What Works Where in B2B?

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Visibility of what works in B2B is harder than in consumer marketing as so
much activity is select in its targeting and often commercially confidential.
In 2011 Omobono set out to share the best practice of B2B marketers so
that they could learn from their peers. Partnering with The Marketing
Society and ably supported by Circle Research, Omobono has researched
what B2B marketers really do in digital and what they think works.
In 2012 we also looked through the other end of the telescope to see how buyers are consuming
the information that marketers lay in their path, and what effect it has.
The results, gathered over 2 years, are based on the collective views of 170 senior marketers, spending
in the region of £100m between them, and 224 buyers with buying power of over £150 million. With
the survey being completed by senior decision makers at some of the world’s biggest companies, this is
a definitive guide against which B2B marketers can benchmark their own activities.

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What Works Where in B2B?

  1. 1. THE BUSINESS AGENCYWhat works where in B2B?How marketers market and how buyers buyDigital benchmarking research 2012 #wwwb2b
  2. 2. What works where in B2B 2012? How buyers buy Introduction Visibility of what works in B2B is harder than in consumer marketing as so much activity is select in its targeting and often commercially confidential. In 2011 Omobono set out to share the best practice of B2B marketers so that they could learn from their peers. Partnering with The Marketing Society and ably supported by Circle Research, Omobono has researched www.marketing-society.org.uk what B2B marketers really do in digital and what they think works. In 2012 we also looked through the other end of the telescope to see how buyers are consuming the information that marketers lay in their path, and what effect it has. The results, gathered over 2 years, are based on the collective views of 170 senior marketers, spending in the region of £100m between them, and 224 buyers with buying power of over £150 million. With the survey being completed by senior decision makers at some of the world’s biggest companies, this is www.circle-research.com a definitive guide against which B2B marketers can benchmark their own activities. About Omobono Omobono is an award-winning business agency specialising in digital engagement for large corporates and government. Omobono works with some of the world’s largest companies to drive their relationships - with customers, employees and stakeholders. Which leads to increased sales, loyalty and share of voice. Our combination of business expertise, creativity and technical delivery is unique. We offer a full service, from strategy and communications planning to creative delivery and www.omobono.com implementation of complex, dynamic websites, through to mobile and social media marketing. To find out how Omobono can help you maximise the effectiveness of your digital activities: please call Fran Brosan on 01223 307000 or email fran@omobono.co.uk © Omobono Ltd 2012
  3. 3. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers market How marketers market
  4. 4. Professional and support services 45%Banking and finance 33% Technology 30% What works where in B2B 2012? Media 26% Who did we survey? Consumer goods 21% Health 21% Telecoms 19% Retailing 17% Engineering and manufacturing 14% Leisure 14% Construction and property 13% Industrials 13% Utilities 12% Transport 10% Natural resources 10% Other 6% How marketers market
  5. 5. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers market What marketers told us • hat their B2B marketing goals were. W • ow they allocate their digital budgets. H • hich channels they think work best. W • The challenges they face.
  6. 6. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers marketWhat is your organisation’s highest B2B marketingpriority over the next twelve months? 8% Raise brand Strengthen awareness ‘thought leadership’ (17%) position 2% (15%) Deepen customer 9% Develop brand relationships positioning (11%) (33%) 2% Ensure organisation (3%) Deepen is living the understanding brand of target Launch a market Other (3%) new product (9%) or service 1% (9%) 1% 3% Highest priority % increase against 2011 % decrease against 2011
  7. 7. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers marketWhat are your organisation’s top three B2B marketingpriorities over the next twelve months? 3% 34% 17% 9% 11% 9% 14% 3% 2% 24% 23% 7% 14% 5% 16% 9% 1% 20% 16% 10% 20% 10% 19% 4% Other Deepen customer Raise brand Deepen Develop brand Launch a new Strengthen Ensure relationships awareness understanding positioning product or ‘thought leadership’ organisation of target market service position is living the brandFor large companies, strengthening their thought leadership Highest priority Second highest priority Third highest priorityposition becomes the second highest priority.
