MarketingSherpa found that B2B marketers cite generating leads and converting prospects as the most vital, yet challenging, marketing goals.
Lead generation and converting prospects into clients are among the primary priorities for B2B marketers moving forward, MarketingSherpa reported in its 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report.

Sixty percent of B2B companies listed lead generation as their No. 1 goal moving forward, and 48 percent of those businesses believe it to be a challenge for their organization moving forward. Additionally, 57 percent of responding companies say prospect conversion is a primary goal, with more than 50 percent calling conversion a challenge.

Businesses have found that strategic content marketing strategies can help in terms of lead generation. Developing informative, keyword-rich content is effective in two critical ways – improved SERP standing and improving a company’s reputation as a thought leader in its particular niche. Including links to landing pages and calls to action provides prospects with a simple, intuitive way to convert.

Challenges standing in the way of businesses looking to improve their lead generation are numerous, according to MarketingSherpa. However, a lack of time and resources ranked No. 1. Outsourcing the task to a third-party agency has become a popular method of achieving these goals.

Brafton reported yesterday that more than 40 percent of businesses are or plan to dedicate one-quarter of their marketing budgets to hiring agencies specializing in specific, business-critical marketing strategies.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.