Study: Online is Key for Cost-Efficient Lead Generation

Marketers have a number of means for reaching prospective customers at their disposal. Websites, social media, search engine optimization, email, trade conferences, direct mail, print advertising – almost every communication channel can be used as an avenue for engaging potential leads.

However, just because businesses have this vast number of options available to them, that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to or even should use them all. Choosing which channels to use comes down to a number of different factors, ranging from relevancy to the intended target to cost-efficiency and difficulty.

A recent study from MarketingSherpa suggests online lead generation tactics are slowly gaining favor with marketers because of their level of effectiveness compared to the effort that needs to be exerted to create successful campaigns.For example, print advertising was listed on the lower end of the scale because it isn’t as effective and is more difficult to pull off. On the other end of the spectrum, social media was listed as effective and also relatively easy by comparison.

That isn’t to say that marketers only use channels that can provide maximum results for little effort – they aren’t lazy. MarketingSherpa’s survey suggests that labor-intensive marketing approaches – such as content production or tradeshows – remain top picks because they generate high-quality leads.

Additionally, online is a relatively nascent platform compared to other more traditional channels. For this reason, many marketers avoid relying exclusively on internet-based engagement platforms.

“There are still a large number of organizations finding great value in offline tactics like direct mail, print advertising and tradeshows,” the report adds. “Before migrating to a highly online-focused strategy, marketers must test and assess the appropriate channels to convince and convert their specific targets.”

Minimizing time spent on the small things

If MarketingSherpa’s survey made one thing clear, it’s that time is a prevalent concern for many companies. Marketers are busy people and, as the saying goes, time is money. There is a finite amount of time in the day, and marketers need to spend that time on the tasks that have the most impact on campaigns. The more time marketers spend on all the small, superfluous tasks associated with marketing campaigns, the less time you have for planning and execution.

Marketing automation can help companies in this regard. It can be used to automate tedious or monotonous tasks, essentially reducing the amount of time that businesses need to spend on a marketing campaign and thereby raising the chances of it providing a return on investment (ROI). For example, marketing automation software can be leveraged to cross-post a single social media message to a variety of platforms or customize content based on a distributor’s target audience.

The key lies in maximizing time spent developing and executing marketing campaigns. By using software to take care of the details, marketers can spend more time planning campaigns and ensuring they are on-point.