Issue Solutions Creates Strong Lead Generation
The study, “2013 Lead Generation: Optimum Techniques for Managing Lead Generation Campaigns,” also found that not all lead generation practices are working as smoothly as they could be. 55% of B2B marketers responding said the effectiveness of their lead-gen efforts was just average. And the means by which marketers gauge success remains relatively unsophisticated: 76% of marketers said their prime definition of a lead is a prospect request to be contacted.
This indication of serious interest was considered more of a “hot lead” than a request for a white paper (43%), attendance at a webinar (35%) or visits to a company's website (30%), according to the study. Overall, marketers placed the least value on being followed or “liked” on social media.
Respondents reported a variety of obstacles, both internal and external, to better deployment of lead-gen activities. Lack of resources ranked highest on the list, cited by 63% of survey respondents. That was down from 67% in last year's study.
However, while pressure on resources has lessened somewhat, the depth and accuracy of customer databases was a greater concern among marketers this year, cited by 44% of respondents, compared with 40% last year. Other obstacles included:
- Poor communication and process (27%)
- Lack of adequate technology (25%)
- Inability to respond to buyer changes (22%)
- Ineffective management (19%)
- Lack of understanding of customer needs (15%)
Among factors that contribute the most to lead-gen success, revenue production was most strongly favored, cited by 38% of respondents. Other factors cited included:
- Return on investment (19%)
- Identification of marketing-qualified leads (13%)
- Improved closing rates (12%)
- Better sales-accepted leads (10%)
- A fuller pipeline (8%)
Content marketing continues to be seen as a strong lead generator, with a particular emphasis on customer pain points. 60% of respondents said they provide content that educates buyers on how their issues can be solved with the marketer's solutions. Other types of content include materials that highlight product features, business benefits and outcomes (55%), and stories, case studies and anecdotes (46%).
Even while content is used extensively by marketers to generate leads, it's not marketers' favorite lead-gen tactic, according to the report. The favorite was product demonstrations, cited by 47% of respondents as “very” or “extremely” effective. Also gaining strong ratings as lead generators were:
- Educational webinars (43%)
- Product trials (37%)
- Offers and incentives (36%)
- Calculators and widgets (25%)
- E-newsletters (21%)
Lead attribution remains a hit-and-miss proposition. 36% of survey respondents said they don't track leads to any specific marketing or sales touch point; 23% use only last-touch attribution to measure lead generation, ignoring the various other influences that may have warmed up the prospect toward conversion. Only 21% of respondents said they evenly weigh the lead across all the touch points prior to the sale.
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