The Future of Lead Generation: 7 Trends Dominating 2024

Lead generation strategies have evolved significantly due to economic pressures and technological shifts. With global forecasts predicting economic downturns, businesses, especially larger ones, faced tightened budgets affecting marketing efforts. According to Marketing Week, nearly half (47.7%) of marketing teams reported experiencing reduced budgets in the last 12 months, underscoring the need for marketers to adapt and innovate.

In response to these challenges, B2B marketers are honing their strategies, using AI for enhanced personalization, focusing on producing high-quality content in line with Google’s latest guidelines, and optimizing omnichannel marketing approaches. These adaptations are critical amid financial constraints and evolving technological changes.

Before outsourcing your lead generation to a provider, it’s worth reviewing the industry from a trends perspective.

  1. ABM
  2. Intent-based lead generation
  3. Omnichannel 
  4. Generative AI
  5. Google algorithm updates and policies
  6. Cookieless future
  7. Authenticity and transparent communication is key

Trend 1: ABM is a standard practice for B2B companies

Account-based marketing has emerged as one of the most effective strategies for lead generation. By focusing marketing and sales efforts on targeted accounts rather than leads, ABM helps businesses engage and convert their ideal customers.

With 87% of marketers reporting higher returns from ABM compared to other marketing strategies, it is clear that this shift towards account-centric marketing is yielding tangible results.

Personalized outreach at scale

Leveraging intent data and predictive analytics, ABM enables businesses to identify accounts with the highest propensity to buy. Outreach can then be personalized for each target account based on their interests and challenges. This results in messaging that resonates better with accounts and moves them further down the funnel.

For example, marketing teams can create custom landing pages, emails, and ads for each account that speak directly to their pain points. As ABM scales, automation tools help deliver this 1:1 messaging without heavy manual effort.

Aligning sales and marketing efforts

A key advantage of ABM is enhanced alignment between sales and marketing. With shared CRM data on target accounts, sales teams can deliver follow-up outreach to accounts engaged through marketing campaigns. This coordinated approach ensures messaging stays consistent across channels.

Shared KPIs based on target account engagement, rather than generic lead volume, also unite sales and marketing around a common goal. This intersection of sales and marketing powered by data underpins ABM’s ability to deliver higher conversion rates.

Trend 2: Intent-based lead generation

Understanding and leveraging buyer intent data is becoming increasingly important for effective lead generation. When applied, this powerful tool can help B2B marketers to identify and engage prospects showing signals of interest and intent to buy your products or services. This approach focuses on attracting high-quality leads instead of casting a wide net for leads.

Intent scoring models

Businesses can develop intent scoring models that analyze various prospect behaviors and attributes to determine their level of interest and intent. This data can come from website engagement, content consumption, search queries, and more. The model assigns a score to each prospect so you can prioritize and personalize outreach.

Scoring models consider factors like:

  • Pages visited
  • Time spent on site
  • Content topics accessed
  • Recency and frequency of engagement
  • Keyword searches
  • Job title and role
  • Firmographic data

Prospects displaying high intent signals become hot leads to prioritize. Those with low intent may need more nurturing.

Discover how Inbox Insight’s DemandBI solution can assist you in analyzing and better understanding buyer behavior in real-time, allowing you to see which leads are highly relevant and more likely to convert.

Customer data platforms

Customer data platforms (CDPs) integrate data from multiple sources like your website, CRM, marketing automation, and third-party intent data. This creates a unified customer profile that provides a 360-degree view of each prospect.

CDPs enable you to layer on intent data from vendors like Bombora. This reveals what prospects are researching and shows who is in-market for your offerings. You can target and retarget high-intent prospects across channels. 

Trend 3: Refining lead generation with omnichannel strategies

In the face of economic pressures and tightened marketing budgets, omnichannel stands out as a smart strategy for B2B marketers. As businesses seek more cost-effective, yet potent ways to reach their target audiences, the omnichannel approach proves its worth by facilitating interactions across a multitude of digital platforms—be it social media, search engines, email, or streaming services.

