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2015 Digital Marketing Benchmark Report

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New research presented at Demand Metric Demand Generation Virtual Summit: http://events.demandmetric.com/

Watch the presentation: https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_referrer=watch&video_id=z1xy8lvpd3o

Marketers are faced with the challenge of keeping up with new, hopefully better, strategies that emerge at a rapid rate, while cutting ineffective practices waning in popularity. It’s very valuable for marketers to have benchmark data about how the current digital marketing landscape looks, what’s new, what’s working and what isn’t. Quite often, marketers can gain a competitive advantage simply by being quick to adopt new digital marketing strategies in advance of mass adoption that eventually dilutes the impact of new things.

This study, presented by Jerry Rackley, Chief Analyst at Demand Metric & Jim Hopkins, Sr. Product Manager at Demandbase, took a close look at digital marketing to understand current practices, goals, strategies, metrics and effectiveness. Furthermore, the study investigated how well organizations understand their chosen markets, who in those markets they target as prospects and what their biggest challenges are in the pursuit of success.

Published in: Marketing
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2015 Digital Marketing Benchmark Report

  1. 1. © 2014 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Benchmark Report Digital Marketing: Sponsored By:
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS 3 4 6 8 13 15 Introduction Executive Summary Digital Marketing Importance & Goals Digital Marketing Tactics Digital Marketing Metrics Market Understanding 28 31 32 Analyst Bottom Line About Demandbase About Demand Metric 25 27 Account Based Marketing Digital Marketing Challenges 30 Acknowledgements 19 Market Targets 33 Appendix – Survey Background
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION Digital marketing has gone from being exotic, new dish to a staple in every marketer’s diet. Every modern marketer knows that most marketing is digital, and that the set of available processes and channels to promote a product or service, or to build a brand, is vast. So vast, in fact, that even the term “digital marketing” has become too broad to represent all that happens under its definition. Demand generation, social media, content marketing, web analytics and other areas are so important that entire teams are being segmented from this broad category to provide the proper digital focus. Marketers are faced with the challenge of keeping up with new, hopefully better, strategies that emerge at a rapid rate, while cutting ineffective practices waning in popularity. It’s very valuable for marketers to have benchmark data about how the current digital marketing landscape looks, what’s new, what’s working and what isn’t. Quite often, marketers can gain a competitive advantage simply by being quick to adopt new digital marketing strategies in advance of mass adoption that eventually dilutes the impact of new things. This study, sponsored by Demandbase, took a close look at digital marketing to understand current practices, goals, strategies, metrics and effectiveness. Furthermore, the study investigated how well organizations understand their chosen markets, who in those markets they target as prospects and what their biggest challenges are in the pursuit of success. Finally, this report investigates a digital marketing strategy that is in the early-to-mid stages of adoption: Account- Based Marketing. This report details the findings and provides insights in each of these areas. 3
  4. 4. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Today’s marketers have unprecedented challenges and opportunities when it comes to implementing digital marketing strategies. This survey was conducted to get a detailed picture of the current digital marketing landscape, helping marketers to make critical planning decisions and define areas for growth. A majority of this study’s participants were marketers in B2B organizations that reported revenue growth in the most recently completed fiscal year. Participants represented a wide range of industry affiliations and company sizes. The analysis of this study’s data provides these key findings about the current state of digital marketing: New customer acquisition is the most common digital marketing goal. 84% of study participants, however, have multiple goals for their efforts. The most frequently used digital marketing solutions are not the most effective ones. For example, analytics ranks first in effectiveness but third in usage. Two solutions with known effectiveness – lead scoring and A/B testing – rank last in usage. Click-thrus and page views are the most commonly used metrics. The use of any metric is strongly related to better digital marketing effectiveness. Better understanding of target markets relates to greater digital marketing effectiveness. 69% of study participants who claim a higher understanding of their target markets reported digital marketing as effective or very effective, compared to 59% with a lower target market understanding. 4
  5. 5. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Digital marketing effectiveness relates to revenue growth. 70% of study participants reporting effective digital marketing experienced revenue growth in the most recently completed fiscal year. Only 49% of participants whose revenue was flat or declining said their digital marketing efforts were effective. The most important market target identified in this study was “prospect title”, but participants are investing more resources to target companies by industry or vertical than by prospect title. Almost one-third of participants were unaware of Account Based Marketing, but those who use it report much greater digital marketing effectiveness. This report details the results and insights from the analysis of the study data. For more detail on the survey participants, please refer to the Appendix. 5
  6. 6. 2% 2% 5% 20% 71% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Very unimportant Unimportant Neutral Important Very important Importance of Digital Marketing Figure 1: Over 90% of organizations studies rate digital marketing’s importance high. DIGITAL MARKETING IMPORTANCE & GOALS Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239 6 One could safely assume that digital marketing is an important strategy in most organizations for helping them achieve their marketing objectives. This study measured that level of importance to establish a baseline measure and provide context for the study. It will surprise no modern marketer that digital marketing is perceived as important or very important, as Figure 1 depicts. The importance of digital marketing to achieve marketing objectives is undisputed. From a macro perspective: What goals do organizations have for digital marketing? While the methods of and channels for digital marketing are myriad, this study shows that the goals of digital marketing fall into a few broad categories, as shown in Figure 2 on the next page.
