If your business were an engine, lead generation would be its fuel. And for it to run effectively and efficiently, maintaining a steady stream of prospective customers is key. Except, people’s purchase journeys are becoming incredibly complex.
Today, 93% of consumer journeys are unique,1 with millions of different paths to purchase. This makes it challenging for brands to have a full picture of how customers behave across channels and identify valuable customer relationships to nurture.
For example, some brands struggle to keep track of online leads that close offline, such as when a shopper makes an in-store purchase after viewing an online ad. In this instance, when a final sale is not attributed to the marketing effort that drove it, brands lose a valuable opportunity to optimize lead generation.
Brands lose a valuable opportunity to optimize for leads when they do not have full visibility of the marketing effort that drove it.
A crucial way to overcome this challenge is to link your relevant data sources — online and offline. Research shows that companies that connect their first-party data sources can generate double the incremental revenue from a single ad placement, communication, or outreach and a 1.5X improvement in cost efficiency, over those with limited data integration.
That’s why advanced lead generation advertisers are turning to new privacy-centric tools, such as enhanced conversions for leads, to measure offline purchases that originated from online interactions. Not only does this help with optimizing lead generation, it lets you tap into the full power of AI solutions, so you can invest with precision in leads worth most to your business, and maximize returns.
How to unlock AI-powered lead generation
Here are two key steps your brand should prioritize when it comes to AI-powered lead generation:
1. Identify conversions with the highest ROI along your lead-to-sale journey
Various conversion actions, such as phone enquiries and sign-ups for your brand’s newsletter, occur across a customer’s purchase journey. Some of these customer actions are more valuable to your business because they bring customers closer to the final purchase. And only when you know which conversions have the highest ROI can you better direct AI-powered solutions to optimize and acquire more quality leads.
Tools such as our conversion value calculator can help you quantify the value of each conversion action — whether online or offline — and identify the most valuable customer activities you should optimize toward in your lead-to-sale journey.
2. Build a solid first-party data foundation to fuel AI-powered solutions
To get a more complete picture of the customer journey and set your business up for success, you should connect data on your customers’ offline actions to your online campaigns. The tool for this — enhanced conversions for leads.
The privacy-centric tool now lets you easily import the data in your customer relationship management (CRM) database and seamlessly match those offline transactions to your Google Ads campaigns using hashed first-party data from your website lead forms.
With that solid first-party data foundation in place, the AI-powered ad solutions you use can supercharge their analytical and predictive accuracy. You can also use ad strategies like value-based bidding more effectively to reach valuable customers and generate high quality leads.
Forward-thinking brands, such as property developer Sansiri and online lending platform WeLend, are among those who’ve used enhanced conversions for leads to unlock AI-powered lead generation.
Sansiri: Optimize lead generation by seamlessly integrating your first-party data
Like many lead generation advertisers, property developer Sansiri had to sift through a large volume of initial leads to identify those that were most likely to result in the purchase of a new home. To focus on generating higher quality leads, Sansiri decided to further optimize Search, its key advertising channel.
Since property sales typically involve multiple touchpoints across online and offline channels, Sansiri’s media agency, iProspect, recommended that the developer set up enhanced conversions for leads to integrate its rich first-party data.
iProspect Planning Director Artitaya Pansuwan said: “With enhanced conversions for leads, we could get better insights for optimizing Sansiri’s Search campaigns toward high quality leads, consistently, and at scale.”
That data integration process was seamless with the new Google Ads Conversion Import for Salesforce. The feature enabled Sansiri to automatically import offline conversions from its Salesforce CRM onto Google Ads, and use enhanced conversions for leads to match offline conversions to the Search ad that drove the lead.
That meant Sansiri could easily measure the impact of its Search ads campaigns throughout its sales funnel, assess which leads were most likely to generate sales, and optimize its Search campaigns to bid toward those high value customers.
Sansiri’s qualified lead volume rose by 43% while it reduced its cost per acquisition by 48%, and it’s now planning to scale this strategy across its other campaigns.
WeLend: Unlock lead generation with AI-powered bidding
With rate hikes and changing regulations squeezing their bottom line, Hong Kong online lending platform WeLend wanted to increase its profitability by identifying and generating higher quality leads.
WeLend turned to value-based bidding, an AI-powered ads strategy that enables real-time bid optimization toward more qualified offline leads. This was a priority for WeLend because its loans were usually finalized offline.
Because its offline acquisition data resides on a CRM platform, it had to first use enhanced conversions for leads to integrate its offline and online first-party data, before unlocking quality lead generation with value-based bidding. The result was a 12% increase in conversion rate and a 17% rise in conversion value.
By pairing enhanced conversions for leads with value-based bidding, WeLend achieved:
WeLend’s general manager, Marco Lee, who is also the group head of loans business for WeLab, said: “The impact of this innovative solution has been phenomenal. We believe it will be a game-changer for performance marketing and our business as a whole, especially in the challenging economic environment we are facing.”
The lead-to-sale journey may be complex today, but effective, efficient lead generation doesn’t have to be. You can easily optimize for more quality leads and drive bottom line growth by building a well-integrated first-party data foundation with enhanced conversions for leads, and use it to supercharge AI-powered marketing solutions.