CSO Insights, a sales effectiveness research firm, recently released its annual Lead Generation Optimization report: 2010 Lead Generation Optimization Key Trends Analysis (LGO). The report surveyed 635 firms to learn what marketing budget allocations had been altered to reach enterprises' marketing objectives. The report concluded that 72.5 percent of businesses had increased their marketing budget in 2010.
The top three biggest objectives for companies included increasing customer acquisition (91.2 percent), increasing brand awareness (54 percent), and optimizing cross-selling and up-selling (41.2 percent).
As in 2009, email marketing was selected by the majority of businesses as the most effective method for generating the highest quality leads, with live events and tradeshows following shortly after, and web site registrations coming in at third.
When commenting on email marketing topping the list again for the second year in a row, Jim Dickie, managing partner of CSO Insights, says, "I think it's because we are moving away from tradtional approaches. We have seen with telemarketing that it's hard to get people on the phone [....] [and] mail gets tossed. Email marketing costs me maybe a penny a piece. People are just more used to communicating via email. If you've got a permission to email someone, it's the most cost-effective [....]."
Although social media was listed in the top 10 list of lead generation programs, new media such as blogs, podcasts, and mobile marketing) failed to move any higher up the list from 2009.
Dickie observed that, " [Although new media and] all of that sounds very attractive, people are still struggling with podcasts[....] The issue really becomes that it's not one thing that most influences someone to buy, it's multiple things. Is it because email, or blog, or webinar? What are the influences? [...} It becomes difficult to track."
Eight percent of surveyed enterprises reported that the currency and accuracy of their prospect data was correct. Over 50 percent of companies had processes in place to keep track of campaign ROI. The report concluded that the top three ROI criteria are the total number of leads generated per campaign, the number of leads that can translate into sales opportunities, and the amount of revenue ultimately closed from those opportunities.
Of the 635 participating firms, 63 percent were small firms, pulling in less than $50 million in annual revenue, 22 percent were medium-sized companies, pulling in between $50 to $500 million in annual revenue, and 15 percent were large enterprise, pulling in more than $500 in annual revenue.
CSO Insights specializes in measuring ways in which companies are leveraging people, processes, and technology to improve marketing, selling, as well as identifying challenges that impact sales performance.
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