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The web has provided marketers with an opportunity to develop leads early in a consumer’s purchase process, and marketers are turning to hard numbers to measure the success of their efforts. According to a January 2012 survey of marketing professionals worldwide conducted by research company MarketingSherpa, 52% of marketers said their top lead gen strategy for the next year was to meet or exceed quantifiable return on investment goals. That was followed by optimizing the marketing/sales funnel (51%), gleaning more audience insight (51%) and maximizing the lifetime value of customers (47%).
Marketers are looking for quality in their leads, but not ones that come burdened with a hefty price tag. More than half of respondents said their organizations invested $50 or less per lead, with the largest group of respondents (36%) saying they spent less than $20. This indicates that, for the time being, marketers are valuing quantity over quality in terms of lead gen, although this could change as ROI measurements improve.
Marketers also expected increases in lead generation budgets over the next year to focus largely on three areas: website optimization, social media and search engine optimization, underscoring just how important online tactics have become in recent years. In fact the three lead gen techniques listed for the smallest budgetary bumps were all offline—direct mail, tradeshows and print ads.
Two-thirds of marketers didn’t make a huge distinction between business-to-business and business-to-consumer lead gen efforts, concluding that the techniques in both spaces were more similar than different.
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Check out today’s other articles, “Is Search the Future of Display?” and “Robust Outlook for UK Ad Spend Growth.”
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