US B2B marketers are struggling to optimize their online marketing mix, with many unable to segment and target the right decision-makers or measure program success across the entire marketing funnel, according to the results of a survey developed and fielded by Crain's BtoB magazine and business audience marketing company Bizo.
Moreover, the sales cycle has lengthened for the plurality of B2B companies (43%), increasing pressure on Marketing to boost brand awareness to help deliver leads and effectively nurture them through a prolonged buying process, the study found.
Among the study's key findings:
- Only 40% of respondents say their online marketing mix is meeting the needs of the sales pipeline.
- One-third of respondents report their biggest online marketing challenge is accurately measuring and attributing online conversions to the correct marketing channels.
- Fully 79% say that differentiating on brand is a priority for their organization.
Below, additional findings from the BtoB and Bizo study.
The marketing mix is still not meeting the needs of the sales pipeline
A gap continues to exist between the needs of sales organizations and the ability of online marketing to deliver and nurture leads:
- Less than half of respondents (40%) say their online marketing mix is meeting the needs of the sales pipeline (consistent with the previous year's findings).
- Some 60% say that their greatest marketing challenge is generating more leads, while 55% say reaching more of their target audience is their biggest challenge.
- Only 36% say their current marketing programs very effectively address stakeholders in the buying decision.
Brand differentiation is becoming increasingly important, but marketers struggle to achieve it