Quality or Quantity: That is the Question In The Current Lead Gen Debate

Published: January 12, 2009

The answer lies in the ability for a company to balance. There are arguments for both sides of the quantity vs. quality debate. It depends on the profitability of the companies being targeted and the amount of prospective leads. Falling on the wrong side of this balance can cost a company dearly. We at ATi have analyzed this important marketing question through the prism of a single  company and found a significant financial loss when they focused on driving the quantity of prospect leads without knowledge of how likely the lead was to convert to new business.  

Analysis of three years of data from this company exposed the importance of identifying the tremendous potential revenue gains in striking  an optimal balance between quality and quantity of leads.  At this particular company, in dollar terms, ATi’s analysis revealed that $2.4 million in revenue gained from pursuing all leads came at the expense of $2.8 million in profits.  The position of using quantity to drive demand generation, while ignoring the quality, was costing the company significantly.

The proponents of marketing based on “quantity” suggest that a company  should cast a broader net to generate significantly higher numbers of targets to “fish out” the prime opportunities.  Simply said, more is better.  Advocates of quantity-based demand generation campaigns assume that mass appeal generates  a higher propensity to reach “every” prospect and leave no opportunity behind.  This is often a gratifying marketing value proposition to a hungry sales team. It sounds good.

On the opposite side are the proponents of selective target marketing who pursue “quality is king”.  They believe that prospective buyers must be pre-qualified by restrictive demographic and socio-graphic qualifications and eliminated from the prospecting base if they do not meet the exact profiling criteria.  Simply said, the quality approach  produces higher response rates and greater likelihood of conversion.  The issue with this approach is that there may not be enough “quality” leads to meet the organization’s revenue goals.  

Get the latest B2B Marketing News & Trends delivered directly to your inbox!

ATi has proven business leaders need to balance quality and quantity of leads to maximize profitability.  Over-emphasis on quantity means low value prospects are being targeted and negatively impacting profits, while concentrating on quality leaves potential revenues on the table.  

ATi’s research discovered that successful organizations blend quality and quantity to differentiate the value of current and future customers. They know the potential profitability of the lead and use this information to balance their approach. They  know what actions to take and how these actions will ultimately reduce marketing costs and improve campaign results.  An examination of the profitability of a customer often reveals overall profits are optimized on only 50-70% of the current customer base. ATi’s predictive analytics solutions identify who to target for what offer, when to communicate that offer, and which media to use so that one can maximize returns.

Thus, the argument of which provides the best return on marketing investment can only be determined through science and technology.  Utilizing predictive analytics technologies to answer quality versus quantity by first identifying one’s goals and objectives and the associated value of customers to these goals positively impacts marketing return on investment (MROI).  You can learn more about predictive analytics by downloading the research findings at www.adaptiveinc.com/Research/white_papers.php.


Posted in: Demanding Views

Tagged with:

B2B Marketing Exchange
B2B Marketing Exchange East
Campaign Optimization Series
Buyer Insights & Intelligence Series
Strategy & Planning Series