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Lead generation strategies are more concerned with the quality than the quantity of leads, according to a new report [download page] from Ascend2. The survey asked 229 marketing influencers – the majority of whom target B2B to some extent – their top priorities for a lead generation strategy, finding more to be focused on improving the quality of leads (58%) than increasing the number of leads (46%).

The findings support earlier research released at the beginning of the year, in which B2B marketers reported that their top demand generation priority was to focus on lead quality over quantity. Clearly that hasn’t changed as the year has progressed.

The attention paid to lead quality comes at a time when B2B marketers feel that conversion and revenue metrics are of utmost importance to their senior leadership.

That makes nurturing leads especially important, as survey respondents indicate that increasing sales opportunities and boosting customer conversions are easily the main priorities for a lead nurturing strategy.

Respondents see two main tactics as being best to achieve those lead nurturing priorities: email marketing, followed closely by content or video marketing. Social media marketing, which was cited by the largest share of respondents as being effective for lead generation, takes a backseat to email and content for lead nurturing purposes.

A study released earlier this year from Demand Gen Report came to similar conclusions. Email – while deemed effective for early-stage engagement, was lauded more for its ability to drive conversions further down the funnel. Social media, by contrast, was seen more as an engagement vehicle than one that could drive conversions.

That research also revealed a large gap in the way events and search are perceived, with each of them far more apt to be seen as lead generation than conversion vehicles. This latest Ascend2 study, however, didn’t find the same disparities in consideration for those channels, perhaps as the sample included a mix of B2B and B2C respondents. Events, for example, have different strategic considerations and purposes for B2B and B2C marketers, with the former far more likely to use them for lead generation and the latter more apt to use them for customer loyalty. Meanwhile, consumers feel that search has a bigger impact on their purchase decisions than social media, so B2C marketers may value the conversion impact of search more than their B2B counterparts.

In any case, respondents to the Ascend2 survey must be doing something right, because the vast majority (84%) feel that the effectiveness of their digital demand creation tactics is improving either moderately (46%) or significantly (38%). So get cracking on those email nurture campaigns, it seems…

About the Data: The Ascend2 survey was conducted in July 2018 among 229 marketing influencers. About half (49%) said that B2B was their primary marketing channel, and another 19% said they target B2B and B2C equally. The remaining third (32%) count B2C as their primary marketing channel.

About one-third of respondents come from companies with more than 500 employees, and about three-quarters from companies with at least 50 employees.

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