Forrester Research unveiled the results of its latest study, which revealed that while many B2B marketers are embracing content marketing, many are still early on in the journey from product-focused to relationship-building content.
According to the survey, 85% of B2B marketers fail to connect content activity to business value, even though roughly half (51%) of those surveyed state their content marketing strategies are mature. This ultimately prevents marketers from retaining customers and creating long-term relationships, according to the research.
The study, titled: Compare Your B2B Content Marketing Maturity, was performed in collaboration with the Business Marketing Association and the Online Marketing Institute. The goal to understand why B2B marketers are struggling when connecting their content marketing initiatives to business value.
Surprisingly, only 14% of those surveyed gave their content practices high marks for delivering value back to the business after analyzing their past 12 months and the effectiveness of their content marketing initiatives.
Other key findings include:
While 71% of surveyed marketers say their content features case studies or customer stories, only 3% admit this is a primary focus of their efforts;
Only 12% of respondents make publishing research and perspectives the main focus of their content marketing, and no one said they engage external experts to validate those ideas; and
Only 5% make frequent communication with their customer base a priority, proving that marketers are too focused on acquisition rather than long-term loyalty.
“Business buyers can now access an abundance of digital information to research and shop for solutions on their own terms,” said Laura Ramos, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. “That means many B2B firms risk losing more empowered customers to more responsive competitors — if they don’t take the time to assess the true maturity of their content marketing engines and make sure that content connects with what concerns and interests buyers.”