Demand GenerationResearch and Insights

New B2B Research Reveals the Most Effective Way to Drive Leads

best b2b marketing and lead generation tactics

The B2B marketing landscape is exploding with new lead generation tactics and technology. It’s hard to know which are worth investing in, and which are not.

To help address this conundrum, lead management software consultancy, Software Advice surveyed 200 B2B marketing professionals and asked them which channels, content types, and technologies they were using to drive leads, and which they found most effective.

Below, we dive into their key findings to bring you the most effective lead generation tactics.

1. Trade Shows Generate the Highest Lead Quantity and Quality 

77% of the marketers surveyed say trade shows generate “very” or “somewhat” high quantity of leads, and 82% say they generate “good or “excellent” quality.

This isn’t a huge surprise. CMI’s content development director, Michele Linn, agrees that trade shows are “the tactic that marketers rate as the most effective.” She attributes their success to the saturation of content online. “In the digital age, where so much stuff is online, there’s something exceptionally powerful about doing in-person events—if done well,” she says.

trade shows and events top B2B lead gen tactic

2. Email Marketing Delivers the Lowest Cost-per-Lead

But, let’s face it. Trade shows are really expensive. And many B2B marketers just don’t have the budget or bandwidth to execute in-person events well. What’s the best tactic to drive leads without breaking the bank? Marketers say, overwhelmingly, it’s email marketing.

The majority of marketers surveyed said they use all of the demand generation tactics listed below. But email marketing was by far the most popular.

97% of marketers have adopted email because of its high return on investment.

They rated email the most cost effective, and third highest both in terms of quantity and quality of leads generated.

cost per lead by B2B channel

3. Marketing Software Is Hot

79% of marketers claim to use at least 11 different marketing software applications.

Email marketing software is the most popular—97% of marketers use it, and CRM and marketing automation suites are the next most commonly used.

Analytics software is also increasing in popularity. 95% of the marketers surveyed have adopted advanced data collection or analytics software.

This high demand for software aligns with the exploding marketing technology landscape. But it also highlights one of the biggest challenges marketers are facing now: how to align these technologies to an overarching business strategy.

number of software solutions for marketing

Moving from Tactics to Strategy

This research has a lot to say about what tactics and tools are most effective for B2B marketers. But the underlying message is this: there is no single tactic or tool that will push B2B marketing operations over the edge. What’s more important is the overarching strategy that connects these tactics, tools, and software.

The most successful marketers are those who document their strategy and align their tactics and tools to it, rather than aligning their strategy to the tools and tactics they invest in.

Liz O'Neill Dennison

About Liz O'Neill Dennison

Liz is a former Content Marketing Manager at Kapost. She's psyched about human-friendly content, beekeeping, and playing outside. Reach her at @lizkoneill.