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95% of B2B marketers consider demand creation strategy to be successful

B2B marketing platform LeadCrunch partnered with Ascend2 to develop their whitepaper, B2B Perspective on Generating and Nurturing Leads to Create Demand. The whitepaper leverages data from a survey of B2B marketers which aims to clarify how they combine lead generation and lead nurturing tactics for demand creation.

Most respondents (93%) were business owners, founders or C-Level executives and decision makers including VPs, directors and managers. 70% of respondents indicated they had at least 50 employees, while 31% had more than 500 employees.

Source: LeadCrunch

Content produced in collaboration with LeadCrunch.

A demand creation strategy focuses on using content to create a need for your brand, product, or service with the goal of reaching new prospects.

Demand creation in the B2B space is a holistic, multi-phase process that includes a variety of tactics including word-of-mouth, paid media, content creation and having a presence at trade shows and conferences.

Fully 95% of respondents in the LeadCrunch survey indicated that they consider their demand creation strategy to be either somewhat or very successful. Nearly 80% said they are currently acting on a demand creation strategy, highlighting that this is an important tactic in the B2B space. Just 3% of respondents surveyed are doing nothing at all to create demand.

how B2B marketers create demand
Source: LeadCrunch

LeadCrunch asked B2B influencers about their top priorities for a lead generation strategy and the answer was, overwhelmingly, to improve the quality of leads. This was followed by increasing the number of leads and to improve the effectiveness of their strategy.

The following graph lists the breakdown of priorities.

what are the top priorities for lead generation strategy for B2B marketers
Top priorities for a lead generation strategy — Source: LeadCrunch

There’s nothing surprising here. Most B2B marketers are focused on reaching extremely niche audiences with complex (and specific) products and services, so improving data segmentation and ROI measurability go hand-in-hand with improving lead quality.

Email marketing is the most effective B2B tactic for generating leads

B2B marketers utilize a variety of content-focused tactics to generate qualified leads, the most popular one being email. This makes sense since email is very effective overall, but particularly in the B2B space.

HubSpot reports that 83% of B2B companies use e-newsletters as part of their content strategy with 40% indicating that this tactic is critical to their content marketing success.

Nearly 60% of the LeadCrunch respondents listed email as the most effective demand generation tactic followed by content or video marketing at 45%. Other tactics listed included search engine optimization (SEO) at 39%, event/demo registrations at 38% and social media marketing at 38%.

Once a lead is in the pipeline, B2B marketers use lead nurturing strategies to increase sales opportunities and convert prospects to customers, among other things.

59% of respondents indicated that their top priority for a lead nurturing strategy was to increase sales opportunities. Other priorities include increasing conversions, raising brand awareness, and decreasing the sales cycle time.

what are the top priorities for a lead nurturing strategy for B2B marketers
Top priorities for a lead nurturing strategy — Source: LeadCrunch

B2B marketers nurture leads in a variety of ways, but almost all tactics involve creating or distributing content. As with lead generation, the top tactic for nurturing leads was email, with 59% of respondents listing this as an effective means for nurturing leads. Paid search and display fell at the bottom of the list, with 20% of respondents indicating that this is an effective way to nurture leads.

LeadCrunch compared the effectiveness of each tactic for generating leads versus nurturing them. While certain tactics are more effective for lead generation versus lead nurturing and vice versa, the most effective approach for creating new demand is to combine all tactics for both goals.

The following chart presents a side-by-side comparison of the effectiveness of various tactics for lead generation versus lead nurturing. Note that blue represents lead generation while green represents lead nurturing.

comparing lead generation and lead nurturing for effectiveness among b2b marketers
Source: LeadCrunch

As the above chart demonstrates, in some instances there is little or no difference in the effectiveness of a tactic for achieving the end goal.

The largest disparity is with paid search and display advertising, with 30% of respondents indicating this is more effective for generating leads versus 20% who say it is effective for nurturing leads.

The next largest disparity is seen with content and video marketing with 57% of respondents indicating this is an effective strategy for nurturing leads while 45% indicated it is effective for generating leads.

Strategies to create demand are improving

Survey respondents were asked if the effectiveness of digital demand creation tactics was changing. Over 80% of respondents indicated that they felt effectiveness was improving moderately to significantly with just 17% indicating that effectiveness is worsening.

It’s clear that there are many moving parts involved with creating a successful demand strategy. The  majority of survey respondents indicated that using a combination of outsourced and in-house resources as well as outsourced professionals helped them to achieve the most effective outcomes.

For detailed survey results and insights, check out LeadCrunch’s whitepaper, B2B Perspective on Generating and Nurturing Leads to Create Demand.

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