B2B Marketers Go-To-Market Top Priorities [Survey]

B2B Marketers Go-To-Market Top Priorities [Survey]

According to the recent The State of B2B lead Management 2022 report from LeanData, Sales Hacker, Heinze Marketing and Outreach, B2B marketing and sales leaders found it more challenging to generate sufficient pipeline last year than to pivot go-to-market approaches amid changing conditions or sell virtually with a remote team. Per the study, those same leaders will be focused on generating pipeline this year.

B2B Sales and Marketing Top Priorities

Not only was pipeline the top challenge for 2021, but it’s the leading priority (among 5 listed) for 2022, according to the survey’s more than 1,700 respondents. Almost half (48.8%) named pipeline growth their top priority for their go-to-market organization this year. That’s more than double the share who said that building/staffing teams (22.4%) is their top priority. Other initiatives such as expanding their addressable market (18.3%), accelerating digital transformation (7.1%), and new tech stack investments (3.5%) were lower on the priority list.

The attention paid to pipeline growth, at least for marketing respondents, is understandable given the extent to which marketing is expected to contribute to the sales pipeline. In a recent study, 82% of marketers said they are measured by the sales pipeline they initiate, and 78% reported being measured by the sales pipeline they influence. The good news is that almost 6 in 10 respondents agree to some extent that their sales and marketing are aligned to deliver growth this year.

Although a slight majority agree that their organization’s lead management systems and processes help them deliver an ideal customer experience, more than one-quarter don’t feel that way. Moreover, one-quarter disagree that their current lead management system will support revenue goals this year. And, although almost 2 in 3 feel that they are somewhat effective in achieving their conversion goals with their current lead management strategy, only around 1 in 4 (27%) are very confident in this area.

Lead Routing Issues

The survey indicates that B2B organizations are at times assigning leads to the wrong owner, with 6 in 10 admitting this sometimes happens and another 7% claiming that it happens half or more of the time.

2 in 3 are able to match leads to accounts and are happy with the process. Unfortunately, this leaves many for whom lead matching occurs but is slow or error-ridden (24.3%), and a small fraction who simply aren’t matching leads to accounts despite a desire to do so (4.3%).

Issues with speed may be the result of outdated processes: the #1 method for routing leads is manual, as opposed to other methods such as using marketing automation platforms or native assignment rules in the CRM.

Looking forward, the top lead management capability that respondents would like to have but currently don’t is more automation and fewer manual processes.

About the Data: The results are based on a December 2021 global survey of 1,732 B2B sales, marketing, and operations professionals, with technology the most heavily represented industry.


Need assistance with your go-to-marketing strategies, and sales and marketing automation? Schedule a call or email Lori Berson at lberson@BersonDeanStevens.com.


BersonDeanStevens has been a recognized brand strategy and marketing leader for over 25 years, including over a decade in marketing and sales automation. We work in partnership with you to differentiate your brand and achieve your business goals. Client list.

 

 

The Future of Content Marketing [Research]

The Future of Content Marketing [Research]

Marketers predicted that they will use more content-driven campaigns and audio and emerging formats in 2020, according to new research from World Media Group.

About 80% of marketing professionals worldwide surveyed in October 2019 said they expect content-led campaigns to grow over the next two years, with 19% saying they expect they would stabilize. Only 2% of respondents said there would be a decline.

Nine in 10 respondents said they planned to use audio/podcasts in 2020, and a similar percentage said they would use emerging technology like augmented reality and voice. This indicates that marketers are experimenting with formats beyond traditional social media posts and editorial-style content.

As content marketing becomes increasingly nuanced and evolves away from merely being a lead-generation tool, a holistic content strategy becomes key to brands engaging with their audiences. A holistic content strategy includes not only content creation—which can include white papers, podcasts, webinars—but also mapping of dissemination, which shows how content gets distributed through the various channels, reaching people at various stages of the customer journey.

Brands are looking to establish themselves as trusted experts and give customers a reason to come back to their websites. That allows them to convert more visitors into leads down the line. A robust content marketing strategy encompasses both content creation and a plan for multichannel dissemination.

And many executives agree that it’s an important strategy to invest in: According to an August 2019 report from The CMO Club, 86% of US CMOs surveyed said that content marketing is the most important area to invest marketing dollars.

About half of US local advertisers surveyed by Borrell Associates between April and July 2019 said they planned to increase ad spend in content marketing, though a larger majority indicated they would increase ad spending on traditional venues like digital video, social media and search.

