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Date posted: January 12, 2017

Oracle has recently released its third B2B Enterprise Demand Generation study, and the results point to the fact that companies have a ways to go to begin mastering this marketing discipline. In a post on the Oracle Marketing Cloud, Carlos Hidalgo speaks to the numbers coming out of the study and what they mean:

  • Only 20% of organizations are “highly effective” in realizing their B2B Enterprise demand generation goals. According to Hidalgo, this points to marketers still being ill-equipped to execute demand generation programs. The study shows that more than 40% of respondents received no training or marketing enablement and only 26.5% stated that their team skill set is highly effective. The upshot: the need to increase budget allocation to training and skills development.
  • Metrics and goals are not aligned. While the number one goal for demand generation is generating qualified leads (92%), only 15% of organizations are measuring against this goal. Without measurements in place, organizations are flying blind in terms of determining success. When goals are established, not only is it necessary to determine the definition of a qualified lead, it is vital that this goal be measured.
  • Buyer personas are problematic. When asked who is responsible for the development of buyer personas only 28% stated that the demand generation team fills this role. However, over 40% stated it is the responsibility of product marketing.  While buyer personas are certainly needed for product marketing, it is not feasible that a product marketing persona (usually a description of the end user of a product or service) is going to be the best fit for demand generation purposes. There’s a disjoint that needs to be fixed. For demand generation, it is essential to understand a buyer’s content consumption patterns and channel preferences. The role they play on the buying committee and in their buying journey must be understood.
  • Consensus buying needs to be better grasped. Less than half of those surveyed stated that they take into account a buying committee when creating their buyer personas. According to CEB, there are on average 6.8 buyers involved in the typical B2B buying process; given that, demand generation marketers must have insight into all of these individuals and their key roles. If this insight is lacking, it follows that the content that is developed to speak to the buyer will be as well.
  • Increasing content without strategy makes little sense. While organizations are spending time and money on creating more content, less than two-thirds of those surveyed stated they had a documented content strategy. The lack of buyer insight— which is the foundation for any effective demand generation content strategy— certainly contributes to this issue.  As Hidalgo says, “You cannot create relevant content if you do not know to whom or to what you are writing.” And until you know that, investing on content creation will not provide a good return on investment.

With B2B enterprise demand generation being so central to marketing efforts, it’s important to take a good look at where and how it needs to mature. The Oracle study points us in that direction.

Date posted: January 9, 2017

Continuing B2B Marketing Education

According to Albert Einstein, “education is the progressive realization of our ignorance.”

That observation seems to us more cogent as each year passes— and so, with the clear understanding that we don’t (and never will) know it all, we turn each January to see what marketing conferences are scheduled for the year ahead to see where we might best listen to those at the head of their marketing classes, and hopefully learn a few things to help us and our clients. Micheal Brenner, CEO of the Marketing Insider Group, recently made that task easier with a post on the best B2B marketing conferences of 2017, and we’ve drawn our calendar of the conferences that seem most important to us from the list he provides.

 

FEBRUARY

  • B2B Content 2 Conversion conference
    • February 20-22 in Scottsdale, AZ
  • iMedia Brand Summit: Partnerships
    • February 12-15 in Amelia Island, FL

MARCH

      APRIL

MAY

JUNE

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

To Be Determined