In case you haven’t noticed, the Internet has fundamentally changed how people gather information. This has affected business marketers in particular. Because Web sites provide information that previously came from salespeople, marketers stay engaged with prospects for much longer. This means they must do a better job of understanding and responding to prospects’ interests and deciding when it’s finally time to turn them over to sales.

The change from generating leads to nurturing them is the main engine propelling growth of demand generation vendors. Their products manage traditional lead generation campaigns. The goal is no longer getting a name and handing it to sales; instead, it’s to draw people to the company Web site, where they will join equally anonymous visitors from print ads, Web ads, trade shows, search engines and other sources.

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