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B2B vs. B2C Marketing: Top Objectives, Tactics, and Metrics

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B2B and B2C marketers tend to have different marketing objectives for their businesses; not surprisingly, they also have different views on which marketing tactics are the most effective, according to a survey from Ascend2.

Among B2B marketers surveyed, increasing the quality (49%) and quantity (49%) of sales leads are top objectives, followed by boosting lead conversion rates (41%).

By contrast, B2C marketers are primarily focused on increasing lead conversion rates (54%) and driving website traffic (43%):

Below, additional findings from Ascend2's Marketing Strategy Outlook Survey, based on a poll of 456 marketing executives worldwide.


Most Effective Tactics

Though email is still the most effective marketing tactic for both B2Bs (58%) and B2Cs (63%), that’s where most of the similarities end.

B2Bs rank content creation (42%) and lead management (35%) as their second- and third-most effective tactics, respectively, whereas B2Cs rank organic search (SEO) (39%) and paid search (35%) near the top.

B2Cs are more confident than B2Bs in social media (28% vs. 23%), whereas tactics such as blogging and marketing analytics appear to be equally effective for B2Bs and B2Cs.

Challenges

The most effective marketing tactics appear to be the most difficult to execute.

Among B2Bs, content creation—ranked as the second most effective tactic—ranks as one of the most difficult tactics to execute (39%). Conversion rate optimization and social media also rank high in difficulty (39% and 34%, respectively.)

Meanwhile, B2Cs rank social media (46%) as the tactic most difficult to execute. Conversion rate optimization is ranked second (41%), followed by content creation (35%).

Key Metrics

Measuring website traffic still matters most to marketers.

Asked which performance metrics they track, 79% of B2Bs and 78% of B2Cs 78% cite website traffic. Lead conversion rates are also a key metric for B2Bs and B2Cs (62% and 61%, respectively) as are the quantity of sales leads (62% and 54%, respectively).

Fewer B2Bs and B2Cs track quality of sales leads (34% and 46%, respectively) and awareness or reputation metrics (26% and 41%, respectively). 

About the data: Findings are based on a survey of 456 marketing professionals worldwide, conducted in January 2013 by Ascend2.


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Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.

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  • by Nick Stamoulis Mon Apr 1, 2013 via web

    I'm not surprised to see content creation so high on the B2Bs list. B2B companies have learned that their buyers are taking it upon themselves to educate themselves as much as possible. Many times a customer will have interacted with your brand through content before they every become an official lead.

  • by Ken Rutsky Mon Apr 1, 2013 via web

    Great data. Definitely consistent with what I see in the market for B2B. Content and marketing automation are top of mind. But I see a big gap with Content marketing, that's creating COMPELLING effective content. I think the key is to have a unique Viewpoint. See here for more... http://kenrutsky.com/standing-out-4-types-of-viewpoint-that-can-get-you-not...

  • by Jay Glazer Mon Apr 1, 2013 via web

    These are some really interesting statistics. I do agree that social media can be tough to execute, but it truly can be a powerful tool for driving web traffic and increasing conversion rates. Of course, the medium lends itself more to B2C than B2B. I think the key is ultimately driving users back to the site, because we want to affect purchasing decisions and increase ROI. I work at a company called Social Annex, which provides social software tools for the ecommerce space, and we published an interesting white paper analyzing on site vs. off site approaches. I would love to know what you think! http://bit.ly/171e67H

  • by John Cullen Sat Apr 6, 2013 via web

    Thank you good information and interesting new data, much appreciated. Currrent research indicates that Small Business B2Bs are reluctant to adopt DIgital / Social Media because there are no “hard” metrics to apply, but in my experience very few SEM measure their traditional marketing budget investment e.g. Trade Shows / Conventions, Trade Magazines, Trade / Association Memberships, Yellow Pages etc Do you have any common metrics that will help small business compare and therefore help show the cots savings using DIgital / Social Media?

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