Lead Gen in 2013: Content Marketing, Retargeting Among Fastest-Growing Channels

by MarketingCharts staff

Specifically, 60.2% plan to use content marketing this year, up 31% from 46.1% last year. About two-thirds are expecting to use website registration/opt-in, up almost 20% from 56.3% last year, and 29.7% are planning to use retargeting, up almost 50% from 20.3% last year.

Also seeing significant growth in adoption are:

  • Social networks (67.5% vs. 57.3%);
  • Email (86.7% vs. 80.3%);
  • PPC or display ads (45.1% vs. 37.8%); and
  • Live events/street teams (32% vs. 26.7%).

Obviously, B2C and B2B marketers have different priorities when it comes to lead prospecting channels. Yet both appear to be gravitating towards content marketing, with use increasing from 53% to 68.1% among B2B respondents and from 38.1% to 54.3% among B2C marketers.

Both B2B and B2C marketers are also increasing their use of email this year. Among those who prospect with email, about three-quarters report getting their addresses from web registrations and opt-ins, with significantly fewer turning to purchased or rented lists (24.7%) and third-party opt-ins (22%).

The main reasons given for prospecting via email are its relatively low cost (71.6%), ability to track and measure response (56.7%), and ability to personalize (46.1%). That last point may or may not be such a benefit, at least according to consumer attitudes.

Other Findings:

  • Roughly 2 in 3 respondents measure their lead generation ROI by cost-per-acquisition (68.4%), while another 20.6% measure it through cost-per-lead.
  • 41% of respondents believe their company handles acquired leads somewhat (28%) or more (13%) effectively than most firms, while another 41% see themselves as average.
  • The biggest obstacles to generating new leads from social media are: the social presence requiring more content/resources than just a lead gen offer (44.4%); and prospects being wary of being marketed to in a “commerce-free” zone (39%).
  • Roughly 2 in 3 respondents said their company’s lead-gen process attributes leads by channel source.
  • About 1 in 4 use automated lead management software to score, monitor, and route leads to the sales staff.
  • Respondents are allocating more of their budgets on average this year to new customer acquisition (50.9%) than retention/reactivation (35.1%).
  • Direct response tactics respondents will use more aggressively this year include new creative content in offers (55.7%) and more cross-platform integration with the web (54%).
  • The most popular offer to prospects in return for their contact info or lead-gen opt-in last year was education content such as webinars, white papers, and podcasts, by 45.5% of respondents. Almost 2 in 5 offered discounts and samples.

About the Data: The 2013 Chief Marketer Prospecting Survey was conducted from Feb. 6 to March 5; 678 responses were received via email. Over half of the respondents (52%) were B2B marketers; 18% identified their businesses as B2C, while 30% said they market to both businesses and consumers. Respondents included ad/sales/DM agency professionals (23.2%), banking/insurance/ real estate (9.1%), manufacturers (13.5%) and retailer/cataloger/ wholesalers (12.5%).