Leads, the long and the short of it

Leads, the long and the short of it

stand apart stand outMarketers must balance “snackable” content with long, multi-touch campaigns.

With social media and mobile’s growth, many marketers are feeling pressured to adopt online campaigns that have extremely short lead cycles. However, many are reluctant to abandon their successful, traditional longer-lead marketing campaigns. As a result, marketers are finding new ways to strike a balance between quick calls to action and long, multi-touch campaigns that cut across multiple media and technology platforms.


It’s understandable that marketers are chasing short campaigns with “snackable” content—many of today’s popular platforms are built around short engagements. From text-based Twitter and Reddit to the visually heavy Instagram and Pinterest, content is consumed at a furiously quick pace by very large audiences.

While there have been some cases of success, many marketers have yet to find substantial traction with this approach, as the nature of these media does not lend itself to marketing messages that contain a relatively large amount of information. Additionally, many marketers find success engaging with customers multiple times over long periods of time before closing deals.

For example, CA Technologies, a $5 billion management software provider and Fortune 500 company, had been struggling to generate significant attendance for its recurring marketing webcasts. After six weeks of adjusting the amount of lead time the company gave to potential participants, it began to see robust attendance. This illustrates how longer-lead marketing tactics can be very successful in an accelerated world dominated by Twitter, LinkedIn and other short-lead media.

What marketers must understand is that while these audiences consume a substantial amount of content on short-lead platforms, every piece of information has an extremely short shelf life, and most times these short-term channels are an inappropriate place to convey your complete marketing message. But these short-cycle platforms are great places to enhance campaigns run on other platforms like email, online video or print, which operate at a slower pace and can be more conducive to achieving your goals.

One example of successfully mixing communication channels comes from, a provider of cloud-based sales acceleration solutions, which used a combination of Internet search, email and online video over the course of several months to generate substantial sales. Beginning with an AdWords search campaign to solicit interest in topics similar to “inside sales,” the company used a quick call to action, asking people to submit their email addresses to learn more about the industry. From there the company began an email marketing campaign with more in-depth information to promote its annual virtual sales summit event. Attendees joined multiple online video sessions and, based on which sessions they attended, InsideSales’ sales associates followed up with hyper-targeted packages that sold very well.

This tremendously successful campaign demonstrates how powerful marketing campaigns can be if there is a balance between quick, short-cycle calls to action and longer-term methods where brands can engage with audiences at a more deliberate pace. For marketers seeking to maximize demand generation campaign results, success can be found by both accelerating the sales cycle and nurturing leads over a longer period of time.

By Under the leadership of CEO and co-founder Sharat Sharan, ON24 is today the global market share leader in virtual communication and webcasting solutions. He has won a number of industry awards—including BtoB Magazine’s Who’s Who in B2B, which he has received three times (in 2009, 2010 and 2013).

“Leads, the long and the short of it. Marketers must balance “snackable” content with long, multi-touch campaigns” Posted by ON24 CEO Sharat Sharan ( The Economist Group, 02/07/14 )


Sharat Sharan