Research SEO

[Research] Demand Generation Lessons from a Recovering Paid Media Addict

I admit it: I was a paid media addict. I grew up in B2B media, B2B marketing, and demand generation. For years, I knew that the quickest and easiest way to my demand generation goals was through paid media. You could give me a budget and a list of demand goals and I’d spit back a plan using paid media. And I’d hit my goals every time. So, why change?

64% of web traffic today comes from organic search while a mere 6% comes from paid media. If you’re a demand marketer, you know that your website leads are your most valuable, highest converting leads (if you’re not a demand marketer, ask one). When you ignore earned media in your demand strategy, you’re missing out on 64% of the pie. And, that 64% is even more likely to convert and more critical to your demand success than any traffic paid media can buy.

Need further proof as to why an earned media strategy is critical to your demand success? We partnered with Demand Metric on a study we just released titled Identifying the Impact of SEO on Demand Generation. The findings are clear: your organic web presence is critical to your demand success.

Organic and Demand Success

We asked participants to indicate how critical their organic, online presence is to their demand generation success. Their responses were divided into two groups: those who rate demand generation as a high priority/high investment in their organization and those who rate it as a low priority/low investment. 92% of the high priority group agrees that their organic presence is critical to their demand generation success.



Paid VS Organic Leads

When asked to compare the effectiveness of leads generated from paid media and organic search across four key attributes (volume, quality, consistency, conversion rates), respondents rate leads sourced from organic search as more effective in every single category. And, the degree to which organic outperforms paid can’t be ignored. The delta in each category is at least 10% and it’s over 15% for conversion rate and quality of leads.



For both the high priority and low priority groups, the availability of SEO resources is about the same. But, the key distinction the data shows is that the high priority group has more in-house SEO resources that report directly to the demand generation team. This is an important finding because it shows that for the greatest success, the demand generation team and SEO function are tightly aligned.


Conclusion: It’s Time Demand Marketers Embrace the Unpaid Web

This research demonstrates a clear correlation between demand generation and organic success. It’s proof that we as demand marketers can’t rely solely on paid media to get us to our goals. The sooner we learn and harness the power of the unpaid web, the sooner we reap the benefits of the other 64% of the pie – the 64% that accelerates through our buying process with the greatest velocity and makes us heroes with our sales counterparts.

Want more? Download the full report: Identifying the Impact of SEO on Demand Generation