Industries often looked at as less progressive in their advertising, such as manufacturing and financial services, were some of the fastest growing last year when it came to business-to-business customer engagement and digital ad spending, according to data from Demandbase.
In particular, Demandbase identified a push by B2B marketers to adopt emerging automation, audience segmentation and targeting solutions, which led greater lead generation and more successful campaigns.
“All advertisers, whether targeting businesses or consumers, have increasing pressure to demonstrate the ROI around every marketing dollar spent,” said Chris Golec, founder and CEO of Demandbase. “But, it’s not uncommon to see only 10% to 15% of the traffic to a B2B Web property from a target audience.”
In order to engage B2B customers, marketers need to think about long-term campaigns that span purchase cycles and channels, according to a survey from marketing agency Bite. Because purchase decisions are complex and involve higher dollar amounts, the timeframe is longer and the importance of engagement across the cycle takes on greater significance.
Business-to-business marketers are also looking to automation to score and nurture leads, and develop closed-loop reporting, a trend that is prompting many B2C marketers to follow suit, writes Pardot’s Mathew Sweezey.
The increase in engagement is good news for B2B marketers, who ranked lead and revenue generation as their top priorities in a survey released in November by Webmarketing123.
“This is reflective of the increasing pressure on marketers to prove ROI and contribute to the bottom line,” said Paul Taylor, Webmarketing123’s CEO.
It’s also good news for vendors of automation solutions. While final numbers are not yet in, Raab Associates has projected that revenues for business-to-business marketing automation systems increased 50% to $750 million in 2013 and automation will continue to be a hot topic in 2014. A recent survey conduced by Holger Schulze, group owner of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn, found that nearly 70% of B2B marketers are either using or evaluating automation technology to generate more and better leads, and improve productivity and conversion rates.
Spending on automated marketing products is predicted to increase to $4.8 billion in 2015 from $3.2 billion in 2010, according to IDC. But selecting the right technology for your campaign will be critical for maximizing the return on investment, writes Paul Roetzer.