London, 22 March 2007:

A survey of internet marketers by E-consultancy and Clash-Media has found that almost half of companies are failing to exploit online lead generation as a way of growing their business.

Four out of five online marketers (82%) see online lead generation as a growth area and 64% of online marketers see it as its own distinct area of online marketing.

But only 44% of B2C marketers say that their organisations are effectively using online lead generation as a way of increasing revenue.

Some 47% of marketers say their businesses are NOT effectively exploiting online lead generation as a way of growing their B2C business.

The findings are published in E-consultancy’s Online Lead Generation (B2C) Report, sponsored by online lead generation specialist Clash-Media.

The report is based on the findings of a survey of more than 400 marketers carried out in January and February 2007.

Online lead generation is about using the web as a means of getting contact information for qualified prospects. This takes place before a conversion or sale of a product or service has occurred either online or offline.

The study also found that three-quarters of respondents working for multi-channel organisations (74%) said that their companies are generating leads online with the intention of converting them offline.

Linus Gregoriadis, E-consultancy’s head of research, said: “There are huge opportunities for companies to generate leads online irrespective of whether these are eventually converted online or offline, for example in stores or by telephone.

“The research found that online methods are deemed to be more effective than offline methods when it comes to generating leads in the B2C context.”

Simon Wajcenberg, CEO, Clash-Media, said: “The advantage of online lead generation is that it is a way of obtaining measurable and cost effective results, ensuring that businesses have access to consumers with an interest in their product or service.

“Lead generation should be an integral part of any marketer or sales director’s budget. But despite its importance for businesses, online lead generation has only recently begun to emerge as a distinct area of marketing.”

Other key findings of the research were as follows:

• Press (i.e. newspapers and magazines) is the method of offline lead generation most commonly used to generate consumer leads (61% of respondents), followed by direct mail / postal data (51%).

• The online methods most likely to be used by company respondents to generate leads are Natural Search (78% of respondents), Paid Search (72%) and Email Marketing – inhouse lists (72%).

• The most effective methods of generating leads are all online. More than half of company respondents (52%) said that Paid Search was “very effective” while almost as many (48%) said that Natural Search was very effective.

• Email Marketing - in house lists, Affiliate Marketing, Shopping Comparison Sites, Viral Marketing and Acquiring Leads from Online Aggregators are deemed to be very effective by 38%, 34%, 26%, 25%, and 25% of company respondents respectively.

• Paid Search gets the biggest share of online lead generation budget allocation (28%).

• 60% of company respondents say they are either “excellent” (11%), “good” (22%) or “quite good” (27%) at measuring the effectiveness of their online lead generation activity.

• Despite this, there are many respondents who clearly feel there is room for improvement in this area, with 27% saying they are “average” and a further 8% saying they are “poor”.

•The difficulties associated with measuring the effectiveness of online lead generation activity generally fall into three categories:
oDifficulty of tracking leads through to conversion in a multi-channel environment.
oLack of technology or poor technology for online tracking.
oLack of resources.

•Only 16% of company respondents said that they buy lists of targeted prospects from online aggregators compared to 77% of company respondents are not using online lead aggregators.
oA fifth of respondents either “haven’t come across this” (12%) or “don’t understand how it works” (8%), suggesting that there is an opportunity for aggregators to educate prospective clients about this type of activity. A further 8% said they lacked the time to research this activity.

The report is available for download at:

http://www.e-consultancy.com/publications/online-lead-generation

Email or call Linus Gregoriadis for a copy of the report and / or further information.
Email: linus@e-consultancy.com
Tel: + 44 (0) 207 681 4051 or + 44 (0) 7956 5645713.

About E-consultancy
E-consultancy is an online publisher of best practice internet marketing reports, research and how-to guides. E-consultancy, named Publisher of the Year at the 2006 AOP Awards, also publishes buyer’s guides and has a directory of 100,000+ third party internet marketing white papers.

E-consultancy also provides a range of public and in-house training programmes, such as seminars and workshops. If you would like to know more about our training options then please visit our website or contact Craig Hanna on +44 207 681 4078 or email him at Craig@e-consultancy.com.

http://www.e-consultancy.com/about/

About Clash-Media

Clash-Media, the sponsor of this research, is a leading performance-based marketing company with technology that connects marketers to consumers through its lead generation network and affiliate network.

The London-based company launched in the UK and US in 2006 and has further plans to develop a presence in Australia, Scandinavia and Ireland during 2007.

Clash-Media generates leads via a network of proprietary sites and relationships with leading publishers. It uses a variety of online marketing strategies including search engine optimisation, email marketing and display advertising to obtain qualified leads for businesses.

More information about Clash-Media is available at:

http://www.clash-media.com/

Published on: 12:00AM on 22nd March 2007