“Content, when produced strategically and with regularity, can be the backbone of a marketing and advertising plan,” said Jillian Ryan, principal analyst at eMarketer. “It should be created for a specific audience and shared in the most relevant channel to reach the intended audience. Brands are starting to realize that content strategies can inform and provide fuel for most of their other marketing and advertising initiatives.”


Need help with your content marketing? Schedule a call or email Lori Berson at lberson@BersonDeanStevens.com.

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BersonDeanStevens has been a recognized brand strategy and marketing leader for over 25 years, including over a decade in Marketing Automation. We work in partnership with you to differentiate your brand and achieve your business goals. Client list.

 

Email Marketing Priorities for 2020 [Report]

Email Marketing Priorities for 2020 [Report]

Email Marketing

Two of the key email marketing strategy priorities marketers hope to achieve are to increase sales revenue (59%) and to boost the number of leads generated (49%). But these are only two factors in marketers’ quest to make email marketing more effective, according to the latest Ascend2 report.

Email Marketing Priorities for 2020

3 Key Takeaways:

1. Marketers Are More Focused on Improving Engagement Than Boosting List Size

Increasing sales revenue and generating more leads aren’t the only goals marketers are looking to accomplish with this year’s email marketing strategy. About 39% say they will work on improving email engagement, which makes sense given increasing competition for attention in the inbox. Moreover, it appears that more marketers will be focused on engaging their current subscribers as opposed to adding to their email list, with only 21% of respondents saying increasing their email list size is a key goal for the year.

This isn’t to say that respondents think that improving engagement will be simple. 45% say it is also a challenging barrier to the success of their email marketing strategy – making it the biggest obstacle cited in the survey. This challenge is nothing new to marketers as increasing email engagement has been a challengethey have faced for several years.

2. Almost 1 in 3 Marketers Say That Email’s Effectiveness is Declining

Last year Ascend2 found that email marketing campaigns were considered less effective than other tactics such as social media marketing, content marketing, and search engine optimization. When respondents of this most recent survey were asked to what extent effectiveness is changing for email marketing, slightly fewer than one-third said that effectiveness is actually decreasing, either marginally (24%) or significantly (7%).

Other data from DemandMetric and Return Path from Validity has found that more than 43%of marketers believe their email effectiveness remained unchanged last year, with only 28% seeing a slight improvement. Combined with that result, the relatively large number of marketers who report a decrease in effectiveness in this latest survey is significant as the majority of marketers still consider email to be one of their most important marketing channels.

3. Marketers Focus More on Response Rates Than Conversions

When looking at the metrics used to measure the health of their email programs, respondents emphasized click-through-rate (CTR, 55%) and open rate (48%) first among all. This is understandable considering marketers’ wish to increase engagement, especially at a time when open rates and CTR are declining.

With the majority of respondents setting increasing sales revenue as a key priority this year, it is somewhat surprising that fewer (43%) say that one of the most effective metrics used to measure their email marketing strategy’s success is post-email conversions.

Other Findings

  • Better content (66%) and more personalization (65%) are considered the best tactics for improving the effectiveness of email programs.
  • Relatively few marketers feel they can improve effectiveness with more video and animation (22%) and more testing (12%).
  • Almost three-quarters (73%) of marketers plan to continue their investment in email marketing either moderately or significantly, while 16% say they have no plans to invest at all.
  • About half (49%) of organizations use a combination of outsourced and in-house resources to implement their email strategy, with more than one-third (37%) saying they keep it all in-house.

Check out the full report.

About the Data: Ascend2 surveyed 287 marketing professionals across B2B (37%), B2C (43%) and B2B/B2C equally (20%) sectors during the week of December 9, 2019.


Need help with your 2020 email marketing strategies? Schedule a call or email Lori Berson at lberson@BersonDeanStevens.com.

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BersonDeanStevens has been a recognized brand strategy and marketing leader for over 25 years, including over a decade in Marketing Automation. We work in partnership with you to differentiate your brand and achieve your business goals. Client list.

 

Email Marketing Priorities for 2020 [Report]

Marketing Automation Features and Benefits

Marketing automation empowers marketers to focus on the strategic initiatives rather than get bogged down with the tactical implementation, and it aligns sales and marketing towards accomplishing common goals. This all adds up to decreased costs and increased revenue.

FEATURES

Campaign and Email Management

Create and track highly targeted marketing campaigns. Manage end-to-end email campaigns, including database management, target list creation and segmentation, email personalization, and SPAM-compliant auto unsubscribe capabilities.

