Digital Marketing

2017 Demand Gen Benchmarks To Accelerate Growth

When laying out your marketing strategy, it often feels like you have nothing and everything to go off – historical numbers, KPIs, industry projections, social platform claims, and so on. One of the best ways to benchmark your plans is by looking at what other marketers are doing, but that insight can be difficult to get a hold of.

Luckily, HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales platform, surveyed 350+ companies for their new Demand Generation Benchmark Report. We’ll dive deeper into the results, but first, let’s take a look at the key numbers and takeaways.

Demand Generation: Key Numbers

  • Marketers are paying an average cost per lead just under $200
  • Email campaigns on average get a 17% open rate and 4% click-through
  • Average website visitors = 470,000, leads = 1,800, and new customers per month = 300
  • Companies with revenues under $500 million pay about $180 per lead; companies with revenues above $500 million spend more than double that, at roughly $430 per lead

Key Takeaways:

  • Halted growth for larger companies – Smaller organizations are more likely to exceed revenue expectations, while larger organizations seem more likely to achieve, but not exceed, their revenue goals.
  • Larger companies pay higher costs per lead – The largest organizations (1,001+ employees) generate greater web traffic, more leads and more customers per month, but pay a higher price per lead.
  • Leads are crucial for revenue – Organizations that fail to meet their revenue goals tend to generate fewer leads and sales opportunities in spite of having similar website traffic to more successful organizations. Open rate and click-through rate for email campaigns are also significantly lower for organizations not meeting revenue goals.
  • Content hugely impacts success – Organizations exceeding their revenue goals are more likely to use content creation, online advertising, and branding/public relations marketing tactics, with content creation leading the pack by a substantial lead (as shown in the graph below).

demand generation benchmarks

Results By Industry

As we previously covered in our post What’s A Good B2B Conversion Rate in 2017?, understanding results by respondent, company size, and revenue is helpful, but often, numbers by industry are most relatable. The graph below lists the industries included in the study, along with data on whose exceeding or falling short of revenue goals.

demand generation stats

But again, how are marketers achieving these numbers, or what may be causing them to fall short? As shown in the table below, tactics vary by industry, but content creation rose to the top for consumer products and marketing agencies, while other top performers like financial services and industrial and manufacturing rely more on PR and branding and email marketing, respectively. Website optimization came out high on the priority list, but few people listed SEO in conjunction with optimization, a sign that though companies are making efforts, they may be overlooking important factors.

demand generation stats

Now let’s talk leads per month in terms of the most valued – marketing qualified leads. The IT and services sector wins this one with a mean of almost 7,000 leads generated per month, and nearly half of those marketing qualified leads. Marketing agencies are focused on quality leads to begin with, but need to figure out ways to increase the number of monthly leads. Hubspot suggests companies look into marketing automation as a tactic to improve their lead to qualified lead conversion rate.

demand generation stats

Here’s a clue as to why the IT and services sector is pulling in such a high number of qualified leads: marketers in these sectors are paying a lot more for them, as shown in the graph below.

demand generation stats

Notice the lower CPL for Consumer Products and Marketing, though. As we highlighted above, those two industries rely more heavily on content marketing as a top tactic. For that reason, companies looking to lower their CPL (and who isn’t?) should pull back on traditional and paid tactics and introduce more inbound techniques.

Results By Revenue Achievement

Perhaps the most intriguing and useful part of Hubspot’s report is the section broken down by over and underachievers, which examines the marketing tactics used by the two groups. As shown in the graph below, top tactics used by organizations exceeding their revenue goals are content creation (65%), online advertising (49%) and branding/public relations (43%), while the underachievers are spending time on branding/public relations, email marketing, and social media. If the majority of your budget falls into email marketing or social, consider shifting dollars to one of the categories that’s yielding better results for competitors.

demand generation stats

Though every industry, organization, product, and situation differs, Hubspot did turn up some universal considerations when it comes to identifying tactics to improve your demand generation:

  • Consider content creation if you aren’t already, or shift more budget toward it if you haven’t been taking it seriously
  • Don’t let SEO fall by the wayside, especially if you’re pouring money into website optimization
  • Find the budget and be willing to spend more per lead, it will yield higher-qualified leads from the start
  • If you rely heavily on email marketing, figure out ways to improve performance since click-throughs are way down
  • For any company looking to improve their lead > qualified lead conversion rate, marketing automation is a simple and proven tactic to move people down your funnel and along their buyer journey
  • To increase CPL across the board, companies could consider the emphasis that they are putting on traditional and paid advertising tactics, and consider introducing more “inbound” techniques
  • Larger organizations, to reduce their demand generation spend, could try to re-allocate time toward lower-cost marketing tactics like content marketing, SEO, and email

You can read the whole report here, including a look at the numbers broken down by organization size and overall revenue.

AdStage Team