The buying world is now driven by consumers rather than corporate brands. All the power resides with the potential buyers as they have the ability to choose what information they want to read online and avoid the hard sell of irritating adverts. 

Recent research shows that a huge 47% of people choose to use ad blockers (Digiday) and 92% of customers will read online reviews as part of the information gathering process about products and services.

Consumers are savvy, well researched and extremely well equipped to pitch one brand against another to achieve the outcome they want (or the best deal!). So how does this impact on our marketing efforts? Is it possible to still gain competitive advantage through our marketing activities? 

It is - whilst the days of traditional lead generation are clearly over, there are new and exciting ways to build relationships with consumers. The focus should now be on nurturing those relationships from the very first point of contact with your brand which could range from visiting your website to viewing your Twitter account. Every potential touchpoint should be part of an overall integrated approach to providing an authentic and relevant brand experience. 

Your employees are also essential as an engaged workforce can lead to employee advocates - a recent Gartner survey found that peers and communities were cited as the second most preferential source of information at all phases of the buying cycle.

So, it's time to ditch the old ways of lead generation and embrace new innovative approaches which have been proven to work in our highly digitalised economy. Read this excellent post by Bambu to help you drive successful lead generation campaigns.