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B2B marketers around the world are trying a little bit of everything, according to a November survey by Eloqua, CMO.com and Software Advice. Nearly all B2B marketers surveyed reported maintaining email lists and doing search engine optimization (SEO), but most have experimented with nearly every marketing tactic listed in the poll, whether time-tested or cutting-edge—from trade shows, to telemarketing, to social media ads, to behavioral retargeting.
The theme that emerges from the data is that active marketing methods that provide a venue for interaction tend to outperform more passive “blasts”—both in quantity and in quality. According to respondents, it’s not as simple as more efficient digital strategies replacing “old media.” Chasing down high-quality leads requires a mix of digital savvy and old-fashioned legwork.
When it comes to marketing tactics best suited to turning up high volumes of leads, marketers most frequently cited the work of third-party lead generators at 34%. Other trusted sources for maximizing lead generation included paid search advertising and email marketing. Fourth on the list, however, was the in-person marketing that happens at trade shows and events: 66% of B2B marketers said such events brought in a high or medium quantity of leads for them.
The survey also suggests that when it comes to social media marketing, B2B marketers are still having trouble finding scale. Only 10% reported getting a high quantity of leads through social media posting, and just 5% saw a high quantity of leads from social media ads; roughly two-thirds reported low lead quantity from each method. Furthermore, many B2B marketers reported that what few leads did come through were often of low quality.
Among the most endorsed tactics for attracting high-quality leads were in-house email marketing and search engine optimization. Two in five said their own email campaigns produced predominantly high-quality leads; 36% said the same of leads that came in through SEO. Tactics designed to create person-to-person direct contact were also among the best performing, including telemarketing/cold-calling and trade show events, both of which most B2B marketers surveyed said mainly delivered leads of reasonable to high quality. Another high performer: sponsoring webinars, which 77% of respondents said led to high- or medium-quality leads.
Among the worst-quality sources of leads: third-party email marketing, print, radio and TV advertising, and CPM display advertising. The overall message of the data is not that digital channels necessarily trump traditional ones, but that high-quality leads are more likely to come from more active forms of online and offline engagement.
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Check out today’s other articles, “In-Vehicle Connectivity Takes the Front Seat Among Automakers” and “Are UK Tech Companies Making Full Use of Social Media?”
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