Website Search Engine Optimization

Connect with your customers early in the buying cycle with search engine friendly pages.

Landing Page and Forms

Create dynamic landing pages and forms. Build reusable templates to create a consistent look and feel. Instantly create leads in your CRM system for immediate sales follow up on all form submissions.

Lead Reporting and Analytics

Get comprehensive insight into your marketing programs by program type, lead source, and promotions — in real-time. Seamlessly track lead-to-revenue to measure the ROI of your lead generation programs.

“91% of the most successful users agree that marketing automation is ‘very important’ to the overall success of their marketing across channels.” —Ascend2

BENEFITS

Effective Multi-Channel Campaign Management

Streamlines the execution of complex marketing campaigns across multiple channels, including websites, email, events, and social media with a centralized marketing platform.

Improves Sales Collaboration

Aligns marketing and sales goals to improve collaboration and convert leads into customers.

Shortens Your Sales Cycle

Delivers highly relevant dynamic content to prospects at the right time, right place and right channel, guiding them through the buying cycle.

Quantifies and Prioritizes Leads

Captures, identifies, scores and nurtures leads based on profile, behavior, interests, and conversion readiness to deliver sales-ready leads.

Real-Time Visibility

Provides insight into campaign performance and return on investment (ROI) with robust analytics.

To learn how to best use Marketing Automation to increase ROI, check out this article.

As a recognized Marketing Automation leader for the past decade, we work with firms to help them utilize their marketing technology to increase revenue. To see how we can help you, schedule a free consultation or email Lori Berson at lberson@BersonDeanStevens.com.

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BersonDeanStevens has been a recognized brand strategy and marketing leader for over 25 years, including over a decade in Marketing Automation. We work in partnership with you to differentiate your brand and achieve your business goals. Client list.

Email Marketing Priorities for 2020 [Report]

5 Strategies to Improve Your Marketing Campaigns

Here are five marketing strategies you can use to improve your marketing efforts across multiple channels, messaging, and execution.

1. Determine whom you want to reach.

Before creating any messaging, channel development, etc., you need to determine which audience segment you want to target. It’s best to create marketing personas to define these different groups of people. With each persona, determine the characteristics of this subset. What are their likes and dislikes? Where do they live online and offline? What are their common challenges and pain points? By defining these audience attributes, you can more accurately target your marketing to them.

2. Tailor your campaigns to your personas.

Customize your marketing campaign messaging and research the channels in which you send these messages — according to your audience’s preferences.

For example: During your research, you may have discovered one client segment that doesn’t read print media; for this segment, you’ll want to develop digital-only materials. Use the appropriate channels to reach your target audience(s) to ensure the maximum exposure and engagement.

“Best in class marketers are 67% more likely to use a Marketing Automation platform and see 14% overall growth in marketing revenue.” — Aberdeen

3. Leverage trigger marketing.

You now know whom to talk to and where, how about when? If your customers receive your campaign at the right moment in the buyer’s journey, they are more likely to be receptive to your message. Trigger marketing sends emails or campaigns at specific points in a customer’s engagement lifecycle and can significantly increase your chance of success. Marketing Automation facilitates these efforts.

“Triggered email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” marketing messages.” —Epsilon Email Institute

4. Test your campaign performance.

Build tests into your campaign plans and measure what’s working and what isn’t.

For example: Test what channel works best, how your web pages and emails are performing, what time of day or day of the week you should publish content, etc.

Additionally, you should conduct A/B tests on different headlines, page designs, calls-to-action, button and text colors, and email subject lines. Control your tests by limiting the variables being evaluated at the same time. Test and track the results continuously.

“63% of surveyed marketers indicate that the ability to set measurable objectives for each of the campaigns is the biggest value driver of Marketing Automation.” — Gleanster

5. Measure your results.

After you’ve conceived, created, and launched your campaign, you must track your efforts. This can be done with a simple Excel chart or a more robust dashboard. Make sure your Key Performance Indicators (KPI) tell the story of your campaign.

“91% of the most successful users agree that Marketing Automation is ‘very important’ to the overall success of their marketing across channels.” —Ascend2

Once you’ve started testing and tracking, it’s time to assess and refine your campaign. Based on your findings either repeat or delete the campaign.

For assistance with your campaign strategy, Marketing Automation implementation, and optimization, contact Lori at 877.447.0134 or lberson@BersonDeanStevens.com.