Leading The Pack: How Brands Drive Quality Leads

It’s one thing to generate leads. It’s another to turn those leads into paying customers. But most brands are at least pretty good at it, judging by Strategies, Tactics and Trends for Lead Generation Quality, a new study by Ascend2.

Of the 260 influencers surveyed, 35% rate themselves as best-in-class, and 60% as somewhat successful at generating high-quality leads.

That may or may not be possible to project to the entire marketing universe. But this group, at least, is putting resources into driving good leads, with 88% planning to increase their budgets, 19% significantly so and 69% moderately. Only 12% foresee a decrease.

Social media is the No. 1 tactic for improving the quality of leads, cited by 59%. Email marketing is second, selected by 40%. 

Email is best used not for prospecting, but for nurturing leads and moving them through the funnel.

Next on the tactic roster are website personalization (38%), content/video marketing (34%), marketing technology/CRM (33%), event/demo registrations (28%) and SEO/paid search (23%).



Don’t think this is limited only to B2B. In fact, B2C respondents make up 48% of the sample, B2B make up 35%, and 17% are both.

Their main strategies for pulling quality leads are:

  • Personalization of marketing efforts — 60%
  • Improving content & content management — 57%
  • Improving data management tools/platform — 30%
  • Improving 3rd party lead sources — 28%
  • Improving lead quality metrics used — 28% 
  • Improving the data cleaning process — 15%
  • Improving AI and prediction technology — 11%

The critical challenges differ slightly in order of importance:

  • Improving content & content engagement — 53%
  • Personalization of marketing — 44%
  • Improving 3rd-party lead sources — 36% 
  • Improving data management tools/platform — 36%
  • Improving lead quality metrics used — 29%
  • Improving the data cleaning process — 20% 
  • Improving AI and prediction technology — 19%

The question arises: How do they know if they are successful? The top metric, utilized by 56%, is sales revenue generated.

Second on this list is the conversion rate to customer, measured by 48%. And 30% explore lead ROI.

Less critical metrics are conversion rate from content (26%), revenue opportunities (26%) and sales acceptance rate, or SQLs (22%).

How often do these marketers measure lead quality? Of those polled, 54% do so continuously, and 38% do so occasionally. Only 8% rarely or never examine lead quality.

As for how they execute their tactics and strategies, 62% use a combination of outsourced and in-house resources, while 28% utilize in-house only and 10% use outsourced resources only. 

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