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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2017-08-09

As we’re already well into the second half of 2017, how are your B2B marketing campaigns performing? If you’re meeting (or exceeding!) expectations, congratulations. If not, you’re not alone.


A new report by digital marketing platform provider Emma, in which 200 marketers and industry leaders were interviewed, shows that there are several common hurdles experienced by B2B marketers. Here are the top three shared challenges, and some advice on how to overcome them:


  1. Not meeting expectations: It’s easy for today’s B2B marketer to feel overwhelmed or that they are falling short in achieving success. Indeed, the report shows that 73 per cent of marketers feel that they are only “occasionally” meeting the expectations of their audience and organizations. 13 percent admit that they “rarely” meet expectations, while a discouraged two per cent say they “never” do.


Solution: change what’s not working: First off, don’t beat yourself up – most B2B marketers (if they are being honest) would admit to, at some point in their careers, making mistakes, delivering less-than-stellar campaign results or falling short on expectations in the eyes of their superiors. But instead of getting defensive – or continuing down the wrong path – successful marketers take an honest, hard assessment of what’s working and what isn’t, and take steps to fix broken processes, improve creative quality or leverage third parties or technologies to deliver better results.


  1. Success measured in revenue: Although marketers may spend a lot of effort communicating various campaign metrics to upper management – such as impressions, open rates, clicks, views, etc. – executives may be more interested in simply understanding how much your campaigns are adding to the sales pipeline. The report results seemed to verify this: the vast majority (68%) of marketers say that increasing revenue and gaining new customers are their ultimate measures for success. (Only 19 percent said “increasing brand awareness” was a key marketing measurement, and only 13 percent said they were being measured on “improving customer satisfaction.”)


Solution: dig deeper and partner with sales: B2B marketers may need to dig a bit deeper to uncover and connect their campaigns to revenue success. That means perusing Google Analytics and your CRM (customer relationship management) systems to identify customers or prospects that acted on your campaign CTA (call to action) and either purchased your product or signed up for your service. Identifying such new customers may inevitably include a close collaboration between marketers and their sales teams, who may also have campaign feedback, success stories and examples of prospects taking a desired action. Aligning with sales will allow marketers to tie their efforts to actual business results, and create a clearer connection between their efforts and contributions to the bottom line.


Many marketers also turn to trusted email data providers to secure accurate business contact data to fuel their campaigns, reach new and highly targeted prospects, and ultimately, find more customers.


  1. Not enough resources: Marketers also agree there are simply not enough people or hours of the day to get everything done. The survey reports that, when asked about their biggest hurdles to success, 34 percent of marketers say they don’t have enough personnel; 30 percent say they don’t have enough time, and 16 percent complain they don’t have enough data to conduct the marketing they would like.


Solution: prioritize and focus (on email): While there are seemingly numerous channels to reach your target prospects, in reality, your prospects are likely not active in all of them. Examine your customer data and response metrics to prioritize and focus only on the channels that deliver the best results. If you’re like most B2B marketers, you’ll discover this channel to be email – almost half (47 percent) of marketers report that email generates the highest ROI for their efforts, and more than half (58 percent) plan to increase spending on email over the next year. Both these data points put email far ahead of other digital marketing channels.


Being a B2B marketer has never been easy, and with the proliferation of online and social media, everyone seems to be an “armchair” marketer or amateur marketing critic these days. But understanding what your top challenges may likely be – and that you are not alone in facing them – may hopefully put you on the path to better remedying them. And in doing so, you’ll be in a better position to become successful for the rest of the year.


Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you achieve better email marketing ROI, and convert more prospects into customers. Ask us how. Also, take a look at our complimentary new e-book on building a successful B2B email marketing database. â€¨

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At OMI, we believe good things happen when you share your knowledge. That's why we're proud to educate marketers at every level - in every size and type of organization - about the basics of email marketing and the contact data that powers it.

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