Two mountain climbers helping each other

When we talk about marketing, often, only the B2C customer is implied. But the influence of marketing on the success of a company and its sales pipeline is growing for B2B businesses.

In a recent study by ON24, Market2Marketers and Heinz Marketing (quoted via marketingcharts.com, because at least I had problems with the download form) B2B marketers offer insight into their work and methods.

Which content is popular?

52 % of all B2B marketers provide case studies to sales. These are regularly among the most important content assets to play a major role in the buying decision. In fact, use cases are important for leads and customers throughout all decision phases.

Other forms of content produced by marketing:

  • Materials about products & services (51 %)
  • Research (48 %)
  • Blog posts (42 %)
  • Webinars (40 %)
  • Instructions (39 %)
  • Factsheets/Tip Sheets (39 %)
  • White papers (33 %)

In short, marketing in the B2B sector often provides sales with the necessary content to be successful in customer talks. When it comes to the content production, however, it is important that marketing benefits from a close coordination and information exchange with sales in order to really address the pain points of the target groups in all content assets. In addition, technical/field experts in the company should be available to provide the necessary input. Especially when it comes to material like instructions, know-how videos, white papers and webinars, marketing needs expertise to create high quality content. This also ensures a lively exchange of knowledge within the company about what customers are currently interested in and which core topics are relevant to the product development.

Cooperation between sales and marketing

Nine out of ten marketers believe that they work well with sales, while only eight out of ten marketers believe that they are in line with sales objectives.

The 10 % discrepancy between the sales-marketing-relationship and the goal-alignment might indicate that the necessary structures to align marketing and sales activities are lacking. Of course, different divisions also have individual goals, but they should contribute to a common goal and should not contradict each other.

Overall, however, the results show that the traditional divisions between marketing and sales are slowly dissolving. Personally, I’d say that the data transparency of systems (CRM, marketing automation, etc.) adds to this development by making marketing activities more visible in the company. Closed-loop reporting, i.e. measuring and evaluating across the customer-related company divisions, helps to achieve common insights and collaborative activities. It also gives a bigger picture on the impact that marketing activities and channels have on the overall sales funnel.

What is the secret for success of Top Performers?

According to the study, joint reporting or the exchange of KPIs and the uniform definition of key figures and measured values is one indicator that distinguishes Top Performers from the rest.

80%

of all Top Performers forward qualified leads to sales, which are also recognized by sales as being of high quality.

Scalability ensures flexibility

A further success characteristic is the scalability of marketing measures. Processes and workflows must be standardized and – if possible – automated in order to repeat successful campaigns and strategies. Only 5 % of all Top Performers have problems with scaling. However, almost one in four marketers outside this group struggles with it.

This is exactly where automation plays an important role. Manual processes cannot be scaled up infinitely without additional resources. A marketing automation platform or an email tool supports the setup of templates, workflows and can be easily used with segmented customer groups.

Read here what possibilities a Marketing Automation Platform can offer you to strengthen your marketing (and sales) in the long term.

Personas play an important role in the success of B2B marketing

88 % of all Top Performers consider it necessary to create personas for decision groups (buying centers) in order to align marketing activities according to individual needs and thus address the right decision makers at the right time. The main characteristic of the B2B persona should not be the decision-maker-status, but rather the individual buying motivation and department. Depending on the company, the role of the decision-maker can change. However the interests and needs of IT, sales, marketing, etc. usually stay the same.

Furthermore, customer segments can also play an important role in applying the right communication strategy. Although B2B targeting is generally more complex than for B2C customers, it is worthwhile. If you know about the behavior and communication preferences of your leads and customers you can concentrate your resources on the strategies that really address your target groups.

How can your marketing profit from AI, automation and the right processes? Find out on our information page.

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