Marketing Needs to Focus on Opportunity Creation, Not Leads

Marketing is more about creating opportunities than creating leads.

Marketing believes it is their role to create leads. Sales believes it is marketing’s job to create ready-to-buy leads, or leads so far down the path that they are easily closed.

Marketing does what is necessary to generate leads, especially on the web where information is easily captured. They put up pages to capture leads, offering free content like white papers and thought leadership pieces. They host webinars to capture the contact information of people who are interested in some topic related to what their company sells. As a measurement of effectiveness, names and contact information is one KPI, even if it doesn’t speak to the effectiveness of the actual marketing.

What marketing is supposed to do is generate awareness and interest that can be converted into an opportunity. All of the above tactics generate awareness, but not necessarily interest. Most of the content delivers the wrong message. What marketing needs to do to better serve their organization and their sales force is to create a case for change.

Opportunities are created when someone believes they have a reason to change. The message that marketing needs to create needs to focus on compelling the people in their target markets to change.

  • What message will explain why the people in your target need to do something different?
  • What is the price of inaction, should your dream clients do nothing? What do they give up by not taking action?
  • What does their future need to look like to survive and thrive in a world of accelerating, disruptive change?

What marketing needs to do now is make the case for change and arm the sales force to do the same. Sales is about two things: opportunity creation, and opportunity capture. Marketing needs to do more to create opportunities, and not focus so much time and attention on names and contact information; something that can be bought for a few bucks, and invest more attention on creating opportunities, something more precious.

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