  8. 8. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers marketDigital marketing is still seen as important in achieving these goals Important Critical! 51% 43% (2011: 51%) Less important (2011: 44%) 6% (2011: 3%) Not relevant 0% (2011: 2%)
  9. 9. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers marketAlmost two-fifths of B2B budgets are invested in digital Under 20% Between 20–70% Over 70% 2012 = 22% 2012 = 68% 2012 = 10% 2011 = 27% 2011 = 60% 2011 = 14%2012 2% 10% 11% 22% 15% 8% 19% 5% 4% 3% 0% 100% 11% 17% 18% 17% 8% 11% 6% 8% 5% 2%2011 Mean 2012 = 38% 2011 = 37%Q: Over the next 12 months, what percentage of your organisation’s overall B2Bmarketing spend - excluding staffing costs - is likely to be invested in digital marketing?
  10. 10. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers marketFive channels share almost three-quarters of digital budget Social media Video/podcasts 13% /webinars 9% optimisation Mobile 3% Display advertising 7% Mobile apps 3% Email marketing 18% Microsites SEO 6% marketing Corporate website development 22% Affiliate 10% 2% Extranets 1% PPC 6% SMS/MMS 1% Other 1%Q: Over the next 12 months, approximately what proportion Increased by Increased by Unchanged 2.5% from 2011 2.5% from 2011 from 2011of your organisation’s B2B digital marketing spend do you Decreased by Decreased byexpect to be allocated to each of these areas? 2.5% from 2011 2.5% from 2011
  11. 11. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers marketEffectiveness of digital channels in achieving goals 5% 10% 3% Website Social Online Email marketing Microsites development media video (51%) (75%) (74%) (66%) (64%) 2% 4% Display SMS/ Affiliate Extranets advertising MMS 1% (29%) 1% 7% (20%) (20%) (13%) SEO PPC (42%) (29%) 1% Mobile Mobile 9% 1% apps optimisation (25%) (24%)Q: How effective are the following digital % increase against 2011marketing activities in achieving your goals? % decrease against 2011
  12. 12. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers market…but it’s not as easy as it soundsQ: What would you say are the most significant challenges you face in relation to digital marketing in a B2B context? 14% 12% 12% 11% 10% 10% 9% 9% 9% 4% Measuring Managing Cut-through Internal Targeting Staying Quality Internal Finding right Other* ROI resources buy-in right innovative content expertise approach audience *Other challenges B2B marketers face: Keeping content relevant, understanding what works where, finding the right agency, making content visible, acquisition, consistent approach, adapting to tablets, data quality, increasing reach of activity, global scale, optimising for emerging markets, connectivity, quality standards (e.g. data privacy), press fragmentation, tracking sales, longer buying cycle, Mac vs. PC, changing marketplace and channel co-ordination.
  13. 13. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers marketSocial media and email also use plenty of internal resources 60% 50% Mostly in-house 40% 30% webinars/podcasts 20% Online video/ optimisation SMS/MMS advertising Microsites 10% Mobile Mobile Digital apps 3% SEO PPC 2% 55% 45% 6% 0% 6% 7% 9% 13% 17% 17% Social media Email marketing marketing Website development Affiliate Extranets 1% outsourced 3% Mostly 10% 20% 30%Q: To what extent, if at all, do you outsource activity in each of the followingchannels to external agencies as opposed to doing it in-house?
  14. 14. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers marketBudget allocation doesn’t match perceived effectiveness 80% Website Social development media Q: How effective are the following digital Online video/ marketing activities in achieving your goals? 70% Email marketing podcasts 60% Microsites Effectiveness 50% Perceived SEO 40% Mobile optimisation/ 30% Display apps advertising PPC 20% Affiliate SMS/ MMS Extranets 10% 0% Budget 10% 20% Q: What proportion of your organisation’s B2B digital marketing 30% spend do you expect to be allocated to each area?
  15. 15. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers marketWhat works where? Deepen customer Raise brand Strengthen thought Develop brand OVERALL relationships awareness leadership positioning Website development 69% 80% 79% 85% 75% Email marketing 60% 63% 65% 68% 64% Social media 54% 88% 91% 75% 74% Microsites 51% 37% 63% 58% 52% Online video 69% 61% 70% 68% 66% Display advertising 7% 61% 19% 33% 28% SEO 25% 61% 40% 55% 42% PPC 16% 45% 23% 30% 29% Mobile optimisation 24% 22% 23% 28% 24% Mobile apps 24% 18% 26% 25% 25% Affiliate marketing 16% 31% 16% 25% 20% Extranets 24% 18% 18% 18% 20% SMS/MMS 15% 10% 7% 15% 13%Q: How effective are the following digital marketing activities in achieving your goals?
