B2B Online Marketing – Best Practice Review

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B2B online marketing practice appears to be moving towards inbound (pull) marketing and away from the the traditional push but what are the challenges? What works and what does not? A recent survey provides some insights

According to a recent survey of 1,416 B2B Marketers (company size 10-99 employees) in North America by the CMI/Outbrain 94% use content (inbound) marketing and 57% intent to increase spend on the activity in the next 12 months.

The survey shows the number one objective of content marketing activity is brand awareness, closely followed by finding new customers, then lead generation and customer retention. An average taken across the surveyed companies shows 31% of marketing spend is expected to be allocated to content marketing activity and a marked move away from traditional B2B push marketing techniques.

Inbound (content) marketing activities where defined by the survey as (ranked from most to least used)

  • Social media (excl Blog)
  • Article (own website)
  • E Newsletter
  • Blog
  • Case Studies
  • Videos
  • In Person Events (Seminar)
  • Articles (other websites)
  • White Papers
  • Webinars

With many more, lower priority, activities

The key problem areas identified were (not surprisingly) in priority order – Producing enough content, producing the kind of content that engages and producing a variety of content. 57% of those surveyed produce all their content in house, 3% outsource everything and 39% use a combination of in house and outsourced marketing services.

The figure of 94% using content marketing is perhaps a little misleading as this includes a proportion using only 1-2 of the tactics listed above which, in reality, does not represent a co-ordinated content marketing process. However the survey does show that over 50% of those claiming to employ content marketing are using between 5 and 12 different activities and over 20% in excess of 15 activities.

There is little doubt there is a strong move towards pull (instead of push) B2B online marketing. Statistics based on USA based companies do provide some useful insights but I wonder what would be the results of a survey based on UK companies with a similar profile. I suspect the U.K may be somewhat behind the USA.

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