According to a report from The CMO Council and Netline, just 15% of senior marketers in North America consider their demand generation strategies to be highly (2%) or very (13%) effective, being instead more likely to perceive them as moderately effective (29%) or someplace in the middle (32%).
One of the key problems appears to be a conflict between content strategies that lack targeting and the definition of a high-quality lead that requires more intentional engagement on the prospect’s part, says the report.
The top ways that marketers define a high-quality lead, according to the report, are a detailed request for contact initiated by the prospect, including specific details around what products, services or solutions the prospect is interested in (43%), or a prospect that is immediately positioned to purchase (36%).
By comparison, 20% feel that a high-quality lead is defined as a contact that is complete and accurate with only email and phone details. As the report’s authors put it, high-quality leads “are not names collected through the mass distribution of a white paper created for a mass audience.”
When asked about the factors derailing lead flow success, marketers pointed first to:
Top Factors Derailing B2B Lead Flow Success
% of Respondents
Content not developed for target audiences
Content lacks relevance for audience
Not reaching right decision maker
Not leveraging right distribution channels
No content strategy that tracks to business
Source: CMO Council/Netline Corporation, July 2015
Top-performers (those rating their organizations as “high-performance content engines”) are twice as likely as the overall sample to develop content specifically for lead nurturing, notes the report.
A Marketing Charts B2B Marketing Insights Report also finds marketers facing resource constraints when it comes to their content marketing. Separate results from the study indicate, though, that content marketing is one of the top digital channels slated for budget increases, suggesting that the creation of targeted, relevant and engaging content will be the greater obstacle in the near term.
The report suggests that progressive profiling, a method for capturing more data points about a prospect over multiple form submissions, may be a lead nurturing tactic that could assist marketers in meeting their definition of a high-quality lead. According to data contained in the MarketingCharts report, though, just 15% of B2B companies were using progressive profiling in their lead generation.
Another challenge faced by marketers in the CMO Council report is measuring success. Research has shown that content marketing is the digital channel that marketers are least able to measure for ROI. In the latest report, white papers emerged as the content types able to deliver great leads for the most marketers. While 24% said that white papers can generate great leads, one-quarter said they don’t know, says the report. Additionally, close to 6 in 10 can’t measure the impact of an e-book distribution.
Marketers’ Ability to Measure ROI From Digital Channels
Ability to Measure
Channel or Discipline
Acquisition Email marketing
Engage/Retain Email marketing
SEO (natural search)
Acquisition display advertising
Social media invest (acquisition)
Display ads (engage/retain)
Social media invest (engage/retain)
Mobile marketing (engage/retain)
Source: Econsultancy/Oracle Marketing Cloud, March 2015
About the Data: The CMO Council and Netline report is based on an online survey completed by 213 senior marketing leaders (primarily located in North America), of whom 46% represent brands earning more than $1 billion in annual revenue. The majority of respondents come from B2B or hybrid companies, and half have a VP title or above.
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