In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
Purchasing time horizon is the most valuable additional data point for B2B marketers looking to improve their lead generation activity in the SMB space, according to a new report.
The Small Business Pulse: 2013 Lead Generation Insights report from business advisory site, Business.com, found the size of business by employee base is the second most valuable additional data point marketers want, followed by type of industry.
Responsiveness was also a major factor in determining lead quality, and 69 per cent of those surveyed said they would be interested in a score attached to leads based on the likelihood of their business receiving a response. According to Business.com, real-time delivery of leads, known as ‘hot transfer’, is also expected to increase, and 41.8 per cent rated this option as ‘extremely valuable’ to their business.
“It’s clear responsiveness from the buyer is a major factor for companies when it comes to their lead generation spending and what they deem a high-quality lead,” the report stated. When asked about the delivery time, 39.6 per cent indicated receiving leads in less than five minutes is of high importance.
The report also noted the rise of content marketing as an essential ingredient in lead generation marketing today. Fifty per cent of companies surveyed are interested in whitepaper leads, while 40 per cent highlighted found webinars that feature their company or products as a valuable lead source. Other channels of interest included sponsored emails, video and case study leads.
However, some respondents indicated these leads may deliver buyers that are too early in the purchase process.
Lead nurturing also cropped up as an area requiring further improvement, with nearly 80 per cent of respondent not currently using third-party tools or services to help with lead scoring, data appending or appointment setting. The report pointed out a similar study conducted by B2B Online, which showed 74 per cent of highly-effective companies use lead nurturing, compared with 26 per cent of low-effectiveness marketers.
The report was based on a survey undertaken by Business.com of more than 500 pay-per-lead advertisers in May 2013. Of these, 58 per cent are in companies with fewer than 50 employees.