2018 Lead Generation Trends

What B2B marketers want are leads. Lots of leads. Lots of high quality, highly engaged leads. With this in mind, Stratabeat’s CEO Tom Shapiro explores the top lead generation trends and practices to help you crush your lead generation goals this year.

Customer Obsession

As access to information increases, and as buyer expectations rise, and as competition intensifies, it’s critical for B2B marketers to become obsessed with delivering a superior experience to customers. From mapping the customer journey to defining personas and then to delivering impactful experiences throughout the journey, it’s now all about the customer.

Email Marketing

According to Chief Marketer’s 2018 B2B Lead Gen Outlook report, email marketing dominates when it comes to the channel producing the largest volume of leads as well as the highest ROI leads. The ROI of email marketing is one of its most attractive features for B2B marketers. According to Campaign Monitor, for every $1 spent, email marketing generates a remarkable $38 in ROI. Want to improve upon this? Add A/B testing to your email marketing and you can improve conversions by 49%.

SEO

According to Google, 71% of B2B workers start their research with a generic search. The demand is clearly there, and successful B2B marketers recognize the opportunity. According to the Chief Marketer 2018 B2B Lead Gen Outlook report, SEO ranks second when it comes to the channel producing the largest volume of leads, and ties with live events as the second in producing the highest ROI leads.

Live Events

Live events are pure gold for B2B marketers, even in this new age of social media. According to Chief Marketer’s 2018 B2B Lead Gen Outlook report, live events tied with SEO as the second most effective channel for producing the highest ROI leads.

Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) has been a hot buzzword in B2B circles, and it’s going to continue to deliver value moving forward. ABM is a strategy for growth by focusing on best-fit prospects and customers. With ABM, it’s about quality, not quantity. It’s about targeting, not inbound. It’s about identifying your best prospects and customizing a program specifically for each account.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ 2018 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report uncovered that 91% of B2B marketers are already employing content marketing in their mix, and among those yet to take the dive, 54% plan to do so in the coming year. As for the most effective form of content marketing, the Content Marketing Institute’s and MarketingProfs’ report pointed to whitepapers. Similarly, the Chief Marketer 2018 B2B Lead Gen Outlook report identified whitepapers as the most effective form of content marketing for moving prospects through the funnel.

Going All In on MarTech

The Chief Marketing Technologist Blog documents the evolution of the marketing technology landscape each year. The landscape grew by roughly 40% in the past year, to a total of 5,381 solutions (from 4,891 unique companies). This is growth from 150 such technology solutions identified just five years ago, marking nothing less than explosive growth.

Agile Marketing

Agile marketing is a process in which small, cross-functional teams focus on high priority initiatives in sprints, making deliveries in each sprint, with the aim of continuously and incrementally improving results over time. After each sprint, the teams measure the impact and identify ways to remove obstacles and improve results.

Retargeting

A website visitor who’s been retargeted with a display ad is 70% more likely to convert according to Wishpond, while retargeted customers are 3X more likely to click an ad than those who have never interacted with the brand in question according to Invesp. As businesses look to engage with prospects throughout the purchase cycle, expect to see more B2B marketers capitalize on retargeting based on onsite behavior to deliver value throughout the funnel.

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