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28 September 2015

Study: Referrals are the most effective type of B2B lead generation

Content team

In B2B marketing, generating high-quality leads is an important part of achieving a successful outcome. However, working out how to approach lead generation can be challenging when there are so many different opinions.

Ascend2’s latest Lead Generation Strategy Research Summary Report has found that 66 per cent of B2B marketers consider their strategy in this area to be “somewhat effective” and 21 per cent said it was not effective, suggesting that there is plenty of room for improvement.

The survey found that customer and employee referrals were the most effective kind of lead generation, with a success rate of 3.63 per cent, followed by 1.55 per cent for websites, 1.47 per cent for social media and 0.99 per cent for paid searches.

Discussing the current marketing landscape, the study’s authors explained: “Leads fuel the sales pipeline. But prospects are becoming much more sophisticated about engaging with companies and sharing the information marketers need to generate demand.”

However, overall success rates are not the only criterion for effective B2B marketing, and the time taken to close on these different lead types will also be of interest to marketers, particularly those under pressure to achieve results quickly.

Despite being the most effective type of leads, customer and employee referrals take an average of 97 days to close, compared to website leads (76 days) and social leads (42 days). However, the least effective generation area, lead lists and email campaigns, also took the longest to close, with an average of 160 days.

While it is clear that there are ways in which B2B marketers can boost their effectiveness, it is interesting to see what they believe is preventing them from achieving the success they desire. The top reason given was poor-quality data (35 per cent), along with the inability to produce the right quality and type of content (33 per cent), an inadequate marketing budget (32 per cent), and not being able to attribute leads to particular areas of revenue (26 per cent).

Content team, Bureau van Dijk

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