B2B marketers splurging on content and digital; struggling with ROI

New Greenhat and ADMA report on B2B marketing strategies for 2015 finds marketing ROI is the top challenge

Delivering marketing ROI remains the top challenge for B2B marketers this year, while many are still struggling to capitalise on or successfully utilise new enablement technologies like marketing automation.

Challenges with effectiveness was one of several themes highlighted in the new B2B Marketing Outlook 2015 report, produced by Greenhat in association with ADMA.

The report found the top two marketing objectives for 2015 are generating leads (81 per cent) and nurturing leads (78 per cent).

Digital marketing is taking the largest portion of the overall B2B marketing budget at 28 per cent, up from 23 per cent year-on-year, followed by traditional offline marketing at 21 per cent. Top digital tactics for this year are email, e-nurturing and social media marketing.

Proving social’s worth remains a challenge, however. Only 20 per cent claim to have chalked up strong results from social activities last year, while 25 per cent saw some results but found these to be “not cost effective or consistent”. Twenty-eight per cent also admitted there was no emphasis on being able to measure ROI on social media activities in their organisation. For those engaged in social, LinkedIn was the B2B platform of choice.

Related: Can you market B2B using social media?

Content marketing also came up as a vital area of investment for B2B marketers, with 17 per cent of budgetary spend allocated to this area, a rise of 54 per cent year-on-year. Three in four respondents said content is a ‘key pillar’ to their marketing efforts, with top content types including short articles and blogs, case studies and video.

Just under two-thirds of marketers plan to do more content amplification and syndication activities this year to ensure content gets to the right people. Sixty-four per cent of respondents are creating or publishing blogs and online, up from 51 per cent in 2014.

There’s also a push around for better personalisation. Demographic and physiographic buyer personas had been developed by 43 per cent of B2B marketers surveyed, up from 35 per cent year last year, and 22 per cent are planning to create these segmentations. Just over one-third have also mapped a lead journey for customers from unknown prospect to sale and 27 per cent plan to.

But it’s ROI that’s still the biggest hurdle. According to the report, 46 per cent of respondents said marketing ROI was the biggest challenge they face last year, even more so than generating leads (38 per cent).

On a positive note, overall B2B marketing budgets this year are rising, with 36 per cent of respondents saying they’ll increase by at least 5 per cent in 2015.

In terms of marketing technology utilisation, just under half of B2B marketers are using marketing automation, and 64 per cent of them have integrated this platform with their CRM. Yet only 38 per cent of marketing automation users are satisfied or very satisfied with their ROI, down 13 per cent year-on-year. Eight per cent of the budget will be spent on marketing automation this year, the report found.

The report was based on a survey of 455 marketers undertaken in November and December last year. The majority (59 per cent) have fewer than five full-time staff in the marketing team, while 28 per cent had more than 10 employees.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Maintaining trust in a sceptical world: The power of brand trust

The faith people have in brands creates opportunity for those brands to become trusted advisors. In turn, this builds success by increasing the brand’s profile, letting it broaden its product offering and driving stronger customer loyalty.

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

When growth stalls: How to boost growth in large organisations

The push to start new businesses continues. In Q1 2017, the number of seed and angel deals increased by 1.4 per cent compared to Q1 2016.

Con Frantzeskos

CEO, Penso

Why we need diversity in marketing

​When we read articles about the need for increased diversity in marketing land, it is often through the lens of gender.

Jodie Sangster

CEO, ADMA

Interesting insight, well explained and the examples are just apt.Thanks for sharing!

FreshMindIdeas

The politics of branding - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

When the world that we live in floods with gigabytes of content every day, we have to learn to be selective about it. Such educational we...

Paulina Cameron

ADMA launches education program to tackle viewability, ad fraud and brand safety

Read more

Hi, i am an Aistralian ALK patient, been on xalkori dec 13 to oct 15 and achieved remission of disease, since been on Ceritinib until no...

gary packer

Pfizer Australia adopts AI-powered digital analyst tool for sales and marketing decision making

Read more

Hi James, shouldn't marketers also be focusing on collecting and utilizing up to date first-party profiling data on customers so that mes...

Tom

3 ways customer data can increase online sales conversion

Read more

Wouldn't reconnecting with younger consumers be in direct contravention of the code on alcohol advertising?

Tim Palmer

Vodka Cruiser reconnects with younger consumers via category-first Facebook Live campaign

Read more

Latest Podcast

Getting Intimate with CX Ep 5: Tammy Marshall, founder, The B Hive

How much of customer experience is having the foresight to know what those individuals might like, versus asking them? In Episode 5 of this new podcast series, BrandHook MD, Pip Stocks, talks with Tammy Marshall about the importance of asking your customers questions, how consistency plays a role in engagement, but how the unexpected adds extra value.

More podcasts

Sign in