Even while content is used extensively by marketers to generate leads, it's not marketers' favorite lead-gen tactic, according to BtoB's study. No. 1 was product demonstrations, cited by 47% of respondents as “very” or “extremely” effective. Also gaining strong ratings as lead generators were educational webinars (43%), product trials (37%) and offers and incentives (36%). Less favored were the use of interactive tools, such as apps, calculators and widgets (25%) and e-newsletters (21%).
“A lot of times people do things that are not thoroughly thought-through,” said Ginger Shimp, marketing director at SAP America. “For example, you might have a weekly e-newsletter cadence to keep up and send it out every week, but then wonder why it's not producing.”
Shimp said email is “air cover for me, a good opener leading to a phone call follow-up.” She said web-inars have not performed well when their focus is on how-tos or even customer stories. By contrast, when webinars are devised as thought-leadership events, perhaps detailing how to grow attendees' business, “I've had a crazy number of people attend,” she said.
Lead attribution remains a hit-and-miss proposition. Thirty-six percent of survey respondents said they don't track leads to any specific marketing or sales touch point; 23% use only last-touch attribution to measure lead generation, ignoring the various other influences that may have warmed up the prospect toward conversion. Twenty-one percent of respondents said they evenly weigh the lead across all the touch points prior to the sale.