B2B Digital Marketing


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What are the most significant challenges you face in relation to B2B digital marketing?

There were four particular areas into which the vocally expressed challenges fell overall - money, time, ideas that work and organisational structures.

As has been mentioned earlier – a consistent theme among B2B marketers is the challenge to increase and manage resources behind delivery, but a second significant area coalesced around the need to create cut-through, produce quality content or engage with the audience more effectively.

Marketers, it would seem place high importance not just on reaching people but on engaging them effectively when they do. The third area of consistency was around organisational structures – whether the challenge of scaling projects globally or breaking through the internal silo mentality.

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B2B Digital Marketing

  1. 1. B2B Digital MarketingDigital bench marking researchJanuary 2013www.lifepalsglobal.comLifepals Global Technologies
  2. 2. IntroductionWhile case studies abound for consumer-centric digital marketing, a constant cry from the business to business marketingcommunity is how difficult it is to find out what others are doing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, as so much B2B activity is select in itstargeting. As a result, it’s hard to know whether you are doing the right thing, or whether there is something else that mightwork better.With this in mind, Reseach to develop a collective understanding of what B2B marketers really think of digital – how are they using it and howwell is it working ?We hope it will be of value to marketers in 3 specific ways:1First it allows you to benchmark your own activities against the norm. Select your own marketing priorities from the list and compare yourown expenditure in time and money against what others are doing. Are you underspending in key areas? Are your activities far more timeconsuming or costly than others find them?2Second, it highlights the areas which B2B marketers are finding the most cost effective and some which aren’t. It’s an opportunity to reflectand reconsider whether some activities should be scaled up – or down – to really maximise the impact of your budget.3Third, it opens up a debate. Despite the increasing use of social media and the presence of other methods of audience engagement,marketers are primarily using digital to push their messages, regardless of whether this is what people want from them. In short, it wouldseem that although channels have changed, behaviours haven’t.So whilst the survey reflects the established practice – is that enough in a day and age when audience engagement is all important?Marketers are following established lines but perhaps it’s time to challenge the received wisdom and think about things differently.Lifepals Global
  3. 3. Survey objectivesThe research set out with three specific objectives:• Which marketing goals are the highest priorityfor B2B marketers?• How are the time and money dedicated to B2Bdigital marketing allocated amongst digitalmarketing channels?• Which digital marketing channels are the bestmeans to achieve marketing goals?Lifepals Global
  4. 4. Q: What is the highest B2B marketing priority for your organisation over the next 12 months?Making sure you have a deep relationship with your customersand increasing the profile of your company.Q: What matters in B2B marketing?A:Deepen customerrelationships(36%)Raise brandawareness(26%)Deepenunderstandingof target market(10%)Developbrandpositioning(9%)Launch anew productor service(9%)Strengthen‘thoughtleadership’position(7%)Ensure organisationis living the brand(0%)Other(4%)Highest priorityLifepals Global
