2018 B2B MARKETING SURVEY –– KEY FINDINGS

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Reinventing B2B media & events2018B2B MARKETING SURVEY––KEY FINDINGSwww.contentive.com

CONTENTSIntroductionMethodologyKey Findings» Future B2B Marketing Trends» Key Marketing Goals» Investment and ROI» The Role of the Modern B2B Marketer» The Maze of DistractionAudience OverviewFinal ThoughtsAbout Contentive

2018 B2B Marketing Survey – Key FindingsThe Rise of the Modern B2B MarketerMarketing used to be considered an art,but technology is turning it into a science.CMOs now have access to the largestIT budget in many organisations, whileemerging martech tools are providing B2Bmarketers with a range of technologies,channels and tactics to test, learn andoptimise their marketing strategies.Given the explosion of data, analytics andautomation tools available, B2B marketersare now in a better position than their salescounterparts to understand and determinethe buyer’s journey from discovery,education and evaluation to conversion.The modern B2B marketer owns the toolsand systems to listen to the voice of thecustomer, learn about their motivations orbuying signals earlier in the sales cyclethan ever before, and using a data-drivenapproach they can predict a prospect’sreadiness to engage with the sales team.marketing channels for the best ROI andaccelerate their lead generation strategy.We surveyed our trusted community of B2Bmarketing leaders to understand the keymarketing trends and pain points for themodern B2B marketing professional.We learned that the modern B2Bprofessional is constantly testing andlearning which channels work for themusing a data-driven multi-touch approachwhen planning their marketing strategies.They are leveraging emerging technologiessuch as artificial intelligence andpersonalisation to tailor their marketingmessages based on buyer personas andaudience segementation.Developments in computing power, theinternet and social media have created anever-growing supply of digital content. Forbusy executives, staying up-to-date withnew developments is a major challenge inthe new ‘attention economy’.With more pressure on ROI and competitionfrom new entrants to the market, themodern B2B marketer is looking for waysto cut through the noise to distributetheir marketing messages and work withtrusted media partners to leverage existingmarketing channels.The challenge for the modern B2Bmarketer is to navigate this maze ofdistraction and identify the most effectiveMethodology»T he findings of this report werecompiled by Contentive, a global B2Bmedia and events company.»W e surveyed our community of B2Bmarketing professionals and the ClickZaudience.»T he report is based on the 214responses to the survey.01

2018 B2B Marketing Survey – Key FindingsKey Findings57%48%of B2B marketers thinkpersonalisation will have thegreatest influence on theirmarketing strategy in thenext 12 months.Top business priorities for B2B marketers58%45%44%123CONVERTINGLEADS INTOCUSTOMERSGROWING TRAFFICTO WEBSITEINCREASINGREVENUEFROM EXISTINGCUSTOMERSof B2B marketers budget onan on-going basis.Modern B2Bmarketerscollaborate withfive or morecolleagues tomake key strategicdecisions.50%The most important channels formarketing strategy and budgetallocation over the next 12 months.of B2B marketers preferleads from the top, middleand bottom of the salesfunnel.B2B marketers capture leads at all stages ofthe funnel, from awareness to considerationand evaluation.AWARENESSWHAT’SGOING SEDIRECTMARKETINGWHAT’SGOINGDOWNCoining the term ‘smarketing’ for B2B salesand marketing teams, with leads beingpassed between marketing and sales to benurtured across all stages of the buyer’sjourney.02

