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 September 5th

Structuring for Digital Marketing Evolution

The role of the enterprise marketer has evolved rapidly over the past 25 years, and there are no signs of slowing.  Moving from a close affiliation with the sales department to a co-dependant relationship with the IT department, the marketer in the digital economy has more options for engaging with potential clients then can be named, along with the ability to monitor and report on campaign outcomes.  Today’s digital marketing executive has the real power to affect organizational change through omni-channel strategy development and big data analytics.  What’s the next evolution?  With the rise of virtual and augmented reality and gains in artificial intelligence, tomorrow’s digital marketer will have a whole new playground to work in.  

evolution-of-digital-marketing

How Sophisticated are You?

Somewhere between a blog and customized, predictive delivery are where B2B Marketers can place themselves on this scale of digital marketing sophistication.  Large enterprise marketing teams may extend all the way to Stage 7, but SME marketers generally sit about 50% into Stage 4, the Optimization options, on this chart, though some may skip the automation of the Extend stage.  These stages are primarily about information – the more timely and detailed the data, the higher the level of marketing sophistication and the more complex and wide reaching the marketing strategy must be.  A really good budget and solid C-Suite support is a requirement to get through the later stages.

7-stages-of-b2b

Week of September 12th

Auditing your SEO

450 million web pages audited for SEO in August of 2016 and the major issues are all items that were part of every webmasters ‘SEO 101’ class.  Duplicate content, missing ALT tags, broken links and overused meta descriptions top the results.  With changing algorithms being updated regularly and tools to monitor website performance, there seems no excuse for these issues to be cropping up.  If you aren’t already in the routine of auditing your website for common SEO issues, start one.  And while you are at it, it could be a great time to audit your content in general, check on keyword use, cross-link related content, re-purpose a great older post, and update your navigation.  Something about a change in the season makes it feel like it’s time to clean things up.

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SMBs Struggle to Get the Right Content on the Right Platform

Though limited in their use of social channels (survey respondents indicated they utilize 2 or fewer platforms – namely Facebook and LinkedIn), SMB’s are struggling to craft content that they feel is relevant to their audience and effectively delivers their message.  This is interesting when the survey also revealed that the respondents are largely underwhelmed with social media as a content delivery option, with nearly 60% stating that social is not an essential marketing tool.  With so few channels in use, it’s obvious that social is not a priority for survey takers, but with their admission that the tone and goal of the content is their biggest challenge combined with the channels that are in use, it seems as though it is a lack of understanding about the audiences available on the platforms in use.  Effective LinkedIn content is not necessarily effective Facebook content.  Before they write another blog, these SMB’s should take a better look at their chosen channels and define their customer segment more clearly.

chart-2-september-12

Week of September 19th

Optimistic spending on Mobile and Social Despite Unclear ROI

CMO’s in the U.S. appear underwhelmed by the impact of their mobile and social spend, but remain optimistic enough to continue allocating budget to these areas.  Social budgets are up, though not near the levels projected by this group, as is Mobile, though the numbers are pretty anemic to expect any notable return.  And the budget numbers: 11.7% on Social and 3.8% on Mobile are not reflective of the perceived benefits of those efforts. This is particularly true on the Mobile side, where nearly 40% of the CMO’s surveyed feel that those efforts do not contribute in any way to the performance of their business.  Mobile marketing is still relatively new to the enterprise, but the mobile consumer base is still growing.  This is an area that will need more effort to reap rewards – optimism is great, but budget is better.  

chart-1-sept-19

Increasing Marketing Budgets without Proof of Impact

Marketing budgets are up and expected to continue rising over the next 12 months, but CMO’s are still unable to consistently link their spending to quantitative business results.  Perhaps it is because the large majority of B2B CMO’s (close to 73%) do not use analytics to make decisions about their social marketing efforts.  It is pretty difficult to prove results without measurement.  Overall, only 44% of the CMO’s surveyed assigned any budget to analytics.  44% also report that they have been unable to show the impact of social media for their business.  It seems clear that there is still a disconnect between enterprise marketing teams and the potential of focused and well-executed social marketing and other initiatives.

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Week of September 26th

AdWords Benchmarks Show Which B2B Industries Benefit The Most

AdWords has the largest contribution to revenue (included projected revenue) for B2B financial services advertisers, finds Bizible in a recent benchmarking study [download page]. Based on marketing and sales data from December 2015 to May 2016 from roughly 120 companies across 6 industries, the report indicates that AdWords contributed to about one-third of financial services advertisers’ total projected revenues.

That analysis is based on a first-touch attribution model that looks at projected revenue from AdWords as a subset amount of total projected revenue during the time period. Projected revenue is itself a predictive model that calculates the number of predicted deals that will close in the pipeline.

Following financial services are business services, for which AdWords contributed an estimated 27% of revenues during the analyzed period.

These industries were also among those with a higher estimated ROI from AdWords. Marketing agencies led on that front with a projected ROI of 372%, followed by financial services (364%) and business services (332%). Projected ROI figures were determined using historical prospect behavior (e.g. win rates), from which Bizible was able to project future revenue based on the marketing activity that occurred within the analyzed time frame. From a closed ROI viewpoint, business services did not fare as well, with financial services and agencies the clear leaders.

Compared to 2015, Bizible says that AdWords’ contribution to total projected revenue has increased for the business services industry, but declined for marketing agencies and financial services.

The full study – which includes AdWords’ contribution to leads and opportunities – can be downloaded here.

Previously published AdWords benchmarks for consumer industries are available here.

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Mobile First! Or a distant second?

Mobile first may be resonating with some sectors, but B2B companies in the business products and services category remain chained to their desktops, at least through the first 6 months of 2016.  

Across all industries, desktop email click share for Q2 was at 49% – down from 60% in Q1, but among the B2B crowd, desktop email click share was a whopping 81%.  As a marketer, this information is a revelation and potential time and budget saver.  No need to ensure all assets are mobile-friendly for these targets.  

The big question is why?  Is it because this category of a B2B company is tied into closed, proprietary legacy applications that don’t support mobile?  Is it about technology at all, but more a culture surrounding how to get the job done?  Are the tiny number of players in this space seeing a competitive advantage by embracing mobile? Time will tell.  But having ‘Mobile First’ as the new mantra for the improved digital enterprise is proving false for some B2B companies.

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Sources

Walters, Rik. “The Evolution of Digital Marketing In The Enterprise.Business 2 Community Comments. N.p., 9 Sept. 2016. Web. 18 Sept. 2016. 

Frye, Lauren. “7 Stages of B2B Marketing Sophistication [Which Level Are You?]Business 2 Community. N.p., 10 Aug. 2016. Web. 18 Sept. 2016.

Check for These Common On-Site SEO Problems.MarketingCharts. N.p., 1 Aug. 2016. Web. 19 Sept. 2016. 

 “SMBs Focus on Creating Relevant Content for Their Social Channels.MarketingCharts. N.p., 02 Aug. 2016. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

CMOs Still Report Little Impact From Mobile & Social, But Expect Spending Growth.” Www.marketingcharts.com. N.p., 30 Aug. 2016. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

CMOs Not Making Headway With ROI Proof. And No More Willing to Use Analytics.Www.marketingcharts.com. N.p., 29 Aug. 2016. Web. 19 Sept. 2016. 

B2B Email Still Very Desktop-Heavy.MarketingCharts. N.p., 06 Sept. 2016. Web. 05 Oct. 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.

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