  5. 5. It may be no surprise that companies are not prioritising productlaunches in the present economic climate - but given the importance ofbuilding customer relationships and building brand awareness it seemssurprising that such low importance was given to living the brand. Thishighlights one of the first ‘disconnects’ which we have identified as aresult of the research. Perhaps, given thatmarketers are struggling with budget and resource issues, one of theimpacts is that they simply cannot cover all the bases. But theupshot is that the marketing effort does not join up the external andthe internal.Given the size of the organisations involved we also found itinteresting that brand awareness was so high on the list of priorities.Thought leadership and brand positioning areimportant secondary prioritiesQ: What are the three highest B2Bmarketing priorities for your organisationover the next 12 months?Deepen customerrelationshipsRaise brandawarenessDeepenunderstandingof target marketDevelop brandpositioningLaunch a newproduct orserviceStrengthen‘thought leadership’position36%29%13%26%6%16%10%14%6%9%16%23%9%7%11%7%23%19%Ensureorganisationis living the brand0%3%10%Other4%1%0%Highest prioritySecond highest priorityThird highest priorityLifepals Global
  6. 6. What works where interms of channels?We looked first at what marketers were spending theirtime and money on.Overall, 3 channels take up more than half the time and money allocatedto digital marketing – corporate website development, email marketingand social media – with 56% of the budget spent between them and 58%of marketing time.Search marketing (SEO and PPC combined) is responsible for 14% ofbudget allocated to digital, and 13% of time allocated to digital.Mobile marketing (site optimisation, SMS/MMS and apps) takes 4% ofthe budget, and 5% of time.Lifepals Global
  7. 7. Digital allocation by channel - budgetWebsitedevelopmentEmailmarketingSocialmediaOnlinevideo/podcastsSEODisplayadvertisingPPCMicrositedevelopmentExtranetMobile optimisation AppsSMS/MMSOtherAffiliate(31.3%)(14.3%)(10.4%)(7.3%)(7.1%)(7.1%)(1.8%)(3%)(0.6%)(1.5%)(2.5%)(0.9%)(6.7%)(5.5%)BudgetTimeQ: In the next 12 months, how do you expect toallocate your B2B digital marketing budget?Lifepals Global
  8. 8. Digital allocation by channel - timeWebsitedevelopmentEmailmarketing SocialmediaOnlinevideo/podcastsSEOMicrositedevelopmentDisplay advertisingMobile optimisationAffiliateSMS/MMSExtranetPPCOtherApps(27.9%)(15.8%)(14%)(8.8%)(7.8%)(6.3%)(3.9%)(4.4%)(2.3%)(2.3%) (2.2%)(2.1%)(1.6%)(0.7%)BudgetTimeQ: In the next 12 months, how doyou expect to allocate the time yourorganisation dedicates to digital?Lifepals Global
  9. 9. Digital allocation by channel - budget vs. timeFour channels are particularly time intensivein that they take a greater share of time thanof budget: mobile apps, social media, SEOand mobile optimisation.Three channels take a significantly larger shareof budget than time: PPC, display advertisingand development of extranets (possibly this isdue to the costs involved in setting up siteswhich are often more complex from an ITperspective).The figures in this chart have been calculated using data accurateto 1dp. This approach has been adopted to establish the nuancesin the data for comparison.Time intensive Cost intensiveTime BudgetTimeExtranets(3% - 2.3%)Affiliate(2.5% - 2.3%)Online video/podcasts(7.3% - 7.8%)Mobileoptimisation(1.8% - 2.2%)SEO(7.1% - 8.8%)Website development(31.3% - 29.7%)Emailmarketing(14.3% - 15.8%)Display advertising(7.1% - 4.4%)PPC(6.7% - 3.9%)Micrositedevelopment(5.5% - 6.3%)Apps(1.5% - 2.1%)Social media(10.4% - 14%)SMS/MMS(0.6% - 0.7%)Lifepals Global
  10. 10. Digital allocation by channel - overall effectivenessFive channels are seen by more than half ofmarketers as an effective channel for achievingtheir marketing priorities: website development(70%); email marketing (68%); social media(64%); online video/podcasts (63%);development of microsites (53%).Seven channels are seen as effective inachieving marketing priorities by less than athird of B2B marketers: SMS/MMS; mobileoptimisation; apps; PPC; development ofextranets; display advertising.These low scores however reflect the nichenature of these channels - they are seen as moreeffective for certain marketing goals than theyare for others.70% 68%64% 63%53% 43%29%29%28% 24%20% 17%13%5% 12% 9% 11%11% 19%24%38%26% 32%29% 37%47%Websitedevelopment Emailmarketing Social mediaOnline video/podcastsMicrositesSEOExtranets DisplayadvertisingPPCApps AffiliateSMS/MMSMobileoptimisationEffective Not effectiveNeutralQ: How effective are the following channels in achieving the marketing priorities?Lifepals Global