The essence of successful omnichannel campaigns lies in a profound understanding of the target demographic’s online behavior, preferences, and most frequented channels. This information enables businesses to tailor their messaging to be relevant and engaging across various platforms, ensuring that every touchpoint with potential customers is meaningful and consistent.

Adopting an omnichannel strategy is particularly crucial now, as it not only amplifies a brand’s visibility amidst budget constraints but also deepens engagement with prospects, leading to higher conversion rates. Moreover, the tangible benefits of implementing a robust omnichannel approach are undeniable.

Data shows that brands with strong omnichannel engagement strategies see a remarkable 9.5% increase in annual revenue, compared to a modest 3.4% for those with less comprehensive approaches. This stark difference underscores the effectiveness of omnichannel strategies in not only sustaining but also growing business revenue during challenging economic times, making it an essential tactic for B2B marketers aiming to navigate through the current financial hurdles and digital transformations.

Trend 4: Generative AI is boosting B2B lead generation

The emergence of advanced generative AI, especially the latest GPT-4o, is revolutionizing B2B lead generation. These technologies facilitate the automated production of vast amounts of content, from marketing emails to detailed blogs, all tailored to specific target audiences. This not only streamlines workflows but also enhances content quality.

A McKinsey survey indicates that one-third of businesses already utilize generative AI routinely, highlighting its value in refining marketing efficiency. Its capacity for rapid, customized content creation on demand allows marketers to generate a wide array of content forms, such as social media updates and personalized emails, saving significant creation time and ensuring robust message control.

The strength of generative AI lies in its ability to deliver personalized content generation, analyzing data to craft custom messages across multiple channels. This significantly improves both inbound and outbound campaigns’ efficacy. As generative AI continues to evolve, it promises even greater sophistication in engaging prospects directly.

However, there are some dissenting opinions as to whether or not generative AI models can give the required technical detail to produce authoritative content. Strong editorial experience will be required to create long form pieces as models can hallucinate when using higher “temperatures” (think “creativity score”). Time will tell, but without structured training content based on what makes your industry or product unique, gen AI can’t make thought leadership out of the box that stands up to scrutiny from expert buyers. 

Businesses integrating generative AI into their strategies experience enhanced lead generation and nurturing efforts, producing dynamic, scalable content that actively engages diverse market segments. Utilizing these AI platforms enables companies to enhance their marketing efforts, reduce manual labor, and bolster lead generation outcomes.

Trend 5: Google algorithm updates and policies

As we advance from the innovations in generative AI, it is critical to address another core influence on digital marketing dynamics—Google’s algorithm updates and policies. Google frequently updates its search algorithms, impacting how content is ranked and perform in search engine results pages (SERPs). Following the discussion of AI’s role in content creation, it’s crucial for marketers to adapt to these continual changes, particularly new guidelines such as the Helpful Content Update and EEAT to stay competitive.

Adapting to Google’s Helpful Content Update

Introduced in 2022, Google’s Helpful Content Update aims to prioritize content that provides users with a satisfying depth of helpful information. In alignment with this update, marketers should:

  • Create comprehensive content: Aim to produce in-depth content that delves beyond surface-level insights. This includes developing step-by-step guides, actionable advice, and detailed explanations
  • Offer original insights: Focus on presenting unique analyses and perspectives, steering clear of content that merely echoes the information found elsewhere online
  • Demonstrate expertise through examples: Employ relevant data, research, and real-world case studies to underline your expertise and enrich your content’s value
  • Optimize your content structure: Utilize well-organized headings, tables, images, and videos to improve content scannability and enhance user engagement
  • Enhance page experience: Minimize distractions such as pop-ups and excessive ads to maintain focus on your content

Embracing Google’s EEAT Guidelines

With the EEAT update—emphasizing Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness—Google has sharpened its focus on content quality. Critical steps include:

