Most Effective B2B Marketing Channels Revealed

With digital marketing techniques muscling in on more established marketing methods, it can be difficult for B2B marketers to decide on the best strategy to generate new business leads.

This data, researched by marketing technology comparison firm Software Advice, surveyed 200 (mostly senior-level) B2B marketers on the effectiveness of different B2B marketing channels.

As you’ll see below, the survey uncovered many useful findings for marketing professionals as it gives information on both the quantity and quality of leads generated by each channel whilst also outlining B2B marketers’ budgets in 2015.

Quantity of Leads Generated by Channel

Marketing trends and channels

Trade shows and events were reported as generating the highest quantity of leads of any form of B2B marketing.

78% of B2B marketers stated that trade shows and events produced a high amount of leads for their business, with 26% of these being classed as ‘very high’.

This was far more than any other marketing channel, even when compared to supposedly further-reaching digital marketing techniques such as search engine advertising, organic search and social media advertising.

This shows that despite being relatively short in timespan, exhibiting at a trade show or event can generate a large number of prospects for a business in that time, possibly because of the high concentration of key industry decision makers that attend marketing events.

Quality of Leads Generated by Channel

Lead Quality B2B 2014

Trade shows and events were reported as generating the highest quality of leads of any channel, with the vast majority (82%) of B2B marketers stating that this type of marketing produced high quality leads for their business. Of all the respondents, 42% stated that trade shows and events gave ‘excellent’ quality leads for their business, with only 3% qualifying this type of marketing as giving ‘poor’ quality leads.

This positive result for trade shows and events can be contrasted to more impersonal means of B2B marketing like telemarketing, online marketing and direct mail advertising which tended to produce far poorer quality leads than exhibiting at a marketing event.

This trend could be attributed to the fact that trade shows and other marketing events, when executed correctly, give an invaluable opportunity to meet new leads face-to-face, which can help to foster genuine, long-lasting business relationships.

B2B Marketing Channel Effectiveness Quadrant

B2B Marketing Methods 2015 Graph

This graph outlines the relative effectiveness of the various marketing channels available to B2B marketers. Whilst trade shows and events were cited as one of the ‘most costly’ marketing channels, it scored the highest value in terms of the quantity and quality of the leads generated.

Referral marketing and in-house email marketing also scored highly in terms of lead generation and could be a good solution if a business already has a large existing customer database or prospect list. Due to the effectiveness of these types of marketing, it’s clear that relevant prospect data is invaluable to a company and maximising the potential of your customer database is a great way to cut costs.

Marketing Tactics are Modernising, Yet Trade Shows Still Relevant

With customers’ buying habits shifting online, digital forms of marketing look set to become more valued for B2B marketers and generally represent good value for money if you can keep up with the latest online trends.

However, with 78% of B2B marketers surveyed citing trade shows as generating a large number of leads for their business, and 82% of them praising the quality of these leads, it is clear that trade show marketing remains a highly valuable channel for any business looking for growth.

Consequently, despite the projected increase in the use of online marketing channels, trade show marketing looks set to become more popular as buyers and suppliers search for authentic, trustworthy business relationships which can only be brought about by meeting leads in person.

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