  11. 11. What works where when itcomes to specific marketingprioritiesAs might be expected, the perceived effectiveness of digitalchannels throws up some differences when they are assessedagainst individual marketing priorities.The same 3 channels take the lead in overall effectiveness as in budget and timeallocation, with online video, microsites and SEO also punching above theirweight.For example, when the priority is deepening customer relationships, thedevelopment of extranets is seen as a more effective channel than it would be onaverage. Conversely SEO, PPC and display advertising are seen as significantlyless effective in achieving this goal. On the other hand, when the priority israising brand awareness, SEO, PPC and display advertising are seen as moreeffective channels than they would be in general.In contrast, the development of microsites is seen as less successful in raisingbrand awareness than it is in general.Lifepals Global
  12. 12. Strengthening‘ThoughtLeadership’positionDisplayadvertising(18%)Emailmarketing(79%)Socialmedia(82%)Websitedevelopment(76%)(64%)Microsites(30%)Extranets(42%) SEO(12%) PPC(12%) Affiliate(3%) Mobile optimisation(3%) SMS/MMS(24%) AppsOnlinevideo/(85%)podcastsDeepeningcustomerrelationshipsDisplayadvertising(17%)Emailmarketing(76%)Socialmedia(59%)Websitedevelopment (63%)Microsites(61%)(37%)Extranets(30%)SEO(19%) PPC(19%) Affiliate(20%) Mobile optimisation(15%) SMS/MMS(24%) AppsOnlinevideo/(65%)podcastsWhat works where for - specific marketing priorities% of respondents selecting ‘effective’Lifepals Global
  13. 13. What works where for - specific marketing prioritiesRaising brandawarenessDisplayadvertising(53%)Emailmarketing(66%)Socialmedia(78%)Websitedevelopment (75%)Microsites(38%)(25%)Extranets(75%)SEO(53%) PPC(28%) Affiliate(16%) Mobile optimisation(13%) SMS/MMS(28%) AppsOnlinevideo/(72%)podcastsDevelopingbrandpositioningDisplayadvertising(45%)Emailmarketing(73%)Socialmedia (64%)Websitedevelopment(88%)Microsites(52%)(24%)Extranets(55%)SEO(27%) PPC(18%) Affiliate(24%) Mobile optimisation(12%) SMS/MMS(21%)AppsOnlinevideo/(67%)podcasts% of respondents selecting ‘effective’Lifepals Global
  14. 14. Displayadvertising(14%)Emailmarketing(43%)Socialmedia (52%)Websitedevelopment(29%)Microsites(33%)(29%)Extranets(19%)SEO(19%) PPC(19%) Affiliate(19%) Mobile optimisation(14%)SMS/MMS(19%)AppsOnlinevideo/(24%)podcastsDeepenunderstandingof targetmarketLaunching anew productDisplayadvertising(37%)Emailmarketing(79%)Socialmedia (47%)Websitedevelopment(84%)(37%)SEO(42%) PPC(11%) AffiliateMobile(21%)optimisation(26%) SMS/MMS(26%)AppsOnlinevideo/(58%)podcasts(11%)ExtranetsMicrosites(53%)% of respondents selecting ‘effective’What works where for - specific marketing prioritiesLifepals Global
  15. 15. What works where for - perceived effectiveness vs. budget0%25%50%75%25%SMS/MMSAppsMobileoptimisationAffiliateExtranetsPPCDisplayadvertisingSEOOnline video/podcastsSocialmediaMicrositesEmailmarketingWebsitedevelopmentBudgetUnsurprisingly, the three most effectivechannels are also the ones that receive themost time and money. Interestingly,online video and development ofmicrosites are also seen as effective, butthis is not reflected in their share of digitalmarketing budgets (7% and 6%respectively).Contrast this with PPC and display advertising,channels which both receive 7% of marketingbudgets, but are seen as effective in achievingmarketing priorities by less than a third of B2Bmarketers (28% and 29% respectively).As the above chart demonstrates, thereare some ‘niche’ channels that performextremely well, particularly given theirrelative cost. These activities provide auseful reminder to marketers to consideradditional activities in addition to the big 3.PerceivedEffectiveness Lifepals Global
  16. 16. 76%9%65%63% 61% 59%37%30% 24% 20% 19%19%17% 15%13%6% 9% 9%22%22% 30% 37% 37%30%43% 44%WebsitedevelopmentEmailmarketingSocial mediaOnline video/podcasts MicrositesSEOExtranetsDisplayadvertisingPPCAppsAffiliateSMS/MMSMobileoptimisationEffectiveNoteffectiveNeutralWhat works where for - deepening customer relationshipsQ: How effective are the following channels in deepening customer relationships?Lifepals Global