2018 B2B Marketing Survey – Key FindingsFuture B2B Marketing TrendsThe key trend for B2B marketers is a focuson personalisation and artificial intelligenceto tailor marketing messages based onaccount-based targeting.Advancements in artificial intelligence andmarketing automation have enabled B2Bmarketers to experiment with chat botsand personalisation to create a customercentric experience and track the end-toend buyer’s journey. Almost 60% of surveyrespondents believed personalisationwill have the greatest influence on theirmarketing strategy in the next 12 months(Ref Fig 1).Interestingly, B2B marketers are alsofocused on leveraging influencer marketingstrategies, similar to how B2C marketersuse brand endorsements via social mediachannels. Influencer marketing has beenleveraged by modern B2B marketers toidentify industry influencers for brandawareness or working with media or eventpartners, to tap into an engaged communityof potential buyers.Fig 1In recent years, there has been a lot ofhype around emerging technologiessuch as virtual reality and augmentedreality; however, these technologies areyet to go mainstream. Only 8% of surveyrespondents considered augmented realityand 10% believed virtual reality as key B2Bmarketing trends. This would suggest theVR/AR market needs to mature before it’sleveraged by the modern B2B marketer.58%of B2B marketers thinkpersonalisation will have thegreatest influence on theirmarketing strategy in thenext 12 months.With GDPR coming into effect this year, it’sno surprise that data protection and privacyis high on the agenda for B2B marketers,as well as the impact on lead generationstrategies. Depending on the organisation’sapproach, GDPR will influence bothcustomer retention and acquisitionstrategies in the coming months.Which of these emerging trends are most likely toinfluence your marketing plans in the next 12 months?Personalisation 58%Artificial intelligence 45%Influencer marketing 45%Data protection/privacy 42%Account based targeting 38%Chat bots 35%Interactive advertising formats 30%Voice-optmised content 22%Virtual Reality 10%Augmented Reality 8%03

2018 B2B Marketing Survey – Key FindingsKey Marketing GoalsFor the modern B2B marketingprofessional, converting marketing-qualifiedleads into customers has always been a toppriority, with 58% of our survey respondentsfocussing on lead conversion as theirnumber one goal.These days the modern buyer isresearching online and looking forinformation to help them find the right toolsfor the job. According to the CEB, 57% ofthe purchasing decision happens before asales call ever takes place.For the modern B2B marketer, leadconversion requires multi-touch pointsof key messages and proof points toinfluence their buyer’s decision-makingprocess. Traditionally, B2B marketers wereresponsible for ‘top of the funnel’ leadsand passing these leads directly to thesales team. Today, B2B marketers are nowresponsible for every stage of the buyingprocess from awareness to consideration,conversion and retention. In fact, 50% ofsurvey respondents demand leads at allstages of the funnel – top, middle andbottom – to nurture leads for marketingcampaigns.Fig2What is interesting is that driving traffic tothe company website is the second highestpriority, which suggests that B2B marketersemphasise the value of their ‘shop window’,ensuring their brand messages match thecompany’s story and mission. With access tosophisticated data andTOP BUSINESSanalytics, marketersPRIORITIES FORcan track the entireB2B MARKETERScustomer journey%from visiting externalsites and social mediaCONVERTING LEADSchannels, to retargeting INTO CUSTOMERSthem back to their%company website andGROWING TRAFFIClanding pages.5845TO WEBSITEFinally, the modernB2B marketerfocusses on both newbusiness acquistionand pipeline andcustomer retention,with increasingrevenue from existingcustomers as a toppriority.44%INCREASING REVENUEFROM EXISTINGCUSTOMERS35%STRENGTHENINGPOSITION WITHINCOMPETITIVE MARKET33%PROVING ROIWhat is your organisation’s top 3 marketingpriorities over the next 12 months?Converting leads into customers 58%Growing traffic to website 45%Increasing revenue from existing customers 44%Strengthening position within competitive market 35%Proving ROI 33%Sales enablement 30%Reducing cost of acquisition 25%New product launches 18%04

2018 B2B Marketing Survey – Key FindingsMarketing Investment and ROIFor the modern B2B marketer, the goalposts are constantly moving, meaning theyneed to budget accordingly and makedecisions on where to spend budget onan ongoing basis. As marketing budgetscontinue to evolve, B2B marketers are heldaccountable on revenue metrics that directlyimpact the organisation’s bottom line.The majority of survey respondents setboth the budget and allocated marketingresources for their campaign strategy, with38% of respondents responsible for boththe budget and allocation of resources.48%of B2B marketers plantheir marketing budgeton an on-going basis.For traditional marketing channels, B2Bmarketers tend to plan on a yearly orquarterly basis, generally allocating theirbudget to tried and tested channels thatconvert into ROI.Fig3How frequently do you planyour marketing activity 13%Annually 37%QuarterlyDigital marketing spend has consistentlygrown year-on-year with a focus on search,email marketinng, content marketingand social media channels. This meansbusinesses are shifting their marketingspend to digital strategies rather thantraditional B2B marketing channels. Thistrend is expected to continue for the nextseveral years.Today, the modern B2B marketer needs tobe more agile and savvy with their budget,often running pilot programmes before theycommit spend.This trend suggests that the allocationof marketing budgets depends on thecompany’s goals from brand awarenessand thought leadership to lead generation.Marketing spend for B2B marketersMarketing budgets are expected toincrease year-on-year: 59% of surveyrespondents said their market budgetincreased this year, and 68% believe theirmarketing budget is expected increasenext year.Has your budget increased ordecreased this year? 59% Increased 27% Decreased 12% Same 3%Every 6 weeks 48%On-going basis 1%OtherDo you expect your budget to increaseor decrease for next year? 68% Increase 10% Decrease 24% Same05

