Over two-thirds of high-tech marketing professionals (68%) say lead generation is their top marketing priority this year and 74% cite social media as among the top emerging marketing channels for lead generation in 2010 and beyond, according to a Unisfair survey slated for release in late May.
In addition, 39% of surveyed tech marketers cite virtual events as one of the top emerging channels for lead generation in 2010 and beyond, and 34% cite mobile channels.
Among this year's other marketing priorities are brand awareness (cited by 17%) and customer retention (16%).
Below, other findings from The Future of Tech Marketing, which surveyed 500 high-tech marketing professionals on their marketing priorities for 2010 and beyond.
Most tech marketers plan to increase investments in websites (69%) and email campaigns (63%) in 2010, followed by physical conferences and tradeshows (40%), online advertising (38%), and paid search (33%).
Some 25% also plan to increase spending on virtual business events.
Regarding spending on physical conferences and tradeshows, tech marketers are mixed: 44% say they plan to decrease spending, while 39% plan to increase spending.
Other lead-generation tools targeted for budget cuts are direct mail (32%) and radio and TV advertising (28%).
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Lead Qualification, Nurturing
A major obstacle for tech marketers is the unqualified lead:
- 33% of tech marketers say they typically reject 16-30% of leads as unqualified.
- 27% reject 0-15% of leads.
- 23% reject 31-50%.
- 17% reject more than 50%.
Leads are deemed "unqualified" because the lead (organization) doesn't have the budget to purchase the product in the next 12 months (48%), the product is not a good fit for the lead (45%), the contact information is incorrect (32%), or the lead has no interest at all (21%).
Regarding factors most important in identifying the "perfect lead," 42% of tech marketers cite interest information—search terms, polls, and questions asked by prospects—as the most critical in identifying good lead opportunities.
Demographic information (31%) and behavioral information (27%) follow.
When leads need nurturing, tech marketers take the following actions:
- Assign a salesperson to check in with them regularly: 36%
- Use marketing automation tools for lead nurturing: 35%
- Rely on reminders from a CRM system: 15%
- Do nothing or lose track of unqualified leads entirely: 14%
Asked to name virtual engagement technologies that hold the most promise in 2010 and beyond, tech marketers cite Web meetings (53%), virtual business events (27%), and video conferencing (15%).
About the data: Conducted by Zoomerang for Unisfair, the study surveyed 500 marketing professionals from technology companies, including B2B software (42%), B2B services (25%), B2B hardware (22%), B2C software (4%), B2C services (4%), and B2C hardware (3%).