Sunday, November 23, 2014

B2B Marketers Identify the "Best" Lead Generation Techniques

When it comes to evaluating lead generation tactics and channels, most B2B marketers are interested in three basic performance characteristics - the quality, quantity, and cost of leads produced. A recent report by Software Advice provides insights on marketers' perceptions regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of several popular lead generation techniques.

The 2014 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark report is based on a survey of 200 B2B marketing professionals. The survey was designed to elicit input from marketers regarding what channels, offers, content types, and technologies they are using in their demand generation programs and which of those techniques and tools are most effective and efficient. Specifically, the survey asked for marketers' perceptions regarding the productivity of 15 lead generation tactics:

  • Trade shows & events
  • Search engine advertising
  • In-house email marketing
  • Print, radio & TV advertising
  • Referral/advocate marketing
  • Third-party webinars
  • Organic search
  • Social media advertising
  • Third-party lead originators
  • Social media (non-ads)
  • Telemarketing/cold-calling
  • Third-party email marketing
  • Retargeting advertising
  • Direct mail
  • Display advertising
Lead Quantity
The Software Advice survey asked participants to rate each lead generation channel/technique in terms of its effectiveness at producing a large quantity of leads. The rating choices were very high, somewhat high, somewhat low, and very low. The top four channels/tactics for lead quantity (based on the combination of very high and somewhat high ratings) were:
  1. Trade shows & events
  2. In-house email marketing
  3. Referral/advocate marketing
  4. Search engine advertising
Lead Quality
Survey participants were also asked to rate each lead generation technique in terms of the quality of leads produced. The top four channels/tactics for lead quality (based on the combination of excellent and good ratings) were:
  1. Trade shows & events
  2. Referral/advocate marketing
  3. In-house email marketing
  4. Print, radio & TV advertising
Finally, Software Advice asked survey participants to rate each channel or technique in terms of cost. The top four least expensive channels/tactics (based on the combination of very low and somewhat low cost-per-lead ratings) were:
  1. In-house email marketing
  2. Social media (non-ads)
  3. Referral/advocate marketing
  4. Third-party email marketing
For me, the most significant takeaway from the Software Advice report is that B2B marketers continue to say that trade shows and events produce both the most and the best leads. This indicates that marketers still believe strongly in the power and efficacy of in-person interactions with potential buyers.


  1. We target so many leads but not all of them, were converted. Sometimes lead are cold and we will not take care of them and then we realise the quality of that lead. We are focussing on only quantity of leads.

    Lead Master

  2. Really useful article explaining lead generation tactics and channels very well. For effective lead generation lead quality is more important than quantity. We can generate more ROI from quality leads.