attentionLeads, of course, are cleaner and reasonably easier to measure.  They are more tangible.  You can physically give them to your sales team.

But leads alone don’t tell the whole story.  So you generated a “lead”.  So what?  They downloaded your white paper.  Who cares?

How much of the white paper did they read?  Did they come back to visit your site or blog afterward?  What else did they read or engage with?

And what if you never generated that “lead” in the first place?  Does that mean the prospect has no value?  Does it really mean you (marketing) haven’t generated any value to move that prospect closer to a sale?

Let’s say that same prospect, who has never filled out one of your forms, reads your blog 2-3 times a week.  They follow and periodically read your CEO’s Twitter feed.

That attention has value.  It means you’ve already accelerated the awareness and mindshare game.

For the lead that’s already in your database, an acceleration of attention is equally if not more important.

Leads may be easy to measure, but they only tell part of the story.  I could easily argue that attention is a far better measure of marketing’s impact, especially as you correlate attention (type, volume, frequency, velocity, etc.) to movement in the sales pipeline and buying process.

Perhaps we should measure this not as a binary “lead or no lead” status, but instead give prospects an attention score.  That score, of course, would be dynamic.  Prospects can accelerate attention, and just as quickly fade back away.  The overall attention score as well as recent positive changes to that score could all signal sales or marketing follow-up.

And as you begin to more comprehensively attribute those attention types to sales velocity and conversion, you can further weight and score that attention accordingly.

We have lead scoring today, of course, and a lot of companies are already actively scoring attention.  But more often than not, that scoring and attention measuring is seen as a means to an ends.

What if it was the other way around?  What if generating or registering a lead was simply one of several ways we measure and value attention as the primary measure of marketing success?

Worth thinking about…

  • Mark

    I certainly agree that ‘attention’ is a greater measure of marketing value, but I guess the difficulty is having some sort of standard metric. The benefit of leads is that it is binary and everyone understands it – OK, maybe we then get into a dispute about what constitutes a “lead”, so perhaps it is just as tricky! Anyway – any views on what the standard metric, that is easy to communicate to senior executives, would be for ‘attention’?

    • It could literally be a variation of measured impressions. You could weight some impressions as more valuable than others, but you’d get credit for email opens, social reads/likes, maybe even voicemails.

      If you can track specifically, I bet you could build a model that tells you how many impressions accelerate interest, which impression types are most valuable, etc.

      • Mark

        That is true Matt – I guess it is very like the way we currently score lead value in a nurturing programme

  • Katie Fuller

    We are missing the Marketing KPIs that can measure at the strategy level, not the campaign level. Two articles to check out in response to this: