May 27, 2010, 1:59 PM

Tech marketing professionals say lead generation is the top priority

68% of technology marketing professionals in a recent poll view generation as their top priority, 16% cite brand awareness and another 16% customer retention.

66% of technology marketing professionals in a recent poll view lead generation as their top priority, 17% cite brand awareness and another 16% customer retention. The study of 500 technology marketing professionals was conducted by Unisfair, a virtual event company that facilitates virtual events and environments for speaking sessions, networking arenas and exhibition halls.

The study also found that a major obstacle for technology marketers is the unqualified lead, with 33% of respondents saying 16% to 30% of leads are typically unqualified, 23% saying 31-50% are unqualified and 17% saying more than half the leads typically are not qualified. The top reasons leads were deemed unqualified were because the lead doesn’t have the budget to purchase the product in the next twelve months (49%), the product is not a good fit for the lead (45%), or contact information is incorrect (32%).

42% of marketers surveyed found interest information–including questions asked by prospects, search terms and polls¬–to be most critical in identifying a solid lead. Demographic information such as title and company size came in second with 31%, and behavioral information such as web page visits followed with 27%.

When it comes to getting those qualified leads, respondents cited social media (74%) as the top channel for 2010 and beyond. That was followed by virtual events (40%) and mobile (34%).
Companies are increasing spending on the following lead generation tools. 69% say they plan to increase spending on web sites; 63% on e-mail campaigns; 40% on physical conferences and trade shows; 38% on online advertising; 33% on paid search; 25% on virtual business events; 17% on direct mail and 3% on radio and TV advertising.
When it comes to decreasing spend on lead generation tools, 44% will cut physical conferences and trade shows; 32% direct mail; 28% radio and TV advertising; 19% online advertising; 18% cold calling; 17% paid search; 11% virtual events; 5% e-mail campaigns; and 1% web site.

 When leads need nurturing, marketers most often assign a sales person to check in with them regularly with 36% of respondents saying they use this tactic. Others turn to marketing automation tools (35%) and reminders from a CRM system (15%). 14% do nothing at all.


Unisfair also asked specifically about virtual marketing tactics. It found 5% have leveraged virtual worlds such as SecondLife for marketing, and 5% feel they hold marketing promise for the future. 24% have used virtual business meetings, with 27% feeling they hold promise, 81% have used web meetings such as WebEx, with 53% feeling they will hold value in the future , and 33% have used video conferencing with 15% feeling it has long term potential.

Survey respondents all represent technology companies. 40% come from business-to-business software companies, 25% B2B services, 24% B2B hardware, 4% B2C software, 4% B2C services and 4% B2C hardware.

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