  7. 7. 11% 49% 59% 73% 84% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Other goals Growth of existing accounts Lead nurturing Branding New customer acquisition Digital Marketing Goals Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239 Participants were asked to choose any and all of the listed strategies in Figure 2, which shows the different categories and the percentage of participants that report having these goals for their digital marketing efforts. While “New customer acquisition” is the top goal for digital marketing in this study, 84% of the study’s participants have multiple goals for their digital marketing efforts, and over one-fourth list all the goals in Figure 2, except “Other”, as digital marketing goals. Participants who chose “Other” as a response option shared this sampling of goals as write-in comments: Lead conversion Customer retention Thought leadership Building membership & community 7 Figure 2: New customer acquisition is the most common goal for digital marketing. DIGITAL MARKETING IMPORTANCE & GOALS Customer engagement Voice of the Customer Drive traffic to retail location
  8. 8. 12% 24% 24% 51% 55% 64% 68% 80% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Other strategies Mobile marketing Content syndication Display and/or banner ads SEM/PPC Inbound marketing/content creation/blogs SEO/Organic search Social media marketing Digital Marketing Tactics in Use Figure 3: Social media marketing is the most frequently used digital marketing tactic by participants in this study. The array of tactics available to the digital marketer is broader today than ever. Email has long been the most frequently used digital marketing tactic, and despite the increasing challenges of email marketing, surveys continue to show it as the most common approach. What is the frequency of use for other digital marketing strategies? Figure 3 shares this data. This data reveals that social media marketing is the most frequently used digital marketing approach. Over two-thirds of this study’s participants are using three or more of the strategies listed in Figure 3, and just over one-third are using four or five tactics. Digital marketing is clearly not a single-tactic or channel endeavor for most organizations. 8 DIGITAL MARKETING TACTICS Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239
  9. 9. 50% 60% 61% 73% 85% 88% 88% 88% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% A/B testing Lead scoring Marketing Automation Business Intelligence CRM Analytics Content Management Email marketing solution Use of Digital Marketing Solutions or Approaches Various digital marketing solutions and approaches often support the strategies and tactics listed in Figures 2 & 3. The study survey collected data to provide a census of common solution usage, and Figure 4 provides the summary of this data. The three most heavily used digital marketing solutions/approaches are an email marketing solution, a content management solution and analytics. 9 Figure 4: An email solution is the most heavily used digital marketing approach; A/B testing the least heavily used. Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239 DIGITAL MARKETING TACTICS
  10. 10. 30% 22% 21% 19% 17% 14% 12% 10% 53% 45% 50% 59% 58% 50% 58% 47% 17% 33% 29% 22% 25% 36% 30% 43% 0% 20% 40% 60% Lead scoring CRM Marketing Automation Business Intelligence A/B testing Email marketing solution Content Management Analytics Solutions Effectiveness Effective Moderate Ineffective Frequency of use is one side of a coin, and effectiveness is the other. For each of the solutions listed in Figure 4, data was also collected about how effective these solutions are. A summary of the solutions effectiveness data is presented in Figure 5. It would be ideal if the most frequently used digital marketing solutions (Figure 4) were also the most effective ones, but that is not the case. Analytics ranks highest in terms of effectiveness, but ranks third in usage. Email marketing solutions, which rank highest in usage, rank third in effectiveness. A/B testing ranks last in usage but fourth in effectiveness. None of these discrepancies are alarming; and they probably reflect that marketers are busy professionals who sometimes just continue to do what has worked in the past, particularly when using a new solution or approach has a learning curve associated with it. What these discrepancies do represent, however, are opportunities for improvement. 10 Figure 5: Solutions effectiveness, presented from bottom to top in order of increasing effectiveness. Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239 DIGITAL MARKETING TACTICS
