Good morning, readers! Today, we’ll explore ways to boost your lead generation efforts, will talk about the best ways to create content that will stand the test of time, will empathize with Scott Brinker on what happens when bots are bad and will find out why smart speakers may be jeopardizing brand loyalty.  

Boost your outbound lead gen efforts

Looking for a way to boost your demand generation? Instead of focusing all of your time and budget on inbound marketing, you should consider a few modernized outbound efforts that may have received a makeover since the last time you used them. According to Scott Vaughn in Martech Today, it’s not enough to drive massive traffic to our website forms, only to have our sales team spinning their wheels on low-quality “leads”—if we want to survive and thrive when it comes to hitting increasingly tough revenue goals, we’re going to have to start reimagining some techniques we’d once abandoned.

For example, Scott says that third-party demand generation tactics, like buying leads from a product or service review site or procuring leads by sponsoring webinars organized by a third party may be a cost effective ways to obtain leads that fit your ideal customer profile. Many of us may have done this years ago, to less-than-stellar results; Scott suggests that with updated tools, techniques and data, these outbound techniques are worth another spin. Check out all of Scott’s tips here.

Creating evergreen content

If content is the marketing gift that keeps on giving, then evergreen content is one of the best gifts you can ever give. Why? Because evergreen content stands the test of time, providing value to your organization not just for a moment, but for months (or even years) to come. But creating a piece of content that’s always relevant isn’t easy. Thankfully, Zara Smith has provided a handful of tips on Business2Community to help marketers move forward with evergreen content creation.

One suggestion Zara provides is to focus on content that is sustainable, not necessarily timeless—and there is a difference. Because evergreen content can and should be updated, it’s important that the topic is one that will continue to drive interest. One example she gives is guides; people will always need help determining how to accomplish specific tasks, so developing a guide on how to use your product is a sustainable topic, even if you need to update it as your product is updated. Read all of Zara’s suggestions here.

Bots gone wrong—and what brands should learn

Here’s the gist: Chiefmartec’s Scott Brinker and his wife plan—well in advance—their daughter’s birthday celebration. It includes every 10-year-old girl’s dream: a Taylor Swift concert. But on the day of the concert, an automated ticketing system, an automated voice system and a chatbot ALMOST ruined everything.

As a father myself, I was on the edge of my seat reading Scott’s piece. And as a marketer, I appreciated Scott’s takeaways for anyone working with chatbots: Customer experience flows should cover predictable exceptions, like canceled cards. Ensure chatbot teams are staffed for demand. Less templated scripts, more human empathy. Yes, yes, yes! Required reading.

Report says brand loyalty at risk

Research indicates that more than half of US homes will have a smart speaker within the next four years. And that may make things interesting when it comes to brand loyalty, according to a new study by Digitas as reported by Barry Levine in MarTech Today. Why? Because most users—in fact, 85%— will buy the first option presented by the voice agent.

How will brands be overcome this? Barry says that, “One remedy that voice experts expect to happen — and that the Digitas study promotes — is the idea that voice assistants aided by a text-based screen could provide additional brand options, thus diminishing the advantage that the first voice-presented option automatically receives.” It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. Read the rest of Barry’s summary of the report findings here.