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Only a few (8%) B2B marketers feel that they are doing an excellent job when it comes to their current lead nurturing initiatives. Instead, the majority of marketers say their lead nurturing initiatives either need improvement (45%) or are poor or inadequate (14%), per a recent report from Demand Gen Report and PathFactory.

Marketers have also found lead nurturing programs to be more challenging over the past 12-18 months. More than half (56% share) of the survey respondents say they have been finding generating responses with their nurture programs to be somewhat challenging. An additional 23% report that generating responses has been very challenging.

So, what new approaches or tactics are B2B marketers using with their nurturing programs? As in-person events are considered to be one of the most successful B2B demand generation tactics and have been found to be especially effective for B2B tech organizations, it might not come as a surprise to see that more than half (53%) of respondents have tested event marketing to accelerate early-stage leads.

Respondents are also testing out using content engagement data (48%), doing account-based nurtures (48%), retargeting (43%) and using intent data (37%).

Marketers have wrestled with the question of whether it’s wise to gate lead nurturing content and discussion around the benefits and challenges of gated content continues to persist. In this study, more than one-third (36%) of respondents say they are increasing their use of ungated content in their nurture programs.

In addition to the stated tactics, the report also reveals that some respondents wrote in that they were also using direct mail and social media as part of their nurturing efforts. While direct mail may appear to be a bit ‘old school’ in this digital age, research by Demand Metric and PFL found that personalized direct mail is considered the second-most effective channel (after events) for reaching target audiences.

Types of Lead Nurturing Campaigns and Tactics Used

The majority (77%) of respondents say they currently have early-stage (new lead, completed form) lead nurturing campaigns, while just under half (47%) have marketing qualified nurturing campaigns. Respondents are also using other lead nurturing campaigns such as warm-up campaigns (41%), current client (36%) and advanced stage campaigns (32%).

A separate report from Demand Gen Report and GoToWebinar revealed that almost two-thirds (63%) of B2B marketers are using webinars for lead nurturing as well as to reactivate existing leads. This current report shows that webinars were identified by a little more than one-third (35%) of respondents as a tactic that has worked best within their nurture initiatives.

Respondents also have found email newsletters (29%), thought leadership articles (28%), white papers (26%), customer content such as case studies and reviews (25%) and sales emails (21%) to be effective.

Future Lead Nurturing Goals

Going forward, three-quarters (75%) of respondents say their future goals involve increasing the number of opportunities entering the pipeline, while 7 in 10 (71%) say they will prioritize increasing conversion rates.

Other goals include generating warmer, sales-ready leads (57%), improving segmentation of prospects based on interest or behaviors (45%) and boosting responses to campaigns/offers due to targeting and relevancy (34%).

Download the full report here.

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