Daniel Burstein

Lead Generation: 39% say offline lead gen has somewhat decreased

We surveyed 1,915 marketers for the MarketingSherpa 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report, and asked them about the importance of offline lead generation tactics. Here is what the data revealed …

Q: How do you feel the importance of OFFLINE lead generation has changed over the last three to five years?

A shift toward digital marketing, while still mixing in offline tactics

Alex Dunks, Manager of Business Development, Webmarketing123, shared his perspective on the data.

“I talk to new companies every week about their digital marketing plans, and how they relate to their current offline tactics. What I’m finding is that while the shift is clearly moving toward digital, I believe there are a couple specific reasons why offline marketing spend is staying the same or increasing:

1) Lack of action – It is easier to stand pat than to take a chance on a new marketing channel, which will likely involve some bumps along the way. If you’ve been doing trade shows or direct mail for 30 years, it will take a radical shift in overall strategy to go against what has traditionally worked.

2) Lack of measurement – Without measurement to prove if an offline channel is not delivering optimal ROI, it is difficult to make the argument to invest in an unproven digital channel.

3) Strong ROI in select channels – If ROI is being measured (via QR codes, offline link tagging, “how did you hear about us” surveys, etc.), and is found to be effective for certain offline channels, we can take the rifle approach (as opposed to shotgun) and be selective in spending only in the channels that provide a measurable return.

The shift toward digital will continue, and though offline channels will slowly continue to diminish, they will not disappear as businesses can find very targeted ways to reach customers offline, particularly as the digital marketplace becomes more competitive. However, I think measurement is key here, which means that tying these offline efforts with your digital campaigns and measuring all across the board will be absolutely critical.”

 

And, sometimes, only using digital marketing tactics

“As the owner of a personal finance website, I’ve found that the majority of our lead generation comes in the form of social media and content marketing. While I agree with Bob’s assessment that the rise of social media is remarkable, it isn’t surprising,” said Andrew Schrage, Editor-in-Chief, Money Crashers.

Not only was Andrew referring to the above chart, but he also referenced a comment Bob Kemper, Director of Sciences, MECLABS, made on a previous chart that showed data on the usage rate of lead generation tactics.

“In particular, that 18% more respondents and fully 24% more respondents report that they are employing social media than are using the time-honored content marketing and paid search (PPC) channels, respectively, seems remarkable to me,” Bob had said.

Andrew has found social media to be a very effective, “Social media marketing has had a major effect on the success of my business, and when properly approached, it’s pretty hard not to succeed using the social media marketing strategy, especially when considering the cost benefits of free marketing versus paid advertising. I think you’ll also see a rise in mobile marketing for lead generation in future surveys as this method seems to be gaining traction.”

Andrew went on to say, “I consider website optimization to be important to a point, but it is not a stand-alone solution and must be complemented by more proactive efforts like social media. At the moment, we’re honed in on allocating resources to our social media efforts.”

 

Related Resources:

Learn about Alex Dunks’ link building insights in the MarketingSherpa article, “5 Steps for Building Links that Improve Search Results

Social Media Integration drives dramatic improvement in SEO & PPC conversion rates (via Webmarketing123)

B2B Lead Generation: Four experts’ advice on generating higher-level leads

B2B Lead Generation: 6 social media tactics from 7 experts

PPC Marketing: How one local marketer transitioned from offline advertising and garnered a 300% return-on-ad-spend

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Lead Generation



  1. November 5th, 2012 at 17:19 | #1

    Great article, however, one thing really stuck out to me. You wrote:

    “Lack of measurement – Without measurement to prove if an offline channel is not delivering optimal ROI, it is difficult to make the argument to invest in an unproven digital channel.”

    This is interesting to me. There is no evidence that certain channels do not work, so businesses still invest in them…often in favour of (often more modern) channels that provide ample tools for measurement. I think that data driven marketing needs to overcome this bias before it truly takes hold in board rooms around the world…

  2. November 14th, 2012 at 15:31 | #2

    Offline lead generation isn’t a worthless investment, but the same old tactics that used to work aren’t as useful anymore. Brands that can find new wants to connect with their audience, both online and off, will be find in the end.

  1. January 21st, 2013 at 03:03 | #1