Michael Nutley
Michael Nutley 18 March 2024
Categories B2B, Content, Research

B2B Marketers Need a New Approach to Lead Gen to Meet the Growing Quality Challenge

The biggest challenge facing B2B marketers in 2024 is generating high quality leads. And the problem is getting worse.

Two out of five B2B companies (40%) surveyed for a new London Research/Demand Exchange report said lead quality was one of their three biggest challenges. That’s up from 35% in a similar survey in 2021, and 30% in 2017.

The report – The State of B2B Lead Generation 2024 – also shows why lead quality matters so much. It found the companies seeing the best ROI from lead generation are almost 2.5 times more likely to be generating ‘excellent’ leads than their rivals are.

“As buyers become more discerning and their decision-making processes more complex, traditional lead generation methods are increasingly falling short,” says Phil Guest, CEO and founder of GTM strategy advisers Revcelerate says. “The emphasis, therefore, shifts towards more sophisticated, data-driven strategies that can accurately predict and meet the needs of prospective clients. This level of precision not only improves the likelihood of conversion but also significantly enhances the efficiency of marketing spend.”

Best Practices in Lead Generation

The report identifies what marks out the highest performers in lead generation. These leaders are:

  • More confident in their strategy and planning. They’re 12 percentage points more likely to say they have a clear strategy for online lead generation, and that individual campaigns fit into an overall framework.
  • More likely to use data to optimize their content syndication campaigns. Leaders are three times more likely to say they’re excellent at measuring costs and ROI. This allows them to maximize impact and optimize resource allocation.
  • More likely to work with third parties to generate leads. They’re also better at choosing the right partners, and at working effectively with them.
  • More likely to seek help outside the business to verify and validate their leads. This raises the quality of the leads they pass on to their sales teams. As a result, they’re more likely to convert.

“A well-thought-out lead generation plan contains targeted campaigns, valuable and relevant content, and personalized experiences for prospects,” says Margot Pijls, Senior Field Marketing Manager, and Team Lead, EMEA and APAC, at digital asset management system specialist Bynder. “At the same time, you need to leverage data and technology to optimize your efforts.”

Data-Driven Strategies Dominate

The report finds that the winning strategy combines content syndication and precision targeting.

It concludes that content syndication: “uses data-driven insights to inform strategy. It enables marketers to choose the right partners and delivery platforms. It allows them to deliver relevant content to qualified prospects at the right point in their buying journey. It means they can close the loop by measuring the results and feeding them back into the next campaign cycle. And it makes all this possible at scale.”

Revcelerate’s Guest agrees: “It’s no shock that content syndication has become a go-to strategy for B2B marketers,” he says. “A data-led approach to content syndication is the smart play in today’s B2B marketing game.”

More Money, Fewer Problems

The frontrunners in lead generation also back up their data-driven strategies with investment. The report shows that leaders spend 36% of their marketing budget on lead generation.

That compares the 32% spent by mainstream companies.

Leaders are also responding more aggressively to challenging conditions. Almost three-quarters (72%) of leaders expect to see bigger lead gen budgets in the next 12 months. Less than two-thirds (60%) of the mainstream expect the same.

This last data point is also a warning for companies in the mainstream of lead gen performance. If the market leaders continue to invest more in this channel than you, the gap between you is only going to widen.

To read the full report – The State of B2B Lead Generation 2024 – click here.

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