Looking at the big picture and figuring out where you should spend your time and money on lead generation is a tough task and one I’ve seen many companies skip. Skipping this thinking is not a good idea as you can easily sink hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars into an approach that was never going to work in the first place.
Here’s a nice take on the subject by Jonathan Beaton, a real life sales and marketing director in NYC at startup Organic Motion. (I feel serious empathy with Jonathan as I’ve had that kind of role myself). This post is on the Heinz Marketing website–a great resource for you to check out.
There are a million blog posts and comment threads discussing which channels are the most effective when it comes to lead generation and new customer acquisition. This results in many arbitrary discussions that lack the proper context for any meaningful dialogue to occur about choosing the right lead generation tactics to grow/scale sales and marketing.
In my experience, there are many factors that have a much heavier influence on the overall effectiveness of a particular lead source (as opposed to the lead source itself). For example, the characteristics of the specific markets you are attacking play a significant role when it comes to predicting the best marketing channels. Additionally, many people overlook the fact that there are huge fundamental differences between a product and a service company that greatly influence the role of marketing when it comes to new customer acquisition.