Over the years, lead generation services have changed with the introduction of technology and the internet. Not only is lead generation done faster, with more access to data, and improved targeting accuracy. What most people haven’t noticed is that the main players of lead generation have also changed. And businesses must learn to adapt to these changes.

As a process, lead generation has stayed the same. We still reach out to prospects and customers to turn them into qualified leads. But back then, access to information on all sides was limited. Buyers had limited access to information about the business and business had limited information on prospects.

Televisions and radios on a bookshelf

With mass advertising and hard selling, businesses could get their message across to as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. This massive investment required is what made lead generation services very expensive for small and medium scale businesses.

Acquiring information also took much longer, which required large investments in marketing and sales. So lead generation back then had to take a very broad approach.

But controlled information access is what made also made it a very powerful marketing tactic.

But with the widespread use of the internet and access to mobile technology, there was a massive shift in power. Accessibility to resources was no longer an issue for smaller business. Any mom and pop shop can advertise on Google and get the same number of leads for a fraction of the cost of a TV ad.

Access to information is now also more readily available on both sides. Buyers can find all the information they need on what they want with diligent internet research. Sellers can know everything they can about prospects from forms, sales pages, and social media activity.

Lead generation, as a process, stayed the same. But the tactics used had to be more strategic and efficient to be effective. Broad targeting techniques were replaced with targeted messaging and relationship building. More resources are allocated now to research and targeted messaging rather than mass marketing distributions.

The lead generation process has also expanded. Initial conversions are no longer enough. Repeat conversion and loyalties have proven to be more cost effective compared to the more resource intensive process of new customer generation.

What does this mean for businesses overall? This has made lead generation a service more accessible for more business but it also means more competition over a limited market. As a business owner, you need to have a clear picture of what you want your market to be and a detailed strategy on how to keep them.

Lead generation can bring you customers.

But how successful your business will be would still depend on how you can keep your customers happy so they’ll keep coming back for more.