Research consultancy Software Advice recently released the results of a five month-long investigation into which channels, content and offers business-to-business marketers find most successful.
The project called the “2012 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Survey” asked 156 professional marketers which channels are most productive for producing a high quantity of leads, and which produce the highest quality prospects.
The poll also asked similar questions about content and offers, such as live demos, free trials, webinars, videos and more. Finally, the group was surveyed about their spending priorities next year and how that might change from 2012.
Overall, digital channels – particularly those related to search – dominated the results. Email marketing to a house list was the most popular channel and voted most as producing quality and quantity of leads.
Price Quotes were a surprising second for lead quality and were only beaten by a live demonstration from a sales rep (we at LeadLifter are not sure if those qualify as marketing generated leads).
Oddly, social media was among the most popular and a top spending priority next year, despite receiving low marks for quality and volume.
We asked marketers whether they would describe each content or offer as producing high, medium or low quality leads.
Live demonstrations with a representative received the largest percent of votes for being a high quality offer. These personal experiences are definitely more memorable than one of 50 email blasts everyone receives in a day, but they also are not very scalable. It’s very expensive and time consuming, particularly if the demonstration is on site.
Price quotes came in second with about half the sample calling these leads high quality. As mentioned previously, these leads have already expressed significant purchase intent. Prospects that fill out associated Web forms for price quotes are more than likely pursuing real projects and gathering budget information early in the sales cycle.
As part of the survey, we analyzed which content and offers marketers use most for demand generation. Not surprisingly, ‘learn more/contact us’ was the most popular, with about 99 percent of the sample using it.
Videos came in second in the report with about 91 percent, despite earning lower marks for quality and quantity of leads. Still, videos are popular because most customers want to consume this kind of content. They are fast and easier to digest for many than written content. Also, videos are increasingly easy and low-cost to produce.
White papers, case studies and live demos with reps were the next most popular with about 84 percent, 84 percent and 80 percent of the sample using each, respectively.
More than three fourths of the group said the use price quotes for demand generation, or about 78 percent. We actually expected this percentage to be higher. Price quotes demonstrate a very high-level of purchase intent. You still have the propensity to receive a lot of responses from people just researching. But this does provide an opportunity to put them in your sales funnel and slowly cultivate that lead over time.
This excellent survey reinforces our contention that using a Price Quote mechanism like EchoQuote™ ranks near the top in quantity and quality of leads. It has for years, yet marketers continue to ignore it.
I think a big part of that is the myth that a prospect asking for a quote request is “ready to buy”. That could not be further from the truth. Having used a Self-Service Quote service for years to market high-end B2B solutions ($25,000 and up), we can safely say that it attracts serious early stage, “future” buyers. These are the leads that sales really needs so they can sufficiently influence their decision criteria when the do in fact become “ready to buy”.
We collected 155 responses from Sept. 26 to Nov. 12, 2012. Below is a breakdown of the sample by industry, business size, marketing budget and seniority.
B2B Samples By Industry
B2B Samples By Business Size
B2B Samples By Marketing Budget
Follow the link to watch the full discussion on the B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Survey Report with Elle Woulfe, the Director of Marketing Programs for Eloqua.
About Ashley Verrill
Ashley Verrill is a market analyst with Software Advice. She has spent the last six years reporting and writing business news and strategy features. Her work has appeared in myriad publications including Inc., Upstart Business Journal, the Austin Business Journal and the North Bay Business Journal. Before joining Software Advice in 2012, she worked in sales management and advertising. She is a University of Texas graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.