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Social Media a Top Lead-Gen Channel for Tech Marketers


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.

Lead-Generation Spending

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%).

Looking for real, hard data that can help you match social media tools and tactics to your marketing goals? The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs, gives you the inside scoop on how 5,140 marketing pros are using social media to create winning campaigns, measure ROI, and reach audiences in new and exciting ways.

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%). 

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