BtoB

Get lead gen front and center

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Last month, BtoB published its first-ever Lead Generation Guide. In the guide, we published a new study of marketers that contained a couple of important findings: 1) Nearly half of marketers (45%) plan to increase their lead-generation spending in the second half of 2008 compared with the first half. 2) Lead generation is marketers' top priority—more important than even proving ROI (50% vs. 27%). If we want to share in that increased spending, we need to change the programs—and language—with which we sell. Based on what marketers from many industries tell me, integrated ad programs that include specific lead-gen activity will get marketers much more engaged in media sales conversations. We all have variations on lead-gen programs, but my sense is that only the technology publishers, such as TechTarget, IDG, United Business Media and 1105 Media, have really forced the issue onto their sales teams and provided deep lead-gen programs and assistance for their clients. Sometimes, it's simply packaging more channels together, making sure to add tactics that will provide direct leads. This means including events, mailing lists, webinars and white papers together with print and online advertising for one lead-gen package. We really are in the marketing services and content business. Hopefully our content has made us the best at providing useful, timely information in the niche we serve. But we all need to look more closely at the marketing services we can provide, because our future depends on it. Lead gen is an important marketing service. Bob Felsenthal can be reached at bfelsenthal@crain.com.
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