In April 2013, research agency Ascend2 (ascend2.com) and financial firm ResearchUnderwriters (researchunderwriters.com) surveyed marketers around the world in terms of lead generation tactics. Their study made particular emphasis on the difference between Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) industries on which tactic they perceive as most effective and which are most difficult to execute.
The results are not very surprising, given the contrast of fundamentals between the B2B and B2C, but it turns out that they are actually the same in terms of choosing which the extremes: Both B2B and B2C industries consider email marketing is the most effective at 51% and 54%, respectively, while mobile marketing came out as the least effective at 1% and 2%, respectively.
The difference lies in the middling tactics, particularly in the second most effective: For B2C, paid search or online ads is at 52%, while for B2B, SEO and Content marketing are both tied for the second spot at 38%. Paid search or online ads only got 29% for B2B.
Another contrast is the use of online events such as webinars. Only 6% of B2C companies perceive it as effective, while it got 27% from the B2B side. This goes to show that regular consumers don’t really like participating in online events, and even when they do, it’s not really that effective. Meanwhile, other tactics such as direct mail or print ads and trade shows get average scores.
Now we put the spotlight on social media marketing. If you can notice on the first graph, only 11% of the B2B respondents think that social media marketing is effective. In this second graph, both B2C and B2B industries think it’s the most difficult tactic to execute, at 50% and 49%, respectively.
Mobile marketing, evidenced as ineffective in the first graph, seems to also be a difficult task to pull off, especially for B2C at 42%. Only 25% of B2Bs think it’s hard, but it’s still in the 4th spot. Not surprisingly, email marketing is easier for B2B (18%) compared to B2C (25%). While SEO is easier for B2Bs (26% compared to B2C’s 29%), Content marketing is harder for them (39% compared to B2C’s 25%).
B2B lead generation is a much more complex task to undertake, considering an audience that’s generally “experts” in the field they are in. Prospects in the B2B industry are not easily swayed by cheap and shallow propaganda; hence, it is important for marketers to distinguish it from how B2C marketers generate leads. Acknowledging these differences can help give better understanding on how people‘s interest are captured.