B2B Lead Generation Effectiveness – What Does Your 2014 Marketing Mix Look Like?

b2b lead gen - b2b SEO

What are your most effective methods for bringing in clients?

According to this infographic, lead gen ranks as the top challenge B2B marketers are facing in 2014. Marketing pros also identified challenges including improving lead quality, increasing product/service awareness, reaching decision makers and working within budget.

While I know without a doubt that SEO has its place in the B2B lead generation world, I am the first to tell clients and prospects that they cannot put all of their eggs in the SEO basket. Diversifying business development is critical for sustainability.

The infographic data showed these tactics to be most effective:

  • Don’t sit around and wait for leads to come to you: outbound tactics like inside sales and telemarketing ranked hot, hot, hot
  • Events rule: tradeshows, conferences, webinars, and virtual events ranked high
  • Foundational elements: Email, e-newsletters, company websites, and search marketing were next
  • Content marketing continues to be important: 71% of B2B marketers are using content marketing to generate leads, and citing case studies and testimonials as the most effective
  • Under appreciated? Blogs and social ranked from lukewarm to downright cold as far as most effective for methods of generating leads 

Agree, disagree? In the comments section under the infographic post, professionals jumped to defend social, saying that while it may not directly generate leads, it has an important role in lead nurturing and extending the lifespan of existing customers.

What works for you?

Do you know exactly where your leads are coming from? Here are two simple and quick methods you can use to determine this with data:

1. Lead Source: Go back to the last month, or the last quarter, and 1) list every lead that came to you and 2) list the lead source. For me personally, I spoke to 8 prospects in December and it broke down to:

  • 3 from referral
  • 2 from SEO
  • 1 from LinkedIn
  • 1 from my network
  • 1 from networking 

2. Traffic Source: Go into Google Analytics, then Acquisition – > All Traffic -> scroll down and look at the source/medium that has brought you the most traffic. Mine looks something like:

  1. Google/organic (you can segment this even further by looking at queries and click throughs)
  2. Direct
  3. Social (which social channels were most effective at driving traffic to your site?)
  4. Referral sources (which sites brought you the most traffic) 

What’s Important for You to Focus On in 2014?

What does your data, and gut, tell you? For me it reaffirms the fact that I’ll continue to work on a mix of face-to-face networking, attending events, SEOing my content, and continuing to develop referral partner relationships. I’m also developing a better social strategy and focusing more heavily on LinkedIn, which I’ve unfortunately neglected until now.

An equally important question to ask when determining what lead gen activities you’ll engage in is what are you going to STOP doing that really isn’t effective? Are you going to give up some of your blogging frequency and instead go out and network more? Focus on putting on more webinars instead of building your Pinterest profile? Also, do you have one method that you focus all of your time and energy on or like me, do you believe in diversifying your lead gen activity? Let me know in the comments.  Happy Prospecting!

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Jenny Munn

Jenny is an independent Digital Marketer and SEO Consultant with more than 10 years of experience helping companies and content creators generate brand awareness, traffic, and conversions with SEO. She is a frequent speaker and is on the faculty for the AMA (American Marketing Association) and has taught SEO to thousands of marketers over the past 10 years.


  • Don Sadleer says:

    My leads come from my SEO work on my website, my monthly newsletter/blog and LinkedIn. In 2014, I will continue to closely monitor my SEO rankings and to publish my newsletter on a consistent basis. I will also make more of an effort to get out and physically network at workshops/seminars/socials/etc. These are very inexpensive and effective marketing and lead gen efforts for my business.

    • Jenny Munn says:

      Don, hello there! Happy New Years to you BTW. 🙂 You have a great mix going on that sounds very similar to mine. Professionally I’d like to better use LinkedIn, and while I’d still like to attend different face-to-face networking events I’d love to commit to just one organization and really dive in. That’s a work in progress!

  • Tom Nguyen says:

    I’m actually guilty of putting all of my eggs in the SEO basket, however, before I had first page rankings, email newsletters, Facebook, and referrals were my methods of generating business.

    • Jenny Munn says:

      Tom – are you able to get your current and past clients onto your e-newsletter list? At least that way they will always keep you top of mind. I think you’re probably diversifying more than you know! 🙂

      Agreed that as a small business owner we can only do so much!

      • Tom Nguyen says:

        Jenny, I have put my both past and present clients on my newsletter list. I have them separated into two groups, current clients and leads. Past clients go back in to the lead group.

        I send my current clients more emails than the leads. Before I started working on the new version of my website, I would send a newsletter out ever 1-2 weeks. In my newsletters, I usually give them a little update of what I’ve been up to, and then I give them a tip on how they can boost their online presence or update their website.

        I rarely sell in my newsletters, and mostly, give advice. The only time I really push something for them to buy is if I feel like they’re getting a deal that they can’t miss (i.e. 50% or more off something).

        By not constantly promoting and giving advice, I’ve managed to pick up new business and even get past clients back. I guess I sell by not selling?

        My clients frequently tell me that they really enjoy my newsletter, and it inspires me to send more. I can’t wait to send my next newsletter, but that won’t be coming after I finish the next version of my website.

        I guess I do have my lead generation diversified 🙂

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