What Is Lead Generation? The Yellow Brick Road To Your Sales Funnel
by Josette Millar
At Sheffield Media Group, we’re asked, “What is lead generation?” all the time. As such, we wanted to take a moment to talk about this topic in a fun and easy-to-understand way.
Lead generation is a vital part of any inbound marketing strategy. In fact, you could say that lead generation, for the most part, is inbound marketing. Until you fully understand what lead generation is, these two words just make up a phrase that probably seems like more of a marketing buzz than a real thing.
We understand that. We also understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Dorothy didn’t get to Oz all alone.
In fact, she took an infamous road made of yellow bricks, and she made a few vital friends-for-life along the way. Now that you’ve got a gingham-clad Midwesterner in your head, and her little dog, too, let’s take a walk down the Yellow Brick Road.
The Cast & Characters
To answer the question, “What is lead generation?”, we’ll start with the main attraction. In The Wizard of Oz, you’ll probably recall that Dorothy is the star of the show. In the inbound marketing world, you are Dorothy. You’re the main attraction – the reason people are going to pay attention – the focal point of the fun and fantastic journey that’s about to take place.
As Dorothy goes along her journey toward the Emerald City, she encounters Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. Dorothy’s initial conversation with each of these characters reveals a common bond: Something’s missing.
This cast of characters represents your leads, and the Yellow Brick Road represents your sales funnel.
While these characters were getting along okay without their respective brain, heart, and courage, they clearly imagined things going much better if they could find a way to become whole. After Dorothy describes the wonderment of Emerald City (aka the benefits of your service or product), the four friends decide to seek out the Great Oz together. Using Dorothy as their beacon of hope, they set off down the long and winding road, keeping an eye on a brighter horizon.
Going back to your question, “What is lead generation?”, you’re Dorothy; you’re the amazing beacon of hope that has offered up ideas and opportunities. As you express hope and solutions to other businesses and relevant individuals, you start making friends along the way; these are your Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion. Each of them is missing something, and they’re looking toward you for help becoming whole. When it comes to inbound marketing, the key is putting out a message that attracts others to you. The friends that Dorothy met along the Yellow Brick Road were intrigued by her mission, and they were drawn to her. She wasn’t looking for them; they happened onto her path because they shared similar interest and saw a benefit in what she was trying to achieve.
The Yellow Brick Road, just as your sales funnel, came with some interesting interactions. Although there were some unsavory souls and flying monkeys that happened into the story, Dorothy’s steadfastness kept the group on the right path, getting them down the funnel and converting them from leads to customers. Inbound marketing worked well on their way to see the Wizard because the monkeys and witches didn’t make their way down the funnel. They were unqualified leads that were fairly easily eliminated.
“What is lead generation?” is a question often asked and not always easily answered. If this helped quench your thirst for understanding, ‘like’ our Sheffield Media Group Facebook page, and get inside information on tons of other industry tips and tricks!