Which areas should B2B marketers devote additional digital spend to in 2016? What are the best approaches and tactics to focus on? We’ve sorted through dozens of research reports to identify five key digital approaches that are already working well for marketers and that have substantial future growth potential. We believe that if you smartly spend on each, you’ll be well positioned for the year ahead – and beyond.
Focus on content quality
Savvy B2B organizations have realized that content marketing is a powerful tactic, and that it can be made even more effective by targeting content quality, not just quantity.
B2B organizations are going all-in on content in 2016:
– 76% of B2B marketers plan to increase content production.
– 51% expect to spend more budget on content marketing.
Marketers are looking to create better content this year:
– 60% say producing high-quality content is a challenge.
– 72% are focusing on creating more-engaging content.
In 2016, go beyond surface-level metrics to truly understand which digital content pieces are driving action. This will help convert increased content traffic into additional sales and revenue.
Map the customer journey
B2B marketers rank improving lead quality as one of their top current business challenges. What’s the best way to get better leads? By properly mapping out the customer journey.
– Lead quality is the foundation of content marketing: 87% of B2B marketers say lead quality is a key barometer for measuring effectiveness.
– Better leads come from a better understanding of customer: 87% of B2B marketers say mapping the customer journey is essential to digital success.
The key to understanding the customer journey is to invest time and budget into developing on in-depth, data-driven map of the full buying process.
Dive into predictive analytics
Some 55% of B2B organizations are hiring for marketing analytics roles in 2016. Why? Because many have come to see the immense benefits of predictive analytics.
B2B organizations that utilize predictive analytics are… 2X more likely to:
– have annual revenue growth rates above 10%
– have a larger market share compared with competitors
– exceed their annual marketing ROI goals.
B2B companies are using predictive analytics to…
– Understand how high-value customer engage.
– Target new leads and marketing opportunities.
– Optimize marketing spend to reach the right buyers.
The key benefits of predictive analytics is that allows companies to identify the best approaches, potential customers, and strategies beforehand – rather than waiting to find out.
Boost sales with marketing automation
How can you nurture enough new leads at every step of the buyer journey to significantly increase revenue? One increasingly important approach is marketing automation.
B2B marketers are investing in automation tools: 66% plan to increase their spend on marketing automation platform in 2016.
… Because automation platforms produce more leads:
– Automation platforms boost the sales pipeline by 10% on average.
– Creating an integrated automation system isn’t simple – 52% of B2B marketers say they struggle with it – but, if done well, it can make your marketing more efficient across the board.
Don’t forget about SEM and Webinars
Some 46% of B2B buyers are now Millennials. This group is much more likely to research online before reaching out to sales rep, which makes SEM and webinars more valuable than ever.
They’re already champs; B2B marketers rank:
#1: SEM as most-effective paid tactic.
#2: Webinars as most-effective unpaid tactic.
They’re widely used – and growing:
– Millennial buyers do 12 web searches on average before reaching out to sales reps.
– 70% of B2B buyers view videos/webinars during the evaluation process, with 48%+ watching for more than 30 minutes on average.
Don’t forget about tried-and true digital tactics like SEM and webinars in 2016. These approaches may not be new, but they’re increasingly efficient and effective.