2018 B2B Marketing Survey – Key FindingsThe Role of the Modern B2B MarketerThe roles and responsibilities of the modernB2B marketing professional are evolving,with new skills required to negotiate thepurchasing decisions as part of a consensussell, with five or more colleagues influencingthe buying decisions.The skill set of the modern B2B marketingprofessional is ever-expanding and their roleis to not only harness the power of brandto fuel growth (i.e. competitive positioning,product messaging and industry marketing),but also to understand how leveraging newtechnologies can help automate, scale andoptimise sales and marketing processes forthe business.32%of B2B marketerswork with five or morecolleagues whenplanning campaigns.The modern B2B marketer championscollaboration and knows how to workwell with sales, product, engineering, andoperations to efficiently and effectivelydrive the business forward. Specifically, themodern B2B marketer works with the salesteam to form part of the ‘smarketing’ salesand marketing team to work in tandem withaligned business goals. It’s critical that themodern B2B marketer understands thecustomer’s needs, and that they collaboratewith the sales team to communicate sharedKPIs and objectives.It’s also important that the modern B2B cantranslate the value of marketing spend tothe senior leadership team on key businessmetrics such as customer lifetime value,sales team response time, cost of customeracquisition and not just page impressions,unique website visits, brand engagementand brand building activities such as events.Modern B2B Marketers work closely withthe technical and product teams to makedata-driven decisions that are based onexperiments and not just gut feelings. Theymeasure and monitor customer engagementand feedback, to not only help drive theproduct roadmap but also act as the‘voice of the customer’ to ensure there is aproduct/market fit.Fig4 10%OneHow many colleagues areinvolved in planning yourmarketing campaign? 23%Two 22%Three 13%Four 32%Five 06

2018 B2B Marketing Survey – Key FindingsThe Maze of DistractionsFor the modern B2B marketer, adopting amulti-channel approach means that there isa maze of distraction when evaluating themost effective strategy for lead generationactivity. With an array of digital channels tochoose from, the modern B2B marketercan be overwhelmed by choice, as theyare constantly experimenting with differentchannels and content formats.When asked which channels provided thebest ROI for their marketing strategy, contentmarketing, email marketing and social mediachannels were the top results (Ref Fig 5).These channels continue to be importantwithin the B2B marketing mix, with favouredcontent formats including social media posts,case studies and video marketing, followedclosely by white papers and industry reports(Ref Fig 6).Fig551%CONSIDER CONTENTMARKETING AS THE BESTCHANNEL FOR ROI56%PRODUCE CONTENTIN-HOUSE RATHER THANOUTSOURCING TO ANAGENCY52%ARE ONLY MODERATELYSATISFIED WITH THEIRCONTENT MARKETINGEFFORTSWhich marketing channels provide the best ROI for your business?Content Marketing 51%Email Marketing 47%Social Media 42%Paid Search 32%Events/Events Marketing 30%Direct Marketing 29%Influencer Marketing 19%Video Marketing 13%Display Advertising 12%07

2018 B2B Marketing Survey – Key FindingsThe Maze of DistractionsA key challenge continues to be aroundplanning the customer journey via multitouch points, generating sales-qualified leadsand finding the right distribution partners.Most survey respondents were ‘gettingthere’ or finding it ‘really tough’, reflectingthe trend that the modern B2B marketeris never truly satisfied and looking toconstantly iterate and achieve more withtheir marketing strategy.Fig6TOP 3 CONTENTMARKETING FORMATS65%SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS49%CASE STUDIES38%VIDEO MARKETINGWhat are your top 3 content marketing formats?Social Media Posts 65%Case Studies 49%Videos 38%Ebooks/White Papers 36%Reports 25%Infographics 20%Webinar 18%Illustrations/Photos 15%Surveys 7%Podcasts 4%Interactive Tools i.e. Quizzes 2%08

