Mixing Old & New: Software Advice Releases 2014 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Report

Business-to-business marketing is changing, and marketers everywhere are reevaluating their tactics. The time has come to take a good, hard look at which of the old-school tactics still have merit, and which should be thrown out with the bathwater. To this end, Software Advice (a resource for lead nurturing software buyers) recently conducted a survey among 200 B2B marketing professionals in an attempt to better understand the “channels, offers, content types and technologies [being used] to fuel demand generation.”

The 2014 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Report was the end result, and this is what they found.

Quantity, Quality & Cost

When asked about generating leads, in terms of quantity as well as quality, marketers rated trade shows and events above any other, including search engine advertising. Yes, you read that right. Trade shows spawn the most leads, and also the best leads.

“[Trade shows] are always the tactic that marketers rate as the most effective,” said Michelle Lin, Content Development Director at the Content Marketing Institute. “In the digital age, where so much stuff is online, there’s something exceptionally powerful about doing in-person events — if done well.”

Hey, it makes sense. It’s much easier to make a better first impression in person, and much harder to say no. But here’s the caveat: These same marketers described that same trade show lead generation channel as the most expensive. In-house email marketing may generate fewer leads, but the cost savings is significant. Attend two trade shows, or launch 20 e-mail marketing campaigns; what would you choose?

Videos Gone Viral

Google sure did something right when they purchased YouTube. Ninety-two percent of the business-to-business marketers surveyed (That’s 184/200.) make, and disseminate videos. Marketing’s gone viral, y’all. And as for the other 16: Software Advice found that large businesses are eight times more likely to use video content than are small businesses, because, frankly, video production is expensive.

Software Solutions Aplenty

B2B marketingMarketers love software. Survey respondents were provided a list of eleven software system types — everything from customer relationship management software, to referral marketing, to data collection and analytics — and all ranked highly. We’re talking percentages in the high 80s, all the way to 97 percent (for email marketing software), but get this: 79 percent use all 11 software solutions.

I’m here to tell you that print is not dead. Industry professionals still rely heavily on print magazine advertisements when making purchasing decisions, but the increasing role of technology in business-to-business marketing success cannot be disputed.

Read the full report online.