Have marketers become overly obsessed with leads?

It seems that marketing is mostly about one thing: more leads.

Data jockeys and growth hackers toil away looking for teeny, tiny ways to optimize digital marketing to….attract more leads.

It explains why marketers and salespeople spend far too much time determining the difference between an MQL and an SQL.

The downside of lead addiction is it deflects the focus away from the brand and how consumers feel about the brand and its products.

Most purchase decisions are driven by emotions. The irrational side of our brains decides whether a product is interesting. Once we’re hooked, the rational side of the brain determines if it makes sense.

Think about Apple computers, for example. They are more expensive than a Windows computer. And, arguably, there are Windows computers just as well-designed and user-friendly.

But emotions drive many consumers to Apple without ever considering another option. Why? Owning an Apple makes you feel cool, hip, and creative soul. Buying a Dell doesn’t deliver the same experience.

The focus on leads takes emotions out of the equation. People are simply entities to nurture and drive towards sales. The gap between an MQL and an SQL often involves hammering prospects over the head with a non-stop wave of emails. Note: Whoever invented the term “drip marketing” is an evil genius.

Leads are important. Without leads, there is no business.

What about marketing that is important not as easily quantifiable?

What’s the importance and value, for example, of brand building, brand awareness, and brand affinity?

How do you measure the impact of powerful positioning that underpins your marketing activity by ensuring that it reflects your ideal customers’ problems, needs, interests, and goals? Without well-defined positioning, marketing doesn’t work. Period.

What about marketing designed to drive brand awareness? I wonder, for example, how Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl ad would have fit into a metrics-driven world.

And how do you measure the value of a well-defined strategic marketing plan? Is a strategic plan’s success measured after tactical execution happens? If so, how is a strategic plan’s quality measured if it’s just a plan to follow?

As a marketer who sits on the strategic/creative side of the house, I’m curious about how different types of marketing and their outcomes are measured. As well, does everything need to be measured simply because it can be measured?

Thoughts?


Mark Evans is the principal with ME Consulting. Learn more about how I help B2B companies drive customer engagement and leads through powerful positioning, strategic plans, and amazing content. Book a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your challenges and needs.