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BizReport : Research archives : September 23, 2010

More marketers spending more on online lead generation

Marketers around the globe are increasing the amount they spend on online lead generation, according to a new report from Econsultancy and Clash-Media, with social media showing the biggest growth.

by Helen Leggatt

online-lead-generation-report-2010-packshot.pngThe Online Lead Generation Report (B2C), sponsored by lead generation specialists Clash-Media, involved 500 advertisers, agencies and publishers from around the globe.

It unearthed some interesting online lead generation trends.

For instance, more companies are spending more on online lead generation - 65% said their online budgets have gone up compared with 59% last year.

"More companies than ever are using the web to generate consumer leads with a view to making sales both online and offline," said Econsultancy's Linus Gregoriadis.

"This research highlights how the commercial environment has become increasingly multichannel. More than three-quarters of companies surveyed are now using traditional channels, for example call centres and retail outlets, to convert leads they have generated online."

Just 31% said they were decreasing online lead generation budgets this year.

So, what do marketers see as the benefits of online lead generation? Cost-effectiveness was the most widely perceived advantage, followed by the ability to target.

Cost effectiveness - 69%
Ability to target - 65%
Increase customer base / prospect list - 64%
Ability to qualify leads - 49%
Performance-based model - 41%
Flexibility - 28%
Transparency - 20%
Other - 3%

While natural and organic search is still the most widely used lead generation tool, with 90% of respondents using it, paid search has seen an increase in use from 59% in 2009 to 73% this year.

Second to natural search in usage is email marketing to in-house lists, up from 74% last year to 83% this year.

It will come as no surprise to learn that social media also gets a look in. In fact, social media witnessed the biggest growth of all online lead generation channels with two-thirds (66%) of companies using it for lead generation this year, compared to just 40% last year.

"As communication across social media becomes the norm, online lead generation has a lot to offer businesses looking to increase contact with potential customers by enabling companies to adapt and offer specific products and services tailored to consumers' needs," said Ed Bussey, CEO, Clash-Media.

Tags: marketing budget, OLG, online lead generation, social media

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