I work for a global B2B telecoms designer and manufacturer.
As you would expect we regularly run analytics for our demand generation campaigns and, although I can’t share the specific numbers, I wanted to share some of the headlines.
Our top performing tactic for pipeline is inbound web (encompassing organic and paid search, account-based marketing etc.). That’s not a surprise in today’s digital world in which buyers go online first whether in research or buying mode.
However, our next best performing tactics for pipeline are the more traditional methods of direct mail and events. In the SMB space (sub-500 in our case) specific direct mailers represent our top 3 performing sources for pipeline.
Content syndication has generated a multi-million dollar pipeline but has performed less well in terms of ROMI.
In terms of data quality the story is different. In our case web performs less well for the percentage of Suspects who become Prospects (i.e. after our lead generation agents make calls). The conversion percentage for Suspects to Prospects is less than half that of direct mail in our case.
This is common sense as it reflects the more varied nature of enquiries submitted online i.e. technical support questions and other similar non-lead statuses. It also reflects the fact that we control the data selection for direct mail.
We typically find that just over half of our event attendees become Prospects.
Direct mail again performs well with a high number of Suspects becoming Prospects. However, the percentage who become BANT leads is lower than some of our other tactics.
Interestingly, although content syndication and webinars perform less well in terms of the Prospect to BANT percentage conversions, when they do convert the BANT to Win ratio is higher.
Lessons we can learn
- Direct mail works well for nurture i.e. it is a great conversation starter but unless you find someone who is close to a decision time-frame for the solution being sold they tend to take a while to develop. A good data strategy is essential i.e. if you can send direct mailers at the right time then the conversion rates for pipeline and closed deals will increase.
- Content syndication seems to be about throwing enough mud at the wall and knowing that some of it will stick i.e. when you capture that person who was in buying rather than research mode. If you have the money to spend then it’s a viable tactic but with a more limited budget then it’s a risk.
- Web is great as long as you accept that there will be a certain percentage of waste. Building processes and tools to appropriately route non-sales enquiries will help by increasing the efficiency of any following up of leads.
- Tactics such as direct mail and events are still playing an important role in demand generation. Perhaps they have become a fresh change in a digitally saturated world.
- A good data strategy is absolutely essential with GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) still a strong guiding principle.
A lot of this is common sense and will be consistent across many businesses but I would love to hear about your own experiences in B2B demand generation.