I don’t ordinarily go out of my way to promote someone else’s ebook (especially when that someone isn’t a client or hasn’t plied me with drinks), but I really like the B2B Lead Generation Marketing Trends ebook Holger Schulze put together from a survey he ran for 2013.
I mention it here for two reasons: first, it has genuinely useful information you might like to know; second, it’s a great example of how to turn a survey into strong content. And as content, it has a clean, simple layout that makes the book easy to scan, easy to read — virtues I appreciate (even if my own work tends to be more cluttered).
A few observations:
I was a bit disappointed to see that (no surprise), lead generation remains the number one priority for B2B marketers. Given the way that influencers and decision-makers behave — seeking knowledge online to inform their potential choices — an excessive emphasis on “the lead” seems retrograde, a holdover from a sales-centric era of fedoras and three martini lunches. Shouldn’t we be thinking more about interception, about how we catch these seekers as they’re seeking, about infiltrating their minds, shaping their attitudes? After all, “a lead” means a long, expensive pathway of throwing more time and money at a subset of people we suspect might be interested. I’d rather invest more time and money up front to attract the most likely buyers and have them practically throw their business at me.
Or again, the number one barrier to getting these leads is/was (say the respondents), “lack of resources in staffing, budgeting or time.” C’mon, people. There’s never enough staff, budget or time — that’s a given. The real issue is lack of imagination, the inability to make the most of the staff, budget and time that we have. Right?
I was pleasantly surprised to see how much marketers esteem conferences and trade shows (I think they’re particularly useful when you speak or present at them), and I felt a pang of nostalgia for poor old direct mail, which was about as favored as something stuck to one’s shoe. Finally, I’m a bit disturbed by how often “I don’t know” was the number one answer to crucial questions about understanding costs-per-lead and conversion ratios. Uh oh.