Lead generation ranks as the top objective for B2B companies’ digital marketing programs, according to a study released today by Webmarketing123. Presented with a list of 6 objectives, a leading 41% of B2B respondents chose lead generation as their top goal, while 27% pointed to sales and revenue generation and 17% to brand and product awareness. Not surprisingly, generating enough leads counted as the leading digital marketing challenge, for 21% of respondents, closely followed by producing enough quality content (20%) and converting leads to customers (19%).
The study notes that compared to last year, more B2B marketers cited revenue generation as a top objective, while fewer identified lead generation. That suggests that their digital marketing objectives are starting to more closely resemble those of their B2C counterparts. Presented with the same list of objectives, a leading 40% of B2C marketers rated revenue generation as their top priority, with brand and product awareness (27%) next on the list, and lead generation (18%) further behind. With their focus squarely on sales and revenues, one-quarter of B2C respondents named measurement and proof of ROI their top digital marketing challenge, while 22% said that converting leads into customers was their biggest challenge.
One thing that B2B and B2C digital marketers agree on: email outpaces SEO and SEM as a lead and revenue generation tool. That may well have to do with the relative ease of tracking ROI from email: 36% of respondents overall indicated that email provides a clear ROI, compared to 29% who said the same about SEM and 17% about SEO.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, B2C respondents say they’re having more success with social media than their B2B counterparts. 6 in 10 B2C respondents said they’ve generated leads from social media, and of those, 54% said they had generated revenue from social. That works out to about one-third directly tying revenue generation to their social efforts.
By comparison, 54% of B2B respondents said they had generated leads from social media. However, these marketers have had less success converting those leads into revenue, with only 39% definitely answering that they had done so. That translates to about 1 in 5 B2B marketers generating revenue from social.
About the Data: The third annual Webmarketing123 State of Digital Marketing Survey was conducted in the fall of 2013. Over 500 U.S. marketing professionals completed the survey ”” all participants responded to an email invitation. Participants answered questions using an online survey tool.