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B2B Demand Generation Benchmark IndustryView | 2013

This report identifies the most effective demand generation channels, content and offers, as well as forecasts where marketers will prioritize their demand generation spend in 2013. It is based on a survey of 155 marketers collected between Sept. 26, 2012 and Nov. 12, 2012.

Key Findings:

  1. Email marketing to a house list produces the highest quality leads and is one of the lowest cost channels. It was also the most popular among marketers we surveyed. 
  2. Marketers said that free trials attract the highest quantity of leads among demand generation content and offers, while live demos produce the highest quality leads.
  3. A majority of marketers said they would increase their overall demand generation budget in 2013, with most spending more on retargeting advertising and social media.

Percentage of Marketers Using Each Channel

The graph below illustrates the percentage of marketing respondents that use each channel for demand generation. Digital channels have largely surpassed traditional media, with the exception of trade shows and events.
B2B Demand Gen Report Channel Popularity

Perceived Quantity of Leads by Channel

We asked marketers whether they would describe each channel they use as producing a high, medium or low quantity of leads. The chart below is ranked from highest to lowest percentage of marketers identifying the channel as high volume. Digital channels received the largest percent of votes for producing a high volume of leads. Again, trade shows and events were the exception.

B2B Demand Gen Report Channel Quantity

Perceived Quality of Leads by Channel

We asked marketers whether they would describe each channel they use as producing high, medium or low quality leads. The chart below is ranked from highest to lowest percentage of marketers identifying the channel as producing high quality leads. The two most popular channels–in-house email marketing and search engine optimization–were identified most often as producing high quality leads.

B2B Demand Gen Report Channel Quality

Perceived Lead Cost by Channel

We asked marketers whether they would describe each channel as having a high, medium or low cost-per-lead. The chart below is ranked from highest to lowest percentage of marketers identifying the channel as low cost-per-lead. Social media (not ads) received the most votes for being low cost and it was one of the most popular channels, despite marketers not seeing the channel as producing a high quantity or quality of leads. Trade shows and events are the most expensive channel.
B2B Demand Gen Report Channel Cost

Perceived Quantity of Leads by Content or Offer

We asked marketers whether they would describe each content or offer as producing a high, medium or low quantity of leads. Here’s how each content or offer ranked from the highest to lowest percentage of marketers viewing them as high volume.

B2B Demand Gen Report Content Quantity

Perceived Quality of Leads by Content or Offer

We asked marketers whether they would describe each content or offer as producing high, medium or low quality leads. Here’s how they ranked from the highest to lowest percentage of marketers viewing the content or offer as high quality.

B2B Demand Gen Report Content Quality

Percentage of Marketers Using Each Content or Offer

The graph below illustrates the percentage of marketing respondents that use each content or offer for demand generation. Unlike marketer’s opinions about channels, popularity didn’t coincide with success in producing high quality or quantity of leads.

B2B Demand Gen Report Content Offer Populatity

Performance: Marketing Automation Users vs. Non-Users

We asked marketers whether they use a marketing automation program for demand generation, and then filtered the results by those who answered yes or no to that question. The chart below compares marketing automation users and non-users for demand generation performance relative to their expectations for the program. About 56 percent of marketing automation users rated their demand generation performance as in line, above or far above expectations. This compares with just 41 percent of non-marketing automation users.

B2B Demand Gen Report MA vs Non-MA

Overall Demand Generation Spend Plans for 2013

We asked the group about their demand generation spend plans for 2013. The chart below shows how marketers will adjust their spending plans relative to what they allocated for programs in 2012. The majority of respondents plan to spend more on demand generation in 2013. Just 3 percent of the sample said they will spend less or stop spending on demand generation next year. Another 3 percent selected “not sure” to this question.

B2B Demand Gen Report Spend Plans

Demand Generation Spend Plans by Channel in 2013

We also wanted to evaluate demand generation spend plans by channel. The chart below reveals how marketers will adjust their spending plans by channel in 2013 relative to 2012. Three channels that did not receive high marks for producing quantity or quality of leads–retargeting advertising, social media (not ads), and social media ads–came in first, second and third, respectively, for channels marketers will spend more on next year. (Check out our video interview at the top of this post for a discussion on possible reasons for this trend.)

B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Report/B2B Demand Gen Report Channel Spend

Sample Demographics by Number of Employees

B2B Demand Gen Report Sample Employees

Sample Demographics by Marketing Budget

B2B Demand Gen Report Sample Revenue

Sample Demographics by Seniority
B2B Demand Gen Sample Seniority

To further discuss this report, or if you have questions about our research, feel free to contact me at ashleyverrill@softwareadvice.com.

Ashley Verrill