Professional services companies that generate a large proportion of new business via online sources grow faster and more profitably than firms without such lead capabilities, according to a new study by Hinge Marketing, which also found that SEO, blogging, and Web analytics are among the most effective online marketing tools for such high-growth firms. The findings were based on a study of 500 professional services companies.
Among professional services firms surveyed, 77.1% generate at least some new-business leads online; most (48%) generate less than 20% of total leads online and nearly one-quarter (22.9%) generate no leads via online sources.
The study reported that 14.8% of firms generate 40% or more of their new business leads online and such firms lead the pack in business growth and profitability.
In addition, among companies that generate 40-59% of leads online, the median two-year growth rate was 63.9%, compared with 15% among those that generate no leads online.
The study found that leads generated online directly correlate with profitability. There wasn’t any definitive answer as to why, but one explanation given was that online marketing simply costs less than traditional marketing, and online marketing produces better results. In contrast, traditional marketing techniques often require sustained campaign expenses, thereby narrowing profitability.
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Source: MarketingProfs, November 8, 2011. Online Lead Generation Drives Higher Growth, Profitability.