What is Digital Marketing Lead Generation?

If you watched the 1992 movie “Glengarry Glen Ross”, you know how important leads are for any salesperson. All businesses require leads to get sales. In the Internet economy, digital marketing lead generation is fast-replacing traditional lead generation.

In this article, we will explore the basics of digital marketing lead generation or what is also called digital lead generation.

Personally, I prefer the term lead conversion as that should be the focus for businesses. Generating a lead that does not convert into a sale is not particularly useful for a bottom-line-driven commercial entity. However, in the context of this article, I think we can use lead generation and conversion interchangeably, as the approach for both is the same.

While the perception is that lead generation applies more for B2B businesses, technically, B2C businesses require leads to converts into customers. It is just that the sales cycle for B2C businesses tends to be much shorter than B2B businesses.

Alec Baldwin from Glengarry Glen Ross About Sales Leads
Alec Baldwin's iconic speech in "Glengarry Glen Ross"

Traditional lead generation methods include cold-calling, newspaper, magazine, television or radio advertisement, event participation and flyers. The problem with traditional lead generation is that ROI is harder to quantify and measure accurately. However, customer acquisition in the digital age is quite different.

Due to the availability of digital marketing platforms and big data analytics, metrics like click-through-rates (CTRs) and conversion rates can accurately measure the return on ad spending (ROAS) and cost per lead or acquisition.

As a result, lead generation is actually easier and more cost-effective in digital marketing, than in traditional marketing.

Digital Marketing Lead Generation

Digital marketing lead generation is the process of using digital marketing to acquire customers online.

Pioneers of Internet Marketing have developed sophisticated systems to “funnel” website visitors and qualify them to determine purchase intent. 

I share a conceptual example of one such system set up to optimize lead generation.


In a well-designed digital marketing lead generated system there is a specific flow of how traffic (target customers) is driven to a business’s website. This is typically done through digital marketing efforts such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), email marketing, and paid search ads and/ or display ads on social media.

Landing Page

This targeted audience is driven to a specific page on the website. This is known as a landing page which is a stand-alone page in a website that has a single message tailored for a specific audience.

The landing page uses content in the form of text, images, infographics and/ or videos designed to engage, inform, and sell website visitors to filter website visitors to determine purchasing intent.

A good landing page will a specific call-to-action, whether it is to sign up for a newsletter, download an ebook, open a chat with a sales agent or make a purchase. This allows the business to capture lead information, usually in the form of a name and email.


Prospects and leads can then be remarketed to with the hope to convert or upsell them at a later stage. This can be achieved through a drip email marketing sequence or retargeting ads.

You will notice that the digital marketing lead generation system just described follows the flow of a traditional sales funnel or customer journey. That is why a digital lead generation system is also known as a digital marketing funnel.

At Evolve & Adapt, we create digital lead conversion systems and have helped clients achieve a 100% – 300% increase in leads and sales within 6 weeks of implementation.

The purpose of a digital lead generation system is to generate leads at the lowest cost possible with the highest possible conversion rate.

Implementing a lead generation system in the digital age should be one of the top priorities for a business today. Traditional lead generation, while still relevant, works too slowly in the new economy. Build a digital lead system that can work in tandem with traditional lead generation to get the best of both worlds and not lose out on opportunities.

If you would like to learn how Evolve & Adapt can help with your business’s traffic and lead conversions, contact us here.

J C Sum

J C Sum is a certified management consultant (TR 43:2015), an American Marketing Association Professional Certified Marketer (PCM®) in marketing management as well as a certified digital marketing strategist (SSG-WSQ accredited) with 12 years of experience specializing in search engine optimization, content marketing, and analytics. J C holds a Bachelor of Arts from National University of Singapore and is the author of "Evolve, Adapt or Collapse". He has been featured on The Straits Times, Business Times, Channel News Asia, The Edge Singapore, CNA938, and Money FM 89.3.