A majority (84%) of B2B marketers plan to increase or maintain their digital marketing spend in the coming year, according to a recent report from Salesforce analyzing the current state of B2B marketing.
Content marketing and marketing automation (66%) are the top areas where their organizations will be increasing spending, followed closely by mobile applications and location-based tracking (65%) and social media advertising/marketing (64%).
The B2B buying process is still a different pattern that marketers need to analyze and assess to see success, according to Adam Blitzer, SVP and GM of Salesforce Pardot. "Despite all of the talk of the lines between B2C and B2B blurring, the B2B customer journey is still unique."
The report surveyed roughly 2,200 B2B marketers on their budgets, priorities, strategies and metrics for 2015. The report also highlights key business challenges that B2B organizations are facing, while also defining key technologies B2B marketers are leveraging to provide a concise customer journey.
While CRM (57%) is considered the most important tool for a seamless customer journey, the report noted that marketing analytics (54%) and mobile applications (53%) are also playing key roles in providing a cohesive buying experience.
The report suggests that B2B marketers have to perform an audit of the technology that has an impact on the customer's journey. It's important to dig into how the technology is working together to deliver the best results, according to Blitzer.
"Take a close look at where prospects most often disengage with your company," Blitzer said in an interview with Demand Gen Report. "Pinpoint those moments and then map fixes against them."
Marketing automation is understood as an effective tool for B2B marketers; roughly 70% of respondents stated that marketing automation was either an effective or very effective tool for digital marketing strategies. However, only 26% of the respondents had a marketing automation tool implemented in their business, and 31% are either piloting a solution or plan to implement a marketing automation solution within the next year.
Other findings from the report include:
- The role of social media within the B2B marketplace has grown considerably as a channel, with 56% of B2B marketers in the report rating social media marketing as a core to the business;
- Roughly a quarter (26%) of respondents stated that their social initiatives were indirectly producing ROI, while 30% stated that social media was directly producing either some or a significant ROI for the company;
- 48% of B2B marketers always/often use responsive design when building emails; and
- 53% have integrated mobile marketing into the overall marketing strategy.
Click here to download a full copy of the report.