eMarketer: Marketers Look to Boost Lead Gen, Customer Targeting

Sales collateral, packaging and direct marketing top budget list

JULY 28, 2011 In the past few years, a tightened economy and a maturing online advertising industry have amplified the need for marketing programs that not only support brand-based initiatives and sales programs but also contribute directly to the company�s bottom line.

According to CMO Council, marketing executives worldwide are embracing their revenue-generating responsibilities through investment in lead generation and customer segmentation and targeting.

The majority (64%) plan to enhance their marketing programs through improved customer segmentation and targeting. Marketers are about equally likely to invest in demand generation and online community building as they are to invest in their ability to qualify and track conversions resulting from their lead generation efforts.

Demand generation is a form of lead generation that both identifies new prospects and nurtures these leads�cultivating their interests and awareness in a company�s products or services. Companies that have a longer sales cycle often rely on demand generation to nurture these leads until they are sales-ready, keeping leads warm and ensuring that lead generation efforts aren�t wasted.

Lead qualification and customer segmentation and tracking are essential requirements for marketers, as evidenced above. Lead qualification allows marketers to identify relevant product offerings and nurture programs for each prospect in an effort to more effectively sell. Customer segmentation allows companies to maximize a current client base for cross-promotion designed to drive incremental sales and, ultimately, increase customer lifetime value.

Both demand generation and customer segmentation and targeting allow companies to appeal to clients and prospects based on their individual product needs, which requires marketers to develop distinct messaging that caters to both audiences and all products.

Therefore, it�s hardly surprising that marketing executives worldwide are investing their demand generation marketing budgets on the development of such materials and the means and channels required to reach these audiences.

Marketing executives said they would allocate 14% of their budget to the development of sales collateral and literature. In addition, 12% of their demand generation budgets will go toward packaging, merchandising and display�to best showcase their products and services. Eleven percent of budgets will go toward the cost of reaching their audiences through database and direct marketing, which can include email as well as direct mail.

By more effectively generating and nurturing leads, and by leveraging existing relationships as an additional revenue source, companies can better boost their bottom line and maximize the value of their marketing programs.

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