Best Lead Generation to Stem from Trade Shows, Content Marketing

One desired outcome of marketing campaigns is the generation of quality leads but MarketingSherpa’s latest Lead Generation Benchmark Survey finds that the effectiveness of strategies used to generate these leads is dropping. To counter that problem, enterprises are turning to online tactics to improve the cost effectiveness of their lead generation process. But analysts caution that a marketer's first step should be to determine which formats work best for their specific product or service.

Marketers pay attention to the ROI metrics of lead generation. For many, the focus is on keeping costs down. This might explain why 36% of marketers pay less than $20 for quality leads. But enterprises can improve the effectiveness of lead generation by expanding other strategies. For example, marketers that nurture identified leads report a 125% increase in lead generation ROI. And, emphasizing and defining the value proposition of the products and services being sold can bring about a  122% increase in lead generation ROI.

MarketingSherpa analysts report that trade shows and content marketing are among the most effective tactics in the lead generation process but also present the highest degree of difficulty and expense. Enterprises are far more likely to engage in email marketing which is an extremely effective but less expensive strategy.

The MarketingSherpa study also noted that enterprises are steadily moving toward higher use of online tactics. This year, businesses plan to increase their use of the following formats to improve lead generation:

  • Website optimization 29%
  • Social media 27%
  • SEO 24%
  • Content marketing 23%
  • Email marketing 9%

While it might be tempting to increase the use of online marketing strategies, MarketingSherpa analysts caution that enterprises should test and assess various formats. Marketers should settle on specific formats only after determining which channel works best to “convince and convert” targets.

[Source: 2012 Lead Generation. Acton and Marketing Sherpa. 2012. Web. 1 Nov. 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.