  11. 11. There’s another observation worth making about the results portrayed in Figure 5: just because a solution ranks lower in terms of effectiveness, such as lead scoring, doesn’t mean the solution has no merit. More often than not, low effectiveness is a function of immaturity in technology implementation. As in the lead scoring example, there is an implementation of that solution that is very effective, but that doesn’t mean most organizations have mastered the process. What is the connection between the goals in Figure 2 and the strategies in Figure 4? A correlation analysis reveals relationships between the two. For certain goals, it is more likely for some approaches to see use and not others (Figure 6). GOAL: New customer acquisition GOAL: Lead nurturing GOAL: Branding Display or Banner Advertising X Search Engine Marketing/PPC X SEO/Organic Search X X Social Media Marketing X X X Mobile Marketing Inbound Marketing/Content/Blogs X X X Content Syndication X Figure 6: Summary of how digital marketing approaches and goals correlate. Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239 DIGITAL MARKETING TACTICS
  12. 12. It’s important to interpret the data in Figure 6 correctly. Correlation means that two things occur together; it does not mean that one thing caused the other. With that understanding, when the goal is growth of existing accounts, it is likely that all approaches but mobile marketing are present. The branding goal, however, only correlates to two strategies: social media marketing and inbound marketing. This data represents current practices, not recommendations. For example, even though the new customer acquisition or branding goals don’t correlate to search engine marketing or PPC, they probably should. Figure 6, therefore, is probably best understood as a census of strategies in use for these goals. 12 DIGITAL MARKETING TACTICS
  13. 13. 8% 9% 33% 36% 37% 41% 49% 54% 55% 64% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Other None Program ROI Sales opportunities identified Marketing Qualified Leads Impressions Revenue generated Number of inquiries Page views Click-thrus Digital Marketing Success Metrics Figure 7: The most popular digital marketing metrics are also some of the easiest to track. The most effective approach in Figure 5 is analytics. Any strategy, ideally, has a set of metrics to indicate results. Figure 6 shows the usage of some common metrics. To manage any initiative, metrics are imperative, but not all metrics are equal when it comes to linking activity to results that matter. For example, click-thrus and page views are both useful indicators of success. However, they are measures of volume, not true revenue impact. One of digital marketing’s advantages is the ability to more precisely target specific markets and customers. Clicks and page views are fine metrics as long as they are coming from the right targets, but the value of these metrics is low when not associated with a source. Companies are much better served by metrics that show how digital marketing is influencing target accounts, and in turn, what revenue impact is occurring. Therefore, using metrics that link marketing engagement to revenue is critical when determining program ROI. However, Figure 6 confirms that the metrics that provide these indicators are less frequently used. 13 DIGITAL MARKETING METRICS Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239
  14. 14. Perhaps the most important aspect of using metrics and having an analytics process is the cultural dimension. A willingness to capture and use metrics for process improvement represents a commitment to show proof of measurable value. Figure 8 contrasts the digital marketing effectiveness mean scores for each metric listed in Figure 6. In this study, the relationship between the use of metrics and effectiveness was powerful: the use of every success metric identified in Figure 6 was linked to greater digital marketing effectiveness. Even though some metrics are better than others at showing true revenue impact, the use of any of these metrics leads to better digital marketing performance. Impressions Number of Inquiries Click-thrus Page Views Marketing Qualified Leads Sales Opportunities Identified Program ROI Revenue Generated Effectiveness Rating (when metric is NOT in use) 3.45 3.33 3.21 3.38 3.37 3.43 3.43 3.34 Effectiveness Rating (when metric is NOT in use) 3.78 3.78 3.79 3.74 3.93 3.84 3.86 3.84 Figure 8: The use of metrics increases the digital marketing effectiveness rating by an average of .45 on a scale of 1 to 5 where 5 = Very effective. DIGITAL MARKETING METRICS Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239
  15. 15. Long before any form of digital marketing existed, a fundamental principle of marketing effectiveness was known: a better understanding of chosen markets leads to more effective marketing to those markets. This study explored how well participants claimed to know their target markets, and results appear in Figure 9. Participant responses were almost exactly even between these two groups: Low market understanding: those who reported no or just a basic understanding of their target markets. High market understanding: those that reported a complete understanding of their target markets. This even distribution serves as an excellent filter for comparing differences between these two groups, with the assumption that the “High market understanding” (High) group should have better results, not just in digital marketing but other areas as well. Figure 9: Target market understanding is evenly divided across low and high groups. MARKET UNDERSTANDING Understanding Percentage Low Market Understanding 48% High Market Understanding 52% Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239 15