  16. 16. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers marketBuyer reactions to marketers’ approaches % positive reactions to contact % positive reactions to to by prospective suppliers contact by existing suppliers Personal visits 79% 79% Trade events 70% 68% Bespoke events 69% 76% Key: Email sharing contents 63% 65% Significant LinkedIn 56% 53% points of Webinars 53% 55% Personalised emails 52% 65% difference Industry sponsorship 51% 55% Twitter 47% 56% Mobile messaging 43% 37% Direct mail 36% 42% Facebook 35% 40% Generic email 16% 21% Telemarketing 13% 16%Q: How do you react to attempts to engage with you through these methods of communication?
  17. 17. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers marketMeasuring ROIQ: Does your organisation currently measure return on digital investment? 10% 49% 34% 7% 18% 39% 28% 15% Yes, and Yes, but not No, but plan No, and no Yes, and Yes, but not No, but plan No, and no confident in with the accuracy to start plans to start confident in with the accuracy to start plans to start its accuracy we’d like its accuracy we’d likeCompared with 2011, twice as many respondents said they don’t measure ROI and have no plans to start.
  18. 18. What works where in B2B 2012? How marketers marketROI metrics measured 95% 87% 85% 79% 63% 56% 50% 51% 51% 44% 44% 40% 38% 37% 34% 31% 29% 19% Web analytics/traffic Lead generation Conversion rates Brand awareness Spend per campaign Cost per enquiry Sales pipeline Closed sales ProfitabilityQ: What metrics do you use to measure return on digital investment? 2011 2012
  19. 19. What works where in B2B 2012? How buyers buy How buyers buy
  20. 20. What works where in B2B 2012? How buyers buyWho did we survey? y/ Fi og s ser na 50– 24 ol m v 9 o nc es tel hn 18% 26 ec ial ic Tec % 25 % 250– 5000+ Number of 45% 9% Sector 499 employees ces 999 % 6% E n n uf 11 % 23 2 al s s / r vi 0– ma g/ gi n sin ent e in se 50 a c e ri n e 17 % ha em us n 99 ur pro urc tu g / B io 1000–49 rin ss 2% g ro f e c P 2 p IT 42% manage m Job role 14 % S e n i o e nt 2% 3% r 17 % Op era ti o n s HR e Financ
  21. 21. What works where in B2B 2012? How buyers buy What buyers told us • here they go online to keep up to date with W their industry or sector. • hat channels they turn to when they look for W a supplier. • hat influences their final choice of supplier. W
  22. 22. IT software 59% IT hardware 53%Technical consulting services 41%Telecommunications What works where in B2B 2012? equipmentTelecommunications services Management 38% 37% consulting services 33%Recruitment, training, development 32% Office supplies 25% What are they actually buying? Transportation and vehicles 21% Utilities and energy Building and maintenancePlant and equipment 18% 17% 17% Banking and insurance services Raw materials 16% 15% Legal services Marketing services and services. 14% 13% StockAccountancy services 11% 11% On average, respondents were Property or land 9% responsible for purchasing 4.8 goods Other 1% How buyers buy
  23. 23. What works where in B2B 2012? How buyers buyB2B buyers interact with marketers in two “states of mind” Passive Active Keeping informed Defining specific about developments in needs profession/industry Buyer seeks out marketer Identifying Contacted by potential suppliers existing suppliers Marketer seeks out buyer Evaluating Contacted by potential suppliers prospective suppliers
  24. 24. What works where in B2B 2012? How buyers buyBuyers use a mix of online and offline channels to stay informed Print Trade business Seminars Online trade press Online Supplier events Online press mainstream websites business Print press Email White papers/ mainstream press newsletters similar content press 93% 90% 87% 84% 84% 83% 83% 82% 80% 79% 79% 78% 77% 72% 70% 58% 52% 48% 36% 35% Online trade LinkedIn communities Twitter Webinars Podcasts YouTube, Facebook Print trade online video Advertising Trade press campaigns blogs Online OfflineQ: Which of the above channels do you use in order Social for business?to keep yourself informed on developments in your 65% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn regularly for business.profession or industry? 29% of B2B buyers don’t use any social networks regularly for business.
