For years, I scoffed at driving leads. It’s a pretty dirty market. Lead-dealers buying and selling the same leads that other lead-dealers are selling, that you can get for less by going direct to the source. I’m buying the same leads as my competitors. Then one day I realized: now’s my time to shine as a marketer.

Whereas B2C marketers thrive off of third party data, B2B marketers have the opportunity to buy the audience they’d like to market to. Until recently, that meant putting them into an email marketing campaign and hoping the sales team actually picked up the phone to call them. Truth be told, sales oftentimes do no want to waste their time on what they consider “unqualified leads”. “But they’re qualified,” the marketer would say. “We have a firm in India who called them to validate they are who we say they are and that they’re in the market for our product.”

Today, any good email marketing platform is synced to key marketing platforms: Google and Facebook. As a marketer, I love this, because I can instantly segment my audience and personalize their experience across a number of touchpoints. I can choose to supplement my email nurture campaign with paid social ads. I don’t even need my prospects to click on those ads. Just putting my brand message in front of them is good enough by me. Only want to spend money on paid social if people aren’t engaged with email? No problem. And, when they’re searching for information on Google, I can put my content in front of only the people I want to engage with.

Any company separating their search and social programs from what they’re doing in email is missing the point. We live in a world where we can choose exactly who we want to market to and deliver the exact experience we’ve always dreamt of. So, please, use demand gen to build up a first party data pool of people you want to engage with and build a brand they want to belong to.

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