  • Validate expertise: Showcasing credentials and demonstrable knowledge in your field is crucial. Highlight your authors’ expertise prominently on your site
  • Illustrate experience: Use case studies, testimonials, and instances where your content or services have delivered tangible results to underline your industry experience
  • Establish authoritativeness: Earn recognition from esteemed sources within your field. Quality backlinks and citations from authoritative sites can strengthen your standing
  • Build trustworthiness: Ensure your site is secure, respects privacy, and is transparent about affiliations and advertising to build trust

Adapting to these evolving Google guidelines is pivotal for success in demand generation and content marketing. Focusing on creating valuable, user-centric content and optimizing site performance will not only comply with Google’s standards but also enhance the overall user experience and engagement. 

Trend 6: Preparing for a cookieless future

The decline of third-party cookies is pushing B2B marketers to find new ways to collect first-party data and track leads while respecting user privacy. Here are some strategies to prepare for the cookieless future:

First-party data strategies

  • Collect first-party data through website forms, surveys, live chats, and other owned channels. Use progressive profiling to gather more data over time
  • Leverage CRM data and combine it with other first-party data sources like marketing automation, email, and more. 
  • Offer content and value in exchange for contact information and explicit opt-in consent. Be transparent on how data will be used
  • Analyze first-party data to identify behavioral trends, common attributes, and intent signals. Use it to create targeted lead gen campaigns

Privacy-compliant tracking

  • Use privacy-focused identifiers like encrypted email addresses or Google’s FLoC to track users anonymously across sites
  • Implement consent management platforms to collect GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy regulation-compliant opt-in consent
  • Display trust signals like certifications and security badges to reassure visitors their data is protected
  • Allow users to access, edit, export, and delete their data. Provide opt-out options on all marketing
  • Consult with legal counsel to ensure tracking and data practices align with global privacy laws. Conduct regular audits

Trend 7: Win modern buyers with authentic and transparent communication

Authentic and transparent communication is crucial for effectively engaging with today’s informed buyers. With unlimited access to information, buyers can easily discern between genuine value and overblown marketing claims.

Provide true value through content

  • Focus on solutions: Concentrate on how your product or service addresses real challenges faced by your target audience. Use simple, direct language to highlight your unique solutions
  • Showcase real impact: Share customer success stories, concrete data, and ROI metrics to demonstrate the tangible benefits of your offerings. Let the evidence speak for itself, reinforcing your claims with real-world results
  • Highlight real expertise: Connect subject matter experts to your messaging by involving them in the content creation process. Having genuine thought leaders aligned to your brand will impress target prospects

Communicate with integrity

  • Honesty about capabilities: Rather than overhyping, be candid about what your product can and cannot do. Acknowledging limitations can enhance trust and credibility among potential buyers
  • Avoid empty jargon: Sidestep industry buzzwords and complex language that might sound impressive but fail to convey true value. Opt for clarity and simplicity in your messaging

Align messaging with customer goals

  • Research customer personas: Profile your audience to gain insights into what they care about. This means running surveys and interviews to really understand what challenges they face. Dig into the emotional component of this to see what worries them or incentivises them personally. Putting this in your content will make it exceptionally relevant
  • Emphasize meaningful outcomes: At every touchpoint, highlight how your offerings help customers achieve significant objectives. A focus on meaningful value resonates more effectively with buyers than any polished marketing spiel

Ready to generate highly qualified leads?

Enhance the effectiveness of your lead generation initiatives by partnering with Inbox Insight, recently recognized as a top provider for Insight-Powered Lead Generation Services on G2.

To learn more about our lead generation services, contact us today to discover how our services can benefit you.

Ross Howard

As the Product Director at Inbox Insight, Ross specialises in creating strategic engagement solutions for B2B marketers. He enthusiastically discusses how content, data, and buyer behavior align to drive growth for companies.
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