  16. 16. A better understanding of the ideal or target markets is related to some very important aspects of digital marketing. For example, the study participants in the High group (56%) were more likely to track revenue generated as a metric, compared to those in the Low group (43%). Better target market understanding leads to better understanding of revenue generated from those markets through digital marketing. Another key relationship exists between target market understanding and effectiveness using the solutions depicted in Figure 5. Solution effectiveness was measured using a scale from 1 to 3 where 1 = Ineffective and 3 = Effective, as seen in Figure 10. The analysis presented in Figure 10 validates that the use of these solutions, individually or in combination, leads to greater target market understanding. Figure 10: The average effectiveness delta between the low and high understanding groups is .25 on this 3-point scale. MARKET UNDERSTANDING Solution Analytics Business Intelligence Content Management CRM Lead Scoring Marketing Automation Avg. Effectiveness of Low Understanding Group 2.22 1.89 2.07 2.05 1.71 1.93 Avg. Effectiveness of High Understanding Group 2.43 2.15 2.33 2.29 1.97 2.22 Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239
  17. 17. 41% 59% 31% 69% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Neutral to Ineffective Effective/Very effective Digital Marketing Effectiveness Low understanding group High understanding group 17 Another thing that this study’s data analysis confirms is that better target market understanding is related to greater digital marketing effectiveness. Figure 11 illustrates this analysis. Organizations experiencing revenue growth are much more likely to also report higher digital marketing effectiveness, as the relationship between them is already strong. Figure 11: Higher target market understanding leads to greater digital marketing effectiveness. MARKET UNDERSTANDING Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239
  18. 18. 14% 37% 49% 10% 20% 70% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Ineffective Neutral Effective Digital Effectiveness & Revenue Growth Declining or Flat Growth 18 Figure 12 illustrates the digital marketing effectiveness differences between study participants that reported declining or flat revenue, and those who reported revenue growth during the most recently completed fiscal year. What’s represented in Figure 9, Figure 11 and Figure 12 are interesting as standalone data elements, but they are best viewed holistically: the use of the right tools and solutions leads to a better target marketing understanding. That better understanding produces greater digital marketing effectiveness, which in turn, leads to higher revenue growth. It’s important to see the relationships in this chain and not just one to the exclusion of the others. MARKET UNDERSTANDING Figure 12: Greater digital marketing effectiveness strongly influences revenue growth. Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239
  19. 19. Most organizations have some strategy for targeting prospects in their chosen markets. In the B2B world, common marketing targets include: companies by industry or vertical, prospects by job title, companies by size (measured either in revenue or by number of employees), prospects by the department in which they work, specific “named” accounts, companies based on geographic location or other targeting criteria. Since digital marketing provides the ability to target prospects with fairly high levels of precision, this study attempted to determine which target markets are considered most important, and in which targets participants invest the most marketing resources. The rankings of most important market targets and where investment is greatest in reaching those market targets are summarized in Figure 13. The discrepancy in Figure 13 rankings seems subtle. Just the first and second criteria are switched between what participants report is the most important market targeting criterion and where they are making the greatest investment of marketing resources to reach those targets. Simply put, you can’t have your highest priority outcome be less than the highest priority in investment – in marketing or anything else – if priorities are in the right place. Figure 13: The most important targeting criterion and the area of greatest marketing investment don’t match. MARKET TARGETS Prospect Title Companies by Industry & Vertical Companies by Size Prospect Department Named Accounts Companies by Geography Most Important 1 2 3 4 5 6 Greatest Investment 2 1 3 4 5 6 Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239
