Lead Generation 'Slipping' In Favor of Social Media, LMO Study Finds

Industry observer Carol Fox noted recently that CSO Insights (NewsAlert) has “released the results of its annual Lead Management Optimization (LMO) Study.”

Done in partnership with Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI) and Marketo (NewsAlert), the study is intended, as Fox says, to “help shed light on the role marketing plays in lead generation for sales by showing how marketing organizations are investing their time and money into efforts like lead scoring and nurturing, then relating this data to sales results.”

In mid-June TMC’s (NewsAlert) Anshu Shrivastava wrote that Software as a service companies ExactTarget and Marketo announced a partnership to integrate Marketo’s Revenue Performance Management with ExactTarget’s Interactive Marketing Hub.

The application was developed as the first partner application for the Interactive Marketing Hub, a cross-channel interactive marketing platform. It’s expected to provide Marketo’s full lead management functionality directly from the Interactive Marketing Hub to help marketers plan, power, monitor and track Marketo revenue performance management campaigns alongside ExactTarget-powered email, mobile, social media and Web campaigns.

The LMO study’s results showed that marketing “seems to be shifting more and more toward alignment with sales objectives,” according to Fox, which makes sense — among companies surveyed, in 2011 “less than 42 percent of firms cited brand recognition as a top objective, a significant drop from 54 percent last year.”

And of course social media is hot hot hot — with 18 percent of companies citing it as a key objective as opposed to last year, Fox said, “when it was lumped in with ‘other’.”

Lead generation? It’s “slipping steadily,” Fox said, explaining that according to the study’s results, “sales is relying increasingly on avenues other than marketing-generated leads,” and “allocation of funds to lead generation programs has not increased.”

Shrivastava wrote that the Marketo partner application will feature full integration with the ExactTarget Interactive Marketing Hub, to give marketers access to unified calendaring, campaign management, data management and ExactTarget’s channel applications by bringing B-to-B and B-to-C communication together in a single platform.