  17. 17. What works where for - deepening customer relationshipsWhen it comes to the things that work fordeepening customer relationships, onlinevideo, microsites and extranets are the best inclass. Social media also performs well. Asmight be expected, the traditional promotionalmechanisms (PPC, display and affiliate) are feltto be less effective. It’s interesting however thatemail marketing – a push technique – is felt to bethe most effective channel against this priorityand yet not for some of the more traditionallypush objectives such as raising brandawareness.SMS/MMSAppsMobileoptimisationAffiliateExtranetsPPCDisplayadvertisingSEOOnline video/podcastsSocialmedia MicrositesEmailmarketingWebsitedevelopmentPerceivedEffectivenessBudget0%25%50%75%25%50%Q: In the next 12 months, how do you expect to allocate your B2B digital marketing budget?Q: How effective are the following channels in deepening customer relationships?Lifepals Global
  18. 18. What works where for - raising brand awareness78%3%75% 75% 72% 66%53% 53%38% 28% 28%25%16%13%6% 3% 9% 9%6% 9%13% 19% 25% 22%22%38%Websitedevelopment EmailmarketingSocial mediaOnline video/podcastsMicrositesSEOExtranetsDisplayadvertisingPPCAppsAffiliateSMS/MMSMobileoptimisationEffectiveNoteffectiveNeutralQ: How effective are the following channels in raising brand awareness?Lifepals Global
  19. 19. What works where for - raising brand awareness0%25%50%75%25%50%SMS/MMSAppsMobileoptimisationAffiliateExtranetsPPCSEOOnline video/podcastsSocialmediaMicrositesWebsitedevelopmentEmailmarketingDisplayadvertisingBudgetSocial media tops the poll against this marketingpriority, reflecting how the world has changed inrecent years. It also confirms how far socialmedia has established its role in B2B, an areawhich has traditionally lagged behind BC2behaviours.Thereafter the more expected activitiesperform well, with the surprising finding thatonly half of respondents felt that displayadvertising, the most obviously broadcastmedium, was an effective channel for raisingbrand awareness.Q: In the next 12 months, how do you expect to allocate your B2B digital marketing budget?Q: How effective are the following channels in raising brand awareness?PerceivedEffectiveness Lifepals Global
  20. 20. What works where for - strengthening ‘thought leadership’ position85%3%82% 79% 76% 64%42%30% 24%18%12% 12% 3%3%3% 3% 3%3%3% 3% 3%3%WebsitedevelopmentEmailmarketingSocial mediaOnline video/podcastsMicrositesSEOExtranetsDisplayadvertisingPPCAppsAffiliateSMS/MMSMobileoptimisationEffectiveNoteffectiveNeutralQ: How effective are the following channels in strengthening your thought leadership position?Lifepals Global
  21. 21. What works where for - strengthening ‘thought leadership’ position0%25%50%75%25%50%BudgetSMS/MMSAppsMobileoptimisationAffiliatePPCOnline video/podcastsSocialmediaMicrositesWebsitedevelopmentEmailmarketingSEODisplayadvertisingExtranetsThought leadership was the mantra of 2010,and it looks as if it will continue to be a keymarketing objective for B2B marketers forthe next 12 months as well, as companiesjockey for position to be seen as expert intheir respective fields. As might beexpected, the use of online video andpodcasts and social media overall performedparticularly well in this respect. Email marketingmakes its habitual appearance, perhaps becauseit is the mechanism which carries the deepercontent to the end user.Q: In the next 12 months, how do you expect to allocate your B2B digital marketing budget?Q: How effective are the following channels in strengthening your thought leadership position?PerceivedEffectiveness Lifepals Global
  22. 22. What works where for - developing the brand positioning6%88%73%67%64% 55%52%45%27%24%24% 21%18%18%9%6% 3% 12%9%30%24%21%33% 36%21%39%WebsitedevelopmentEmailmarketing Social mediaOnline video/podcastsMicrositesSEOExtranetsDisplayadvertisingPPCAppsAffiliateSMS/MMSMobileoptimisationEffectiveNoteffectiveNeutralQ: How effective are the following channels in developing your brand positioning?Lifepals Global
  23. 23. What works where for - developing the brand positioning0%25%50%75%25%50%SMS/MMSAppsMobileoptimisationAffiliatePPCMicrositesWebsitedevelopmentSEODisplayadvertisingExtranetsOnline video/podcastsBudgetThe final significant objective, developingthe brand positioning, was the first timethat corporate websites took the leadrole, despite being perceived as the mosteffective digital channel overall.Correspondingly websites performedbest at launching a new product orservice. Whilst social media was not in the top 3for once, it also gained the lowest score for noteffective, whilst display advertising is seen asleast effective by the most people with theexception of mobile activities. Online videoscores well again.Q: In the next 12 months, how do you expect to allocate your B2B digital marketing budget?Q: How effective are the following channels in developing your brand positioning?PerceivedEffectivenessEmailmarketingSocialmediaLifepals Global
