IS THE MQL STILL ALIVE?
If you’ve listened to a vendor pitch, spent any time on LinkedIn or read any marketing blog this year you’ve heard the phrase: “The MQL is DEAD”.
THE MQL HAS US CONDITIONED
How did we get here? Well, we all know what the definition is so we won’t bore you with our definition of what a MQL is.
The most important thing with the historical MQL is permission. Building a permission based audience is one of the most important things when building your brand. If you don’t have an audience then how can you effectively market to them outside of a brute force sales team?
The MQL definition has conditioned us to wait for things. To wait for a contact to become whatever someone else decides is the next step in not that prospect’s journey but our predefined journey. It’s selfish and it’s not transferable. It’s conditioned sales to wait for marketing to fill the funnel. It’s conditioned marketing to wait for sales to tell them what’s working and what’s not working.
So to answer the question probed at the start of this first part…the MQL has us conditioned like a dog waiting for treats.
IS THE MQL REALLY DEAD?
Is this true? Is our prized MQL really dead?
You may not like this answer. The MQL is alive, well and MAYBE better than it’s ever been.
Here’s the facts, digital ad spend in B2B is up big time. Spend across all digital channels, according to The Drum, is up 22.9% YoY. Rising tides raise all ships and one of the biggest beneficiaries is content syndication. Numerous vendors have written about this like Intentsify, INFUSEmedia, Madison Logic, etc. You’ve probably bought leads from this tactic, probably had decent results, probably felt just okay about your decision on buying those leads AND probably bought them again and in some cases many more times. Why? It comes back to the conditioning.
In times of turmoil, the path of least resistance is typically the one that’s chosen. And you guessed it, that’s what happened starting from late Q1’20 – onward. Content syndication is easy. It’s familiar. It’s a way to generate something familiar with relatively low costs. And these vendors above + handfuls of others are up big this year as is our cherished MQL.
Many marketing teams are moving away from vanity metrics like the MQL and revenue is becoming the focus but the argument to be made is that you can’t show a path to revenue without a starting point. And you guessed it…the MQL is a starting point and can be a leading or lagging indicator to a revenue path.
The MQL is the start of a conversion. The MQL is the usher opening the door. The MQL is the gatekeeper. Someone has given you permission to come in and your only job from there is to not mess it up.