers. Effective content engages prospects with information on products or services, helps them solve problems, or shares fresh thinking.
- Another key is the asking of permission to engage with the prospect further. Prospects, attracted by the free information being offered, may willingly provide their contact information.
- Brian Halligan of HubSpot coined the phrase inbound marketing to differentiate the new methodology from outbound marketing tactics, such as telemarketing, junk mail and spam email.
- Certain redundant tasks, such as initiating offers, responding to inquiries, qualifying and segmenting leads, and analyzing activity can be automated, making the process both efficient and accurate.
Now, lead-generation consultants have followed suit. And like the blind men in the parable, each are “partly in the right, and all (are) in the wrong!”