How is your 2018 looking so far from a marketing standpoint? DemandGen recently released a study on top B2B marketing trends, offering a timely way to assess year-to-date performance. To quickly benchmark your year, take a look at my six top takeaways from the study:
- Email remains the “go-to” lead driver: Email is used by two out of every three B2B marketers to drive pipeline leads, surpassing all other marketing mediums including websites and search. Well over half (59%) of B2B marketers surveyed say email is the most effective channel for driving early-stage engagement with prospects. In addition, 81% of marketers say email is effective in driving engagement later in the sales funnel as well. The report concludes that email remains “the go-to channel” for B2B marketers. My takeaway: If you’re not fully leveraging email marketing, take another look at how to amplify your efforts for the remainder of the year.
- Marketing budgets on the rise: According to the report, 70% of B2B marketers plan to increase their demand generation budgets later this year. And these increases could be significant: 12% of marketers anticipate budget increases over 30%, 22% of marketers expect budgets to rise over 20%, and 36% of marketers anticipate their budgets will rise between 1 and 10%. My takeaway: Use these percentages to gain valuable insight as you consider budget increases in order to meet lead or revenue generation targets.
- Revenues accelerating: While over a quarter (28%) of marketers have revenue-based quotas, many are happily seeing generated revenues increasing this year. A quarter of B2B marketers anticipate marketing-generated revenue increasing 30% over 2017, while almost two-thirds (63%) are projecting revenue growth above 20%. My takeaway: When you experience increased revenue growth as a result of your marketing efforts, use it as a force multiplier: put some of that revenue to work to fuel increased budget, more marketing staff or incremental marketing projects that create avenues for accelerating revenue growth even further.
- Lead quality the top objective: In increasing their companies’ bottom lines, the top goal of the majority (73%) of B2B marketers in the survey is to deliver quality leads (as opposed to higher quantities) and improve conversion rates (72%). Other top B2B marketing objectives include increasing lead volume (62%), improving analysis and measurement (61%) and improving sales and marketing alignment (60%). My takeaway: Now is the time to reconsider your top marketing program objectives and how they align with business goals. Are adjustments needed?
- Matching offers to the right part of sales pipeline: According to the survey, B2B marketers say that the best marketing offer depends upon each buyer’s stage in the sales pipeline. For example, while events (e.g. trade shows, hosted conferences, etc.) can be most useful at the top of the sales funnel, the vast majority of marketers (73%) say case studies are best at converting leads at later stages of the sales funnel. My takeaway: As a B2B marketer, are you able to identify and sort your leads by sales funnel stages? Be sure to track and analyze the offers or content that generates the best responses for each stage of your buying process.
- Databases need work: While revenue generation may be on the rise for most marketers, many admit their databases are not keeping pace with their success. Almost a third (31%) of the survey respondents confess that many of their contacts are incomplete or inaccurate, while 18% believe their database does not adequately cover their target markets. As a result, more than a third (38%) of marketers surveyed say they are reviewing their databases to ensure full coverage and acceptable contact data. My takeaway: Database hygiene, growth and maintenance is essential to marketing success. If you feel your customer or prospect database is not adequately helping your company reach its revenue objectives, contact our team at OMI for assistance.
With 2018 well past the halfway point, now is the time to make the course corrections you need to meet your marketing goals. As always, remember that OMI stands ready to support you. From Fortune 2000 firms, to startups and mid-market organizations, our specialty is empowering businesses to find new customers, enter new markets and accelerate growth.
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you achieve better email marketing ROI by targeting your best prospects – including millennials and other generations -- and, ultimately, converting more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.