  20. 20. When viewing how study participants rank market targets using the market understanding groups from Figure 8, the low target market understanding group ranks “Prospect job title” as the top targeting criteria while the high target market understanding group ranks “Companies by industry/vertical” as the top targeting criteria. This difference between the low and high target market understanding groups may also seem subtle, but it represents a profound difference of understanding. Prospect job titles are the input to persona development. Personas are powerful and highly recommended marketing tools, but they are far more valuable for guiding content development than as targeting criteria for sales or overall B2B marketing programs. Unless that prospect title is CEO, rarely does a single person have all decision-making authority, so targeting by prospect title is incomplete. For this reason, the high target market understanding group has the right perspective on targeting: at the company level. MARKET TARGETS 20
  21. 21. 10% 22% 23% 24% 35% 42% 44% 50% 0% 20% 40% 60% Other Named account(s) None Company geography Prospect department Company size Prospect title Company industry/vertical Lead Scoring Criteria 21 In an ideal world, lead scoring practices would match targeting criteria. This study, however, found they do not. Figure 14 shows the target qualifications that participants are using for lead scoring, if they are doing it at all. The data in Figure 14 suggests some further lack of integration in the targeting and investment priorities from Figure 13, and the lead scoring. Ideally, the same criteria would occupy the top position in each of these rankings, and that is not the case. What participants said was most important – prospect title – is not the top priority for either investment or lead scoring. Marketers should first ensure they’re using the right or best criteria, and then prioritize its use and investment around those criteria. MARKET TARGETS Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239 Figure 14: Almost one-fourth of study participants are not using lead scoring criteria.
  22. 22. 2% 3% 9% 11% 13% 24% 38% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% Other SMB segment Enterprise segment Geographies Named account lists/targets Industries or vertical markets Individual prospect types/buyer personas Long-Term Increase in Focus of Digital Marketing 22 Ironically, targeting individual prospect types or buyers personas is the area of highest projected increase in long-term focus, as Figure 15 portrays. The Demand Metric view is that the greater focus should be on companies, either by industry, vertical or named account. Prospect type or buyer persona then becomes one of multiple, secondary, targeting criteria. Figure 15: The focus on individual prospect types and/or buyer personas will increase the most long-term. MARKET TARGETS Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239
  23. 23. As Figure 3 depicts, there are many strategies available to the digital marketer. Almost all of them rely on content to fuel their effectiveness, either directly or indirectly via a link. Because of the close relationship between content and digital marketing, the study survey asked participants to share which of the following factors are considered during the content creation process. Thought leadership: content based on broad industry awareness. Business needs-based: content focused on specific business needs and solutions. Industry or company-based: content based on industries or specific, targeted companies. Sales-driven: sales enablement content such as ROI calculators or vendor comparisons. User profile or persona-based: content based on ideal/target users or buyer personas. Product-based: product descriptive content, brochures and guides. These content creation factors are summarized in Figure 16, on the next page. MARKET TARGETS 23
  24. 24. 34% 41% 45% 46% 55% 61% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Product-based User profile or persona-based Sales-driven Industry or company-based Business needs-based Thought leadership Content Creation Factors 24 One of these content creation factors – User profile or persona-based – was related to digital marketing effectiveness. This relationship seems to reflect the main axiom of creating content: know your audience. While using personas isn’t recommended as the primary market targeting criteria, it is absolutely the first and most important consideration when creating content. Using personas in the creation process helps that content enjoy maximum relevancy and usefulness to its intended audience. Figure 16: Over half the study’s participants consider business needs and thought leadership in their content creation process. MARKET TARGETS Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239
  25. 25. 32% 25% 16% 11% 9% 3% 4% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% Unaware Aware, not using Aware, considering using Piloting ABM Running some ABM campaigns Running many ABM campaigns ABM is primary digital approach Account-Based Marketing Awareness & Use 25 Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a digital marketing approach that focuses on targeting and marketing to specific companies or segments based on their business attributes, such as industry, size, revenue, geography account status or other criteria. Recent technology advances have accelerated the adoption of ABM in B2B environments. ABM works on the premise that most purchase decisions are not made by individuals, but buying centers, and therefore it’s important to target all members of the buying center. ABM uses technology like IP-based targeting to help marketers reach buying centers in the accounts or companies where they work. This study investigated the awareness of ABM and how well it is working for those that are using it. Figure 17 summarizes current ABM awareness. Figure 17: Over two-thirds of study participants are aware of ABM, and over one-fourth have begun using it to some degree. ACCOUNT-BASED MARKETING Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239