  25. 25. What works where in B2B 2012? How buyers buyHow frequently do you use each channel to keep yourself informed? Every 2–3 times Once Once a Once a Less Not day a week a week fortnight month frequently at all Email newsletters 13% 21% 25% 12% 9% 10% 10% Primary method Online mainstream press 15% 18% 18% 8% 8% 12% 21% Supplier websites 6% 21% 21% 13% 22% 10% 7% Print mainstream press 11% 17% 17% 11% 13% 11% 20% Online business press 9% 18% 18% 13% 13% 13% 16% LinkedIn 8% 15% 18% 10% 11% 10% 28% Secondary method Online trade press 5% 14% 19% 14% 13% 18% 17% Print trade press 3% 8% 24% 13% 17% 13% 22% Print business press 5% 12% 15% 17% 17% 16% 18% Online trade communities 3% 8% 16% 10% 13% 21% 29% White papers 3% 8% 15% 13% 21% 23% 17% Advertising campaigns 2% 8% 12% 15% 13% 27% 23% Trade blogs 1% 8% 12% 10% 10% 17% 42% Facebook 4% 4% 7% 6% 5% 10% 64% Other method Twitter 6% 5% 4% 5% 4% 11% 65% Webinars 3% 4% 7% 9% 18% 29% 30% YouTube, online video 1% 6% 6% 9% 8% 22% 48% Podcasts 1% 4% 5% 6% 12% 20% 52% Trade events 1% 2% 6% 6% 19% 53% 13% Seminars 1% 3% 5% 6% 24% 45% 16%
  26. 26. What works where in B2B 2012? How buyers buyUseful content comes from multiple information sources % finding a channel very or quite useful Online Offline Online Online Print Supplier business press mainstream mainstream Email websites press press newsletters 71% Print 82% 78% 69% 65% business press 77% LinkedIn Online communities 59% Print White trade press Online papers trade press 61% Webinars 76% 79% 77% Ad. 72% Seminars campaigns 76% 55% Twitter Trade YouTube events Podcasts Trade blogs Facebook 54% 39% 73% 43% 55% 57%
  27. 27. What works where in B2B 2012? How buyers buyEmail is the most effective digital channel to get buyers to actQ: Which of the following means of engaging with you, if any, haveactually resulted in you purchasing goods or services from suppliers? 45% Don’t provoke particularly negative reactions but don’t lead buyers to act either. 28% 25% 20% 16% 16% 13% 11% 11% 10% 8% 8% 5% 4% 4% 2% Personal visits Personalised email Trade events Bespoke events Email sharing content Direct mail LinkedIn Industry sponsorship Webinars Generic email Telemarketing Twitter Facebook SMS/MMS No-one made a compelling case No need for any goods/services Online Offline None
  28. 28. What works where in B2B 2012? How buyers buyTwitter and extranets are good ways to deepen existingcustomer relationships  % reacting very or quite positively to contact 100% Personal Bespoke Email Trade visits event Personalised sharing 80% event email content Industry sponsorship 60% Webinars Extranets LinkedIn Twitter Direct Facebook Mobile mail 40% messaging Generic marketing email 20% Telemarketing 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% % of buyers contacted by suppliers through this channel
  29. 29. What works where in B2B 2012? How buyers buyLowest frequency of most popular B2Bsite visits using mobilesHalf of the B2B buyers on Twitter use Most B2B buyers use supplier websitetheir mobile; but few use it in first place. to keep informed; few use their mobiles to do so. 50% 38% 27% 23% 18% 17% 14% 13% 13% 12% 46% 33% 22% 37% 25% 22% 30% 50% 38% 33% 35% 36% 52% 78% 79% 58% 83% 79% 84% 93% Twitter Facebook YouTube, LinkedIn Online trade Trade Online trade Online Online Supplier online video community blog press mainstream business websites press pressQ: How frequently do you use each of Q: And how frequently do you visit % of B2B buyers visiting sitethe following in order to keep yourself these websites using a mobile device as % of visitors who go to site at least 2–3 times a weekinformed on developments opposed to on a laptop or PC? % who use a mobile to visit site all or mostin your profession or industry? of the time
  30. 30. What works where in B2B 2012? How buyers buySuppliers must concentrate on the ‘how’ more thanthe ‘what’ when contacting buyers cold Approach taken Channel used Be clear, concise in your At some Understand my communication 8% point, contact me needs and tailor face to face your offer 15% 22% Personalise your approach; nothing generic Build a 10% relationship with me; be personable, open, honest Q: What is generally best practice 12% for potential suppliers hoping to make their communications stand out and persuade you to purchase goods or services from them?
