A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Social Is Sexy, But Websites Still Pay the Bills

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Social media may get all the attention these days, but corporate websites trail only personal connections and referrals in generating leads for B2B companies, according to an October study by Demandbase and Focus.

Social media channels lagged well behind websites, as well as email marketing and online advertising, in its effectiveness as a lead generation source.


You can download the full demand generation survey here. (Sign up required.) It’s a quick read and well worth the effort to sign up.

Here’s a quick hit of the highlights.

  • The results confirm our belief that a company’s website has to be the hub of its online marketing efforts.
  • Social media is certainly more important than the statistics above make it appear, just not in the realm of direct lead generation.
  • It’s interesting that the vast majority of survey participants feel that their own websites are not “performing to … maximum lead generation potential.”
  • And it is sadly amusing – but not surprising – that IT-related respondents were far less tuned into their site’s shortcomings than non-IT respondents. Lesson: Don’t let the techies steer the ship. The site has to be about marketing performance, not gee-whiz tech toys.
  • Large, “enterprise” businesses and small businesses have different goals for their websites, branding for the former, high-quality lead generation for the latter.
  • Too many executives don’t know where they lose their site visitors.

That last point makes you wonder how they decide to allocate budget for site maintenance and improvements …

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