Email Leads In B2B, But Search Is Coming Up On The Inside: Study

Email is the top tool for driving leads into the pipeline — it is now being used by 67% of B2B marketers, according to Tapping Multi-Channel Marketing & Data As Key Engines For Growth, a study by DemandGen. Websites are used by 60%,and search by 50%. But search grew by almost 10% from last year.

Email is also the most effective channel — 59% say it works well for driving early-stage engagement. Search is second, and is cited by 56%. But email has no real competition in producing conversions later in the funnel — 81% say it’s effective, compared to 50%, who cite web sites and

No wonder the report calls email “the go-to channel.”

Overall, the study paints an optimistic picture — 70% of B2B marketers plan to increase their demand-gen budgets this year. Moreover, 22% expect hikes of over 20% and 12% anticipate 30% rises. Another 36% are allocating 1-10%. 

In addition, 63% project revenue growth of more than 20%, and 25% foresee 30% increases. Also, 28% now have specific revenue-based quotas, a 5% over 2017. An 30% say pipeline influence is their main metric, for a 3% rise year-over-year. The study suggests that these are positive developments. Only 11% say accounts engaged is their primary measurement tool.    



What are B2B marketers trying to do? Their main goals are focusing on lead quality over lead quantity (73%) and improving conversion rates and campaign results (72%). 

Other objectives include increased lead volume (62%) and improving their ability to measure and analyze marketing impact (61%). Another 60% hope to improve their sales-marketing alignment, and 48% to improve their database accuracy.

Drilling down, case studies are best at converting and accelerating leads at the middle and late stages of the funnel (73%). Lead-nurturing campaigns are second (63%). But events are most useful in generating qualified leads at the top of the funnel.

B2B marketers are also seeking new MarTech tools, with 49% picking account-based technology (a slight decline from last year). Also, they plan to test multichannel lead nurturing (41%), content planning (37%), syndication, retargeting (37%) marketing automation (33%) and predictive lead scoring (29%).

That said, many may be hampered by the challenge of attributing and measuring campaign influence. Their databases are hardly complete, judging by this list of priorities:

  • We are actively reviewing our database to ensure we have full and complete contacts — 38%
  • Our database has good coverage, but many contacts are incomplete or inaccurate — 31%
  • Our contact database is inaccurate/is not adequate in covering our target markets — 18%
  • Our database is current and provides complete coverage of key segments — 10%
  • Not sure — 3%

As the study infers, all of this should lead to more accurate email marketing.

DemandGen surveyed 160 marketing executives. The study is sponsored by Content Demand, Integrate and Selling Simplified.


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