Even if you’re steeped in the world of B2B marketing every single day, chances are a lot of what you think you know about the industry is outdated. The industry moves so fast, and we can’t rely on these outdated “facts” anymore. Statistics we learned at a conference five years ago and have since committed to memory are probably not even correct in today’s market!
I’ll admit it: I too am guilty of citing stats I first read in 2013 without really knowing if they’re still relevant. To remedy this, we’ve compiled a list of compelling marketing facts that come from research published in the past several months. Take a look, tweet your favorites, and check out our recommended reading to learn more.
1. 85% of B2B marketers say lead generation is their most important content marketing goal for 2016.
Sounds about right! Content can do just about anything, from building brand awareness to helping your sales team close a tough deal — but when it comes to proving the ROI of your content marketing, lead generation is an important place to start.
Recommended reading: Gone Fishing… for Leads
One of the most common objections to investing time in search engine optimization goes something like this: “I can’t keep up! Google’s always changing its algorithms, so there’s just no point.” But the fact is, basic SEO is so much easier than you think. While it certainly doesn’t hurt to hire an SEO firm if you’ve got the budget, take a look at our recommended reading to learn some simple steps you can take right now to boost your search results.
Recommended reading: The Complete SEO Checklist for Bloggers
The typical B2B company has its plate full when it comes to event planning. On the marketing front, we’ve got trade shows, conferences, and even webinars. Sales and marketing teams are working together to plan exclusive events for prospective customers and loyal clients. And then there are internal training events, like sales kickoffs. It’s no wonder event budgets are increasing this year!
Recommended reading: 3 Successful Event Marketing Tactics — Plus the Ultimate Event Promotion Checklist
4. 52% of small business marketers view social media as a critical enabler of their products and services.
We’re not at all surprised that social media is an integral part of many small businesses’ strategies. But why do only 52% of companies feel this way? As you may know, Pardot was a small business not so long ago, so we can relate to the tiny marketing team struggle. When you’ve got just a few people running every aspect of your marketing strategy, it’s easy to fall behind on (constantly changing) social media trends. Your best bet to stay up-to-date in 2016? Check out our recommended reading below, and subscribe to SocialMedia Examiner’s newsletter to get the latest on all things social delivered to your inbox.
Recommended reading: 4 Ways the Social Media Landscape Will Change in 2016 — & What It Means for You
If your marketing team isn’t part of the majority who use B2B marketing automation, don’t worry! We’ve got a handy Powerpoint template you can use to map out a strategy your CMO will fawn over. If you’re already using marketing automation and want to get more out of your platform, check out Mathew Sweezey’s tips for beginners, intermediate users, and experts.
Recommended reading: The Marketing Automation Success Plan for SMBs [Template]
2015 was all about social video, from the rise of Periscope to the introduction of Facebook live video streaming. Clearly, as this research from BuzzSumo proves, this tried-and-true media format will only get bigger in 2016.
Recommended reading: 3 Ways to Increase Engagement with Your Video Marketing
Not only that, but 33% of marketing budgets are allocated to technology — and unsurprisingly, marketing automation technology is on the rise. There’s a myth that marketing automation is too pricey for small and medium-sized businesses, or that implementing marketing technology requires adding headcount. As we explain in the article below, this isn’t the case for the vast majority of companies — so a bigger budget really does mean more productivity, not more work.
Recommended reading: 5 Myths About Marketing Automation and Small Businesses — Busted
There you have it: seven stats pulled from brand new marketing studies. Were you surprised by any of these up-to-the-minute statistics? Let us know in the comments — and feel free to share other interesting research you’ve come across in 2016.