  26. 26. 3.37 3.58 3.82 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Unaware Aware, not using Using ABM Account-Based Marketing & Digital Effectiveness 26 How is the use of ABM influencing overall digital marketing effectiveness? A significant relationship was discovered when analyzing the ABM awareness data from Figure 17 with the digital marketing effectiveness data used in Figure 11. The results of this analysis are displayed in Figure 18. The inescapable conclusion from the data in Figure 18 is that ABM directly or indirectly contributes to greater digital marketing effectiveness. Directly through its use, and indirectly through the level of digital marketing sophistication and prowess is implied by simply knowing what it is. Figure 18: Even just awareness of ABM correlated to greater digital marketing effectiveness. Effectiveness was measured on a scale from 1 to 5 where 5 = Very effective. Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239 ACCOUNT-BASED MARKETING
  27. 27. 4% 14% 19% 25% 25% 28% 32% 35% 37% 39% 42% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Other challenges Difficulty integrating with key systems Difficulty selecting optimal channel mix Ability to market to prospects in real-time Difficulty measuring ROI Cost Conversion rates Developing effective content or creative Ability to precisely target prospects Ability to better track & measure results Lack of staff, technology, resources Digital Marketing Challenges Figure 19: Lack of staff, technology and other resources are a perennial challenge for marketers. 27 Even with the many benefits and conveniences of digital marketing, it is not without it’s challenges. This study attempted to catalog the current challenges digital marketers are facing, and the summary of their input is presented in Figure 19. Virtually every challenge identified in Figure 19 has a solution in technology. One study participant, however, offered this comment that seems to represent the views of many: “analytics tools are too pricey.” Whether the solution is an analytics tool or some other technology, vendors need to help their prospective customers make the business case for solutions that measurably improve their performance and effectiveness. Marketers, in turn, need to embrace the value of showing the ROI for the investments they wish to make. When they do and do it well, they’ll find very few of their funding requests get denied. DIGITAL MARKETING CHALLENGES Digital Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, October 2014, n=239
  28. 28. ANALYST BOTTOM LINE Digital marketing isn’t new, but there’s always something new going on in digital marketing. One of its advantages has always been the agility that digital marketing solutions and approaches provide, helping marketers move much faster than traditional media to build brands and generate leads. To be a proficient digital marketer also requires agility to discover, learn, test, deploy and exploit the vast and constantly evolving array of solutions and approaches. That same agility is required to quickly retire methods that lose effectiveness and move on to something better. This study confirms some of what marketers know is true about digital marketing, challenges some assumptions and provides new insight. To have digital marketing work as well as it can, marketers need to focus on these principles: Set goals. It’s easy to think of digital marketing as a panacea, and it can do many things well. It’s for this very reason that digital marketing goals are imperative. Without them, digital marketers risk having their efforts diffused because of lack of focus. Set specific goals, and revisit them regularly to ensure that the goals and the results are still relevant. Your approach to digital marketing should not be “one size fits all goals.” Go multi-channel. Few digital marketers in the modern era use just a single channel, as this study shows. Most marketers use multiple channels, and too often their selection is based on what’s easy or familiar. This results in a suboptimal or uncoordinated channel mix. Do use multiple channels, but wisely. Make sure every channel is aligned with a goal and that its use complements, not conflicts, with other channels. Optimize the entire channel mix, not just each channel in isolation. 28
