A sizeable number of B2B marketers are new to lead nurturing, with 40% of respondents to the Demand Gen Report survey noting that they have been doing lead nurturing for less than a year. While most marketers understand the value of lead nurturing, it is often the component of lead management that takes the longest to implement,” said Missy Heilman, Senior Strategy Consultant at BlueBird Strategies, a marketing consulting firm. “The reason being that great care is required to develop effective nurture strategies.”

While lead nurturing programs have traditionally focused on generating leads at the top of the funnel, progressive B2B marketers are developing lead nurturing strategies to drive demand in the later stages of the buyer’s journey.

“We’re starting to see more lead generation efforts being focused on the later stages of the funnel,” said Aaron Bolshaw, Group Manager of Database Marketing at Act-On Software. “For us, the focus is very much on that bottom stack — that bottom part of the funnel where marketing can help generate as much revenue, and conversions, as we can.”

The interest in later-stage demand generation is being driven by marketing’s increased accountability for lead performance throughout the buying cycle.

“With more and more B2B marketers being held accountable for, and incentivized against, pipeline contribution, they cannot afford for leads to fall out of the funnel without attempting to recycle that demand,” said Jason Hekl, VP and Group Director, Demand, for SiriusDecisions. “Later-stage nurture strategies are essential to maximizing waterfall or funnel throughput.”


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