  24. 24. A word on mobileTo our surprise, mobile (whether optimisation, apps ormessaging) performed consistently badly in the survey. Someof this is understandable – the spend on the medium is lowand so correspondingly is the time spent on it.Perceptions of effectiveness for something that isn’t a priority medium areunderstandable, but despite that, other niche activities have their moments ofglory or at least of effectiveness. Extranets perform well in terms of relationship building,online video waves the flag in terms of raising brand awareness and strengtheningthought leadership. The mobile picture looks consistently underwhelming.And yet, the word on the street is that Smartphone adoption, 3G penetration andunlimited data plans have driven a surge of mobile media consumption acrossgeographies and deepened the integration of mobile devices into everyday life.We believe that in a year’s time the picture may be different, particularly giventhe predictions that by 2014 mobile internet will have taken over desktop internetusage.Lifepals Global
  25. 25. 26 26Digital is seen by almostall as important in achievingtheir priorities...Critical! ImportantLessimportantNotrelevant!(44%)(51%)(3%)(1%)Lifepals Global
  26. 26. Yet three fifths of marketers spendless than 40% of budget on digitalpercentageof marketersthat spend...11%17%18%17%8%11%6%8%5%2%25%0%0-10%10-19%20-29% 30-39% 40-49% 50-59% 60-69% 70-79% 80-89% 90-100%percentage of budgetLifepals Global
  27. 27. Time and money are holding digital back95% of respondentsbelieve digitalmarketing is criticalor important inachieving theirmarketing goals......but only one third ofrespondents give thelion’s share of budget todigital, and only 15%spend significantproportions.This is reflected in some of the issuesraised by respondents in terms of themost significant challenges they facedin relation to B2B digital marketing.Financial constaints are closely linkedwith resource issues - money is needed,but so is the resource to do it properly.BudgetconstraintsInternalresourcesAdequateresourcesCostBudgetsand lack ofthemPhysicalpeopleresourceLack ofbudgetLack offunds to findexperts toimplement(strategy)The costand time thatneeds to beallocated to doingit properlyLifepals Global
  28. 28. Definitions of effectiveness95% 85% 56% 51% 51% 44% 37% 34% 29%Web analytics/traffic Lead generation Conversion rates Sales pipeline Spend per campaign Brand awareness Closed sales Cost per enquiry ProfitabilityTwo metrics are used by more than 80% of B2B marketersAs might be expected in a study on what workswhere, we were interested to know how peoplewere measuring the effectiveness of theiractivities and 59% of marketers use a range ofmonitoring tools to provide this information,with a further 34% planning to do so.However, of those who currently measurereturn, 83% say it’s not with the accuracythey’d like.It’s useful to think of the metrics as splittingbetween the two immediate, ‘easy to measure’activities (web traffic and lead generation), andthose which are harder to measure but are moreclosely linked to business performance,particularly closed sales or profitability.The approach used by the majority ofrespondents is to supplement the two‘immediate’ metrics with two or three othermetrics of their preference. Some measure onlythe immediate metrics, while others measure asmany as possible, with particular focus on themost valuable, difficult to measure metrics.Unsurprisingly those in the latter grouping aremost likely to be the ones with the highestmarketing budgets.The fact that most marketers use acombination of metrics (the mean is just under5), would suggest that there is no one clearway to assess effectiveness and it’s often ajudgement call. This would seem to be backedup by the fact that only 1 in 10 respondentswere confident in the accuracy of their ROImeasures.Q: What metrics do you use to measure return on digital investment?Lifepals Global