  31. 31. What works where in B2B 2012? How buyers buySearch marketing and websites key for ‘active’ state of mind% using as a primary source of information 40% Contact supplier directly Search engine Ask professional advisor Ask a colleague Sector reports/buyer guides Search engine Contact supplier directly Ask professional advisor Consult procurement Ask a colleague Ask a peer, sector reports/buyer guides Contact supplier directly Ask professional advisor Consult procurement Reports/buyer guides Ask a colleague 24% 23% 17% 17% 15% 15% 15% 13% 12% 12% 9% 8% 10% 9% 6% 6% 0% Defining specific need Identifying potential suppliers Evaluating potential suppliersQ: To what extent would you use Q: To what extent would you use the Q: To what extent do you use thethe following sources of information following sources of information to following sources of information toto define your specific needs for identify potential suppliers? evaluate suppliers?a purchase?
  32. 32. What works where in B2B 2012? How buyers buyBest 5 channels for prospective suppliers to contact B2B% reacting very or quite positively to contact Financial services Engineering/manufacturing Business/professional services Technology/telecoms 1 Personal visits (83%) Personal visits (87%) Bespoke event (75%) Bespoke event (78%*) 2 Trade events (73%*) Trade events (69%*) Personal visits (74%) Personal visits (69%) 3 LinkedIn (71%) Industry sponsors (65%*) Trade events (69%*) Trade events (69%*) 4 Email sharing content (67%) Bespoke events (62%*) Email sharing content (66%) Email sharing content (64%) 5 Webinars (67%) Personalised email (56%) Personalised email (60%) Twitter (54%*)% who had actually purchased something as a result of contact through this channel Financial services Engineering/manufacturing Business/professional services Technology/telecoms 1 Personal visits (36%) Personal visits (58%) Personal visits (53%) Personal visits (33%) 2 Personalised email (20%) Personalised email (27%) Trade events (45%) Personalised email (31%) 3 LinkedIn (19%) Trade events (25%) Personalised email (33%) Bespoke events (24%) 4 Bespoke events (17%) Direct mail (22%) Bespoke events (29%) Email sharing content (20%) 5 Trade events (17%) Bespoke events (10%) Industry sponsors (24%) LinkedIn (16%)Q: Which of the following means of engaging with you, if any, have actually * indicates base size less than 30resulted in you purchasing goods or services from these suppliers?
  33. 33. The middle ground
  34. 34. What works where in B2B 2012? The middle ground - how buyers buySummary – a best practice approach is possible through digital channels% reacting very or quite Bespoke and Twitterpositively to contact trade events Buyers are more Industry focused events likely to engage with still have a role to play. existing suppliers on Personal visits Use digital channels Twitter; but more (79%) before, during and post likely to be contacted event to maximise the by potential suppliers. value of investment and build thought leadership. Bespoke Trade event event (69%) (70%) Email Webinars LinkedIn sharing (53%) content (56%) (63%) Personalised Industry email sponsorship Twitter (52%) (51%) (47%) Mobile Search and messaging (43%) extranets Web Direct mail Facebook Both are areas Buyers rely heavily Generic marketing email Telemarketing (36%) (35%) which help buyers, on information on (16%) (13%) suppliers’ websites. but are in danger of underinvestment Underinvest in them from marketers. at your peril.Q: How do you react to attempts to contact you through these methodsof communication?
  35. 35. What works where in B2B 2012? The middle ground - how marketers marketSummary – a best practice approach is possible through digital channels Mobile Personal Visits Twitter messaging Facebook Direct relationships (49%) (29%) (30%) still matter; buyers are more likely to buy from LinkedIn face-to-face contact. (69%) LinkedIn Bespoke The most popular event Telemarketing Industry sponsorship Webinars B2B social network – (88%) (75%) (71%) (70%) 65% of buyers use it regularly for business. Trade Email sharing Generic marketing event content email (88%) (86%) (88%) Direct Personal mail visits (90%) (90%) Mobile and social Personalised % of buyers Best digital performance An imbalance still exists between what email contacted by Emails sharing content deliver the marketers do and how buyers behave; but as (94%) best digital performance; don’t forget mobile devices proliferate and digital natives suppliers through to personalise content to the enter business, we believe both channels will this channel buyer’s requirements. be normalised.Q: How frequently are you contacted through the following communicationschannels by prospective suppliers attempting to engage with you?
  36. 36. To find out more about how Omobono can help youmaximise the effectiveness of your digital activities: please call Fran Brosan on 01223 307000 or email fran@omobono.co.uk www.omobono.com

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