  29. 29. ANALYST BOTTOM LINE Target wisely. Today’s digital marketing approaches provide the ability to precisely target an audience. While this capability provides many advantages, it can erroneously lead to a belief that narrower targeting criteria are better. In reality, few individuals in B2B organizations are solely responsible for purchase consideration and decisions. Digital marketers need to understand the customer journey, because most of the time, it involves several players in a company. This is why targeting and lead scoring at the company level instead of the prospect level produces greater digital marketing effectiveness. Measure. Any marketing initiative should have measurements to track and manage performance, particularly digital marketing because the data is often easily obtained. While some metrics are better than others at showing how marketing efforts influence revenue, the use of any of the metrics in this study all were linked to greater digital marketing effectiveness. Keep up. Things evolve very quickly in the digital marketing solutions space. Marketers cannot drag their feet on staying current with new solutions for digital marketing, because the biggest advantages often go to the early adopters, those who are quick to exploit something new before the rest of the marketing herd follows. In this study, even awareness of Account-Based Marketing is an indicator of how effective an organization is when it comes to the digital marketing. Digital marketing is not the same today as it was yesterday, and by tomorrow it will have evolved into something different. What won’t change is the definition of success for digital marketing: it’s not measured by volume, but results. The principles presented here will help organizations steer the right course for their digital marketing efforts, keeping efforts aligned with goals. 29
  30. 30. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Demand Metric is grateful to Demandbase for sponsoring this benchmarking study and for those participants that took the time to provide their input to it. Demand Metric acknowledges the advice and assistance of Dr. Tom Brown, Noble Foundation Chair in Marketing Strategy and Professor of Marketing in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, in facilitating and providing counsel on the analysis of these survey results. 30
  31. 31. ABOUT DEMANDBASE Demandbase is the first targeting and personalization platform for B2B, transforming the effectiveness of marketing programs and marketing’s ability to impact revenue. While personalization tools have long existed for B2C, until now, none were geared specifically to enable B2B marketers to make online interactions more effective, delivering the right message at the right time. Demandbase’s patented identification technology bridges the gap between known and anonymous web visitors by identifying and segmenting the companies visiting a website, and providing detailed, targetable business attributes in real-time. Demandbase integrates with other sales and marketing technologies to deliver unique intelligence about web visitors, and better attract, convert and retain the right customers. Enterprise leaders and high-growth companies alike use Demandbase to drive better marketing performance. For more information, visit www.demandbase.com. 31
  32. 32. ABOUT DEMAND METRIC Demand Metric is a marketing research and advisory firm serving a membership community of over 50,000 marketing professionals and consultants in 75 countries. Offering consulting methodologies, advisory services, and 500+ premium marketing tools and templates, Demand Metric resources and expertise help the marketing community plan more efficiently and effectively, answer the difficult questions about their work with authority and conviction and complete marketing projects more quickly and with greater confidence, boosting the respect of the marketing team and making it easier to justify resources the team needs to succeed. To learn more about Demand Metric, please visit: www.demandmetric.com. 32
  33. 33. APPENDIX – SURVEY BACKGROUND This Demand Metric Benchmark Study survey was administered online during the period of October 2, 2014 through October 24, 2014. During this period, 268 responses were collected, 239 of which were complete enough for inclusion in the analysis. The data was analyzed using SPSS to ensure the statistical validity of the findings. The representativeness of these results depends on the similarity of the sample to environments in which this survey data is used for comparison or guidance. Summarized below is the basic categorization data collected about respondents to enable filtering and analysis of the data: Annual Sales: $10 million or less (62%) $11 to $25 million (6%) $26 to $100 million (14%) $101 to $500 million (8%) $501 million to $1 billion (3%) Over $1 billion (7%) Type of Organization: Mostly or entirely B2B (63%) Mostly or entirely B2C (17%) Blend of B2B/B2C (20%) Primary Role of Respondent: President, CEO or Owner (21%) Marketing (61%) Sales (5%) Other (13%) 33
  34. 34. For more information, visit us at: www.demandmetric.com Demand Metric Research Corporation 562 Wellington Street London, ON, Canada N6A 3R5 © 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Benchmark Report © 2014 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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