2018 B2B Marketing Survey – Key FindingsAudience OverviewBelow is a snapshot of the survey respondentdemographics and firmographics.Job roleThe majority of survey respondents weremarketing managers, with one third ofrespondents in a senior leadership position(CMO, VP Marketing or Head of Marketingroles).Type of companyThe majority of survey respondents wereeither working in-house for a brand oragency.Which category bestdescribes your company?What is your job role? 13%CMO 43%Brand 17%VP Marketing/Head of Marketing 38%Agency 7%Media Owners 46%Marketing Manager 13%Technology Provider 16%Marketing Assistant 9%Marketing ConsultantSize of companyThe majority of survey respondents workedfor small to medium-sized companies i.e. acompany that had 1-50 employees.Type of customersThe majority of survey respondents sold toB2B organisations; however a large portionalso sold to both B2B and B2C companies.How many people arein your organisation?Do you sell to businesses,individuals or both? 28% 1 – 10 26% 11 – 50 8% 51 – 100 9% 101 – 200 11% 201 – 500 6% 501 – 1,000 6% 1,001 – 5,000 5% 5,000 53%B2B 3%B2C 22%Both09

2018 B2B Marketing Survey – Key FindingsAudience OverviewBusiness regionThe majority of survey respondents were either based in North Americaor Europe, and some identified as having global operations.Which region does your business operate AL7%%1218%ASIAPACIFICAFRICASOUTHAMERICAType of businessMost survey respondents were a service-based business rather thanproduct-based.What is your primary business?Service 68%Product 47%Other 9%10

2018 B2B Marketing Survey – Key FindingsFinal ThoughtsFor the modern B2B marketer to succeed,they need to have a blend between the artand science of marketing. What’s clear fromour survey findings is that the modern B2Bmarketer has more opportunity than ever tounderstand and define the buyer’s journey.It’s critical that they understand both the artside – the less tangible items in the marketingmix such as brand awareness, competitivepositioning, PR and messaging - while delvinginto the nitty gritty science side, using dataand trackable lead generation campaigns andactivities.THE MODERN B2BMARKETER EXPERIMENTSWITH THE ART ANDSCIENCE OF MARKETINGTO CONVERT LEADS INTOCUSTOMERS.In essence, the modern B2B marketer needsto understand customers’ motivations andbuying behaviours to inform their marketingstrategy, so they can reach and engage themat every point of the sales cycle.It’s about finding this balance to ensurethe modern B2B marketing professional isoptimising on all marketing channels andworking with trusted partners to acceleratetheir lead generation activity.11

ABOUT CONTENTIVE––Contentive is a global B2B media andevents company, helping professionals andbusinesses excel in a digital world. We providean engaging mix of news, insights and thoughtleadership, events and intelligence, acrossDigital Marketing, Accounting & Finance, HRand other business verticals.Our products and services help seniorexecutives excel in a world being transformedby digital transformation – and our contentmarketing and event solutions provideB2B marketers with access to an engagedaudience of business professionals.FOLLOW ontentiveinstagram.com/teamcontentiveCONTACT USIf you’d like to learn more about ourmarketing solutions, then get in touch:Emily MackenzieMedia Sales Directoremily.mackenzie@contentive.com 44 (0)20 8080 9198Founded in 2012, we have offices in Londonand New York. Our London team is locatedin the I-HUB in White City, a state of-the-artbuilding host to a hotbed of innovationfocused, high-growth companies. Contentiveis backed by the Blenheim Chalcot group,leading active investors with annual sales ofover 350M.12

48% of B2B marketers budget on an on-going basis. 50% of B2B marketers prefer leads from the top, middle and bottom of the sales funnel. 1 CONVERTING LEADS INTO CUSTOMERS 2 GROWING TRAFFIC TO WEBSITE 3 INCREASING REVENUE FROM EXISTING CUSTOMERS B2B marketers capture leads at all stages of the funnel, from awareness to consideration and evaluation.

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