  29. 29. Definitions of effectiveness0%7%10% 34%49%50%The majority of marketersmeasure ROI, but few areconfident in its accuracyQ: Does your organisation currentlymeasure return on digital investment?Don’t measure ROI, no plansto startMeasure ROI, and confidentin its accuracyDon’t measure ROI, but planto start doing soMeasure ROI, but not withthe accuracy we’d likeLifepals Global
  30. 30. What are the most significantchallenges you face in relationto B2B digital marketing?Our final area of investigation was to establish themost significant challenges faced in relation to B2Bdigital marketing.There were four particular areas into which the vocally expressed challengesfell overall - money, time, ideas that work and organisational structures.As has been mentioned earlier – a consistent theme among B2B marketers isthe challenge to increase and manage resources behind delivery, but asecond significant area coalesced around the need to create cut-through,produce quality content or engage with the audience more effectively.Marketers, it would seem place high importance not just on reaching peoplebut on engaging them effectively when they do. The third area ofconsistency was around organisational structures – whether the challenge ofscaling projects globally or breaking through the internal silo mentality.Lifepals Global
  31. 31. What’s stopping us?Managing resourcesChannel coordinationKeeping content relevantMeasuring ROIGetting buy-in internallyPrioritising timeCreation of quality contentCost for returnData qualityDoing something differentInsightsRegulationFinding expertsEnsuring the right channel mixIT challengesCutting through the noiseActing quicklyInternal silosReaching the right peopleGlobal scaleClient engagementQ: What are the most significant challenges youface in relation to B2B digital marketing?Lifepals Global
  32. 32. ConclusionsWe know that digital marketing is seen as an essential part of achieving the marketing priorities of our sample. 95% of respondentsbelieved that it was critical or important. On one hand this might seem obvious; these are digital marketers after all. On the other,many of the objectives are not necessarily ones which are only achieved by digital means. Deepening customer relationships hastraditionally been the province of sales, account or relationship managers. Raising brand awareness has formerly relied on abovethe line media, or strong presence at key industry events.So digital is now firmly part of the B2B marketing canon. Even social media has arrived firmly in the list of channels which are seen to contributepositively to marketing success.In conclusion, digital is a central part of the B2B marketing toolbox.Three channels in particular seem to be well-established, and areutilised to achieve a variety of marketing goals.Yet the research highlighted three interesting disconnects which areworth bearing in mind. First there is evidence that B2B marketersdon’t seem quite sure how to approach digital marketing as a wholejust yet. Indeed, it’s not always clear that B2B marketers invest in thechannels they see as most effective for the marketing goal they wouldlike to achieve.Beyond corporate websites, email and social media, other digitalmarketing techniques are underutilised and not being aligned insupport of the main goals. This problem is perhaps reflected by thetrouble B2B marketers have measuring the return on the investmentthey’ve made.Secondly, activities would seem to be more orientated towardspushing messages out than deepening the customer experience,despite this being a key priority. In particular, the goal of engagingthe organisation with the brand, and behaviours that might berequired, is curiously missing.Third the lack of importance placed on mobile belies the attentionit is receiving elsewhere. And yet, if it follows the path taken bysocial media it could appear as a major contributor in future years.We hope this report has been useful in highlighting just whatpeople are doing in terms of their digital activity – and will helpB2B marketers work out What Works Where for their ownparticular case.Lifepals Global
  33. 33. 35 35To find out more about how Lifepals Globalcan helpyou maximise the effectiveness of your digitalactivities:please emailconnect@lifepalsglobal.comwww.lifepalsglobal.comLifepals Global Technologies