Seeing past the hype and judging business decisions by their actual fundamentals has served superstar investors well. Many businesses could learn from this habit, at least according to a new study by InsideSales.com (News - Alert).
The study looked at 26 marketing methods and their actual effectiveness, and there was a disparity between the methods most businesses were using and what actually worked best.
The report found that generating leads and improving the quality of those leads was the most common challenge faced in business-to-business (B2B) marketing, yet the channels used by marketers had more perceived value than actual effectiveness.
Social media tools, specifically LinkedIn (News - Alert), Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, turn out to be some of the least effective marketing methods for lead generation and brand awareness according to the study. This is in spite of adoption by more than 50 percent of the more than 1,000 businesses surveyed.
Some of the most common methods for lead generation are company websites, email or e-newsletters and tradeshows, according to the study, and these are highly used because they correlate with effectiveness.
Not all highly effective methods are appropriately leveraged, though; the study found that while inside sales was rated highest, executive events and telemarketing were the next most effective in spite of underutilization.
Only one third of those surveyed use executive events and telemarketing for lead generation. Other underused tools include webinars and search marketing, which are used by less than half of companies in the study.
“While there's a lot of buzz surrounding it, social media's very poor lead generation and business awareness effectiveness means marketers are overutilizing LinkedIn, Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter,” noted Ken Krogue, president of InsideSales.com, in a statement by the firm. “Companies should more frequently use executive events, telemarketing, webinars and search marketing to improve their results in these areas.”
When it comes to telemarketing, predictive dialing delivers leads with minimal effort.
With a predictive dialer, businesses can quickly and automatically place outbound calls and connect the answered calls to available agents, cutting down on manpower and honing in on direct lead interactions. Software, such as that offered by predictive dialer solutions provider SpitFire, can monitor call center volume and time per call, intelligently adjusting the dial rate to minimize the time agents spend waiting between conversations.
So while Facebook gets all the hype, this new report suggests that businesses might be wise to stick to fundamentals instead of getting carried away by the still emerging channel of social media.
Edited by Blaise McNamee