This blog series is updated every week with charts that focus on: B2B sales and marketing, industrial technologies (no consumer stuff) and areas that we play in! Two charts will be featured each week with some insights and thoughts from the author.

Week of February 1st

What are the Most Used Metrics by SaaS Companies?

Some of these SaaS companies need to get their acts together! Only 56% are tracking their new member conversion rates? Only 35% know what their customer retention costs are? Also, how does one measure “customer health”? There are four areas that a SaaS company should measure religiously and they are related to: revenue, costs, usage and usability. Define key goals and metrics for each and then measure!

How Much Are Companies Budgeting for the Internet of Things?

An area of focus for us is the “Industrial Internet of Things” or IIoT for short. This is the B2B side of the “Internet of Things” where companies are developing technology solutions and platforms that collect, analyse and act on data being created by connected devices. This chart, developed by Mi6 Agency, provides your company with an idea on what specific industries are investing in IoT. In 2015 these industries spent $1.1B on IoT. As you’ll notice some industries plan to spend more in 2016 some will spend less. Total IoT spend in 2016 is, for these industries, is expected to be $1.3B.

Week of February 8th

How to Create Stronger Relationships with B2B Buyers

Here’s something to strongly consider when developing relationships with prospective and existing customers in the B2B space. The challenge facing some companies is putting in place an operating framework that makes it possible to execute on these five key areas.

Who, for example is responsible for developing “personal relationships” within an account? Is it one person or many? If more than one who can or should interact with key contacts within the account and why? How do you prevent people from tripping over each other within an account?

How do you prevent over communications by your teams via social media properties? Who should connect with contacts within a customer account on LinkedIn? Be smart, not careless, when putting in place an account AND contact relationship program.

What’s is Twitter’s Revenue and Monthly User Growth?

The media, analysts and others routinely cast doom and gloom on the future of Twitter citing slow user growth with one of the causes being that Twitter is hard to use. They compare Twitter’s success, or lack of it, to Facebook and then come to the conclusion that Twitter is doomed. Perhaps Facebook is the bellwether company but let’s get real! Look at other industries and you’ll see there are many companies with larger customer bases than others. Some are doing better than others but they are part of an industry. Facebook is not an industry! It’s one company of many in the social networking space.

The chart we put together below shows you two key areas of growth that need to be measured. While user growth is climbing slowly look at how much revenue has increased as compared to number of users. Now, I’m not a big fan of using Monthly Active Users as THE benchmark for user growth but Twitter doesn’t report Daily Active Users (they should). They should also break out customers from users. A customer buys something vs. a user that uses the network but doesn’t pay. It will be interesting to see if Twitter does generate over $2.5B in 2016 with an estimated user base of 382M.

Week of February 15th

What are the top concerns for IT departments in 2016?

This is the first chart we’ve put together based on the Tech Pro Research Report “IT Budgets: Drivers, trends and concerns in 2016″. The report is based on an online survey of 201 professionals in IT management from various industries, company sizes and countries. Of those respondents, 138 disclosed their budgets and here’s the breakdown:

In the chart below we’ve isolated the medium to major concerns and pains facing the IT management professionals that took the survey. This data should be used by technology marketers when planning go to market campaigns and content development. What you communicate and convey to IT management and eventually the CEO and CFO must address these top business concerns. For example, if you can’t show, through your marketing activities, how “big data and analytics” will improve service responsiveness or support business revenue initiatives you’ve missed the boat and produced marketing fluff.

What are the top priorities for IT departments in 2016?

This is the second chart we’ve put together based on the Tech Pro Research Report “IT Budgets: Drivers, trends and concerns in 2016″. The report states that IT budgets are flat in 2016 compared to the previous year. But, you’ll notice below that there are increasing pressures and priorities on IT management to perform, protect and produce results. For technology marketers and sales professionals the key is to demonstrate and prove to IT management and line of business leaders that your technology solutions will address their key concerns (see chart above) and achieve these key business priorities.

Week of February 22nd

What Are B2B Marketers Top Demand Generation Priorities in 2016?

Let’s concede that generating leads for the foreseeable future will always be a high priority for B2B marketers. One year it’s quantity of leads in the number one spot and the next it’s quality of leads. How does one measure “quality” though? What does “lead” mean? I guarantee you the term “lead” varies from marketer to marketer, sales rep to sales rep and leadgen firm to leadgen firm. So, if the term “lead” means something different then what exactly is a quality lead? For me it’s pretty simple. A quality lead is a contact within a key account that is going to buy, influence others to buy and/or use your product, service or solution. It’s a person who is part of what I call a prospect network integral to helping you uncover, advance and close sales opportunities. Having said that, all contacts within a key account, are opportunities so get to know, within reason, as many people in your key account. Build a strong network within each account.

Should My CEO be on Social Media?

The short answer to this question is probably. Since 2010 Weber Shandwick has been monitoring and studying the evolution of the “social CEO”. These are CEOs that have developed a digital presence and a voice online. CEOs that are using social networks to connect, inform and engage with employees, customers, partners and other key stakeholders.

SEE ALSO: Should My CEO be on Social Media? [IN-DEPTH POST]

They are using content and publishing platforms to provide their points of view and share their subject matter expertise… to share themselves a bit I guess. They’re putting themselves “out there” and for the most part seeing value. 

Sources

Most Commonly Used Metrics by SaaS Companies.” MarketingCharts, 05 Feb. 2016. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.

Internet of Things Is Changing How Media and Entertainment Companies Operate.” EMarketer, 4 Feb. 2016. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.

Trust and Responsiveness Key to B2B Buyers’ Perception of Vendor Relationships.” MarketingCharts, 9 Feb. 2016. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.

Twitter Ad Revenues Expected to Continue Robust Growth.” EMarketer, 9 Feb. 2016. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.

Bhushan, Shashi. “Twitter Truths: Identifying & Modeling Revenue Drivers of a Blockbuster Internet Venture.EduPristine Blog on CFA, Financial Modelling, Digital Marketing, Business Analytics and Big Data. EDUPRISTINE, 28 Nov. 2013. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.

Quarterly Results.Investor Relations. Twitter, 10 Feb. 2016. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.

Shacklett, Mary, and Meghann Agarwal. “Research: IT Budget – Drivers, Trends and Concerns in 2016 – Tech Pro Research.” TechProResearch, Oct. 2015. Web. 20 Feb. 2016.

B2B Marketers Top Demand Gen Priorities and Channels.” MarketingCharts, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.

Herbert, Chris. “Should My CEO Be on Social Media?” MI6 Agency, 24 Feb. 2016. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

Chris HerbertChris Herbert is the founder of Mi6. Mi6 is a B2B (Business to Business) marketing and business development agency dedicated to helping companies build their brands and develop commercial relationships. He is the founder of ProductCamp Toronto and the Hi-tech community Silicon Halton. He tweets under the handle @B2Bspecialist.