[CASE STUDY]- B2B Lead Generation: Then & Now

Mar 23, 2017
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Marketing is continually advancing, and that implies new tactics are always emerging, trends are continually shifting, and the same goes for audience behavior. And, when you remain aware with the recent insights and technology, it helps you optimize your funnel for producing and converting leads.

With the twitch of the internet and explosion of social media, B2B marketing and lead generation has changed intensely in the last few years.

In this case study, we’ve defined what has changed in the recent years and additionally, a few B2B marketing strategies to increase lead generation.

Some must know statistics for B2B Lead Generation:
  • 73% of all leads are not sales-ready.
  • The three most common lead generation strategies are email, event and content marketing.
  • 96% of your website visitors are not ready to buy.
  • 94% of B2B buyers will conduct some sort of research before buying.
  • 17% of marketers spend over 15 hours a week on lead generation.
  • 59% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on their lead generation goals.
Big industry leader’s outlook on lead generation:

“The lead generation process starts by finding out where your target market ‘lives’ on the web.” –Wayne Davis

How it has changed?

With the arrival of the internet, lead generation practices have advanced immensely.

What hasn’t changed?
  • The need to drive revenue and leads
  • Outbound marketing, lead generation, and customer retention still needed
  • Speaking to customers is still required in many cases to assist with the identification, qualification, proposal, close, implementation and post-sale support
  • Sales conversion metrics are still important

In the past, B2Bs would conventionally have dedicated on cold calling contact lists, email-blasts, taking space at trade events and spending lots of money on business launches.

As we can see changes year by year:

In 2005, lead generation tactics involved marketers allude to brand awareness as their primary marketing goal, the lead generation coming in second and customer retention in third place.

Marketers were motivated to generate leads and brand awareness altogether.

In 2008, Marketers was in progress to being on the top of the sales funnel- outbound marketing, lead development, lead generation and sales.

“B2B marketing is strategic, always changing, and always broken.” -Craig Rosenberg, author of The Funnelholic

There was an effort to ensure a lead qualification process along with a marketing automation program.

In 2016, the key focus for B2B Businesses was to increase expenditure on digital marketing and develop better content marketing. And that hasn’t changed, it’s as important today as ever.

The best leads will always be the one that is relevant, targeted and have strong potential to close a sale.

But that was then. What is now?

There are a number of methods for generating B2B leads: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising, Email Marketing, Remarketing, Social Media Marketing, and Direct Advertising.

However, not every method makes the equal contribution. If you want to get the biggest boom for your B2B marketing liabilities, then you need to stop predicting and start measuring what actually works best.

You can grade your lead generation strategies:

 

1. Why to know your audience?

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It’s important to study your target audience and create effective buyer personas to better understand users’ problems, encounters, goals, and buying behavior.

Take a look at your customer database and you should be able to work out which are your best and most lucrative customers, and those which are least valuable to your business.

Remember that your buyer identity will shape your marketing strategy and that this is where it all begins.

2. Why Optimizing Your Website?

If the last time you run on your site design is more than a years ago, then chances are that it’s not optimized for lead generation.

Here are few plans for better lead generation optimization.

  • Use various calls to action (CTA) buttons with different levels of vow from subscribing, to download, to get a quote, to contact us and other.
  • Use lead generation page design templates with dynamic, mobile optimized content.
  • Deliver customer-focused content that targets each point in a prospect’s decision process so you can attract and convert potential clients at each phase.
3. Why Optimizing Your Website with SEO?

Once your website is structurally completed and has a great user experience, it’s time for another vital part: Website’s Visibility.

For this, the better you do SEO, the more visible your website becomes in the search engines. And that converts into more leads for your business.

4. Engagement on Social Media

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66% of marketers notice lead generation benefits by spending as little as 6 hours a week on social media, according to Social Media Examiner.

Using social media to create interest around your products or solutions is an easy first step into the sales funnel.

5.  Capture and nurture leads via email marketing

The outdated B2B email newsletter has truly lost much of its marketing usefulness.

Email marketing allows you to stay connected to your audience. It helps you build a relationship with them.

To create and nurture honest B2B leads, you need to engage your clients with the ideal content that educate, amuses and enable them every time.

6. Integrating Your Marketing Campaigns

Experiment with various strategies. Combine and integrate your approaches across multiple lead generation networks.

7. Analyze Your Data

Improve your lead scoring strategies and analytics to determine where your leads are coming from, which platform is generating the maximum leads, and which leads are more likely to convert into sales.

Analyze repetitively and numbers don’t lie. Find important trends and learn from them.

At least, you should be pulling together data using Google Analytics, but if you’ve got the assets, it’s worth spending in a CRM tool that fits your specific needs.

What to Takeaway

Lead generation strategies may differ between businesses and businesses, but one thing is assured – be visible, and make an effort to stay on top.

Find the best tool that works best for your business and constantly improve your lead generation strategies according to what works best for your target market.

Example:
IBM and its Social Media Engagement (Twitter + LinkedIn)

IBM grabbed a very different approach to hit into the IT community using social media to promote its cloud service.

The objectives were to generate good quality leads using social media.

The strategy used by IBM:
  • Social listening to identify hot topics
  • Preparing sales representative with content resources
  • Leads were directed to each sales person’s personalized signify page
Results: After three months-
  • 19% of cloud product inside sales signifies page traffic came from social media
  • 55% increase in Twitter followers
  • >3500 tweets and retweets
  • >2,000 clicks to rep pages and cloud product enterprise website page

Conclusion

2017 is going to be an exciting year for entrepreneurs.

There are many refined changes that are happening in the online world, affecting every aspect of businesses.

Sales, marketing, customer service, and lead generation are all going to undergo changes that will vividly impact the strategies and techniques required for success. Here, you need to stay up-to-date with the recent advancements.

 

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